NAMM 2020: SolidGoldFX releases the Communication Breakdown fuzz

NAMM 2020: Fuzz fans have never had it so good – and after its 76 Plus pedal earlier this year SolidGoldFX has another reminder of that with its new Communication Breakdown fuzz. 

If that name sounds like a conscious clue, it is; Jimmy Page used a Tone Bender MkII in his Yardbirds days, and it's all over the first Led Zeppelin album too – just listen to Dazed And Confused.

But rather than a strictly vintage approach to the Tone Bender influence, the Communication Breakdown (£239) is a distinctly modern take. Two in fact!

The pedal's two channels can be used individually or together and its dirty palette moves from 'clear and refined low-gain grime' to 'crushing walls of sound to beautifully compressed and singing lead tones'.  Sounds good to us! 

The Communication Breakdown's Fuzz A channel updates the Tone Bender MK1.5 blueprint by using hotter silicon transistors than the original. 

Fuzz B enters the MKII world of early Page with 'snarling, saturated and compressed box of fuzzy wonder'. But, as with Fuzz A, SolidGoldFX are bringing something new to the heritage; their own JFET pre-amp 'to breathe more stability and tonal clarity into this legendary circuit.'

(Image credit: SolidGoldFX)

Both these elements make for a highly desirable two-for-one deal to use individually or switch between, but the potential of combining Fuzz A and B brings a whole new world of fuzzy fun. 

There's a Bias control for each channel alongside the familiar Fuzz and Volume parameters. Bias lets you vary the voltage sent to the circuits; turning it clock-wise offers bolder dirt tones with girth. Counter-clockwise delivers 'a more lean, choppy and gated fuzz tone.'

Further sculpting of your sound is offered with the three-way Color toggles and the Input toggles let you adjust the input attenuation of the pedal to make sure it plays well with your wah in front.

We're looking forward to hearing more of this one. 

For more information visit SolidGoldFX

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.