ZVEX Effects gives the Fuzz Factory 7 a UV makeover with the USA Vexter edition

ZVEX Effects has released the latest edition of its venerable flagship fuzz pedal, with the Fuzz Factory 7 USA Vexter refinished with an eye-popping UV paint job.

The Minneapolis-based guitar effects pedal specialist says the pedal ships with all the same ingredients, and a circuit based around a pair of NOS GT308 germanium transistors that have been recovered from the heady days of the ‘60s. 

There are not a lot of these about and Zachary Vex, recognising germanium worship as, y’know, a thing, has made this pedal a vessel for such behaviour by painting both of these transistors and placing them on display right there in the centre of a circle of seven control knobs. And there's a cat on the enclosure too. 

The Fuzz Factory 7 is a familiar concept by now but one that never fails to astonish with regards to the array of tones you can get out of the pedal. One of the seven dials (you’ll find it at five o’clock) is a nine-position rotary switch that controls the fuzz’s tone, taking it from fat, sub-heavy sounds as you go CCW, with “thinner and reedier” as you take it past noon, and the original Fuzz Factory 7’s voicing.

Z.Vex Fuzz Factory 7 USA Vexter

(Image credit: Z.Vex Effects)

Once you select this fuzz voicing, then adjust to taste. There is a Volume knob for controlling overall output, Gate for killing any extraneous noise after your notes fade out. You can also set this for a controlled feedback pitch – with the caveat that how you set this pedal can throw all kinds of spanners in the works noise-wise.

The Comp dial adjusts attack and can be used to for “fat feedback-y fuzz” and all sorts, but how it reacts is all dependent on where you have the stability (Stab) dial set. The latter is something that ZVEX advised to use in the fully clockwise position but should you take it below two o’clock on the dial, soft and squishy fuzz awaits. 

Z.Vex Fuzz Factory 7 USA Vexter

(Image credit: Z.Vex Effects)

Finally, there is a Tone control that acts as a passive lo-pass filter and is brought into play by its own dedicated footswitch, and a Drive control for setting the gain and dialling in the Fuzz Factory 7 as though it were your common or garden variety fuzz, which, of course, it is not. You can have conventional sounds, sure, but also anarchy, and all kinds of sounds in between.

The pedals are all hand-wired and made in the USA, and they’ll take a 9V DC pedalboard power supply or a battery, generally drawing between 10mA and 50mA. 

At $399, it ain’t cheap but those transistors don’t grow on trees and it’s a lot of fuzz. See ZVEX Effects for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.