Looking for an ultra-weird, yet usable effect? The ZVex Fuzz Factory Clone
In the year 2000 (Old Conan), I remember watching the Quicktime movies on Z.Vex Effects’ artistically innovative website.
Z.Vex was one of the first Pedal builders to offer video demos of his effects. Here’s a link to the real thing, Zvex Fuzz Factory.
Keep Feeling Fascination?
There is a fascination when considering the assortment of pedals offered then and now. If we look at their product history (mixed in with hearsay from effect forums) we’ll discover the SHO. Starting with the most recent creations and looking into the past:
- The Double Rock, came from 2 Box of Rocks combined together…
- The Box of Rock came from 3 SHOs cascaded together (Marshall Plexi Sound)…
- The Super Duper came from 2 SHOs placed on individual channels, with the ability to cascade…
- The SHO seemed to start the Z.Vex train a’rolling back in the day. (Crackle Okay).
The Fuzz Factory, however, is the cousin…or the distant 4th cousin on their estranged somebody’s side of the family is the matter at hand. Fuzz is achieved, octave fuzz achieved, and all manner of scratchy, squeals in between.
I was at a guitar shop in Southern Minneapolis just looking around, as most players do, and started up a conversation about the Z.Vex effects in their boutique pedal section. Lo and behold, the guy working there was the ‘E’ who played on those early demos. He had stories of Muse, and other bands he had met who are connected somehow to the Fuzz Factory circuit (One is infamously embedded into Matt Bellamy’s Manson T-style guitar).
E’s demo of the Fuzz Factory was the cornerstone of what I wanted to achieve as an early player. I wanted weird sounds.
The Swedish Squealer was Born
The Fuzz Factory does weird…in spades. It’s one thing to be a fan of gear, but it’s another to actually play it.
My friends Jacob and Danielle gifted me with a fuzz factory clone of my own in late 2007. “The Swedish Squealer” is written over the splatter flag of blå och gul. The paint job and build is killer, and the tones do not disappoint. It was assembled on Veroboard, is solid as a rock, and sports a PIERCING purple LED which signals to incoming air traffic to steer-clear. A single knob is labelled on this clone, “loudness”.
More Germanium, Please!
Germanium diodes accompany the design, just as in the Fuzz Factory proper (I had to ask a couple of friends about this as I am component illiterate).
The feel of the pedal is just pure fun. My favorite sound thus far: dial in a droning toonic (per song) and riff under neath it so that while not riffing, the tonic tone is automatically played.
I am enjoying my ZVex Fuzz Factory Clone, and you can enjoy your own as well!
Click here for an even more intense view of the Fuzz Factory! They also host the below Schematic for your DIY reference!
[usrlist Hardware:5 “Chainsaw Sounds:5” “Vibe:5″ avg=”true”]
If you would like the real thing, get your Zvex Fuzz Factory today!