Friday, March 27, 2015

The ADHD Tweak Fuzz Review

If you have never listened to Blues Saraceno (yes Blues is his real name) you have no idea what your missing. Blues broke out of the late 80's early 90's shred scene and gets lumped in with a lot of those guys but Blues has a groove to his playing that a lot of his technical peers didn't. While he can shred with the best of them, he also has an amazing feel and swing and boat loads of tasty chops. These days he focuses his efforts on selling songs for commercials and video games. But he and his father also have a company named Dirty Boy Pedals. Mostly these are small batch boutique pedals built to extremely exacting tolerances. A while back Seymour Duncan approached Blues with the idea of taking one of his Afro Fuzz pedals and doing a less expensive mass produced version.

The circuit of the Tweak Fuzz is essentially a silicone fuzz face but with an added six position tone switch that changes the overall character of the fuzz. The six position tone knob doesn't just roll of the highs but also cuts low frequencies making the Tweak Fuzz sound like several different fuzzes. You can go from full on crazy over the top doom metal fuzz face sounds to LoFi AM transistor radio sounds. Add to that the re-activity with your volume and tone knobs and you have a lot of sounds available to you. It pairs well with low output humbuckers as well as single coils.
Seymour Duncan Tweak Fuzz
So lets talk about some of the bad reviews I've seen. 1) It doesn't deal well with buffers... well most fuzz face based pedals don't. 2) the Volume knob doesn't have a boost, unity is at full on volume...  yes some people don't like that but old school fuzz faces were built that way. 3) it sounds awful and thin or basey.... this is a beginner complaint, the thing about most fuzz face clones is that they need to be driven hard through a cranked amp to sound good. 4) My extra special boutique fuzz sounds better... well yeah I'm sure it does, but who cares you can pick this thing for next to nothing on the used market, seriously check Reverb or Ebay and you'll find them for $30.

I've talked about my Mojo Hand Fx Zephyr Fuzz before and it is my main fuzz but if I need something with more edge or a LoFi type sound the Tweak Fuzz is what I use. It doesn't stay on my board but it does make an appearance at times when I need to push myself or just need to experiment with some crazy sounds.  It really is worth putting the time in to find the sounds in this crazy pedal. Other versatile fuzzy pedals include the Zvex Fuzz Factory and the Way Huge Swollen Pickle but know that these are based on the Muff circuit and are completely different animals than the fuzz face.

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