Read the full article
This article was originally published in issue #63
To read the article in its entirety, view the digital magazine
Fuzz is beyond Distortion in some ways, it already has tons of sustain and compression going on.
Tons of great sonic options, with all very usable.
Works well with already driven tones as well as clean.
Highest build quality.
A little pricey for a fuzz.
Built in the U.S.A.
True Bypass with soft switches
Battery connection and 9v power jack
Dimensions: 63.5mm x 114.3mm x 38.1mm
The search for the perfect fuzz can truly be an exercise in frustration. Luckily for Sam Bell, pedal giants Wampler have done all the legwork for him, as he takes a closer look at the Fuzztration Fuzz pedal by Wampler.
Wampler's Fuzztration is aptly named after the feeling of frustration when on the quest for finding the perfect Fuzz. Or at least that’s what Wampler's website says, and I think they have found it! Wampler keeps pushing the boat out in terms of making high-quality pedals, so I’m not going to focus on the build quality here, its exceptional. You just have to try any Wampler pedal for yourself once before understanding how well built these pedals are and how great they sound.
Today I had the pleasure of looking at the Fuzztration, it’s not just any old Fuzz however it also has an Octave option that we’ll get into. The pedal has a simple layout, Level, Treble, Middle, Bass and a HUGE Fuzz knob (I guess that’s the most important one!) These work just how you’d expect them to, you can shape the EQ of the Fuzz with the 3 band controls, level controls the output of the pedal and FUZZ controls how Fuzzy things get (could be seen as a ‘Drive’). Now all this sounds pretty regular so far, but we have a few other options. We can change the style of Fuzz with a toggle switch, we can go between a modern style ‘Tight’ Fuzz which is much more saturated and articulated, perfect for sludge or stoner rock. Or we can opt in for a more classic style fuzz which is far more angular and quick with its cut off, think classic 60s and 70s Fuzz tones that we all know and love.
Now onto the subject of the octave. When the Octave foot switch is active we can add an octave to our fuzz sound. We can set this pre or post fuzz. When set to post it’s a little more noticeable and responds well in the upper positions and lower positions of the guitar neck. When set to pre it’s a little less noticeable, however, it adds a kind of Octavia sound to the Fuzz. The Octave function makes it feel like you’re getting more overtones coming out of the fuzz, it brightens it up in some ways depending on how you have set your Fuzz voicing switch. I personally really love this pedal on the Tight setting with the Octave set Post. You should definitely try one however to find your preferred setting!
At lower Fuzz settings we can get a warm and filling sounding break up sound, but not break up in terms of the crunch, of course, Fuzz is beyond Distortion in some ways, it already has tons of sustain and compression going on. When we turn it up the Fuzz seems to widen up the sound and fill your ears with pure saturated fuzz joy. Notes seem to scream of the fretboard, it’s like they become 4D, it’s a very satisfying pedal to play with.
In conclusion, I feel this is yet another outstanding pedal from Wampler, if you’re looking for a super quality and reasonably versatile modern Fuzz pedal with a few extra options then definitely check out the Fuzztration. I think they have found a perfect Fuzz, but I know they are perfectionists at heart so they are always striving to better their work, which is one of the many reasons Wampler are ruling the roost when it comes to high quality, professional grade guitar pedals.