Packed with knobs that let you control everything from tight, radically fuzzy sounds that gate off instantly when you stop playing, to intermodulating oscillations that fight for control of your guitar as your notes decay, to shortwave radio sounds, ripping velcro and octave-like fuzz.
This is a five-knob fuzz using two new old-stock sixties germanium transistors. The circuit is not modeled after any classic fuzz design, but should have been around when Leary was still lucid.
Although the five knobs are named for the parameters over which they seem to have the most control, please don’t hold me to it. They are controls for various operating levels and biases, and basically shape you a personalised fuzz.
VOLUME: Output Level
GATE: Squelches noise after end of sustain. Turn to right to eliminate squeals, hiss and buzz, stopping just as they disappear, or use to tune in exact feedback pitch, if you’re that kind. Turning to left opens gate.
COMPRESS: Adds attack characteristic when turned to left, which gets softer to right, and suddenly pinches tone when all the way right. Also use to tune in fat feedbacky fuzz, if you’re that kind. Lower the Stability and see what happens to this control.
DRIVE: Increases distortion when used as a “normal” fuzz, and adjusts feedback pitch and tonal thickness, if you’re that kind. This control becomes meaningless when Compress is all the way right.
STABILITY: Use all the way right. Do not attempt to adjust this control below 2:00, unless you like your fuzz soft and squishy. Use to control feedback pitch. (Did I say that already?)
WARNING: Many “incorrect” settings on this pedal squeal. This may annoy the faint-hearted. If you use the example settings, you won’t get hurt. I don’t want to see anyone hurt. Unless you’re that kind. Don’t forget to memorize or write down your favourite settings.
Yes, folks, like all Z. Vex pedals, it’s as low current as possible, extending battery life so long… I have never changed the battery in the prototype (3 years). ‘On’ current is less than 3 mA… compare to the Tube Screamer (of course an entirely different animal) at almost 40 mA.