I admit it. “Yes, I am a fuzz pedal addict.” I have no qualms about admitting this to anyone that will listen. For this year’s series of Top 5 lists, I have added my Top 5 Boutique Fuzz Pedals. All of them dirty, some of them rare and some of them nigh on impossible to acquire!
For my first entry into my Top 5 Boutique Fuzz Pedals, I just had to go with the Mr Black Doomstick. This boutique fuzz pedal just sounded so heavy and filthy when I first heard the demo earlier this year. Then to cap it all it only has one knob!
Perfection personified for a Luddite like me, you cannot get any simpler than that and so it was an instant love at first sight for me. The tone of this pedal is perfect for stoner-style, down-tuned dirty riffs and I love the ‘Doom’ and ‘Evil Dead’ references in the pedals name and graphics.
This Portland, USA boutique pedal builder has been on my radar for a good few years now and the Doomstick just proves that Mr Black knows how to make an awesome pedal.
RRP – USD 89.95
I’m already a huge fan of Mr Zachary Vex and think that his outlook on effects pedals and certainly fuzz pedal is unique. This new version of his already well respected Fuzz Factory circuit adds PNP silicon diodes to the mix and that preset Tone stack with 7 distinct settings on tap. The ZVex Silicon Fuzz Factory 7 was always going to in my Top 5 dirt boxes of the year, there is no doubt about that!
According to ZVex, the silicon diodes makes for a “brighter, tighter and more synthetic-sounding” fuzz. The new transistors give the Silicon FF7 a completely different tonal palette to the standard germanium based version of the unit, so it isn’t just a re-boxed standard Fuzz Factory.
RRP – USD 499
This pedal is not just a fuzz pedal and overdrive, in fact, I personally think that it is a thing of beauty. The design is sublime and the control layout makes perfect sense. This handmade American boutique pedal has a fantastic fuzz tone and then you get that overdrive included as well, so it has plenty of things to tweak.
The Royal Jelly was built in collaboration with Howard Davis, who is also responsible for the famous and oh so classic delay pedal, the EHX Deluxe Memory Man. This heritage should not be overlooked, as this circuit sounds fantastic to my ears.
RRP – USD 289 requires 9v DC power supply not included
There was no way that I could do the Top 5 Boutique Fuzz pedals and not include the KHDK Unicorn Blood fuzz/octave pedal. I was pretty impressed with it in my original news article back in August, and still feel that it is a very cool looking and sounding boutique fuzz box.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Brent Hinds influence also helped with my desire to find one of these pedals for myself. And according to Mr Hinds, “It mixes fuzz with coffee and also with cream.”, which just makes it sound even sweeter in my twisted state of fuzzy logic.
This is one of the nicest, well specified, yet simple fuzz pedals of 2018 and was a very limited run, so you may well never get to try one out. With an array of NOS components in the classic fuzz circuit, this one should certainly have all the right classic dirt tones you could want.
I think that the EarthQuaker Devices Black Ash Endangered Fuzz has certainly earned a place in my Top 5 Fuzz pedals of the year.
You can head over to my original article here to read all about why you should be hunting one of these down!
RRP – USD 199/ GBP 205