While we were recording our first EP, I needed a sound that was fuzzy, crazy and uncontrolled for some lead bits here and there. We looked through the studio’s pedal collection and found two nice fuzz pedals. One was an old Electro-Harmonix Graphic Fuzz and the other was a Zvex Fuzz Factory. They did the job perfectly, I used the Graphic Fuzz for some sections and the Fuzz Factory for others. Now that the EP is done and we’re out touring around Australia, I needed a good Fuzz pedal so I could play these parts live.
I priced a re-issue Graphic Fuzz and they are around $250-$300. I priced a Zvex Fuzz Factory and they are about the same. The cheaper Zvex Fuzz Factory Vexter are around $200 or so. So, I thought: Fuzz circuits aren’t that complex, I’ll have a go at building one myself…
I did the normal research, ordered the components – which included two GT-AC128 Transistors, which I’m pretty sure are the ones in the real Fuzz Factory – for about US$5 each. I used this layout: http://www.sabrotone.com/?p=2235
I had a couple of blemished enclosures laying around that were factory seconds from Mammoth – they had imperfections in the paint, holes drilled in random spots and things like that. I decided to use one of them for this project, seeing as it was just going to live on my pedal board and get beer spilt on it every night.
Here’s a couple of shots of the inside during construction:
Here is is all wired up and working. I later changed the wiring on the foot-switch to ground the output when it’s bypassed, because this thing can be quite noisy on some settings. Again, my wiring is pretty messy – I’m going to make more of an effort from now on to be neater and more professional looking, but because I’m only making theses pedals for me at the moment, I don’t really mind if they are a little messy inside – as long as they work and are sturdy.
Here it is all finished, complete with a cool robot sticker. I’d like to either build another one, or put this one in a way smaller enclosure one day, but for now it’s fine. It sounds amazing, it make weird noises and it’s heaps of fun. This exact pedal was used on my bands second EP, which should be out soon 🙂
The Fuzz Factory is a crazy untamed animal of an pedal. It takes a bit of time to get used to it, but once you do there is an amazing range of sounds you can get from it. Hours of fun.