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ZVEX Fuzz Factory Vexter Series Fuzz Guitar Pedal
|Price:||$199.00 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Made with 2 new old stock '60s germanium transistors
- Volume, Gate, Compress controls
- Drive, and Stability controls
- Hand-silkscreened, hand-polished aluminum chassis
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|Item Dimensions||3.25 x 3.25 x 5.5 in||5.9 x 8.6 x 3.9 in||3 x 6 x 4 in||2.5 x 4.63 x 2.25 in||7 x 10 x 6 in||7.6 x 8 x 3.3 in|
The Vexter Fuzz Factory from ZVex is a 5-knob fuzz pedal with 2 old-stock '60s germanium transistors, and it comes in a hand-polished aluminum chassis with hand-silkscreened, 2-color text. The Vexter Fuzz Factory from ZVex is a 5-knob fuzz pedal with 2 NOS '60s germanium transistors, and it comes in a hand-polished aluminum chassis with hand-silkscreened, 2-color text. Though the circuit isn't modeled after any one specific classic fuzz, it delivers tones straight out of the 1960s. These 5 knobs control the Fuzz Factory's parameters at various operating levels, letting you shape your own personalized fuzz effect. ZVex designed the Fuzz Factory to consume less energy than other effects pedals. When on, the Fuzz Factory's current is less than 3 mA. This fuzz pedal is hand-painted and assembled, and each is unique. Fuzz Factory Controls Volume: Output level Gate: Squelches noise after end of sustain. Turn to the right to eliminate squeals, hiss, and buzz, stopping just as they disappear, or use to tune in exact feedback pitch. Turning to the left opens gate. Compress: Adds attack characteristic when turned to the left, which gets softer to right, and suddenly pinches tone when all the way right. Also tunes in fat, feedbacky fuzz. 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. Stability: Use to control feedback pitch. This is one of the more finicky controls, so it will take some experimentation to get it right.
Top customer reviews
Very versatile fuzz, you can get many normal fuzz tones as well as extreme, experimental sounds out of this, so you definitely get a lot for your money. Made with high quality parts and assembled with care. Well packaged, and instruction manual is very useful. Takes up very little space. Sounds great.
No dedicated EQ controls, but different settings will bring out highs, lows, and such. It would just be nice to change the EQ without having to make adjustments the also change the character of the setting you like. Pedal order matters, so wahs and buffers may not do so well placed before this pedal. The switch is very close to the knobs, so watch your step.
It is initially a bit confusing when you first plug this sucker in because given the pedal's sensitivities, the knobs tend to have some really unexpected effects...which is at once exciting and a fairly frustrating. Exciting because you will randomly stumble upon some crazy sounds (I found a configuration yesterday that squeezes the sound into an almost classic-NES tone) and frustrating when you're simply trying to dial into a more specific, traditional tone.
Still though, you can't really beat this pedal if you're looking for some crazy fuzz sounds that you would never be able to get out of any other fuzz pedal. It really allows you to explore the full spectrum of the effect...and I mean the FULL spectrum.
However, I was always intrigued by unusual sounds and could sometimes be found alone in the rehearsal space experimenting with some of the extreme settings on my effects or pushing the gain in my amp for some crazy distortion sounds. I had a DOD Analog Delay 680 that could do some wild oscillations. I would love playing with it even if it had no place in the music I was playing.
I've long given up gigging and now spend most of my time playing at home or jamming with friends. As such, I've started to experiment with sounds again, musical and otherwise, and was intrigued by the Fat Fuzz Factory after seeing some YouTube videos. I've never owned a true fuzz pedal like a Fuzz Face or Big Muff, so I may not be the best person to evaluate a fuzz box, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
The product itself seems to be well made and was presented in an interesting and somewhat unique way. The pedal came in a somewhat plain white cardboard box. Inside the unit was wrapped in a soft cloth (might make a good guitar shammy) tied together with what looks like a fancy scrunchy with some interesting cube doohickies on the end. Also included was a warranty card and brief instruction sheet, the same that can be found on the Z. Vex website. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pedal came with a battery already installed.
The pedal has a very solid feeling case and the screened paint job looks very professional while maintaining a boutique look. According to the Z. Vex website, the Vexter edition is the same construction as the regular edition but is cheaper because it's silk screened and not hand painted. I can't hear hand painting so I'm not sure why you would pay extra for this. However, I think there may be some differences in where, and possibly how, the pedal is constructed.
The instructions are somewhat vague and a little tongue in cheek (for those that are that kind) but did provide some example settings. When I first plugged it in though, all I got out of it was some crackles and pops and nothing that resembled music in any way. I fooled around with it for a few minutes and got what I thought was an almost usable sound, but not something I was particularly thrilled with. This was plugged into a small 10 watt tube amp. Thinking that maybe I had blown a tube or something else was wrong with my amp, I plugged it into a larger solid state amp. This produced some much more musical type sounds that actually sounded like guitar to some extent. I then tested my tube amp without the pedal board to see if the amp was broken. While I was happy to find that the amp seemed to be working OK, it was somewhat disconcerting to think that the pedal wasn't compatible with the amp I use most often.
I've read that germanium fuzz pedals can be sensitive to temperature changes. Given that I had just opened the UPS box, I thought I'd leave the pedal for a while and give it a chance to get acclimated. When I returned to my rig about an hour later, it did seem like the FFF was behaving better. That is certainly relative though, as this is really not like any other pedal I've used before. It seemed as if I could either get it to produce a rather generic distortion or those crazy sounds that made the amp seem like it was broken, but at least I got something I thought I could use.
As I played around with it I discovered some very interesting sounds, that while they might not fit with what I usually play, were certainly a lot of fun to experiment with. You have to be very careful with this pedal because each of the 5 knobs seem to affect the others significantly and in at least one case one knob can totally disable another. For example, if you dime the compression the drive has no effect. It seems like small variations in the knob position can also have big effects on the sound. On at least one occasion I found what I thought was a great sound, but had trouble duplicating it later. For what it's worth, you'll want to take notes on the settings if you want to have any chance of creating reproducible sounds. Then again, given that the external environment can affect the sound, good luck with that.
This pedal can be a lot of fun if you're looking for experimental sounds, Velcro type sounds, radio interference fuzz, and wildly oscillating tones and feedback that can be controlled from your guitar knobs or by riding the knobs on the pedal itself. While I've heard this pedal cop some Hendrix and Zep sounds, if that's really what you're looking for, you'd probably be better off with a more conventional fuzz box. If however, you are into creating unusual soundscapes or are looking for some inspiration for your shoegaze songwriting or other sonic experimentation this may be just what you need.
I gave the pedal 4 stars instead of 5 because I personally don't think this is a very useful tool for most music genres, but I do think it's well built and quite a lot of fun.
You have been warned!