Fuzz played an integral part in the early days of modern electric guitar: Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, “Satisfaction”—it was one of the signature sounds of the experimental Sixties. The effect fell out of favor in the late Seventies as powerful pickups pushed more distortion-friendly amps, or overdrive pedals added muscle to weaker single-coils, and a smoother dirty sound became the rage. By the Eighties, electric guitar tone was associated with clean jangle, silky smooth Santana or Carlton-esque drive, or metal scooped fizz (not fuzz). It wasn’t until the Nineties that fuzz pedals saw a resurgence, with Grunge leading the way.
We now live in a golden age of fuzz, with boutique builders copying esoteric vintage pedals like the Jordan Bosstone, the Shin-ei/Companion Superfuzz FY-6, or building brand new concepts.
I have gathered eight of the newest fuzz pedals for your perusal: ScreaminFX 1954 Fuzz, main.ace.fx’s Awdrey-Gore, Tribute Audio Designs’ The Big Fatty, RT Electronix’s Ultimate Analog Fuzz, Dusky Electronics’ Octomotron, Joe Gore’s Duh, and Animal Factory Amps’ Baron Samedi and Chemical Burn.