Review: Fender Hammertone Fuzz – Mixdown Magazine

Lyrics by Luke Shields

Australia Wing | MSRP: $159

We may think this is incredibly prehistoric, but many moons ago, at the dawn of rock and roll, if you wanted anything other than crystal clear electrified signal from your instrument, one of two things had to happen. produce. If you wanted reverb or vibrato, you had to buy an amp with those effects already firmly soldered in place. If you wanted dirt, you almost had to destroy what you had probably skimped and saved on dozens of paychecks.

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Here in the future we owe much to the conjecture that the pioneers of amplifier design were, for all intents and purposes, terrible at their jobs. These machines, originally intended to give guitarists an abundance of clean headroom to roam around, inevitably took the slightest nudge to maximize said headroom through a few minor wiring oversights. Likewise, the gamers who firmly cemented the limitations of these designs into the annals of history seem to have been bent on destroying the amplifiers that helped launch them into infamy.

Once the roar of searing vacuum tubes had been thoroughly explored, in most cases at several shows a week, the inevitable next step was for the speakers’ paper cones to tear under the pressure of such abuse. shameless. Newbies like Junior Barnard, Goree Carter, Chuck Berry, Link Wray, Dave Davies, and a slew of slick-haired rascals pushed their amps as hard as they could, certainly past the point of warranty coverage, and in doing so, has inspired millions of others to seek out that fuzzy sound for themselves.

That particular fuzzThe Hammertone Fuzz, is a feisty descendant of the super squelchy, Velcro-ripping squawk we all know and love, with a few choice nuggets from the decades since its inception included in an effort to limit anachronism in favor of reliability and durability. ‘practical aspect.

Frankly speaking, “tearing the velcro” is the best way to describe what’s going on here. Based on a dual silicon diode design popularized in the 60s, the Hammertone Fuzz is perfect for those looking for the cartilage of legends like Tony Iommi and Brant Bjork, as opposed to the creamier, woofier end of the spectrum. That signature squeal is underpinned by a big wave of low end, common to most fuzz, harnessed by a particularly large tone knob that will take you from royal blue to electric purple, on the other side to blinding yellow syn, aesthetically speaking. .

What’s undeniably rare in Fuzzbox World is a certain subtlety usually reserved for low-gain overdrives. I was pleasantly surprised to find, not only a good amount of variation in tone and texture, but also that I was able to reign over this savage beast in some way. Down around one on the fuzz knob, I was surprised to discover such transparency and low-level grit, as if Fender had been smart enough to mix in a dollop of clean signal over the wall. obvious from the devil. Once my ear tuned in to this aspect of the tonal imprint, I noticed how much this fuzz maintained, or more accurately relished, the character of the guitar I gave it by adding warmth. More so than other fuzzes I’ve tried recently, this one chewed up the riffs just to the point where I was able to clearly distinguish the tonal variation based on where I landed on the pickup selector. In my mind, this is a massive check mark in the “pros” column. There are few pedal designers smart enough to realize that it’s not just Kyuss fans and bong lords who dig that fuzzy sound. The same goes for tasteful players like Eric Johnson and more than a handful of jazz cats for whom a thick wall of thick, woolly mud isn’t the most desirable item on the menu.

That said, rest assured, people with faded copies of Cheech & Chong DVDs and tie-dyed t-shirts strewn all over their parents’ basement are well and truly taken care of. Place the needle on Axe: Bold as love, hit the octave switch and rock out to the pure, creamy Octavio rooftop sound that Jimi graciously left us all. There are also internal potentiometers to help tailor the Hammertone Fuzz to your rig’s specific tonal ecosystem, yet another thing to remind you that Fender isn’t just releasing another line of pedals strumming under the bar. $200.

Given that it was one of the first effects introduced into the language of modern Western guitar, fuzz is understandably a well-cultivated field in 2022. The enduring popularity of bands and artists like Queens of The Stone Age, Black Sabbath, Hendrix, Clapton, and everything Jack White has ever touched ensures that words like “silicon” and “germanium” remain firmly in the guitarist’s lexicon. Why then would we need another fuzz in the cabinet? Simply because each of these ordered circuits seems to be doing something indescribable that the others are not doing. Instead of causing waves of option paralysis, there are countless colors in this rainbow to choose from and collect.

The hammers are becoming a bag of hitherto underexplored tricks that, when added to your arsenal, are sure to set your game apart from the pack. The Hammertone Fuzz, as well as the Space delay (examined elsewhere in these hallowed pages), both walk a fine line between reinventing their respective wheels and emitting a familiar, essential sound meant to slot seamlessly into almost any board.

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#Review #Fender #Hammertone #Fuzz #Mixdown #Magazine

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