Reviewed: ZVEX Effects Silicon Fuzz Factory

Global Vintage | globalvintage.com.au | Expect To Pay: $339

For the faint of heart, don't even bother. This is probably one of the most unruly fuzz pedals you could ever hope to wrestle with. But for those who are looking for a dose of semi-controlled chaos matched with a huge sound in an economically-sized package, look no further. A world of gnarly fuzz awaits.

Many silicon fuzz pedals claim to offer the classic '60s and '70s sound of germanium pedals. Unfortunately, most are just throwing around buzzwords and hype. There's nothing wrong with the silicon sound – it's got its own thing going on. But of all the silicon fuzz pedals out there that claim to come close to the warmth and responsive texture of germanium, ZVEX comes out on top. With the neck pickup on a humbucking guitar, expect woolly sustain for days. Rolling down the tone knob will get you into the territory of Clapton's 'Woman' tone with ease, as well as coming close to J.J. Cale's scuzzy blues sound. 

 

Over to the bridge pickup and you'll find instant gratification. Singing, endless sustain and a mid-range honk that works perfectly for metal and doom. You'll be smashing out new riffs in no time. This isn't just a fuzz pedal; it's a hard rock inspiration machine. Altering the comp knob will offer you varying levels of sustain too. And if you're after notes that ring out infinitely – and I genuinely mean infinitely the Fuzz Factory has you covered.

 

The double-edged sword of the Fuzz Factory, however – and what will make players either love it or hate it – is its idiosyncratically unruly nature. Depending on how the gate, stab and comp settings are set in correlation with each other, you'll be greeted with either rich sustain or some of the most hectically self-oscillating frequencies you've ever received from a pedal this size.

 

This can either be a blessing or a curse. When set right, you've got a natural back and forth between your guitar lines and radically escalating frequencies that make for a challenging push and pull. In any case, it'll make your solos stand out with ease and is a quick ticket to some extremely adventurous tones.

 

On the other hand, if you're looking for a straight-ahead fuzz pedal, this might not be the choice for you. However, there's a bunch of pedals that do that; there aren't too many that do what the Fuzz Factory does. With more volume than you could ever use, this pedal could either blow your amp to pieces or grant you some of the chunkiest riffs you've ever composed. The choice, of course, is yours. If you're after a gateway into exploring some stimulating sonic terrain, check this pedal out immediately. You never know what inspiration might be on the other side.

Hits and Misses

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A wild unruly pedal

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A wild unruly pedal

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