I have accumulated quite a few guitar pedals over the years, all of which I like a lot. I always felt like I needed more control in some and a little less control in others and decided to build a few essentials that will keep me satisfied for a good while!
Starting off I went for Fuzz. The one offering the most control without being outright obnoxious I came across was the Fuzz Factory made by ZVex. I made a clone of this with a couple of nice AC128 transistors and was instantly in love. This fuzz really is the best I’ve ever played. There are so many sounds in this thing it’s unbelievable, the Gate control keeps everything tidy and it’s extremely satisfying to play through. I added the ‘grit’ mod and can’t say it does all that much for me, but what the hell.. it rocks!
I don’t think the fuzz factory really needs a booster as it does pretty well on it’s own but since I wanted to incorporate a passive EQ section for the fuzz that needed boosting (a selectable frequency boost/cut found on the excellent AMZ-FX) I cloned another ZVex – the Hard On. The EQ section can be switched in or out of the booster section. The booster can compensate for the gain loss of the signal going through the passive filter. When out, the boost is a straight up Hard On.
The entire thing was built into a metal casing used as a cartridge terminal of an old Atari 2600. Crack one of those open and you’ll see what I mean.. 🙂