Cusack Screamer Fuzz V2
Finding a versatile distortion pedal can be
a challenge, but finding a versatile fuzz
pedal that plays nicely with the other can
be even harder. The Cusack Screamer Fuzz
attempts to alleviate this problem by combining both effects in one compact package. Jon Cusack has already proven that
he’s an exceptional pedal designer, most
notably with the Cusack Screamer, and
the Screamer Fuzz is no exception. There
are four controls on the MXR-sized unit:
Level, Fuzz, Scream (distortion), and a 3-
postion selector switch that allows you to
choose different types of clipping diodes.
Different positions of this switch can run
the signal through an internal LED diode
for asymmetrical clipping, a subdued
mode referred to as “crushed”, and the
stock Screamer tone.
Grabbing a set neck 1978 Ibanez Iceman
with Seymour Duncan pickups, I plugged
the pedal into a Crate V33 tube half stack.
One of the best things about this pedal is
that you don’t have to use both distortion
modes at the same time, so the fuzz was
set to 0, and the scream control was set
to the 1 o’clock position. The tone it produced was very reminiscent of older era
AC/DC; every note in every open chord
was perfectly audible and even. The pedal
cleaned up to a crystal clear clean tone
with the guitar volume rolled down, and
there was no loss in volume. After turning
down the scream knob and turning up the
fuzz control, I couldn’t help but play the
Stones’ “Satisfaction.” It really reminded
me of that old Maestro Fuzztone with all
those great horn-like overtones. There was
a very noticeable volume increase with the
fuzz control however, much more than the
scream control. For this experiment, I used
the different diode positions. The LED
mode seemed to have the most volume.
For the price, this is a very versatile fuzz
with an impressive distortion section. The
large volume difference between the two
is unfortunate, but negligible when you
hear the outstanding tone of this pedal.
Buy if … you need great-sounding fuzz
and distortion that can be combined or
Skip if … you need a more modern, mid-
scooped fuzz tone.
Devi Ever Legend of Fuzz
If you’ve had a hankering for recreating
lo-fi 8-bit video game sounds with a guitar and amp, read on. Devi Ever’s Legend
of Fuzz is an unassuming pedal, housed in
an MXR-sized enclosure with two knobs,
Volume and Control, and dressed with
a label that will be familiar to any fans
of Link. But rather than providing your
usual fuzz fare, this high-gain, silicon-based pedal creates intense, saw-toothed
shaped fuzz tones that will have you digging for that Nintendo in the basement.
The Volume knob acts as you would
expect, adding an immense amount of
gain into the signal; the Control knob
changes the fuzz intensity and texture,
sometimes dramatically, with only minor
tweaks of the knob. With the Control
knob turned all the way down, notes
lose their decay and the Legend of Fuzz
spits out short, fuzzy burps of sound—a
unique enough effect in its own right and
something that would sound absolutely
killer on bass. Turning the Control knob
up to about 9 o’clock provides you with
a supersaturated tone and a hint of the
sheer madness hiding within this pedal.
As the Control knob moves past noon, the
Legend of Fuzz begins generating all sorts
of foreign noise. The low-end farts and
breaks apart massively. Notes up high sing
and sustain before gradually being pulled
into the gain surrounding them. Things
become unstable and unpredictable.
Everything is compressed. You may think
you’re playing a synth, or that your speakers are about to blow. Both are incorrect.
The Legend of Fuzz seems to have a mind
of its own at times (not a putdown, mind
you), and if you’re truly adventurous, you’ll
love learning to “play” this pedal. If you’re
into safer fuzzes, you may want to keep
your distance; this pedal may corrupt your
other boxes. – AM
Buy if... you want to induce Atari flash-
Skip if... you really just want a Fuzz Face.
Oohlala Synth Mangler
A lifetime of slick heist movies has taught
me there are four archetypes essential to
any good action team. There are the brains,
the good-looking one and the obligatory
muscle. And then there is the wild card.
The wild card is capable of anything. They
are uncontrollable and capricious. There
is insanity lurking below the surface. But
the wild card is also absolutely necessary.
They make things happen; they scream the
threats and pull the guns, consequences be
damned. They are excitement, personified.