you can change the input capacitor (the first component in the Fuzz Factory’s circuit) to one with a larger value, or you can add one before or after the existing germa- nium unit. I chose the latter option. Z. Vex recommends a capacitor larger than .1μF (the original germanium cap is 10μF). And the manual directs you to place capacitors across the circuit board areas marked Q2B (Q stands for “transistor”) and JMP1 (JMP means jumper). I added a 4.7μF capacitor, which provided a massive bass boost and great fuzzed out tones with a bass that had P- and J-style pickups. I also tried a 10μF electrolytic capacitor, which resulted in intense bass frequencies and eliminated most of the high end—but it was actually a really cool sound. With a 1978 Gibson Les Paul Custom with a Bare Knuckle Warpig in the bridge, the same circuit yielded a tone almost like a Moog synth. Some of the changes I made—such as replacing the ger- manium transistors with silicon ones—didn’t sound good at all. That’s the nature of this
beast though, and the whole process was
just really, really fun.
The Final Mojo
The Z. Vex Inventobox is clearly something
of a niche product. Electronics novices will
wish a variety of components that could be
used with all three modules had been either
included or recommended in the manual, but
otherwise both newbies and experts alike
will find the pedal’s potential staggering—
especially knowing that more proprietary
modules are on their way. Further, Zachary
Vex says the pedal is open standard—which
means anyone could design and construct
modules to use with it. But even if you’re not
interested in taking it that far, you can create some really wild tones—and even some
conservative ones, too. The Inventobox isn’t
cheap, but if you’ve got the money, the time,
and the inclination to dip your toes into the
DIY world, the Inventobox offers an insanely
fun way to carve out a piece of your own,
personal tonal heaven.
you’re an effects pedal enthusiast
with a taste for DIY projects.
you’re more of an open-the-box-and-play pedal fan.
Z. Vex Effects
or use a mobile
device to read
this QR code
to watch a video
review of the
PREMIER GUITAR JULY 2010 179