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Fuzz Face Authenticity

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
I've found there is a bit of a rose colored glasses effect when I think back to my hardware fuzz pedals. I certainly have my ideal fuzz tones in my head, as well all do, but in reality the pedals I had never really sounded that good.

I recently bought a bunch of hardware fuzz, such as the Dunlop mini FF, 6 was 9 fuzz, mini Lunar Module, etc, and they really didn't sound that amazing, or at least not how I remembered them. In fact, I could pretty much match the tone when I just kept a/b'ing with the Axe.

Only difference I really couldn't reproduce is that some, the Ge in particular, cleaned up a little better, but pretty minor overall

In my opinion it's not that the Axe fuzz is bad, it's that those album fuzz tones are just hard to nail, even with real pedals
 

Semih Yanyali

Experienced
sama here i coulnt get the interaction between a real big muff and a real ac30 with my axe fx-matrix-traditional cab setup....there was smth really mean about the big muff and real ac30 :)...which i loved, i wish i could get that vibe with my axe fx rig.
 

Johan Allard

Power User
I'd love to be able to get that authentic sweep and interaction with the volume knob.
Cliff has posted many times re amps that at least some pot tapers are not accurately modelled in the Axe Fx because a lot of the times manufacturers just grabbed whatever pot was closest at any given time so the taper changes wildly between models. And some manufacturers deliberately uses less useful tapers on things like the master volume to make it louder at lower volumes to give the impression of "wow, this thing is super loud with the volume on 2, imagine how loud it would be if I cranked it".

It wouldn't surprise me if fuzz faces fall in the first category of having wildly different tapers from inception to now. Since you have your own reference I would just take note on the differences.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
I think we are talking about the guitar volume sweep / interaction not the virtual taper of the drive block controls.
 

kleydj13

Member
Cliff has posted many times re amps that at least some pot tapers are not accurately modelled in the Axe Fx
Sure, but it is more of a range issue than a taper issue. On the pedal I would set the gain and level to maximum and then use the internal bias to find the sweet spot. Then you can go from very clean on 3 to crunchy on 7 to full raging fuzz on 10. On the Axe I find the interactions do not have that same range. The bias control is fairly subtle. The gain knob is most influential, but I can't get that entire desirable range. If I set the gain on 4 it cleans up nicely but never gets to the full on raging fuzz. If I set the gain higher then you get the full fuzz with the guitar up, but it doesn't clean up as nicely with the volume knob. See the clips at the timestamps listed in the OP to hear it. I would say most every good, well tuned fuzz face is capable of that same interaction.

Fuzzes certainly are finnicky circuits, but an advantage of the Axe-FX is that you don't have to monkey around with temperature variances or component inconsistencies. And really my main complaint isn't so much that it doesn't SOUND right. I am just missing the range from clean to full on fuzz.

The only thing I'd want to see in terms of improving the tone of the fuzz face is the ability to go between Germanium and Silicon. But that's really a secondary / separate issue.
 

Johan Allard

Power User
Sure, but it is more of a range issue than a taper issue. On the pedal I would set the gain and level to maximum and then use the internal bias to find the sweet spot. Then you can go from very clean on 3 to crunchy on 7 to full raging fuzz on 10. On the Axe I find the interactions do not have that same range. The bias control is fairly subtle. The gain knob is most influential, but I can't get that entire desirable range. If I set the gain on 4 it cleans up nicely but never gets to the full on raging fuzz. If I set the gain higher then you get the full fuzz with the guitar up, but it doesn't clean up as nicely with the volume knob. See the clips at the timestamps listed in the OP to hear it. I would say most every good, well tuned fuzz face is capable of that same interaction.

Fuzzes certainly are finnicky circuits, but an advantage of the Axe-FX is that you don't have to monkey around with temperature variances or component inconsistencies. And really my main complaint isn't so much that it doesn't SOUND right. I am just missing the range from clean to full on fuzz.

The only thing I'd want to see in terms of improving the tone of the fuzz face is the ability to go between Germanium and Silicon. But that's really a secondary / separate issue.
I thought you could switch clipping circuit in the dropdown selection in Axe Edit?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

kleydj13

Member
I thought you could switch clipping circuit in the dropdown selection in Axe Edit?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
There are Germanium and Silicon diode options. But my understanding is that a clipping diode is entirely different from a transistor. Clipping diodes can be effective in changing the sound in an Overdrive like a tubescreamer. But a fuzz face operates differently.

I've tried both and it doesn't really give you the difference in feel comparable to something like a Fulltone 69 vs 70.
 

trancegodz

Power User
I watched the video link and I thought the fuzz sound was awful. I am glad the fuzz face in the Axe FX doesn't sound like that.

I have a Roger Mayer Classic Fuzz that I got when he first started selling them. I was able to get the Fuzz face in the Axe FXII to sound identical to the Roger Mayer. It cleaned up the same way also by rolling my Stratocaster volume down to 7 (or 6), and setting my Plexi right.

The key for me is having the right guitar and pickups, and having a Plexi set just right to work with the fuzz face. Right to me is in either the Jimi Hendrix or Eric Johnson range of fuzz face tone sounds.

I have many old vintage fuzz units and some new ones. They are all a bit different from each other. Even the same models. I had three of the new Eric Johnson fuzz faces and all of them sounded a little different from each other, and cleaned up differently. Same goes for different Fulltone 69, 70, and Soulbender pedals. Their new ones don't sound like their old ones.

I have some old fuzz pedals that sound great with old Marshalls and terrible with Fender amps, and others that sound great with old Fender amps but bad with Marshalls.

The fuzz face in the Axe FXII is just fine as it is for me.
 

StickMan

Experienced
The Fractal can change the input Z when you engage the fuzz face if the Input Impedance is set to auto.

And remember, not too long ago, simulating the feel of a real tube amp was a non-starter too.
OK, you made me go read the manual when I got home. I can see how that would go towards the authenticity, but I'm not sure that's what I was saying. By saying that there's no buffering in a Fuzz Face, what I really mean is that there is no isolation of the inner workings of the pedal circuit from the guitar electronics. So when you roll back the volume on the guitar, you're not just lowering the amount of signal going into the pedal, you're altering the whole circuit somehow.

I've noticed than when you set the drive up high on the pedal, and the volume on the guitar up full you always get that over-the-top fuzzed out sound - no matter what the pickup strength or design. But when you roll the volume back just a bit it changes from fuzz to more of a grit sound (with a bit of fuzziness if you dig in hard). I haven't experimented, but I bet if you found some way other than turning the volume pot to lower the guitar output (like maybe moving the pickup further from the strings) you'd still have a predominantly over-the-top fuzzy sound out of the pedal.

That transition from fuzzy saturation to grittiness is what I thought the OP was talking about. I still see it as being a non-starter with the Axe, as a function of rolling back the volume on the guitar. Which isn't to say that it can be modelled, but the control probably will have to be something other than the guitar volume knob.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
OK, you made me go read the manual when I got home. I can see how that would go towards the authenticity, but I'm not sure that's what I was saying. By saying that there's no buffering in a Fuzz Face, what I really mean is that there is no isolation of the inner workings of the pedal circuit from the guitar electronics. So when you roll back the volume on the guitar, you're not just lowering the amount of signal going into the pedal, you're altering the whole circuit somehow.

I've noticed than when you set the drive up high on the pedal, and the volume on the guitar up full you always get that over-the-top fuzzed out sound - no matter what the pickup strength or design. But when you roll the volume back just a bit it changes from fuzz to more of a grit sound (with a bit of fuzziness if you dig in hard). I haven't experimented, but I bet if you found some way other than turning the volume pot to lower the guitar output (like maybe moving the pickup further from the strings) you'd still have a predominantly over-the-top fuzzy sound out of the pedal.

That transition from fuzzy saturation to grittiness is what I thought the OP was talking about. I still see it as being a non-starter with the Axe, as a function of rolling back the volume on the guitar. Which isn't to say that it can be modelled, but the control probably will have to be something other than the guitar volume knob.
Precisely. The Fuzz in the Axe-Fx reacts as though there is a buffer in front of it (because there is). It's a limitation inherent to all modeling products. I modeled it using a nominal source resistance. I forget what I used for the source resistance but it was probably around 100K ohms. As you said to really simulate it you would need a controller to simulate the changing output impedance of the guitar.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
I had presumed the auto Z -> Fuzz Drive block (and some other blocks) changed the input circuit to make it un-buffered. I was wrong :)
 

xarkon

Inspired
Precisely. The Fuzz in the Axe-Fx reacts as though there is a buffer in front of it (because there is). It's a limitation inherent to all modeling products. I modeled it using a nominal source resistance. I forget what I used for the source resistance but it was probably around 100K ohms. As you said to really simulate it you would need a controller to simulate the changing output impedance of the guitar.
I smell a new block coming.
 

Zelja

Inspired
Precisely. The Fuzz in the Axe-Fx reacts as though there is a buffer in front of it (because there is). It's a limitation inherent to all modeling products. I modeled it using a nominal source resistance. I forget what I used for the source resistance but it was probably around 100K ohms. As you said to really simulate it you would need a controller to simulate the changing output impedance of the guitar.
Would it be possible to add the the source resistance as a parameter & then use an volume pedal to both alter the input volume & source resistance on a fuzz?

I originally thought of just having the source resistance change as a function of the sensed volume input (envelope, I guess) into the fuzz block but that wouldn't be true to life, especially the scenario when the guitar is on full but the notes are decaying. Could sound good and/or interesting though.
 

BillyZeppa

Power User
Would it be possible to add the the source resistance as a parameter & then use an volume pedal to both alter the input volume & source resistance on a fuzz?

I originally thought of just having the source resistance change as a function of the sensed volume input (envelope, I guess) into the fuzz block but that wouldn't be true to life, especially the scenario when the guitar is on full but the notes are decaying. Could sound good and/or interesting though.
That's a great idea. Just how much difference does changing the impedance at the real pedals make, and can you put it in quantifiable terms how the tone or feel changes? does it really make that much difference?
 

GotMetalBoy

Power User
I've been struggling with the fuzzes since I got the Axe. Only pedal that hasn't been replaced. I just use a walrus Janis when I need fuzz. I would love for someone to teach me either A. what I'm doing wrong B. show me how to get a crazy glitchy fuzz sound ala something dwarfcraft could think up.
I had never heard of Dwarfcraft. Good stuff! I definitely recommend watching the demo videos.
 

tgorycki

Inspired
A controller driven by the changing output impedance of the guitar could be useful for various functions, such as allowing the noise gate to follow the volume knob or even something like mixing in more chorus effect when volume is rolled back. Don't know if it's possible, but in theory, it could be a good thing.
 

Clive

Experienced
Would it be possible to add the the source resistance as a parameter & then use an volume pedal to both alter the input volume & source resistance on a fuzz?

I originally thought of just having the source resistance change as a function of the sensed volume input (envelope, I guess) into the fuzz block but that wouldn't be true to life, especially the scenario when the guitar is on full but the notes are decaying. Could sound good and/or interesting though.
+1
 
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