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The Zvex Fuzz Factory is a versatile effects pedal with thousands of sounds. You are able to change the volume, gate, drive, stab and comp using the 5 dials. When you take the pedal out of its box it is neatly wrapped in a cloth with a leaflet explaining what the 5 dials do and some basic settings for the pedal.
Adds attack characteristic when turned to left, which gets softer to right, and suddenly pinches tone when all the way right. Also use to tune in fat feedbacky fuzz, if you're that kind. Lower the Stability and see what happens to this control.
Use all the way right. Do not attempt to adjust this control below 2:00, unless you like your fuzz soft and squishy. Use to control feedback pitch.
Squelches noise after end of sustain. Turn to right to eliminate squeals, hiss and buzz, stopping just as they disappear, or use to tune in exact feedback pitch, if you're that kind. Turning to left opens gate.
Increases distortion when used as a "normal" fuzz, and adjusts feedback pitch and tonal thickness, if you're that kind. This control becomes meaningless when Compress is all the way right.
The pedal is very quick to set up however in my opinion it takes a while to find a setting which sounds good. There are many great settings on this pedal and there are some awful ones. The pedal has a tendency to oscillate which can be fairly painful on the ears if set up wrongly.
Once you have found a setting its a good idea to right it down as unlike other pedals in the same price range you cant save your settings you'll need to find them again. The kill switch works well when switching between your natural guitar sound and the Fuzz Factories. I found that although this pedal offers some really good sounds, I think that this pedal is about fun, and there are much more professional multi effects pedals available with a more broader range of musical styles.
Thing thing I love about this pedal is being able to change sounds easily and quickly while your playing, during a riff you could turn the gate dial to get an oscillating air raid siren noise to give that riff some new sounds. I also like the size of the pedal with it being small and compact it can be easily placed anywhere, however it is possible to knock the other dials when turning others with the dials being so close together.
The pedal is very reliable and durable, and will survive being knocked around quite heavily due to its solid steel casing.
I have managed to pick up a radio station through my Zvex Fuzz Factory, it doesn't effect the sound of the guitar at all and is not noticeable until you stop playing.
Overall I really enjoy the Fuzz Factory I like how personal it seems when you find a nice sounding setting knowing you found it on your own, it creates some great sounds when you find them and is immensely fun to use.
Before I get into more detail. One Word. WOW! This is one fantastic guitar effects pedal. It does the strangest of things. The main feature of this guitar pedal is to provide a beautiful fuzz distortion sounds and that it does do.
But the most amazing thing about this pedal is the fact it produced a mind blowing siren sound that is controlled by the various knobs on the pedal.
To see what I mean, here is Matt Bellamy from Muse to show you what it can do http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M4bgOHxeio
By using the Comp (compression) knob, you can decide how long you want the notes to last depending on how far right the position of the knob is. This is most effective if you want to cut out the background interference that the pick-ups make when not playing. Use the Comp together with the Gate knob, you can get something called velcro-fuzz. Just imagine the texture of the sound velcro makes when you pull it apart and put a distorted guitar tone in top of that. The gate basically controls how much signal gets through. The Drive controls the amount of distortion basically and the Stab controls the stability of the signal and THIS is the control that changes the frequency of the squeal that you get shown in the video. Vol is self explanatory as it controls the volume but I would recommend a low position of this control as it does get pretty loud.
The battery life of this pedal is really good I have used it around 4 or 5 days a week for a few hours and have replaced the battery once every few months.
Overall though, this is a fantastic pedal to get for around £120 and is a must for Muse fans. 10/10 for this pedal it is well worth it!!
Another weird thing I noticed the other day, this pedal picked up French radio signals and I'm in the UK so that is a bit weird. But it adds to the magnificence and weirdness of this pedal.