Fuzz Wiki

Quick Overview

The fuzz effect, mainly used in the rock music and its variants, is designed to produce a signal saturation usually from the microphones (pickups) of a guitar or bass giving this a unique sound color. In addition to designate an effect pedal, the term fuzz is used to denote a particular type of saturation, due to a strong clipping from the instrument electrical input. More the clipping is important more the sound is distorted. In the case of vintage fuzz pedals, this clipping is performed by using Germanium transistors (a common types at the end of the 1950s). Today, most of the fuzz circuits are made with silicon diodes, which according to many people, sound more sterile and colder.


Many artists have popularized the fuzz effect, including Jimi Hendrix with "Purple haze" and many other compositions, the Rolling Stones with "I Can't Get No Satisfaction", as well as many other garage or psychedelic groups and bands. The fuzz effect is now part of the standard in terms of effects for guitar and bass.

Fuzz effect was heard for the first time in 1957 on "The train kept a rollin" from Johnny Burnette, initially because of a defect in the amplifier, but the Group appreciated the result and decided to play the song as well. Link Wray develop it widely as early as 1958, at the same time inventing the big sound through instrumentals mythical as Rumble, Aces of spades and of course, The Fuzz. The fuzz effect was originally "homemade" tricked amplifiers and playing up to saturate the sound.

The most famous Fuzz pedal is probably the "Fuzz Face" used by Jimi Hendrix, the Big Muff, the Maestro Fuzz Tone, Mosrite Fuzzrite, and probably Solasound Tonebender precede it, however it has quickly made a name and has truly changed how to use electric guitars.

Theory and circuits

In fuzzboxes, the amplitude of the signal is increased and its ends are cut, so that the signal cannot exceed a certain amplitude which result in a saturation effect. Any value exceeding the threshold shall be limited to the maximum terminal allowed by the system (hard-limit or hard-clipping). The range of possible values may be conditioned by the supply voltage of the circuit, by the presence of diodes or components that block the signal amplitude. In a vacuum tube and systems simulating analog effects, the limitation is not perfect. The top of the signal is crushed, thus offering a distortion which better renders the original signal. This type of sound, the 'overdrive', is more gentle on the ear. The term comes from how to drive the signal over the usual amplification of tubes.

Circuits based on transistors and microchips are trying to simulate this his "hot" characteristic of the tubes.


DIY is an abbreviation for "do-it-yourself", that could be translated by "do it by yourself". The idea is to create, with electronic components available on the market, a "sound module" (amp, stompbox...), and to share his discovery to allow people to create their own sound modules they dream about, without having to buy the expensive originals. the DIY phenomenon is becoming more popular these days, more and more widespread by thousands of fans, making this practice an enriching and pleasant hobby. is a new community forum board that has been created in march 2014 to give the DIY internet community and circuit creator people a place for posting, sharing and discussing about Distortion, Fuzz and Overdrive circuits and schematics. The creator is using this forum board to post his own DIY circuits but also believes that by grouping the most of new circuits as possible at the same place and making the information more accessible, it will be much easier for the overall internet community, and thus becomes more profitable for the whole fuzz development.

Hobbyist, novice, expert, developper, DIY website onner, commercial, everyone's welcome, as long as the participation remains honest and the proposed circuits remains free to use for the overall internet community. invites all the fuzz lovers! Join us and make your own contribution into the development of the fuzz!

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