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Shizzle Fuzz

Shizzle FuzzThe Shizzle was the first cool fuzz I came up with over 3 years ago. It was inspired by the great sound I got when I boosted the input of a standard Fuzz Face with a Rangemaster. I built the two together as one circuit, added a bunch of extra switches for changing the tone, and called it good. After building a couple of them, I desired to have more consistency and intuitive control, so I tweaked it a bit… then a bit more… then a bit more. Now, I’ve settled upon what I consider to be the penultimate version of this versatile fuzz.

I’ve been known for making an excellent Fuzz Face, so I’ve decided to make the boost section bypass-able, allowing it to serve double duty as a great tweaked Fuzz Face. The Fuzz section of the Shizzle is a hybrid design, using a germanium transistor coupled with a vintage silicon one. The silicon was chosen to occupy the position where a germanium most often suffers from temperature changes that cause the fuzz to die. Using the vintage silicon there, solves the temperature problem while keeping the great classic sound. It also features a specially-designed unique power arrangement that ensures stability, free from the oscillation problems that some Fuzzes have.

The Boost section is based around the classic germanium circuit, but the biasing arrangement has been re-designed to lower noise and improve biasing stability. The Fat control lets you dial from the mid-peaky treble boosted sound to a big thick sound. This lets the Shizzle go anywhere from tight to sloppy. At low settings of the Boost control, you can get some incredible overdrive tones that show how the Shizzle goes way beyond the usual fuzz.

Shizzle GutsI pack each Shizzle with some of the best high-quality components I can find. Nichicon Muse KZ and FG series audiophile electrolytic caps, resistors by Dale and PRP, rare paper-in-oil caps… all the good stuff that makes a superior fuzz.

As an option, you can choose to have an input buffer intstalled.

shizzle bufferThe “Femto Buffer” is tiny – about the size of a postage stamp – and can prove to be very useful, especially when the Fuzz is used without the Boost engaged. The Fuzz circuit has a very low input impedance on its own, and this can sometimes give an excessively dark sound with the fuzz is set low (because the low impedance loads down the guitar’s pickups – killing high frequency response). The buffer solves this problem, giving the fuzz a high impedance input (about 1M ). The most obvious result is a noticeably brighter sound, but it can also lower noise and solve any problems that may happen when a wah is used in front of it.

I will paint the Shizzle any color you want – just tell me how you want it after I respond with the confirmation email.

The Shizzle is truly something special – a fuzz that can do the entire range of dirty tones; from mild overdrive, to heavy distortion, to all-out fuzz. Classic Fuzz Face and Tone Bender tones can be found with little difficulty.

Here are some sound clips so you can hear it. It’s being played through a ’69 silverface Fender Super Bassman (Normal channel), into a Marshall 4×12 loaded with Weber Silver Bells. The microphone is a Heil PR-40. The guitar is a Yamaha with a Lawrence L500 bridge pickup and stock single coil in the neck and mid positions.

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