The new TightFuzz was requested by Amptweaker™ players, and this one will certainly add some vintage tone to their arsenal. While most vintage fuzz boxes have very few controls, the TightFuzz includes a Tone control to tame the fuzzy edges and the Tight control, a mainstay of Amptweaker pedals, which varies the pick attack from smooth and thick to tight and aggressive. This is particularly helpful for tweaking a fuzz tone, since many tend to be too flubby on the lowend. While many modern fuzz boxes have chosen to create wacky over-the-top fuzztone, the Amptweaker approach is to make something that has a lot of flexibile but usable tones.
The most requested feature was the Germanium/Silicon switch, which changes the output stage from a softer, lower gain Germanium to a heavier, high gain Silicon transistor. This cool pedal also has the ability to get lower gain tones easily, with an Auto Bias that adjusts appropriately with the Fuzz control, to get the cleanest and nastiest distortions possible with one control. It also has an Edge switch with a Smooth setting to further knock the edge off, and a 60’s/70’s switch that transforms the pedal from tighter, lower gain 60’s tones to fatter and heavier 70’s tones.
One of the important differences between the TightFuzz and most ‘reissue’ fuzz boxes is that with the addition of the Tight control in front of the fuzz circuit, the input of the fuzz circuit is effectively buffered from the guitar….but in a compensated way. A common problem with the original fuzz designs is that circuits with low output impedances like those in overdrive pedals and wah pedals, or the output of active pickups, can completely change the bias and gain structure. The result is often an odd sound or squeals, unusual feedback etc. The buffering in the TightFuzz simulates the impedance of a guitar, so that the fuzz circuit works in the normal way it’s intended, and any low impedance circuit CAN be used in the loop or in front of the pedal.
Standard Amptweaker features include an effects loop with Pre/Post switch to add delay or combine other distortion and EQs to further tweak your fuzztone. Other features include the LED illumination of controls, Battery On/Off switch, and magnetic battery access door.
In typical Amptweaker style, we brought a special prototype with capacitor and resistor boxes hanging out to get people to help us make the final tweaks at NAMM. We adjusted the auto-biasing circuit, tweaked the Edge switch, and also chose the coolest color….a shiny silver color was the crowd favorite! It was a lot of fun for all, and I think the end result is a really cool and flexible pedal!
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