The market for guitar effects and pedals is a vast one. Yet there is one pedal, that is a must for getting some great sounds out of your electric guitar.
That pedal is of course, a Fuzz Pedal.
Fuzz pedals are a type of distortion that has its own unique sound. You have heard the fuzz sound in many great songs like, “Satisfaction”, “You Really Got Me”, and “Foxy Lady”.
Fuzz pedals produce a different signal when compared with normal distortion or overdrive pedals. There is a great analogy that describes how fuzz pedals are unique.
If distortion and overdrive are like the string section of an orchestra, then the fuzz pedal is an over-the-top saxophone wailing away in a jazz band.
In fact, the first fuzz pedals were marketed in the 1960s as a way to emulate the sounds of woodwind and brass instruments.
So, if you’re looking for an effect pedal to make your riffs and solos stand out with a distinctive sound and tone, you need to add a fuzz to your pedalboard.
But which fuzz pedal is the best one for you?
We have put together a list of the best fuzz pedals out on the market today. Let’s take a look and find the perfect one for your style and your sound.
- Top 10 Best Fuzz Pedals On The Market 2021 Reviews
- 1 EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V2 Reverb Guitar Effects Pedal
- 2 Wampler Velvet Fuzz V2 Guitar Effects Pedal
- 3 Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi With Tone Wicker
- 4 ZVEX Fuzz Factory Vexter Series Fuzz Guitar Pedal
- 5 Black Cat OD-1 “Freddie Fuzz” Effects Pedal
- 6 Catalinbread Karma Suture Germanium Harmonic Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal
- 7 Way Huge WHE401 Swollen Pickle Jumbo Fuzz
- 8 Death By Audio Fuzz War Effect Pedal
- 9 MXR M236 Super Badass Variac Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal
- 10 ZVEX Effects Fat Fuzz Factory Germanium Fuzz Guitar/Bass Pedal
- Best Fuzz Pedal Buying Guide
- And The Winner Is…
Top 10 Best Fuzz Pedals On The Market 2021 Reviews
1 EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath V2 Reverb Guitar Effects Pedal
The name of the brand kind of says it all: EarthQuaker.
This fuzz pedal’s main feature is out-of-this-world reverb. It is more than any normal reverb pedal can muster. The sound is deep and hollow with short, scattered delays that have some strange characteristics.
You can adjust the length of the reverb decay. This means that you can get a range of sounds from a short, narrow hall to a vast cave of echo and delay.
The dampen control can be used to play with the overall tone. You can set it to blinding bright high tones or tamp it down to a warm wavy flow.
Time for some reflection…
There is a Reflect knob. This controls the regeneration by feeding back through the pedal. It can make deep fuzzy sounds that are unlike most things you have ever heard coming from a guitar.
You can speed up or slow down the reverb using the Drag control. This gives you the ability to really start shaking and quaking with your guitar. In addition to the Drag control is the Diffuse control. This control lets you adjust the spread of the reverb.
What this means is that you can pull in the reverb to highlight your attack or push it out making it just a smooth wave of tones.
The EarthQuaker covers a variety of sound settings, from a tight and crisp, fizzy kickback to stadium-filling ambient waves.
The depth and sustain of the reverb is part of what gives this pedal its name.
This pedal has a warm, organic vintage sound and tone. The range of settings allows you to get pretty lush with your guitar.
This a highly versatile fuzz pedal at a reasonable price.
2 Wampler Velvet Fuzz V2 Guitar Effects Pedal
The Velvet Fuzz Pedal was built to capture all the power, character, and tone of classic fuzz pedals. This pedal is able to reproduce those classic big fuzz tones by compressing the heck out of the bottom end.
If you like the sound of Eric Johnson or David Gilmour, then this pedal is ideal. Or, you can easily adjust this pedal to get the same fuzz tones as used by The White Stripes or Jimi Hendrix.
The big difference found in this pedal is the voicing switch. When set on “big” this pedal sounds like a classic fuzz from the 60s and 70s, which is darker, wooly and saturated. On “tight” the sound is less wooly but maintains clarity and note distinction.
The range of dirty sounds this pedal can produce is impressive. It can give you subdued mid-gain snap and crackle, or it can pump out fat, bright and drippy fuzz that washes over a room.
The Wampler Velvet Fuzz Pedal is smooth and versatile. You can make a Strat sound like a Les Paul and vice versa. It works great on its own or in combination with other effect pedals.
3 Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi With Tone Wicker
This fuzz pedal builds on the classic sounds of the original Big Muff, but with even more possibilities created with just the flick of a switch.
The volume, tone, and sustain knobs are pretty straightforward to understand. The sustain knob is a little different than most pedals because it increases the amount of distortion along with overall sustain.
The real difference-maker is the combinations of the Tone and Wicker switches.
The Tone switch allows you to use the tone knob or disable it completely. Bypassing the tone circuitry allows you to get raw, powerful drive and gain. Turning off the tone knob gives this pedal the sounds of the original Big Muff, with loads of dirty and gritty distortion.
The Wicker switch, when enabled, pops out the bright tones and gives them a more sandy sound.
The Big Muff Pi is a quality little pedal. From crunchy and nasty, to deep and dreary fuzz, to soaring and sleepy distortion, it does it all without any effort.
Any fans of the original Big Muff should find this fuzz pedal a perfect addition to their guitar effects.
4 ZVEX Fuzz Factory Vexter Series Fuzz Guitar Pedal
The Fuzz Factory Vexter is intended to deliver the sound of 60s fuzz. To achieve this goal, this pedal is made with 2 germanium transistors that are replicas of those used in the 1960s.
The Vexter has five different control knobs, each with a distinctive character. These let you shape the sound to your liking.
The Gate knob can squelch noise after the end of sustain. You can use it to get rid of hiss, squeals, and buzz or bring all those sounds forward and prominent. The Compress knob lets you add or reduce the level of attack. It is used to get that fat feedback fuzz or the more warm humming fuzz.
Drive is there to increase distortion and can shape the thickness of tone. The Stab knob, which stands for stability, is primarily for controlling the feedback pitch.
This control is not a common feature on most fuzz pedals. Finding the best setting for your style and sound takes some playing around with to get it right.
This pedal is very versatile. You can get those classic fuzz tones or tweak it out and go for wild, extreme sounds from space.
5 Black Cat OD-1 “Freddie Fuzz” Effects Pedal
The Freddie Fuzz Pedal is designed for classic rock, R&B, and blues styles of fuzz. It is great for those older songs that people just love to get up and dance to.
This pedal is the most simplified fuzz pedal on the market. Just two control knobs. One for drive and one for volume. The rest is up to you.
This a digital pedal that uses a dual amplifier chip, which provides a distinct linear output waveform. It is meant to go from crispy clean to crunchy crackle and pop, to full saturation of F14 turbo engine distortion. And is responsive to changes in attack and dynamics.
It looks cool with its holographic sparkle finish. And it is easy to use with a standard 9V battery and True Bypass inputs.
This bare-bones pedal has been used by artists like Beck, Scott Henderson, and Kyle Cook.
A gritty and loud pedal that doesn’t mess around, and just wants to fill you with fuzz distortion.
6 Catalinbread Karma Suture Germanium Harmonic Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal
The Karma Suture is a very useful pedal that can be used in many different kinds of musical styles and for various diverse sounds.
It can be used as a harmonic boost when placed after an overdrive pedal. Or it can be used as its own distinctive overdrive pedal. Basically, it can be subtle or it can be in your face, or anything in between, depending on what you’re using it for.
This fuzz pedal is built using the Harmonic Percolator circuit. This kind of circuit is rare and not well-known, but it creates a very sweet and clear distortion.
Ugly, but cool…
It is often described as “ugly but cool”. This sound is great for playing complex jazz chords while bringing out every note clear and true.
The Karma Suture has dynamic playing response and harmonic generation. It is capable of producing over-saturated fuzz, big and wide overdrive, and simple colorful boost.
The pedal has four knobs that don’t really have a name for what they do. The basic functions are:
- Top Left – the main knob for really creating wild sounds. When it’s off the pedal acts like a tremolo fuzz, but slowly turn it up and you get sounds that range from laughing dolphins to a nuclear reactor red-lining, or just the warm hum and buzz of a cranked-up amp.
- Bottom Left – this is the volume/fuzz control. Turn it up and you get layers upon layers of fuzz.
- Top Right – controls the tremolo speed.
- Bottom Right – controls the tremolo depth.
The sounds you can get out of this pedal can be ugly and beautiful at the same time. Playing around with the knobs can result in sounds suitable for complicated jazz progressions to straight fat, room-filling fuzz distortion.
The parts and manufacturing are all of high quality.
It works well with lots of different effect pedals and produces different attributes depending on where it’s placed in your effects chain.
7 Way Huge WHE401 Swollen Pickle Jumbo Fuzz
This fuzz pedal is one of the most well-known. The Swollen Pickle is notorious for having a super high-gain fuzz as well as a solid, smooth low-end.
The Loudness control is your basic volume knob. Therefore, it only affects the output level. With the Crunch knob, you can vary the amount of compression on the fuzz, and it is used for shaping the fuzz and your overall tone.
The Sustain control can take you from a simple crunch to volcanic eruptions by adjusting the gain. Using the Filter control lets you experience a huge range of tones, all while retaining thickness and fuzzy sizzle.
The new feature on this re-issue is the tone stack Scoop control. This feature allows you to push mid-scoop or flat mid-frequency sweep, putting more heft behind the bass frequencies.
There are also two internal mini-controls. The first is Voice, which sets the scoop intensity. The other is Clip, which allows the pedal to be set for either smooth or open fuzz sustain.
This little guy can get you sounding like Mudhoney, The Black Keys, or Zakk Wylde.
8 Death By Audio Fuzz War Effect Pedal
This Death By Audio Fuzz War Pedal is a high-tech little effects pedal at a very affordable price. It is not the flashiest-looking fuzz in this review and it’s actually a pared-down pedal, but still comes with quality components and great sound.
This pedal is quite capable of reacting to your picking and strumming dynamics. It offers multiple sounds for fuzz, boost, overdrive, and distortion.
The fuzz sound on this pedal is best described as gnarly. It has a similar sound to the original Big Muff. It sounds big and bassy without having all the mid-range scooped out.
But, the distortion on this pedal, is not the same kind of insanity as you would find on a normal Big Muff. It’s more of a big, warm fuzz that reminds you of the early 70s sounds from groups like The Kinks and The Rolling Stones.
The Death By Audio Fuzz pedal is more of a standard fare fuzz. It has just three knobs and none of the contouring reverb or tremolo effects found in more expensive fuzz pedals.
The controls are simply Volume, Tone, and Fuzz.
The Tone knob is a multi-curved shaping filter. It is designed to change the timbre from sloughy, deep bass to fizzing, biting highs.
The Fuzz and Volume control knobs are pretty self-explanatory. They boost the output and the fuzz respectively.
This fuzz pedal is ideal for those just getting to know how fuzz sounds and how it can be played with, or for those who want a no-frills kind of fuzz pedal. The price is also right for this solid classic-sounding fuzz pedal.
9 MXR M236 Super Badass Variac Fuzz Guitar Effects Pedal
For those of you out there looking to get that vintage fuzz sound, the Super Badass Variac Fuzz pedal is the real deal.
This pedal offers you bite and aggression or it can be flipped to give you the “dying battery” feel.
The number of adjustments you can make lets you get a fuzz sound that is either mild and dark, or one that is crazy yet collected.
Variac took a rare silicon circuit, gave it some meat, and added a control feature that allows you to set the voltage anywhere from 5V to 15V. This feature lets you recreate those dying battery sounds that are saggy and moldy by simply lowering the voltage.
Likewise, you can up the voltage and get a more transparent sound.
The simple control knobs include Tone, Output, and Gain. These are made for shaping your tone to capture the sounds of Hendrix, Nirvana or any fuzz heavy bands.
In a durable housing with True Bypass, this little pedal will leave you with a wonderful, permanent fuzz in your ears.
10 ZVEX Effects Fat Fuzz Factory Germanium Fuzz Guitar/Bass Pedal
The ZVEX Fat Fuzz Factory is a new take on the original Fuzz Factory. The key difference with this pedal is the sub-switch that allows you to let your low-end frequencies to run wide open.
But, what does this mean?
It means that the pedal can vary the low register, which gives it some thundering synth-like qualities. This also means that you can use this pedal as an effect for a bass guitar.
There are three distinct settings for the sub-switch. The first being standard Factory Fuzz, the second is “low” and the third is “lower”.
The Fat Fuzz has the same control knobs as the other Vexter Fuzz Factory.
The Gate knob can squelch noise after the end of sustain. You can use it to get rid of hiss, squeals, and buzz or bring all those sounds forward and make them even more prominent.
The Compress knob lets you add or reduce the level of attack. It is used to get that fat feedback fuzz loved by so many guitarists, or a more warm humming fuzz.
Drive is there to increase distortion and can shape the thickness of the tone.
This fuzz pedal really lets you feel the bass with its sub-switch option. It is beefy and is simply incapable of producing a weak sound.
This pedal has been used by artists such as Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails and Beck. So if you are looking for the sound a lightsaber slicing through dragon-stone this is your best bet.
Also see: Best Noise Gate Pedals
Best Fuzz Pedal Buying Guide
Now that you know about the best fuzz pedals out there, you will need to make a decision. But before you do, there are a few more things to consider before you buy.
- Quality Control
The overall quality of your fuzz pedal is the most important factor. Make sure to check the warranty on the fuzz pedal you choose. Any quality pedal will have a warranty of at least a year.
- What’s Your Plan?
You need to be honest with yourself about exactly what you will be using your fuzz pedal for.
Just like anything else you decide to buy, you buy a fuzz with a particular reason in mind. You don’t go out and get a jet ski if you live 20 miles from the coast.
The same applies to a fuzz pedal. We laid out the best fuzz pedals for you. Some are made for vintage-sounding fuzz, others are meant for paint-peeling power, and some are intended to push the limits of sonic amplification.
You should know how you will use your new fuzz pedal and make that a significant part of your decision.
You will be happy you did.
And The Winner Is…
We have come to this point and it is time to give you our take on the best fuzz pedal. After careful considering, and keeping in mind all the pedals are goods pieces of equipment, there can only be one.
And that one is the…
This fuzz pedal is just too good not to be the best. It has everything you want in a fuzz pedal. The scoop feature lets you chainsaw the low-end while still keeping the highs snappy and singing.
The other great thing is the price. This fuzz pedal is a recreation of an older pedal that was the king in its day. And, there is no reason why it can’t become the king of fuzz again.
In second place we had to tip our hat to another long-time leader in the world of fuzz.
Big Muff is synonymous with the words fuzz pedal. So much face-melting distortion and still able to just clean itself up and crunch and hum along. The Wicker and Tone switches are an added bonus that will let this fuzz pedal find a home with lots of fuzz-hungry guitarists.
There is a whole world of effects out there, but the fuzz pedal is one the most distinctive pedal sounds made. Simply because the juicy, dirty, gritty, swarming fuzz sustain and distortion adds so much to a song and the sound of your guitar.
We hope this list was helpful for you, and that you have a better idea about the best fuzz pedals on the market today. Only you know which one is the right one for you. We just want to make sure with our help, that it is a little easier to come to a decision.
So have fun with your new fuzz pedal and get ready to shake the cobwebs from the rafters.
Fuzz forever, friends.