ZVEX Fuzz Factory Pedal Review
- Pros: The Fuzz Factory goes places other pedals do not dare.
- Cons: This is a temperamental beast, and requires a lot of experimentation to use it properly.
- Overall: The Fuzz Factory can make some unique and entertaining sounds, but is not for the faint of heart.
- Amazon: ZVEX Effects Fuzz Factory
The Fuzz Factory is ZVEX EFFECTS’ flagship pedal. This unique little box makes sounds ranging from ripping Velcro to screaming self-oscillation, and whatever lies in between. It is not a subtle pedal. Rather, it is a temperamental noisemaker that can become an inspiring playground of over-the-top distortion with a little practice.
The first thing I noticed when I plugged in my ZVEX Fuzz Factory was the volume range. The volume knob is touchy and it gets LOUD! So loud in fact, that I quickly got into the habit of placing the Fuzz Factory in front of my compressor to tame it a bit. The high output does add some possibilities for committed fuzz fanatics to drive their amps hard with an extremely hot signal, but I found myself working around it.
Once the volume was under control, I was delighted with the range of sounds available with the Fuzz Factory. There is a learning curve for the controls, and I won’t attempt to explain their interactions in this article. When the knobs are tamed, the Fuzz Factory can keep a pedalhead entertained for hours with all sorts of bold fuzzy tones and noises. The scratchy decay of the noise gate can be used for some fun effects, as well as the wild self-oscillation that can happen when the knobs are pitched just right. I have even heard it used to pick up Radio Disney. It is a good idea to record your settings when you find a sound you like, because the Fuzz Factory is a touchy animal.
In performance situations, most players will find that the Fuzz Factory is a joy to use for around three to thirty seconds in a set, then just takes up space on the pedalboard for the rest of the night. It actually performs the latter function quite admirably by featuring true bypass switching and taking up less footprint than many compact pedals. The input and output jacks are located at either end of the case, making it handy to slip into spaces where other pedals won’t fit. The circuit board is almost comically small compared to the size of the chassis, but it is doubtful that the Fuzz Factory’s five pots could be squeezed into a smaller case.