The Fuzz Face. Built in 1966 by Ivor Arbiter. It's an amazing fuzz pedal and I'll share 5 fun facts about it on the other side.
Hey guys! I'm Scott Schwertly and today I'm excited to share a few fun facts about the Fuzz Face. I've had this one in my collection for about a year now and it is golden. It's fun. It's got a lot of history, and it is a great addition to any board or pedal collection.
So with all that said, let's go ahead and jump into 5 fun facts about it.
Ivor Arbiter is credited with building and creating the very first Fuzz Face. A popular pedal at the time was the Tonebender so Arbiter took version 1.5 of that circuit and used it as foundation for building this gem of a pedal in 1966. The pedal has evolved a lot since then and that leads me to fun fact #2.
The Fuzz Face evolved a lot in the hands of Jimi Hendrix's "secret weapon" - Roger Mayer. Jimi Hendrix is known for loving the Fuzz Face and he took them on the road with him a ton. Roger, a former Navy guy turned pedal engineer toured with Jimi fixing and modding his Fuzz Faces as needed paving a way for future variations of the circuit which included the eventual addition of silicon transistors instead of germanium transistors in 1967 and that leads me to my next point.
A Simple Circuit
Probably one of the most endearing features of the Fuzz Face is it's simple design. It has 2 transistors, 3 capacitors, and 4 resistors and it was originally housed in the bottom of a microphone stand which is why it has the round shape. Out of these components, the germanium transistors is what everyone loves because they enjoy the unpredictably which comes as an end result.
Colors and Shapes
The first versions of these pedals were either red or a gray-silver. A few years later they released a blue version. Today, you can find gold ones, black ones, mini ones, large ones and so forth. Most of them are custom to certain big names and their preferences like this one here which is the JHF1 or Jimi Hendrix Signature version or you can get the black one called the JBF3B which is the Joe Bonamassa signature model.
In 1968, the Arbiter Group merged with J.E. Dallas and Sons which is why you have here terms like the Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz when people refer to the Fuzz Face. Fast forward to 1993, and Dunlop Manufacturing took over production and the Fuzz Face now lives under that brand.
So there you have it. 5 fun facts about the Fuzz Face. This pedal is a ton of fun to play and pro tip - turn everything up to about 5 and you'll be having some fun.