071 | Catalinbread Fuzzrite: A Closer Look at this Collaborative Reissue | Transcript


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Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 71 of the Sonic Renegades podcast. We're exploring renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have the Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal from Catalinbread. This thing is an absolute joy to play, and we're excited to share it with you on the other side.

Hey, everybody. Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals. Hope you're having a wonderful day and a fabulous end to your workweek. Well, today we are excited because we're going to be talking about the Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal from Catalinbread. This thing is so much fun, I've had it on my board now for quite some time. And I really, I think they just did a fantastic job recreating the classic 1960s Mosrite Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal, it sounds like a mouthful. But yeah, this is such a great recreation of a classic from the sixties. So much fun.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. It really is just a great fuzz pedal. I mean, obviously I've never played an old Fuzzrite at all. But I would imagine, if it sounds anything like this it was a great pedal and obviously that's what they based it around. So it just sounds really great, and it covers a lot of that kind of sixties fuzz.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah. I've seen a few comparisons online between the original Mosrite and this one, and pretty similar. I mean, they've done a fantastic job. I know they obviously collaborated with the Moseley family and we're able to, yeah, get permission to recreate it in all its glory. And it's a absolute, beautiful thing. And yeah, glad to have this one in our possession.

So in case all of this is sounding like Chinese to you guys, we'll dive in here real quick to just some of the history. If your new, one, to the world of fuzz or specifically if you're new to the world of the Fuzzrite circuit, yeah, there's a lot here and lots that we can definitely share. So typically when you think about fuzz, the Fuzzrite, which we're talking about today, which is again, this pedal, the Catalinbread Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal, is again a recreation of the original Mosrite Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal from the 1960s.

So when you think about the world of Fuzz, the holy trinity of fuzz, your the top three fuzz tones that you typically think about or navigate to, are generally the Tone Bender, the Fuzz Face and the Big Muff. So I know for me, I'm a huge admirer of the Big Muff, obviously a circuit like that has inspired our very own Midnight Train. Fuzz Face, obviously you're going to think of folks like Jimmy Hendrix, and then the Tone Bender again, it's got its own separate category admires and fans.

And so right below that, just outside that big three circle is the Fuzzrite. And this thing really became popular because of a little band called Iron Butterfly and a very famous song called In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. This really put it on the map. And there's obviously lots of history behind the Moseley family, which is the family behind the Mosrite brand. Without getting into all the specifics and details of that, they essentially commissioned a gentleman by the name of Ed Sanner, that's Sanner as is an S-A-N-N-E-R. Commissioned him to go ahead and create this circuit. And again, it was picked up by Iron Butterfly and then eventually Jimmy Hendrix on songs like Cry of Love and Rainbow Bridge, and again, the rest is history.

So fast forward out, what, 50 years, 60 years, Catalinbread decided to work with the Moseley family, specifically Mark Moseley. And there you have it. You've now got the Catalinbread Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal, an absolute gem, a great reproduction of this classic circuit.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. And I feel like having somebody that was involved in the original company, helping out, especially when it comes to part selection and things like that, as something that's really important to getting something that's faithful to the original in the ways that you want it to be. While allowing you the canvas to change the things that would make it better for the modern player, or give it more of a creative twist.

Scott Schwertly:
Oh yeah. Definitely. I mean, I'm so happy that they've put this thing out because I think right now, if you actually wanted to pick one up, it's so much more affordable than the original. Right now you can get one on Sweetwater for 159, I think I got mine on Reverb for 159. So the fact that they brought it down to an affordable level and you can still get all the great tones of the original is great. Because right now, if you jump on Reverb and you do try to get one of the original Mosrite Fuzzrite's, I mean, I've seen everything from $500 to $1000 for the circuit.

But again, I mean, these are generally ... You're going to be picking up a pedal that was built in the 1960s. So it's great that it's accessible and you can actually get one in your hands. And I believe this one specifically came out about four years ago, or actually five years ago in 2016. In fact, I think the fall of 2016. So it's been around for a while and I'm glad that they were partnering together to make this thing happen.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, it really is a great fuzz pedal. Just to get all of those vintage tones on your board, in a smaller enclosure and where you're not having to spend a ton of money and deal with all the liabilities that come with using a vintage pedal.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. I know for me recently, the reason I actually got this to begin with is I've just been on a John Frusciante kick and ... I'm not trying to necessarily build a John Frusciante board at the moment, but I'm adding a lot more John Frusciante type pedals to my board and removing those that maybe I'm not utilizing as much. And I'm a huge fan of the Stadium Arcadium album, and this pedal was used extensively on that album. Particularly when I think of songs like Dani California, particularly the very end of that solo. This pedal shines in conjunction with his boss, DS-2.

And so, yeah, as you mentioned, Eric, the fact that it's expensive enough trying to build anybody's board, but to get this out at a more affordable price point makes that journey a little bit easier. And it still captures all that great magic of the original. So yeah, so for anybody that maybe happens to love Iron Butterfly, you're going to love this pedal. If you love John Frusciante during the era of Stadium Arcadium, you're going to hear this pedal quite a bit on that album, then this is the pedal for you. Particularly if you're chasing that specific fuzz sound. So again, not part of the big three, but it definitely is right on the outside of that mix.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. So when you get into the actual controls and the way this thing works, it really is just another take on a two-transistor fuzz, as far as the heart of the circuit, with a volume and depth control. And the volume obviously controls your output, higher settings can help overdrive your amp, which can add just more character.

And then the depth control is really what set the Fuzzrite apart. And it's pretty much, in the manual they say it's essentially a blank control between the first and the second transistor. And they say that if you start at the first transistor, at the minimum setting, you're hearing just the first one on its own, it's a little bit more clean, more of a fat fuzz tone. As you begin to blend in that second one, you get more of that gated fuzz and a lot of the weird artifacts that come with that, that can really just add a creative side to your fuzz tone.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, it's crazy how this can go from subtle to completely nasty and gnarly just by simply switching that depth knob and then kicking in that second silicone transistor. So yeah, it covers a lot of territory, but it definitely covers that nasty fuzz territory really, really well if that's the sound that you're going for.

Well, if you guys are curious to actually now hear what this thing actually sounds like, we're going to go ahead and give you a sample of it now. Eric, what are you going to go with today?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to go ahead and use the Tele for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. Well, we're going to get this set up, guys, and we'll see you on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
All right. That's the Catalinbread Fuzzrite. It's a great fuzz pedal. One of my favorites that I've played as of late. And yeah, definitely check it out and it's a great addition.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, particularly for those that love the world of fuzz, myself included. Again, you're going to navigate towards that big three, the Tone Bender, the Fuzz Face, the Big Muff. So if you've been stuck in that box and you want to expand your horizons a little bit in the world of fuzz, then yeah, check out the Fuzzrite. Whether it's the original or this recreation here by Catalinbread. So yeah, definitely a good one to add to the list.

All right. Well, there, you guys have it. That is the Catalinbread Fuzzrite Fuzz Pedal. Join us next time, we're going to switch gears a little bit and we're not actually going to cover an effect pedal, but we are going to cover a tuner pedal. Specifically we're going to be talking about the Peterson StroboStomp HD. This is probably my favorite tuner pedal that I've owned. Yeah, and excited to share that with you guys in the next one.

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