Fulltone '69
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Fulltone '69

'69, Fuzz pedal from Fulltone.

content in English
sat4n 23/08/2008

Fulltone '69 : Recensione di sat4n (content in English)

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There are four knobs on this pedal: Volume, Bias (which I think changes the voltage of something), Contour (basic mid-range shift), and Fuzz. True-bypass switch, in and out for instrument cables, and a power-adapter jack complete the picture. I don't recommend using a power adapter; the pedal will sound better with an old fashioned carbon battery anyway, and most power adapters will mess up the pedal because the transistors inside are reversed polarity in comparison to the electronics in, say, a Boss pedal.

The transistors are germanium (of course). This accounts both for how good the pedal sounds and for the fact that it has been discontinued.

UTILIZATION

Basically, you just put all the knobs on 12:00 and the pedal will deliver a growling push to whatever you're playing which, considering how cool and psychedelic it sounds, is surprisingly transparent. Sometimes, when I want more fuzz, I turn the fuzz knob up to about 3:00, but basically this thing sounds perfect with everything set to midnight. I'm honestly not sure why they bothered putting knobs on it at all. When something sounds this good you don't need to tweak it.

I will say, as a mild complaint, that it took me a while to figure this out. For a few months I was fiddling with the knobs trying to figure out what all the hype was about. Don't try to beat the thing into making "your" sound; just let it make its own sound. The sound it makes is fine, and pedals don't need to do a million different things, or even three or four, if they can do one thing really really well.

SOUND QUALITY

I have a lot of distortion pedals, including two other Fulltone pedals. I'm not sure why I have so many because I only ever use one at a time. Anyway, I have at least six or seven, and this is the one I use most -- more than half the time. As I said above, it's very transparent, which is a weird thing to say about a fuzz pedal, but it's true. The sound can get really fuzzed out, but at midpoint settings it's this perfect balance of the sound of your guitar when you play softly and the sound of snarling dogs when you play hard.

OVERALL OPINION

I've never played an actual 1960s Fuzzface, but I've played other Fuzzface "clones," including some that are supposed to be much more faithful to the original, and this pedal just sounds better. The thing about fuzz tones on records from the late 1960s is that they have this weird mix of subtlety and outlandishness. Like it wasn't about making extreme fuzz sound, but the most interesting and unexpected one. This pedal gives you better access to that pallet of sounds and that whole way of thinking about guitar effects than any other pedal I've tried.

Maybe you want super high gain, or maybe you want an exact copy of some 1960s tone, and in that case you can do better elsewhere, but I'm pretty sure this pedal makes the sound that all those sixties garage bands were trying to get, even if what they actually got was different and equally good.