Seymour Duncan Tweak Fuzz

September 19, 2005

If having a vintage-style fuzzbox is a good thing, then having six has to be even better—at least that’s the concept behind Seymour Duncan’s Tweak Fuzz ($149 retail/$100 street). In lieu of a typical tone control, the pedal features a rotary Tweak switch that selects one of six preset voicings, each of which interacts with the Gain control differently. The Tweak Fuzz’s discrete class-A circuitry results in low-noise operation, and its true-bypass switching eliminates tone sucking. The unit’s 1.6mm steel casing makes it as sturdy as the proverbial tank (and nearly as heavy), and a ribbed plastic pad on the bottom helps keep the unit from sliding around on even slippery wood stages.

The Tweak switch operates a little like the Vari-Tone switch on Gibson ES-345 guitars—moving from relatively thin sounds to considerably meatier fare—though all settings bulk-up and sing with nearly endless sustain when you crank up the extremely wide-ranging Gain control. The Tweak Fuzz doesn’t clean up particularly well, and individual note definition is only moderately good, but these are mere quibbles. Overall, the sounds are tight and punchy, boasting a lively square-wave edge that endows them with true vintage fuzz authority. In the end, that’s what a great fuzz pedal is all about.

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