Featuring Fuzz, Treble/Bass, and Volume controls, the CF-2 ($69 retail/ $59 street) also has a set of internal controls that alter the response of the fuzz circuit. Removing the battery hatch provides access to an Input Sensitivity trim-pot that adjusts the level of guitar signal that hits the fuzz circuit, and a 3-position DIP switch that adds LEDs to the circuit to create more compression and, hence, sustain. According to the manual, setting #1 adds two red LEDS to produce more clipping and sustain. Setting #2 activates four green LEDs to provide less clipping with a mild increase in sustain. Setting #3 brings on two green LEDS to increase compression and brighten the sound. The colors of the LEDS are meaningless because you can’t actually see them, but the DIP settings do make a difference in the sounds.
The CF-2 appears to mix straight signal with fuzz, as playing through it is like hearing the clean and effected sounds in parallel. It’s a different thing than you get from a classic Fuzz Face or Tonebender, and some players may like this more than others. With the DIP switch off and the tone control about three-quarters up, the result is skinny/buzzy fuzz that can become fartier and more “dying transistor”-like as you turn the Fuzz knob down. Conversely, putting the tone control at nine o’clock or lower thickens the fuzz for a meatier-sounding grind. Going to the DIP switch and activating setting #1 results in a squashier feel with a rounder fuzz. There’s also some volume loss (ditto for all the DIP positions) that you have to adjust for with the Volume control. Setting #2 produces the CF-2’s most “amp”-like tones, with a warmer and more gutsy fuzz sound (my favorite), while position #3 is very similar to setting #1, but with a little more edge. I found the Input Sensitivity control useful for dialing in the fuzz with different guitars, but if you go too high with it, the noise increases substantially. All in all, the CF-2 packs an impressive amount of control into a small and very affordable package. If you like to tweak your sounds, you’ll want to give this pedal a shot.
KUDOS Delivers a variety of fuzz flavors and dynamic responses. True bypass switching.
CONCERNS Battery door isn’t permanently attached.
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