Following on the success of his Tremulator and Compulator pedals, audio guru James Demeter decided to try his hand at fuzz. As might be expected, the resulting Fuzzulator ($239 retail/$199 street) is a studio-quality device with some original twists. There’s what Demeter calls a Tone Pre-Emphasis Circuit, which is supposed to “enhance the proper frequencies to give the distorted sound focus,” along with a Loose/Tight switch that toggles between tight sounds produced by using LEDs to generate distortion, and loose sounds produced using a combination of silicon and germanium diodes. Fuzz, Volume, and Tone knobs flank a status LED and a sturdy metal bypass footswitch on the unit’s face, and a mini trim-pot for setting overall volume is located on the side.
Due to its dual distortion circuits, the Fuzzulator is really two pedals in one. The LED circuit produces an unmistakably fuzzy tone, but with a little of the smoothness and glassy attack of an overdriven tube amp. The diode circuit dishes up a full-bodied and harmonically rich buzz reminiscent of a hot-rodded Fuzz Face. The unusually wide-ranging Fuzz control dials in degrees of distortion from a gentle rasp to seriously supersaturated, and the equally versatile Tone control sweeps from dark and smooth to bright and edgy. The Fuzzulator cleans up well when you roll back the guitar volume, individual note articulation within chords is astonishing (even on the most extreme settings), and the unit is amazingly quiet.