Euthymia founder Erik Miller focuses exclusively on fuzz, and he hand builds several types in his home workshop. The Crucible Fuzz ($125 retail/street N/A) is based on the modified silicon Fuzz Face circuit Dave Fox and Crest Audio produced in the late ’80s, but it boasts considerably higher gain than those units. As with the original ’60s Face, the Crucible has no status LED, though, unlike the Face, it sports true-bypass switching. The Crucible’s baked-on Hammerite finish and Bakelite Daka-Ware Volume and Fuzz knobs add more than a dash of retro flash.
Despite its Fuzz Face ancestry, the Crucible sounds a lot like a robust Big Muff Pi, generating silky smooth sustain and a massive, if slightly flabby, bottom end. There’s no tone control, but the overall balance of frequencies is good, and the voicing is very sonorous and satisfying. The Fuzz control produces little more than a slight buzziness in the first part of its range, but goes into major sustain when fully cranked. Individual note definition is impressive, and the sound cleans up beautifully when the guitar volume is lowered. However, the unit proved radiophonic in two different environments, suggesting shielding issues. The Crucible Fuzz is a great-sounding pedal that basically does one thing really well.