First Impression: Tanabe Sunkudo Fuzz

Made in Japan by Toshihiko Tanabe, the Sunkudo Fuzz uses three germanium transistors, and features Sustain, Tone, and Volume knobs for control of the audio, as well as a knob labeled “LED” that simply adjusts the brightness of the status LED. 
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Sporting a sturdy aluminum case with a thin overlay of abalone, the Sunkudo delivers a spectrum of tactile fuzz sounds that range from ’60s-style buzz with the Sustain and Tone controls turned down, to very thick and bottom-heavy textures with the Sustain set to halfway or higher and the Tone control turned fully clockwise. Obtaining the highest output from this pedal requires turning up the Sustain, Tone, and Volume controls. The Sunkudo tracks your guitar volume dynamics quite well—especially at lower Sustain settings—and its copious gain and girth make it no problem in getting gobs of creamy sustain from single-coil guitars. Plugging in a Fender Eric Johnson Strat also nicely revealed the cool chiming tonalities that the Sunkudo elicits with the gain turned down and the guitar volume rolled back. Bottom line: For players who want a fuzz pedal that can nail early Clapton/Page-type sounds or do full assault metal tones, the Sunkudo is an excellent choice. Contact —Art Thompson