Z.Vex Fuzz Factory

The Z.Vex Fuzz Factory is the brain child of effects guru Zachary Vex. The Fuzz Factory has quickly carved out a niche for itself as the fuzz box of choice for experimentalists and those looking to push the sonic boundaries.

The Fuzz Factory is capable of smooth modern fuzz, but only if you dial back the controls. Start turning things up and you never know where you'll end up! It's the perfect pedal for feedback inspired jams, as the Fuzz Factory gives the player some control over the tone of the feedback. Using the 'Gate' control you can start to manipulate the pitch of the feedback, with some trippy modulated howls the result.

The circuit itself is built around two new old-stock sixties germanium transistors, but the Fuzz Factory is anything but a traditional fuzz pedal. It features five control knobs, each said to be named after “the parameters over which they seem to have the most control”.

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The five controls can be used to carefully sculpt the guitar tone. As well as the standard Volume and Drive controls there is also:

  • 'Gate', which opens and closes the gate, effectively reducing squeals and controlling feedback pitch.
  • 'Compress', which acts as a compressor of sorts, and can add attack to the signal.
  • 'Stability', to be honest, not exactly sure why this control was included. It's recommended that it be set all the way to the right.
  • The earlier versions of the Fuzz Factory were all hand painted and hand built in the United States, these models are still available new for around $280+ USD.

    More recently, a 'budget' line has released that is, partially at least, built in Taiwan, these retail for around $170+ USD, these versions are not hand painted.

    Famous guitarists known to have used the Z.Vex Fuzz Factory include Matt Bellamy of Muse, Daniel Johns of Silverchair, Buckethead, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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