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Fuzz search and a VFB-2 question

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jared Lash, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    I need some suggestions as I'm getting a bit frustrated.

    Basically, here's what I'm looking for: I'd like a bass heavy fuzz that works well with active basses.

    I'm not a fan of buzzy fuzzes as I like a more "grunty" tone if that makes any sense. What I want isn't a buzzsaw so much as a wall of deep fuzz. Big bonus points if it can drive an envelope filter well and/or has an option for a gated fuzz.

    I've already tried a number of fuzzes that didn't work for me. The Guyatone TZ-2 sounded great, but it was a much more aggressive cutting tone than what I want. I had both MI Audio fuzzes at one point and they weren't right either. The Muff family wasn't bad, but didn't drive filters very well. The Subdecay Flying Tomato sounded like it fit the bill, but it was a bit thin and nasally for me.

    Right now I'm thinking of a Prescription Depth Charge. Even though it doesn't do gated, it fits my other requirements. I also thought about maybe getting the OLC clone of the Big Cheese and running into a modded Barge VFB-2. I believe they can buffer it to eliminate the problem with active basses but I'm not sure on this point.

    I can't find a perfect example, but I like Colin Greenwood's tone when Radiohead does National Anthem live. I believe he uses a Big Cheese on stage.

    Sorry for the long post but any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    I believe Tayste2000 has a PE depth charge for sale! it is (or was) on Ebay UK.
    He may be able to help you out as well!
  3. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    How much you looking to spend? I will once again whore myself out for the Colorsound ToneBender. You want a bass heavy fuzz, the ToneBender delivers in spades. A bit on the expensive side though, unfortunately.
  4. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    The Tonebender is on my list, though I wonder how it does driving filters.

    I am very curious as to whether Barge can mod a VFB-2 such that a fuzz in its loop could work with active basses. If so, I think I might pick up a Big Cheese or a clone. If not my options right now are limited to a Depth Charge or a Tonebender.

  5. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    I get a very cool effect running my Guyatone BR-2 into the Tonebender.
  6. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    My VFB-2 had no trouble with active basses. Nothing listed on the site. Where did you hear that? :confused:
  7. That's so weird!

    I was listening to The National Anthem when I opened this thread. Kid A rules...

    Isn't the Depth Charge muff based? I could be wrong, but I really think its a muff based fuzz with a clean blend option.

    But if you decide to go with the OLC clone, be sure to post clips.
  8. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    No, I wasn't saying that the VFB-2 would have any problems with active basses, I know that it doesn't.

    But most fuzzes don't play nice with active electronics at all, which really limits my choice of fuzz boxes. Except for a couple, I've tried most of those fuzzes and haven't found what I want.

    I was hoping that Barge could mod the VFB to eliminate the problem that fuzzes have with active basses so that I could use one in the loop of the VFB without a problem. I thought a TBer had gotten such a mod, but I could be mistaken.

    Really, I have no idea if this is possible. Electronics are not my area of expertise at all. But right now there's a fuzz tone I have in my head and I can't find a fuzz that will get it for me.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    There was definitely some talk of a custom Barge blender loop with a variable impedance control, but I don't remember who got it or how thoroughly they tested it. My vague memory is that they said "it works" and that was all.

    In theory with that device there is still a separation, electronically speaking, between the pickups and the part of the fuzz that interacts with them; but perhaps merely changing the impedance is enough to get the right tone, regardless of that disconnect. I don't know, but I'd sure like to find out. Maybe I'll try to DIY something like that...
  10. jucas


    Dec 14, 2003
    I seem to recall asking TaySte about a barge looper that was modded to help with impedance issues way back when I was wishing that I could use my mammoth elsewhere in my chain. I think he said that it had worked for everything that he'd thrown at it, but hopefully he'll have some input soon.

    No worthwhile input on the fuzz part of your search unfortunately...

    Also... I thought the depth charge was more loosely based on the Brassmaster than the Muff, but I could be wrong.

    edit: In all my reading for the mammoth problem, I think that people reported varying levels of success from just an impedance change before it. From that Dragster to just throwing a volume pedal up front, there were a few that claimed it worked reasonably well. And, if DIY is an option, there's that little transformer circuit that's supposed to smooth things out by looking more like a pickup with the right impedance/etc. Niftydog might have tried one out (at least, he's the one on here I talked to about it)... I think it was by Jack Orman, but I can't remember exactly. (...and that may all be repeating stuff that ou all know, but hopefully that was easier than searching through impedance/fuzz threads)
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I don't think you're wrong there.
  12. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Thanks bongo and jucas.

    Yeah jucas, I thought it was Tayste too, but I wasn't sure. I emailed Barge quite a while ago and never got a response.

    I thought the Depth Charge was based on the Brassmaster too, but I could be mistaken. That's why I didn't list the Malekko B:Assmaster on my list. I figured that it and the Depth Charge would be pretty similar.
  13. EDIT: From pedalGEEK, 'For the Bass Player, this pedal has a T H I C K bass tone with plenty of gain and blending abilities. Go from clean to mean. Has the sonic clone similarities to the Maestro Brassmaster.'

    My mistake. Continue.
  14. Amokoma


    Feb 4, 2007
    I feel I have to step in here.
    The Malekko B:Assmaster is the Maestro Brassmaster and more.
    I think it's much better than the Depth Charge.
    Looks cooler too...
  15. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
  16. Higgie


    May 31, 2005
    London, England
    Yup, it was Tayste who had the variable impedance buffer built into his VFB-2, and it's allowed him to use virtually any (if not all) fuzzes with actives.

    Another pedal that hasn't been mentioned is the Chunk Brown Dog. Really nice fuzz, with clean blend, and a gate on it also. Does subtle grind to all out fuzzy madness, and being built to interact with the 00Funk, it plays really well with filters. It's also completely fine with active basses.

    See if you can try one out, because to me it seems to fit all your criteria :)

    Hope that helps...

  17. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Thanks Higgie. I did try the Chunk and I liked a lot of things about it, but it couldn't get me that massive, wall of deep fuzz that I'm looking for. Then again, I only tried it for about 5 or 10 minutes using a bass and rig that weren't mine. Perhaps another trial is in order.

    Any other fuzz suggestions?
  18. assboglin

    assboglin Inactive

    Jul 13, 2007
    In addition to the fuzzes already mentioned, I would point you in the direction of the Frantone Lo Tone Classic Bass Fuzz. I did a sound sample for it, but the sound in my sample requires impedence tweaking or a simple bass cut EQ to get... the natural sound of the pedal is a huge wall of bassy fuzz. It has so much more bottom than your clean signal it's ridiculous, hence why I use the bass cut. But if that's what you're looking for, unlike the soundclip I did for it the pedal's natural sound is also less distortion-sounding and more fuzzlike, with some gatey qualitities, especially with the fuzz cranked. Based on the sound you're describing that you're looking for, I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you try it, although if you specifically want the tone from that radiohead video, the Big Cheese clone might be your best bet. Good luck!
  19. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz!

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    No active basses here so I'll just start spewing...
    Swollen Pickle Clones :)
    Prunes and Custard? It's not a standard plain fuzz, but it can be wall of doom.
    Those Devi Ever BIT clips the other day raised my eyebrows
    Colorsound Tone Bender
  20. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz!

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Oooh ooh ooh

    How about a:

    Audio Monk FuzzPotion:
    The Audio Monk FUZZPOTION pedal is modeled after one of the most notorious Japanese fuzz boxes of all time. Audio Monk scientifically evaluated many original versions and sourced parts specifically for recreating the original sound. After that, the Audio Monk added true bypass switching, an on/off switch, and independent foot-switchable fuzz and notch-fuzz settings (Twiggy and Wiggy). The Audio Monk then reached into the deepest regions of his brain to come out with a fuzz circuit that acted equally as well for guitar and bass... YES BASS!!! There's no competition, this is the best bass fuzz/distortion pedal available.

    • Two amazing fuzz sounds in one box
    • Bass sounds are over the top, and bound to break glass
    • Powers off of a single 9v battery or pedal board/wall wart adapter (not included)
    • True Bypass
    • Fuzz/distortion so destructive you'll rule the world
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 7, 2021

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