Ever since the introduction of the classic fuzz guitar pedals of the late 1960’s and early 70’s, guitarists have craved the smooth saturation and hairy distortion of a great fuzz pedal. In the mid 1990’s Zachary Vex created the Fuzz Factory with with even more tonal flexibility for what many guitarists consider one of the best fuzz distortion pedals around. After a successful 2 decade run, ZVex has finally updated the Fuzz Factory with the new Fat Fuzz Factory. In our ZVex Fat Fuzz Factory review, you’ll find out if this new model tops its predecessor to become what may be the new best guitar & bass fuzz distortion pedal around.
Original Fuzz Factory Vs. Fat Fuzz Factory
I don’t know about you, but I get a little nervous when companies announce a “new and improved” refinement to a proven classic design. I won’t ramble on about the countless massive changes companies have made to pedals that disappointed fans and sent them scourging the second-hand markets to claim a soon-to-be rare gem. But sometimes a company does get it right. This is one such case.
ZVex took the Original Fuzz Factory you may already know and love and simply added an ingenious little 3-way switch that lowers the oscillation of the pedal into sub registers.
Sounds great, Gabe. What the hell does that mean?
I’ll put it as simply as ZVex did. This Fuzz Factory is FAT!
This fuzz pedal adds dimensions of tonal flexibility to the already superb Fuzz Factory that simply weren’t possible before. And we’re talking about a pedal that was already one of the most flexible fuzz distortion pedals out there. Essentially, the Fat Fuzz Factory offers even more fatness than before to really beef up your tone on guitar and bass.
Let’s run down the features and dive right in to the review.
3-Position Subs Switch: (1) Original Fuzz Factory, (2) Woof!, (3) Look Out!!
Volume control knob for output level
Gate control knob for eliminating squeals, hiss, and buzz and tuning feedback pitch if desired
Comp control knob for adjusting attack character and tuning fuzz at some settings
Drive control knob for adjusting “normal” fuzz, feedback pitch, and tonal thickness
Stab control knob for controlling voltage and feedback pitch
Sound & Performance:
I was very excited to get my hands on this pedal. I pulled it out of the box, plugged it in, and starting fuzzing out right away.
I immediately found some usable settings and started flipping the 3-way toggle switch to compare and contrast the fatness on offer.
This pedal sounds great. If you’ve ever tried an Original Fuzz Factory before, you already know what to expect. The control knobs are all highly interactive and classic fuzz tones to otherworldly and bizarre sounds are available at the subtle twist of just about any knob. The classic fuzz of everything from Purple Haze to Muse can be found within.
I also plugged in my old Fender Jazz Bass with a Badass II Bridge. The Fat Fuzz Factory is a monster on bass, too. You can rip Cliff Burton-esque fuzzy leads and unleash waves of room shaking fuzz with this pedal. Watch out, indeed. This pedal is dangerous.
I highly recommend that you try out the example settings provided in the manual or here. This will give you a taste of what the Fat Fuzz Factory is capable of while helping you familiarize yourself with how the controls interact. This pedal has a bit of a learning curve with all of the options available, but doing so pays off. Once you stumble across your perfect fat ‘n fuzzy sound, you’ll be addicted to the Fat Fuzz Factory.
When you find a setting you like, try flipping the Sub switch to a different mode. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how the different sub modes can change the overall sound and response of the pedal in such usable and musical ways.
The Sub 2 & 3 modes offer tonal variations so dramatically different that if these 3 modes were packed into 3 different pedals, some fuzz junkies would certainly be tempted to buy all three. I’ve already found knob settings that are so good and different sounding on all three Sub settings that I’ve been torn on picking my favorite sounds. As far as exceptional fuzz tones go, the versatility of this pedal cannot be overstated.
ZVex could have simply rehashed the Original Fuzz Factory with either one of the sub modes for up to three versions of the Fuzz Factory to milk the market. I applaud ZVex for putting their consumers first and releasing the Fat Fuzz Factory in this 3-in-1 format instead of releasing 3 separate pedals. It’s a testament to a company that aims to provide the best products to their customers. If you still want even more fuzz epicness, consider checking out the ZVex Fuzz Factory 7, also.
Let’s have the final result.
The ZVex Fat Fuzz Factory has done what few pedals have done before: replicating the exact sound of the product it updates while adding two new modes that are just as good, if not better, than the original. Even if you already have an Original Fuzz Factory, you may want to consider upgrading. Owning this pedal is like having 3 different awesome fuzz pedals in one. The Original Fuzz Factory was already an undisputed classic. The Fat Fuzz Factory is all that and more. If the Original Fuzz Factory was already your favorite fuzz pedal, you’ll surely consider this to be the new best guitar & bass fuzz distortion pedal around. The Original Fuzz Factory was at the top of its class. Now the Fat Fuzz Factory takes the throne.
That concludes our ZVex Fat Fuzz Factory review. Thanks for reading.
Want to buy the ZVex Fat Fuzz Factory?