Review of: SolidGoldFX Formula 76
Reviewed by: Gabriel TanakaRating:4.5On December 11, 2013Last modified:October 6, 2016
There are plenty of octave up fuzz pedals out there, but few of them offer as much raging fuzz tenacity as the SolidGoldFX Formula 76. This pedal was inspired by classic mid 70’s Japanese octave up fuzz pedals such as the Super Fuzz and Standard Fuzz but adds more control and extreme sound-mangling capabilities for a take-no-prisoners onslaught of fuzz.
Guitarists familiar with iterations of the Super Fuzz/Standard Fuzz will immediately notice the sonic similarities between those pedals and the sounds of the Formula 76. The Formula 76 features a similar Germanium Diode clipped fuzz sound, hot-rodded with the ability to sculpt unique fuzz tones of its own. While those classic pedals were limited by few control parameters, SolidGoldFX have refined on the classic template by allowing you to dial in settings for Compression and Tone levels. A foot-switch operated Tone switch also selects between a bottom heavy mid-scooped sound and a slightly higher output mid-boosted tone that may be used in conjunction with the Tone knob for shaping your overall fuzz sound.
For a fuzz in the vein of those classic pedals, the SolidGoldFX Formula 76 looks like it’s taking it to a whole new level. Is this the best Super Fuzz/Standard Fuzz pedal clone around? You’ll find out in our SolidGoldFX Formula 76 review. Let’s run down the features of this raucous pedal and crank it up.
Modern take on classic 70’s octave up pedals such as the Ibanez Standard Fuzz and Univox Super Fuzz.
Fuzz control knob for adjusting amount of distortion.
Comp control knob adjusts overall compression and response.
Tone control knob adjusts the amount of top end.
Level control knob adjusts the output volume level.
Tone foot-switch selects between a mid-scoop and mid-boosted tone.
True Bypass foot-switch allows signal to pass unaffected when disengaged.
Powered by 9-volt batter or 9VDC power adapter.
Visit SolidGoldFX for more info about the Formula 76.
Sound & Performance:
If you’re not familiar with the Super Fuzz and Standard Fuzz pedals that are the inspiration of the Formula 76, have a quick gander around the web at some of the videos available. These pedals have become highly regarded for their great octave up fuzz tones and aggressive fuzz sounds. While many clones exist (even the Standard Fuzz is a variation of the Super Fuzz), SolidGoldFX have really made a great effort to create a unique design inspired by these classic pedals. While the Formula 76 is great for capturing the vibe of the classic Standard Fuzz and Super Fuzz pedals, it really excels in taking that concept to the next level in terms of tone-tweaking and aggressive fuzz chaos.
I ran the Formula 76 straight into a flat sounding clean amp and fed it various combinations of single-coils and humbuckers. It chewed them up accordingly and spit out massive amounts of fuzzy carnage. SolidGoldFX warns that this is a “rude” fuzz that is in no way “polite” or “refined”. But don’t worry. That’s a good thing. This pedal is a monster, a beast worth taming if you like your fuzz extreme.
With the knobs at noon, I fired up the Formula 76 to get a taste of the pedal’s unique flavor. It is unmistakeably apparent that this pedal serves up heaps of in-your-face fuzz. The Formula 76 has a thick, splatty fuzz sound that delivers plenty of punch even on more restrained settings. When playing low on the neck through your bridge pickup, you’ll get some nice fuzzy rhythm tones. When playing single notes through your neck pickup high up the neck, you’ll hear the octave up sounds really come through.
The Tone knob is actually a high-end cut, so having it around noon provides a bit of a darker character. Pushing it all the way to the right opens up the pedal a bit, so its full range of sound can come through. I rather like the wide-open sound of the Tone knob all the way clockwise, but if it gets a little too harsh on the top, you can easily attenuate it to your liking.
The Comp knob will also help with opening up your sound a bit or completely squashing it, depending on your twisted fuzz needs. Between the range of 2 o’clock to maxed out is where you’ll notice the most effect on the feel and response. When maxing it out, a little boost of the Volume knob with compensate for any loss in volume. The compression sounds surprising good and is useable throughout its range for rhythm and lead sounds. It also seems to reduce the high-end response when you really put the pressure on at extreme settings.
The fuzz sounds range from quite dirty to pretty extreme. There’s nothing really mild about this pedal. At lower Fuzz and Comp settings with the Tone rolled clockwise, you can achieve more articulate fuzz rhythm tones. Pushing the Fuzz clockwise past noon yields a sound that starts to gel together your notes a bit more. The Fuzz, Tone, and Comp controls really work together to effectively shape the sound and response of the Formula 76, resulting in a very wide range of tonal variety. And that’s before even kicking on the Tone foot-switch.
The Tone foot-switch takes the tone-shaping power of this pedal to new territory. Kicking in the switch produces a fat bottom end sound that really beefs up the low-end of the frequency spectrum. While octave up effects are typically used for single note phrases, try playing notes high up the neck on 2 adjacent strings to hear the 3rd ring-mod like tone produced. W