The Zvex Fuzzolo is an exercise in restraint. During the design process, founder Zack Vex and engineer Joel Korte asked one very simple question: what can we live without? Tone and gain controls were eliminated and what’s left is a ripping little silicon fuzz with two knobs, loads of volume and a couple of very cool tricks up its sleeve.
What we like: [The tone.]
If there’s anything Zvex knows — it’s fuzz. Their flagship pedal, the aptly named Fuzz Factory, has been used and adored by pros and amateurs the world over. So it should come as no surprise that the Fuzzolo delivers in the tone department.
The micro-sized pedal features two controls: volume and pulse width. Reminiscent of the Mastotron fuzz, the pulse width knob adjusts the shape of the waveform, radically changing the harmonic structure from a square wave on the left to narrow pulses on the right. So what you get is a raging beast on one side and a splatty, gated fuzz effect on the other.
With the volume near unity and the pulse width control fully counterclockwise, the rich, subharmonic heavy roar will beg you to let chords ring out. Past about 10:00 though, a gate kicks in and things get awesome. Varying degrees of 8-bit style crushed fuzz tones transform single note melodies into something very special.
The Fuzzolo is purposefully stripped down. And while two knobs might give the impression that it’s a one-trick pony, it doesn’t feel like it needs anything else. It offers a bit more tonal variety than your typical gadget pedal and does what it does very well. So as long as you understand what you’re getting into, it’s a great value that’s sure to please.
And for bass players and those with active pickups, there’s an internal jumper that switches the input impedance, enabling the Fuzzolo to work better with your guitar.
Perhaps now more than ever before, players are looking for ways to maximize the space on their pedalboards, so if you’re looking for a small fuzz that’s capable of those trademark Velcro-style Zvex fuzz tones and won’t take up too much room — the Fuzzolo is definitely worth a look.
The Fuzzolo starts shipping at the end of March and you should keep an eye out for more mini Zvex designs to come in 2014.