The Millie Fuzz is a Fuzz Face-Big Muff hybrid from the team at Vancouver-based 6 Degrees Music. It features 2 channels—Crunch and Burn—that share controls for gain, tone and level.
The “Crunch” channel combines the voicing of a classic silicon Fuzz Face with the familiar EQ stack of the Big Muff. With the gain control rolled back, it serves up some of the overdriven textures you’d expect from a BC108-infused fuzz box. However, the pedal really shines when cranked up. You’ll probably find yourself with the gain up and your hand riding the volume knob to adjust saturation levels.
The non-independent “Burn” channel engages an extra gain stage (also borrowed from the Big Muff) and is considerably more aggressive. Notes sustain beautifully, but with a harder edge and more focused attack than on the “Crunch” side.
Inside the box, you’ll find two trim pots. One controls the gain bias of the “Burn” channel, taming it a bit or maxing out the aggression (which I prefer). The other tweaks the overall midrange responsiveness of both sides of the pedal, which is especially handy for making sure that the fuzz doesn’t get lost in the mix, as some Big Muff-based pedals are prone to do. These controls don’t have the widest range, but they do offer some added versatility.
The Millie Fuzz is pretty cool. I really dig the dual voicings and didn’t find that I needed to change the settings when going back and forth between sides, which was a nice surprise. There are also a whole lot of great fuzz flavors inside this thing. I got some cocked wah tones and even some light gating. So if you’re looking for some new textures, definitely check it out.
What we like: The guts. Every so often you’ll open up a pedal and find something that looks more like art than a simple array of components. The Millie Fuzz is one of those pedals. Arranged on a turret style board that’s straight out of WWII, the inside of the pedal is stunning to behold. I also like the spectrum of Fuzz tonality that can be extracted from the Millie Fuzz.
Concerns: You’ve gotta crank it up. This may be true of most Fuzz Face variants, but the louder you play ‘em, the better they sound. And the Millie is no exception. That said, I feel like a good amount of sonic bandwidth is needed in order to take full advantage of what the pedal has to offer, especially on the “Crunch” side. (The “Burn” channel is considerably more forgiving and I preferred that channel more overall.) Bottom line: if you’ve got volume restraints, you might want to look elsewhere.