The Fairfield Four Eyes Fuzz is a new take on the venerable fuzz pedal. You can dial in both traditional sounding fuzz tones and some really unique sounds too – all from this one pedal. It features three parallel JFET fuzz circuits which are driven by a voltage controlled state variable filter, and a resonance control switch with a mu-amp input stage. Is this important to know? Perhaps to some, but I tend to care more about how it works, and most importantly, how it sounds in my rig.
I can’t recall too many fuzz pedals I’ve owned that feature a three-band EQ, but the Four Eyes does, controlling the low end, midrange, and high end frequencies. The EQ is very effective, and gives you an incredible amount of tone sculpting flexibility. A quick rundown of the other controls include: Volume, Freq[uency]—a tone shaping filter that can also be controlled via an expression pedal, and finally a three-way resonance toggle switch essentially dials in the amount of fuzz. All of these controls are very interactive; the Freq knob and EQ work in tandem with one another, giving you enormous sculpting power.
What we like: The resonance control decides whether you want to go mild at “0,” medium gain at “10” or go hog-wild at the “100” setting. Choosing the full setting gives you some really wild, unpredictable type of octave notes along with the most fuzz you can dial in. The medium setting has a thick, more distortion-like than fuzz setting, with the lowest setting more like an overdrive depending on the pickups you use. The Freq control works in tandem with the EQ; set it at noon for the least extreme setting (with the most midrange), move it clockwise for a brighter, more spitting type of fuzz, or move it counter-clockwise for a deep bottom end with less highs. Use the EQ controls to either help balance out these extremes, or accentuate them even more. The choice is yours.
So here is the setting I enjoyed most: I liked the resonance toggle set to the medium fuzz position (10), with the Freq control just below noon, around 11 o’clock. This gave me a little more bottom end and midrange, but less treble for an overall thicker tone. For me, I liked the “10” position best, as the hints of the octave overtones were still there, but much more subtle and never overpowering unlike the “100” position. A little tweaking of the EQ is usually in order depending on the pickups used, but overall this setting gave me a nice thick distortion/fuzz tone, which got even better when I stacked the front end of this pedal with a boost pedal.
Concerns: Not much really. I don’t think I’ve ever used a fuzz pedal with such variety of tones, especially when you factor in different types of pickups being used. This can lead to a fair amount of tweaking for a while, until you figure out what you like for your style. At times I almost wished I could have a preset option, to save all of the cool settings I discovered!
If you’re looking for something different in the fuzz realm, and you have your bases covered with the typical Muff/Fuzz Face/Tone Bender, the Four Eyes might be just the ticket. It has a little steeper learning curve, but give it some time, and you will find this to be an extremely creative tool and a nice break from the normal everyday type of fuzz. Highly recommended.