Fuzz – GuitarSystems Fuzztool Junior

Not sure when it all started, but some time this year I started to be really drawn to the sound of fuzz. I’ve spent a good many years tinkering around with overdrive and distortion boxes and have pretty much made up my mind about what it is that I like. I always thought fuzz just wasn’t for me…that it was merely an extension of the “overdriven sound” spectrum that only resided on the crazy end of things. Then I came across this video and listened to Sam Vilo noodle around very expressively on nothing but a fuzz pedal. It didn’t blow my mind to pieces, but it opened up my ears to what a fuzz pedal was capable of achieving. And as time progressed I slowly started to be able to distinguish what was fuzz and what was overdrive/distortion from my own music library. It was kind of a neat realization.


Pictured above is one of my newest acquisitions: GuitarsystemsFuzztool Junior. I had heard of this company before and was initially intrigued by their line of stomp boxes simply because of their aesthetic design; it’s quite beautiful. You just wanna stomp on that big button! Over the months I’ve heard variations of what constitutes as “fuzz.” Sometimes it was smooth. Sometimes it was harsh. Sometimes it sounded weird (but you could imagine how it might sound good in certain situations). Sometimes it just sounded like garbage! With what I’ve heard as a reference, I would say that the Fuzztool Jr. has more of a smoother character, but still more extreme than any other dirt pedal that I’ve owned.

Now, with this thrown into the mix, I had to give my Maxon ROD 881 the boot. Previous, it had served as my base overdrive tone, while my Amp Eleven boosted it into higher gain and saturation. But I always liked the Amp Eleven’s sound a bit more, as it seemed more transparent and articulate to me, while still being able to get pretty saturated (although not as much). The Maxon, however, had a boost that I found to  be quite usable when I need certain lines to cut through the mix. Well, with the Maxon gone, I needed something else to do this job.


So I got this. A pretty basic, no-frills boost pedal. So far, it’s doing what I need it to do and I’m happy. The Maxon was a larger pedal, so in its absence I was able to fit both this and the new Fuzztool Junior onto the board. The image below is the new drive section of my board.


I’m still in the learning stages of figuring out where it comes to play in a musical context, but I feel like I should get a chance to kick this on in a song pretty soon. Playing at home is still pretty fun, though. It’s nice to come across a piece of gear that inspires you to play more.

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