Fuzz Pedals

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Fuzz Pedals FAQs

What is the difference between fuzz and overdrive ?

  • Overdrive pedals are a bit more subtle and create a natural-sounding distortion by driving the amplifier into saturation.
  • Fuzz tends to sound more aggressive and use diodes in the pedal itself to clip the waveform and produce the fuzz sound.

What is the difference between germanium and silicon fuzz pedals?

  • Germanium and silicon refer to the material from which transistors are made.
  • Germanium is used in more “retro” type pedals for originality. In the evolution of semiconductors as a whole, silicon was introduced later than germanium as a cheaper and more reliable alternative.
  • With warmer, smoother tone, germanium-based pedals tend to sound¬†more vintage, whilst silicon sounds brighter and more modern-sounding.
  • Germanium transistors are more sensitive to changes in temperature. They are now more expensive as they are a niche product, as silicon is preferred for most applications other than this!

What is the difference between IC and transistor-based pedals?

  • IC pedals use op-amps or “chips”, that contain multiple transistors, while transistor-based pedals use discrete transistors.
  • In theory, they are cleaner and more “hi-fi” but this really depends on the design of the pedal.