Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fuzz Week/ Part #1: The OxFuzz

-Analog War Cry-

Fuzz Week
A collection of unique and superb fuzz boxes


Here we go kids, a killer week of some of the baddest of the bad, and illest of the ill fuzz pedals. All of them will be a bit different and all of them capable of dishing out some insanely cool fuzz tones. We had a blast seeking out and rocking out to these amazing sounding pedals. We chose what we think will be a solid 7 days of fuzz tone madness, and some great stompboxes for you to go out and try.

OxFuzz FX
Toronto, Canada
Builder/Designer: Ken Baluke
Years in the Game: 1
Pedal: OxFuzz

* Handcrafted in the USA
* Built w/your choice of Ger or Sil transistors
* Made w/high quality components and parts
* Works w/both guitar and bass
* Bright blue LED for dark settings
* Meticulously tested for serious fuzz tone

Like all the great pedals I ever come across the OxFuzz also fell into my hands by chance. While do some surfing on the web was how I discovered this rare and great sounding gem. The OxFuzz is a small, simple pedal, with two controls, a switch and that's that.
Now with all the ridiculous multi-effects and ten knob pedals available today you might be thinking this pedal ain't much. I will sat this, the OxFuzz does the one thing it was designed to do and it does quite well. Which is always better than a pedal that does fifty things you'll never be able to use. The OxFuzz sound lives within the vintage and classic rock realm, staying true to the likes of the 60's and 70's psychedelic rock era. It also has a modern touch to it and sports a flavor of it's own which makes this fuzz box a design of it's own. From the second the OxFuzz pedal arrived I noticed there was something about it that really attracted me to it, and this was before I even plugged it in. At first I couldn't quite put my finger on it, and then it hit me, the black box, wild neon blue LED, and off-white chickenhead knobs. I don't know if Ken planned this layout or if it was by chance, either way it worked out great and looks super slick. I first plugged the pedal into a clean Fender amp with all it's knobs set at noon, no reverb, and volume at about 4. I set the OxFuzz controls straight up and hit a chord. A warm, lush, velcro-like fuzz tone came shouting out of the amplifier. The kind of fuzz you need to keep pushing with picking and strumming or it trickles away in eerie pops and crackles. Cats back in the day got this kind of sound by shredding and ripping up their amp's speakers. It reminded me of that fuzz/synth sound that cats like Kyuss, Dead Meadow, and Comets on Fire use in their songs. If you dig that mind heavy, slowly grinding rock sound this is the perfect pedal for the job. As I added more of the effect knob I could hear the fuzz getting much smoother, more saturated, and even tighter. This was a lovely surprise, instead of the fuzz getting out of control and untameable, it became more defined while at the same time able to hold onto it's wild characteristics. Next we matched it up to a handful of different effects, delay, wah wah, tremolo, and phaser. Sometimes fuzz pedals can act funny when combined with certain modulation pedals. They can get thin, lose their body, and become lifeless. The OxFuzz sounded great through all the pedals I matched it up with. My favorite was using it through my wah and phaser, the outcome was a psychedelic trip of swirls, squeaks, and flying fuzz goodness. Of course me having a good wah pedal helps matters, but having a killer quality fuzz is just as important and necessary when playing through a wah with fuzz. Next I through in some slow timed delay and rolled back on my guitar's tone knob, I got some of the trippiest acid rock sounds. I was stuck in a trance for a good while playing old rock licks and swelling in the delay through a volume pedal. Then it was phaser time, something I was afraid to do. I can ever ever get lucky enough to get a good phased out fuzz tones. It's always the same thing, either it kills the fuzz in half, or the phase effect becomes too strong and overpowering. All it took to get some killer phased/fuzz tones with this pedal was laying off on the guitar's tone knob and keeping the phaser in check through the Depth knob. Ahh yes, good ol space rock madness. Now I saved the best for last, where this pedal really shines and separates itself from the rest. I always like to push fuzz pedals as far as I can, put them through tons of gain, and get as much out of them as humanly possible. How do I do this? Simple. with boosters and amp distortion settings. First we switched guitars, a vintage Strat played through a Marshall dirty rhythm tone. Oh the overtones and undertones we were able to get from this pedal, absolute harmonic richness and creamy everlasting sustain. The number of awesome tones we were able to get from just a dirty amp and the OxFuzz were unbelievable. This is because the pedal responds so well to the guitars volume knob, it makes it possible to get all those cool inbetween bluesy dirt tones. A wonderful pedal for those of you gigging a ton and those looking to get as many sounds possible from small setups. One tone that really stood out from riding the volume knob was an almost clean/honking fuzz tone, very strange but so damn good for playing slow blues with. What I did was set the pedal at noon, set the amp's Treble-Bass-Mids-and Pres to about 75%, and roll the volume back to about 50%. As I played softly I was able to maintain my clean signal, as I began to dig in and play harder I noticed the fuzz would creep in at the front of each note. All my chords rang through with great top end sparkle and lead licks accented with a hint of OxFuzz goodness. This is something I'm able to do with good overdrive and distortion pedals, being able to get it from a fuzz box made this a real special tone. There's not much else I can say about this little demon, it's works great with many guitars and amps, dishes out a ton of killer sounds, and is the perfect size pedal for gigging or lugging around to the studio. Ken makes these to order, builds them with the best quality parts, and uses rare Sil and Ger transistors. The outcome is a must have for any tone arsenal. Ken is also working on a new treble booster type pedal called the OxDrive and a bass version of the OxFuzz. Go on and get you one, you know you want it.


For more info on OxFuzz FX's go to or click the OxFuzz logo in our links. You can also contact Ken direct at Stay tunes, we might just have some more fun from OxFuzz FX's.


  1. i have both the germanium and silicon version fo this fuzz, and LOVE of the best boutique fuzzes around!

  2. Seems like the pedal has an auto boost at the top end of the guitars volume range, it's really dramatic. Anyone else finding this?