Saturday, September 5, 2009

Fuzz Week/Part #2: Faceplant Fuzz

-Analog War Cry-

Fuzz Week
A collection of unique and superb fuzz boxes


Our next find was another that came from left field and a pedal that just blew us away when we got around to plugging into it. You ever come across a stompbox you just know is going to sound amazing before you plug it in? The Deaf Audio Faceplant Fuzz is one of these pedals.

Deaf Audio
Hamer, Norway
Builder/Designer: Magnus Nordbye
Years in the Game: 4
Pedal: Faceplant Fuzz

* Handcrafted in Norway
* Built high quality components
* Works great w/both guitar and bass
* Internal Gain/Fuzz trimpot
* Fuzz for those who dig Overdrive

From East Norway we bring you the tasty and ruggedly stunning Faceplant Fuzz. This here is one of those pedals one cannot help but fall in love with, it is simple, sounds great in all settings, and looks killer. The Faceplant Fuzz comes from the wonderful one-man operation known as Deaf Audio. The master mind behind this operation? Magnus Nordbye, a talented and passionate tone hound with a love for building high quality, classic sounding pedals. The Faceplant is a simple pedal rocking only two knobs, one for Level, and one for Gain. Together these controls mesh to whip up a special blend of overdrive and fuzz. But there's a hidden third tone shaping weapon living in the guts of this pedal. A small trimpot inside this pedal controls the Fuzz/Gain, increase the voltage for cleaner tones and roll it back for dirty dirty goodness. Being able to roam in both the drive and fuzz arenas gives this pedal the ability live in it's own special class of fuzz sounds. Like all great stompboxes this pedal too has a sweetspot, and you find it you'll never want to change the settings, it is that good! I was able to find it at with the trimpot at about 40%, the gain just past noon, level set to match my amp, and my guitar's tone knob rolled back half way. The outcome is a wonderful gritty'n'smooth fuzz tone with a taste of overdrive spank, absolute heaven. Played with a single coil guitar through an amp set completely clean gives you some of the best blues rock tones you will ever hear. Just set your lead tone with the pedal's gain knob and internal internal tripot, then roll back your guitar's volume and watch it lay back into a perfect rhythm tone. Because this pedal carries the overdrive gene it is possible for the fuzz to stay transparent and defined. Even when set at high levels your chords stay intact and clearly heard. The Faceplant Fuzz lets your pickup's voice shine through without getting too harsh and lost in too much effect. I think this is what Magnus had in mind when he designed the Faceplant, a wide range fuzz box with the characteristics of a great sounding overdrive pedal. Just genius if you ask me. And this is only the lighter side of this baby, it can also most definitely spark up some mean sounding fuzz madness. We wanted to see how the pedal would react with all it's controls set at 100% through the Strat. I through in a booster in from of it just to make things a little crazy. The outcome? Hendrix city all the way. A ton of great sounding controllable sustain, like a screaming banshee flying out of my amp. We were getting such awesome tones with just the single coil guitar that we almost forgot to demo it through the Les Paul and double humbucker Hagstrom. Like most fuzz pedals when played through humbuckers the sound gets fatter and richer. This is true of the Faceplant only it was also able to retail it's top-end and harmonic clarity. At low fuzz settings you get a nice chunk of spanky fuzz at the beginning of each chord and lick, the more you dig in the more dramatic the fizzle and sputter is in front of your playing. This is great for you cats who like to play with lots of accents in your playing, where the fuzz hangs on just long enough for the next chord to be heard. I noticed how responsive the gain knob really was when I got to more extreme fuzz settings. I had to plug it in to a bass to see just how well it would do with low tones. Some fuzz pedals fall apart, sound dull, farty, and lose all definition when played through bass guitars. Something in the way Magnus set up the overall tone of this makes it so that it handles a wide range of tones. We got some really cool Queens of the Stone Age bass tones with this pedal. But the real treat, the absolutely real special thing about this pedal, that maybe Magnus himself doesn't realize... Is how perfect this pedal is for slide guitar and lap steel. I consider myself a decent slide player, and my partner can dish up some pretty tasty lap steel work. It makes this pedal something special and something all you slide players and lap steel cats must have. Finally there's the insanely cool artwork that these pedals are blessed with. I have no idea how Magnus does this or if this is something he came up with himself. Nontheless they look freakin awesome. You ever see a pedal you just know is going to sound amazing before you even play it? This is it my friends, the Deaf Audio Faceplant Fuzz. The last thing I can say about this pedal is that I was honored to have come across it and proud to have it in my arsenal of tone shaping weapons.


For more info on Deaf Audio you can go to Look for more info on Deaf Audio pedals to come in the near future. If you keep on rockin you might as well keep on rollin.

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