Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fuzz Week/Part #7: Fender Blender Reissue

-Analog War Cry-
presents

Fuzz Week
A collection of unique and superb fuzz boxes

Part#7.
Photobucket


We said we'd give you one killer fuzz box for everyday of the week and we did it. I am very proud to bring to you what many thought would never surface again, Fender's Fender Blender. This is a pedal that needs no introduction, if you've ever had a chance to dig into one you know what I'm talking about. Like many of you I'm sure were I was also a tad skeptical of the reissue. Well, sometimes pedals are taken and improved, and not always just because they're not the original (vintage) doesn't mean it won't rock. I had a chance to A/B a vintage Blender with a reissue, and in the end there wasn't much of a difference. The small differences I did hear were actually welcomed. Sometimes a pedal comes along that doesn't necessarily belong to any one music era or sound, it just sounds good period. Well here is a chance for all you pedal hounds to truly get a taste at a timeless classic, a fuzz box that will deliver forever more.




#7.
Fender
Scottsdale, Arizona
Builder/Designer: Fender
Years in the Game: Many
Pedal: Fender Blender




The Fender Blender is unlike any other fuzz pedal out there, from the second you plug into one you notice there's something unique about it's sound. There have been some pretty interesting fuzz boxes ever since effects pedals landed on our laps, but ever has there been anything like this. This is a pedal that definitely produces a sound that's worth writing home about, and a pedal that will inspire you to take your sound into a whole new world. Lots of the more extreme fuzz pedals that have hot the scene in the last few years have been cool, only thing is that most of them are a pain to use or too wild to actually use in any live situation. The Fender Blender sits somewhere between both these levels, it can take you into the wild side and still maintain it's organic feel. The pedal is easy to use, sounds awesome in every setting, and it's design is one of the hippest I have ever seen. There is no mistaking this pedal from any other out there, everything about it screams Fender. From it's super cool F logo vintage style knobs, one of a kind enclosure with black amp-like tolex, and Fender Blender signature sound. I love that Fender held onto to the pedals original design. What separates this version from the original Fender Blender is it's extra Tone Boost switch and Tone knob. If you ask me I think it was a great move, it gives you the ability to dial-in a whole bunch more usable sounds and still hits the mark of the original. That is the most important thing about creating a reissue if you ask me, it has to be able to sound like the original and go beyond it at the same time. The pedal's layout goes like so... On the left you'll find your On/Off switch and on the left your Tone switch. Volume knob controls the pedal's output, Sustain knob dials in the amount of fuzz, Tone knob shapes the character of the pedal's tone, and Blend knob controls the octave effect. This makes for a wide range of overdrive, fuzz, and octavia tones. We lined up an army of guitars and went to town, and everything we threw at it sounded killer. First up to bat was a Strat played through a slightly dirtied amp tone (which is the best setting to play this pedal through). Instantly we were able to get those kickass 90's Billy Corgan sounds, you know the ones I mean, that tone that sounds like your amp is about to explode. The body, rumble, and size in the sound of this pedal is unbelievable. We were able to play killer single note runs and with the amount of sustain you can get out of this pedal you can hold onto any note for as long as you want, it's beautiful. Having the option of a tone knob and switch really helped out when it came to matching the pedal to the guitar and amp we used. This meant we were able to get the signature Fender Blender tone without having to sacrifice the character of our guitar's tone. This is why this version works so great with so many different guitars, pedals, and amps. Through low wattage amps it gave us the perfect fuzz tone for recording, and stacked up with the world of pedals we put in front of it only made things more interesting. You'll find this pedal sounds great through tremolos, vibes, and chorus pedals. It doesn't eat or bury the effect like many fuzz pedals can tend to do. Another little secret weapon to this new version is it can also produce some sweet light to medium tube-like overdrive tones. You'll be surprised when your amp starts singing classic tweed tones, just sit with it a while and listen as the tones roll in. The best way to get these sounds was by playing the pedal through single coils, laying back on the guitar's tone knob, setting the Sustain between 2-4, and setting everything else at about noon. This worked great for blues, rock, and garage rock. It reminded me of a early Sonic Youth and Television tone, that gritty, natural amp break-up that can only be achieved from a sweet tube amp. A very nice quality indeed. Next we played the Blender through a Les Paul and an set the amp a bit lighter to match the output of the humbuckers. It was time to go to town with the pedal's Blend knob. If you ask most players will tell you fuzz sounds best through single coil guitars, not me. I'm big on mixing humbuckers with fuzz pedals, you can really get some killer note control when playing a good fuzz box through a nice set of buckers. Played at higher fuzz settings really created some wild and interesting sounds, much wilder than the original could ever do. If you dig that 60's psychedelic buzzy rock sound you will love this pedal. We tuned down our guitar and had a blast playing our favorite Black Sabbath tunes. A perfect pedal for you stoner/doom rockers. With the volume fully open the pedal creates a fat and warm fuzz tone that stays smooth and shapes your tone in all the right places. Lowering the guitar's volume gave off some awesome rhythm tones, even when playing complex and quick licks. With every turn of the Blend knob you get more and more manipulation of the octave effect, you'll find the sweetest spots from the middle of the neck on down. This is where that 60's Townshend tone, Hendrix sound, and lead Gilmore tone can all be attained. Just dial in the right amount of tone and blend and you're in baby! Even the most obsessive of vintage pedal freaks will appreciate the quality and range of sounds this pedal produces. Whether your thing is traditional classic rock fuzz or wild off-the-wall fuzz madness this pedal will deliver, and do it with originality and character. I was able to get everything from cranked up tube amp tones and mild'n'smooth fuzz to screeching lead tones and octavia goodness. Let the Fender Blender stampede through your amplifier and give your guitar an entire knew face to shout with.



For more info on Fender products go to www.fender.com or click the Fender logo in our links. When it comes to keeping it real no one does it better baby. Stay tuned for more features on the Fender reissue pedal line.

8 comments:

  1. Good review, but separate paragraphs would've been nice =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. srsly... this is one hard-to-read article.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks. Sums the pedal up nicely.

    Becksley

    ReplyDelete
  4. Paragraphs are your friend.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks man, I had no difficulty reading & understanding your summary. Now ~ I'm a gonna get me one !
    Cheers,
    Andrew (Downunder)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This ain't no goddammed English course assholes, give the guy a break@

    ReplyDelete