Friday, January 29, 2016

Fuzz Box Fiasco: Part #2. Fuzz 292 by. JDM Pedals

Analog War Cry
-presents-
Fuzz Box Fiasco
A collection of unique and superb stompboxes




  • Builder - Joe Dochtermann 
  • From - Berlin, Germany
  • Years in the Game - 2 Years
  • Pedal - Fuzz 292 - 2-knob version

For the second FBF feature I am proud to announce a small hand built company that I came across by mistake. It was through searching for some instruction vids for a nephew of mine that I discovered JDM Pedals. Through my experience in hunting down gear it is always in these situations that I am blown away and equally surprised at how much unknown gear is out there waiting to be discovered. JDM Pedals are hand built in Berlin, offering everything from their line of classic based circuits to completely custom builds modded to your liking to work with your root tone. The website also posts tips for building your own DIY projects, giving you some really cool tricks to push your builds to the max. Below is a simple 2-knob fuzz box that delivers some radical fuzz tones! It's perfect for those of you looking for a great go-to stompbox.

Fuzz 292 / 2-knob version
  • True Bypass
  • High Gain Silicon Design
  • Also available in 3-knob
  • Volume - control the output
  • Tone - tame the fuzz
  • 3-Way Switch - choose your flavor 
 
Would you look at what we have here? A super simple stellar sounding little fuzz box that I was so glad I came across! This proves that you don't always need some flashy website to have an amazing product. Good gear is good gear and Joe's pedals are exactly that. Guys I'm telling you right now before I get going on this review, if you get a chance grab one of these little boxes go for it - the price is right and they sound really amazing.


The Fuzz 292 is a killer little fuzz box that comes packed with a ton of tone and a wide range of choice.With it's two knobs and selector switch the 292 can cover what most pedals with double the controls do. It's volume knob has a great amount of output and sounds really sweet when pushed to the limit. The tone control works more as a way to warm up or create and all-out extreme cut-through anything fuzz sound. The pedal's golden feature for me is the selector switch - a 3-way switch that can turn the 292 into treble boosted fuzz, mellower warmer fuzz, or freak nasty high gain fuzz for those of you into the blurred out rock and roll thing. This pedal also comes in a 3 knob version which JDM will voice to your liking - for more info on that go to their website and check out their choices.

As a starting point for this review I began with a killer sounding Plexi and custom built Strat. I found myself having so much fun with this choice of amp and guitar that I found no reason to swap them out for any others. With Plexi style amps I always enjoy cranking them to a moderate overdrive tone when using them with a fuzz box of any kind, this gives you the best possible platform to stack any kind of fuzz or distortion tone. I started by setting the Fuzz 292 with it's volume pushed a little hot to give the fuzz effect a little more oomph, set the tone at noon, and set selector switch in it's treb boost setting. I clicked on this little pedal and "WOW'! The amp was screaming and squealing like a classic rock tone sent from some timewarp from the 60's. The richness and thickness of the fuzz's effect came through quite nicely. My chords blared and played with absolute clarity, the licks sliced with a sword like precision, and solos cut through insanely well. For those of you into the classic fuzz tones of yesterday this pedal is for you. Cranking the pedal's volume control I found the pedal was able to deliver more and more and not more of the same. You see the pedal doesn't come with a standard fuzz control, instead the 292 is set at it's max which gives you the ability to tame on the go, with either your own touch and dynamics or guitar's volume and tone controls. It still definitely gives you the ability to choose how much or how little fuzz you like. For those of you who like your fuzz a little warmer and not so bright the low setting on the selector switch is a nice choice. It gives your tone this really sweet sounding buzzy, beefy, and fluffy sound. This tone setting works great when you just want a nice little fuzz to noodle around with and don't want to get too extreme. Still though, slap down on your strings a little harder and you'll notice it's still capable of some really inetresting sounds. In all settings the pedal is capable of some pretty extreme fuzz tones, but this isn't more true than in it's high setting. The sweet spot for me in the high gain setting was bridge pickup, tone at about 25%, volume at about 75%, and my guitar's tone control rolled back a tiny bit. This created that beehive hardcore buzzing fuzz effect that is so much fun to play along with. My chords exploded in a saturated explosion of creamy fuzz and my single note fuzz licks became much bigger than they actually were. It was all very exciting. I honestly thought at first that there wouldn't be much controlling the overall fuzz without the pedal lacking a fuzz control, but this was not the case. It gave me just as much control over the fuzz and I found it was really nice to have it all at the controls of my guitar. Making the sound a more personal thing and giving my playing dynamics a true chance to shine.

For a 2-knob fuzz box this pedal is quite amazing. It's the design of this pedal that I believe Joe got just right that gives it it's ability to rock so hard. I had a chance to plug this little box in along with a handful of other boxes - from modulation pedals to overdrivers, and all in all it was very user friendly. For my taste I found the Fuzz 292 worked best through some natural tube driven overdrive, didn't matter the amount of watts on the amp or how big and bad. Playing the 292 through a 5 watt amp was just as satisfying as it was playing it through the Plex. This tells you what? It simply tells you we got a contender here.

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For more info on JDM Pedals go to www.joedocmusic.com

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