Beavis Audio Research brings us the Fuzzlab, an fusion of 4 classic DIY guitar distortion circuits into one hefty tweakable unit. The construction was a very long and educational process –

Now that all is said and done, I learned a great many things from this project. I made a large number of mistakes and came up with a few mildly innovative ideas along the way. I also ended up with a huge pedal that looks cool :) Some Key Points:

  • Four fuzz circuits in one box adds some practicality to my rig, but not any hugely new tones. A fuzz into a fuzz sounds interesting, but not necessarily great.
  • My favorite of all the fuzzes is the Big Muff Pi clone. The Fuzz Face can sound good, but it can just be too much work to dial in *that* sound especially when the Fuzz Face isn’t first in the line of pedals.
  • Adding a voltage sag circuit to fuzz circuits adds a great degree of control you just can’t get otherwise.
  • A slight ring mod/circuit adds incredible nuances to your tone, with or without fuzz.
  • Never underestimate the amount of time it takes to do the integration work. I spent a total of about 20 hours populating, soldering and debugging the individual PCBs. It took over 150 hours to do the actual integration, wiring, drilling, etc. Now I understand why traditional pedal makers don’t take on something of this size.
  • I’ve learned enough in this project to build just about any pedal design out there–in other words, there are *some* good reasons for making your first DIY project overly ambitious!

Check out the project’s page for a bunch of really helpful tips and ideas – The Beavis FuzzLab