Oh, sweet fuzz! I will be honest – this is my favorite effect of all time. Yeah, I do enjoy some delay and reverb from time to time, I do employ distortion and overdrive, but fuzz is something that changes everything when I start playing. Its buzzy sound, girth and gnarl drives me completely crazy and submerges my whole being into the world of great sounds. I get mesmerized by its character and forget everything else. And it will not be an exaggeration if I say that I just love talking about it. Be it reviewing fuzz pedals or rambling to my friend about my newer pieces, I simply adore contemplating about different peculiarities of this effect. And since there is no good fuzz without a badass stompbox, today I will introduce to you something that holds the leading position on the market. Wampler has been renowned for its quality and boutique properties, and their Velvet Fuzz is definitely worth discussing. It is not like a typical fuzz pedal, rather, it is unique and distinctive and I will tell you why in a minute. If you are willing to treat yourself with a high-end stompbox with mesmerizing fuzz, then stay with me as I break down the features, controls and sounds of this one. Let’s begin!
Wampler is not a beginner in “amp-in-a-box” pedals. In fact, they have succeeded quite a bit in creating the stompboxes that resemble the character of famous amplifiers as much as possible. Their Velvet Fuzz strives to replicate the feel of a full EL34 driven stack with a fuzz pedal in front. This is a sort of a unit that you do not necessarily understand with a single attempt, since you do not get its character completely. What I mean is that this baby is not a stand-alone device that you can utilize separately from everything else. It works way better when chained with other effects pedals, since the team in Wampler perceives that interaction as the most prominent feature. If you keep this in mind while trying out this fella, there is no chance that you will be disappointed. Velvet Fuzz is hand-built, just like its siblings, with robust metal shell and top-notch components. This baby offers Relay True Bypass switching that guarantees to maintain the tonal palette of your sound. It gives you the option to choose between two different types of circuits: you can employ either a pure fuzz or vintage one blended with distortion. This changes the response of the pedal completely and gives you mind-blowing results either way. What is more, Velvet Fuzz clears up beautifully with your guitar volume knob, allowing you to get the most out of your fuzz pedal. This simple, yet powerful beast can be powered with a single battery or an adapter, making its enclosure flexible to daily scenarios. It has top mounted jacks to save up some space on your pedalboard and its parameters are not too big either. This fella will fight right on your board no matter how crowded it is. What can be better than a compact “amp-in-a-box” pedal? Nothing much, really.
The control section might seem a bit sparse, however, here you have pretty much everything you will ever need. The knobs and switches are intuitive enough to help you in creating the most earth-shattering fuzz out there. It takes simple modifications to nail any desired sound and achieve magnificent results. You simply have to understand what it what and then get down to business, tailor it your instrument and you will be ready to rock. Let’s talk about each control in depth and figure out their duties together.
First, we have Volume, which changes the output level of your signal. It interacts with the rest of the encoders and should be adjusted in conjunction with them. Otherwise, you might receive uneven volumes at different settings. Next comes the Fuzz, which alters the amount of the effect added to your sound. It will deliver different results depending on the position of the Voicing switch. The latter enables you to choose Big or Tight response and work with various flavors of fuzz. The last encoder we have here is Brightness, which acts as a typical tone control and modifies the frequency response in your sound. It goes from full-bodied bass to shimmery higher end. The footswitch turns the unit on or triggers the true bypass mode.
The sound is the whole reason why we are talking about Wampler Velvet Fuzz. When you take it out of the box and plug it in with your guitar and amplifier you keep asking yourself, why did you decide to buy this pedal. However, once you connect it to the chain, the magic starts happening and you get enveloped in characteristic, unique fuzz sounds. The available two voicings – Big and Tight – change the response of the unit and give you different shades of your favorite effect. Big delivers true fuzz with pure qualities that interacts perfectly with the guitar volume knob. Tight is the mixture of fuzz and distortion and has milder character. Yet it is powerful enough to offer a diversity of sonic spectrum. This baby delivers better results when the brightness is cranked up a bit and the high-end is accentuated. This way your tone acquires that perfect potion that is needed to create the captivating fuzz effect. Velvet Fuzz is definitely not something you will see in every other pedal, rather, it has certain touches that you will rarely come across on the market.
To sum up everything said above, Wampler Velvet Fuzz is a stand-out piece for those who know the difference between good and bad music. It delivers high-quality performance and accentuates the very nature of fuzz with its simplicity. Though it is not equipped with ample features, that is not what the brand was going for. They put together a pedal that would concentrate on the interaction with other units and, thus, create the feel of a fuzzy cranked up amplifier. Give Velvet Fuzz a shot and trust me, you will never look back. Good luck!
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