Jan 26, 2011

From the shivery north of Canada comes a new breed of fuzz. Fairfield Circuitry’s Four-Eyes Crossover Fuzz is one nerd that fights back with an innovative design.

Most fuzz pedals on the market today feature circuit variants on a few retro designs from the ‘60s and 70’s – the Fuzz Face, the Tone Bender, and the Big Muff.  Not so for the Four Eyes, which employs three separate fuzz circuits (Lo, Mid, Hi).  Rather than a tone knob, all three circuits are controlled by a state variable filter – the sweep of which is regulated by a resonance knob.  Essentially, the Four-Eyes is extremely tweakable – yielding everything from classic fat sputtery tones to burpy synth-like textures to cocked-wah filtered noise.

Using my single coil Tele and cranking the Mid and Lo circuits, I could easily dial in a fat fuzz tone that would be at home on a Black Keys album. This may be as far as a lot of users get – leave the resonance alone and dial in some nasty tone with a lot of control using the three circuits.

However, the more adventurous or experimental guitarist has just gotten started. Kicking in the resonance and moving around the filter has a similar effect of clicking on a wah pedal and leaving it place – scooped frequencies, synthy squiggles and octave effects are all available with a little experimentation. You can even control the interaction between the resonance and the filter with an expression pedal if you need to get weirder.

If you want a Big Muff type of tone, get a Big Muff. However, guitarists looking for a wide variety of non-standard fuzz tones and the ability to sculpt and customize their dirt should check out the Four Eyes. – Ed Gross

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