Dec 21, 2011
The Astro Tone Fuzz
by Analogman is a recreation of the long extinct Sam Ash Fuzzz Boxx. This updated clone is loaded into an MXR sized enclosure and is a bucket of rip – roaring 60’s style fuzz that is bound to make you blow your top. Clever reverse engineering and modern construction based on the original 1960’s design (with NOS silicon transistors to boot) delivers a pedal that can add grit, punch and fuzz without getting lost in a live mix: putting a stop to overblown or mushy bass. The expert fit and finish comes as no shock to anyone associated with Analog Mike’s work and modern quality components leave little doubt to the units’ sturdy-ness. Top mounted jacks always get bonus points here, especially when pedalboard space is a concern.
Running the Astro Tone through a small tube combo at home yields a sound that is organic yet aggressive. The notes swarm but retain a certain focus that allows your playing to remain articulate and intelligible. The tone knob operates over a fairly wide range and can add back some beef to your tone although the sound is anything but thin. Later at soundcheck I am plugged into a 70’s non master volume half stack and the results are devastating. This pedal adds a grunt to an amp that already kicks like a mule. While somewhat less fuzzy than before, the resulting sound is balanced and articulate and still sounds like my guitar through an amp. Somewhere between an overdrive and a fuzz lies the Astro Tone and it’s awesome. So many pedals sound noticeably effect-y it’s a relief to hear something so traditional sound so fresh.
The folks over at Analogman have heard from some people that the pedal sounds better after being used for some time. While silicon transistors don’t have the same erratic response to temperature as their germanium counterparts, they believe that these 50 year old parts may need to electronically “brush the rust off”. It shouldn’t take long thought because if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll be using this one a lot. In a world jam packed with murky, buzzy fuzz pedals, the Astro Tone Fuzz by Analogman is a true standout.