Dec 12, 2011

’60’s fuzz pedals are some of the most collected and sought after guitar effects. Due to their use on seminal recordings, these pedals continue to sell for exorbitant prices and inspire numerous reissues and sound-a-likes. Keith Richards signature snarl on “Satisfaction” using a Maestro Fuzz-Tone or Jimi Hendrix’s soaring solos with the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face are sonic touchstones which rock guitarists continue to emulate.

Lesser known, but still highly coveted, is the Shin-Ei Companion Fuzz. Sharper and harsher than its U.S and British counterparts, this Japanese fuzz pedal didn’t rise to its collectible status until the 1980’s when The Jesus and Mary Chain and other neo-psychedelic bands re-appropriated the sound.

Fridgebuzzz Electronics’ Land of the Rising Fuzzz is a compact and affordable version of the obscure effect, complete with True-Bypass switching for tone aficionados. It’s an all analog, simply designed fuzz effect for those looking to recreate the Shin-Ei’s biting tone. If you’re looking for a sizzling shoegaze sound or piercing lead tone, the Land Of The Rising Fuzzz is wonderfully effective.

There’s no EQ boost, compression or shape modulation here – just a pure and effective fuzz. With three controls, Volume, Fuzz and Tone (high frequency roll off), the LOTRF reacts organically to a variety of guitar types. That said, it puts control of the tone in the hands of the player rather the knob twister. An added bonus is the ‘mode 2’ switch, which allows for more of the clean signal to pass. This gives the pedal a warmer overdriven sound that can also function as a clean/distorted doubling effect. It’s not as distinct a sound, but a nice alternative for those looking to tame the pedal’s intensity.

For $119, the Land Of The Rising Fuzzz is very affordable for a boutique handmade effect. Having used a few vintage pedals of the same era, the LOTRF’s aggressive tone is a convincing nod to the ’60’s, at a fraction of the price. – Ezra Max

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