Hello Gearheads! Today we talk FUZZ! Ok, now many of you actually know me, and of my personal journeys into the descent of the deep and dark abyss of Fuzz pedals. It's been an interesting and wild road that's led me through (and to) some of my favorite circuits derived from one of the oldest --- the Fuzz Face, Dallas Arbiter to be exact. It's completely a classic, used by so many great tone-meisters including of course, Mr. James Marshall Hendrix. Jimi was indeed the spark to the flame in many a young guitarist's hearts including mine; He practically founded the tonal landscape any modern guitarist might navigate. One piece of Jimi's circle was the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face - An enormously versatile and incredible sounding effect. The Fuzz Face could be used to make clean tones all the way to monstrous distorted fuzzed out bliss. It's a very interesting and simple circuit that's unique to every moment in the way that life is really --- this is why I think I'm personally drawn to them. So much control and many shades of color much like a great painter's palette, the Fuzz Face is simply put... inspiring, which leads us to the fuzz of the hour.
The Berkos FX Third Stone II is a fantastic fuzz pedal. It's a very good sounding and feeling Silicon Fuzz with some very cool and helpful tweaks. The Third Stone has landed it's completely permanent spot on my pedalboard since it first came out. It allows me to recall the feeling and tone of a great vintage fuzz but with the ability to really dial it in each rig or mix.
Most typical fuzzes have two controls: one for volume and one for fuzz. Usually you must 'dime' each and just use your volume knob on the guitar to get the tonal shifts you might need. The Third Stone II offers that same elemental control but with some very useful additions. Take a look at the description below for each control's functions.
I tend to set my Third Stone II with moderate to full fuzz. Usually I will bring the fuzz control all the way up, then bring back that control while playing to get the amount of fuzz dialed in just right. Often I'll find I like and settle on less fuzz than I'd originally thought. That's the magic of fitting in a mix whether it be live or on recording -- it's detrimentally important to get that dialed in right if you'd like to be heard. I prefer the 'BASS' and 'EXP' modes as they offer the fullest and warmest range on the pedal. Earth, which is a low cut control, I typically set to taste (most often around 3:00).
In the clip below I've used the Third Stone II on all the guitars. The clean tones are the volume knob on the guitar rolled back. The signal path is: Danocaster S Style > Drybell Vibe Machine 2 > Berkos Third Stone II > Strymon Timeline > Tortenmann TT3 Tremolo > Subdecay Super Spring Theory > Blankenship Twinplex & Kerry Wright Cab with Celestion Vintage 30's.