Hello Gearheads! Today, I'd like to share with you some thoughts on one of the newest offerings from Vemuram Custom Pedals: the Oz Fuzz! Created in collaboration with Oz Noy, incredible guitarist who blends jazz, funk, rock, blues, and r&b in an intoxicating mixture of sound. Oz has been working with Vemuram on and off during his tours in Japan, where Vemuram hail to create a signature fuzz pedal that incorporates all of the things he loves and wants out of a fuzz pedal. All I can say, is that the work both Vemuram and Oz have done has resulted in an extremely well voiced fuzz pedal capable of many different shades and colors.
The Oz Fuzz at it's base is a Silicon Fuzz Face circuit, capable of rich and full tones from an amplifier about to explode all the way to a fuzzy boost. There's an incredibly rich tone in this pedal derived from the two Silicon transistors and NOS (New Old Stock) parts that Vemuram and their master engineer Daiya Tezuka have sourced. There's a silky quality to the Oz Fuzz's voice, different than most fuzz pedals. Typically fuzzes, and the Fuzz Face in particular, range in voice from ragged and compressed to sometimes bright and even shrill. Fuzz Faces are loved and hated for their ability to sound and feel incredible with the "right" combination of gear and player or completely awful in the wrong hands. The element of settling in a Fuzz Face is just part of the beauty of the experience, the more dynamic you are as a player, the more dynamic the pedal sounds. Luckily, the Oz Fuzz does not suffer any of the pitfalls previously mentioned --- it's an incredible sounding (and feeling) fuzz.
One of my favorite elements and changes to the simple Fuzz Face circuit is the addition of a two band EQ, consisting of Treble and Bass controls. For such a simple circuit, adding such controls can really alter and mess with the delicate tone, but almost magically the Treble and Bass controls work really well with each other to get the most out of the tone. Raising the Bass control to the max will increase the available gain, and the Treble acts something like a "high cut" allowing the amount of high end EQ to be present in the signal. In speaking to Daiya Tezuka, he and Vemuram were vary conscious to be sure the touch response and dynamic floor of the circuit were not altered with these additions. Essentially what you're left with, is a dynamic Fuzz Face that can be tailored to each individual guitar and rig situation with ease.