The Best Pedals In The World Today – Z.Vex Fuzz Factory 7

Posted: March 15, 2017 in Guitar Pedals
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Z.Vex Fuzz Factory 7

The original is 21 years old, and the latest iteration is Z.Vex’s best product yet – but it’s not going to be around forever.

Minneapolis effects company Z.Vex releases hand-painted boxes of sonic sorcery from the inventive and unique mind of founder Zachary Vex. Many of them take your guitar into uncharted territory, and their ranks include such oddities as the Lo-Fi Loop Junky analogue looper, the Seek Trem step-sequenced tremolo and the Probe range (which you control by hovering your foot over them, like a theremin).

One of the company’s most successful effects is the Fuzz Factory, originally released in 1995. It’s beloved of experimental luminaries such as Matt Bellamy, Steven Malkmus, Nels Cline and J Mascis for its ability to warp the classic fuzz effect via a series of highly interactive controls, and combine them to conjure up unique and unholy chimeras of greasy oscillating demonic distortion into the bargain. Despite its popularity, Z.Vex has released relatively few variations on the pedal; the latest was 2013’s Fat Fuzz Factory, with a three-way toggle to increase sub-harmonic options.

But when Mr Vex found a stash of old Amperex germanium transistors, he decided to build the Fuzz Factory 7 to showcase them (literally – there they are in the pedal’s circular viewing porthole). The FF7 extends on the Fat Fuzz Factory’s sub switch with a nine-position version, and there’s a new footswitchable Tone control you can bring into play to tame excess brightness or treble.

Bringing your guitar’s volume control into play reveals a further range of sounds, and sound-wise, there’s practically nothing it can’t have a stab at – from greasy, Octavia-esque gnarl to singing sustain, to gated octave-down crunch to self-oscillation, pitch-bending harmonic squeal and more.

Key features
PRICE £439 (hand-painted version)
DESCRIPTION True-bypass germanium-transistor-based fuzz pedal with 9-position Fat knob, footswitchable Tone control, Volume, Gate, Comp, Drive and Stab. Powered by 9v battery or power adaptor


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