(You Can Get Some) Satisfaction: Electro-Harmonix Resurrects Classic Fuzz-Tone
It took Electro-Harmonix, makers of one of the most popular fuzz pedals ever (we're talking about the Big Muff, of course!) to bring back the classic sound of one of the most legendary fuzz boxes ever - the Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1. Meet the Electro-Harmonix Satisfaction fuzz pedal, an incredibly affordable pedal that brings back the classic sound of one of the most collectible pedals around.
Above: An original Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1 will cost you well over £300... if you're lucky enough to find one!
Wonder what the fuss (or should we say fuzz!?) is all about about?
Well, the original Maestro Fuzztone is the earliest known distortion box ever mass-produced, in 1962. It was made famous by The Rolling Stones, when Keith Richards used one to play the main riff of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. He actually wanted the part to be played by a brass section and only used the fuzz pedal for demo purposes, as he thought the sound approached what he had in mind... but it sounded so good, they stuck with it for the released version of the song. And so, the love affair between rock bands and fuzz pedals was born.
The Beatles were also early users of a Maestro fuzz, as we wrote about on our The Beatles Effects Pedals Guide article. On the photo below, you can see John Lennon with a Fuzz-Tone by his feet:
The Who's Pete Towshend was also an early user of the Maestro Fuzz-Tone, and used one on a few dates in 1967, including at the classic Monterey Pop Festival gig:
Like it's inspiration, the new Electro-Harmonix Satisfaction pedal is a vintage-sounding fuzz, which can sound particularly harsh and trebly to many modern players - it's quite a world apart from the creamy tones of a Big Muff, for instance. The Satisfaction pedal will sound much, much better if you use a valve amp... a solid state will simply not do it justice. After all, the fuzz pedal was designed in an era when solid state amps didn't even exist! It was an effect designed to work for a tube amp.
And you really need to approach the fuzz pedal and the guitar as one: for best results with the pedal, it's fundamental to control your guitar's volume output. This way you can control much better how harsh your Satisfaction fuzz will sound or not.
On the video above, it sounds as if Pete Townshend is using fuzz to boost solos, only. In (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Keith Richards used the fuzz to play the lead riff, not chords.
The official Electro-Harmonix video is excellent, and shows really well most of what you need to know about the Satisfaction Fuzz:
If you're after some seriously classic fuzz sounds... you can't go wrong with the Electro-Harmonix Satisfaction!
This pedal is no one trick pony; you have full control over the fuzz allowing anything from classically-voiced fuzz tone to an aggressive rasp to full-on fuzzed-out mayhem.
The Electro-Harmonix Satisfaction fuzz is a classic fuzz tone that has been recreated using true bypass to give the best signal possible. - CONTROLS –