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Z-Vex Fuzz Factory

Dolphin id:14628 Product SKU:FuzzFactory

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This is a five-knob fuzz using two new old-stock sixties germanium transistors. The circuit is not modeled after any classic fuzz design, but should have been around when Leary was still lucid.

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This is a five-knob fuzz using two new old-stock sixties germanium transistors. The circuit is not modeled after any classic fuzz design, but should have been around when Leary was still lucid.

Although the five knobs are named for the parameters over which they seem to have the most control, please don't hold them to it. They are controls for various operating levels and biases, and basically shape you a personalized fuzz.


  • Watch a Video about the Fuzz Factory
  • Audio Sample 1 (Fuzz Factory with Les Paul and Marshall. Knobs are volume 12 o'clock, gate 3 o'clock, comp 3 o'clock, drive 5 o'clock, stab 5 o'clock. Gated sound with crispy fuzztone.)
  • Audio Sample 2 (Fuzz Factory with Les Paul and Marshall. . Knobs are volume 9 o'clock, gate 2 o'clock, comp 7 o'clock, drive 7 o'clock, stab 5 o'clock. Octave-y intermodulation when played with a rhythm pickup at the 12th fret.)
  • Audio Sample 3 (Fuzz Factory with Les Paul and Marshall. . Knobs are volume 9 o'clock, gate 7 o'clock, comp 5 o'clock, drive 12 o'clock, stab 10 o'clock. Bypassed to demonstrate clean tone performance... when it turns on, listen to the strange pitch shifts of this setting!)

Artists who have used the Fuzz Factory include:

  • Matthew Bellamy of Muse
  • Daniel Johns of Silverchair
  • Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails
  • John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Tim Wheeler of Ash
  • Rivers Cuomo of Weezer
  • J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr
  • Mark Hoppus of (+44)
  • Steven Drozd and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips
  • David Sylvian
  • Robert Fripp
  • David Torn
  • Lloyd Cole
  • Nels Cline



Output level.


Squelches noise after end of sustain. Turn to right to eliminate squeals, hiss and buzz, stopping just as they disappear, or use to tune in exact feedback pitch, if you're that kind. Turning to left opens gate.


Adds attack characteristic when turned to left, which gets softer to right, and suddenly pinches tone when all the way right. Also use to tune in fat feedbacky fuzz, if you're that kind. Lower the Stability and see what happens to this control.


Increases distortion when used as a "normal" fuzz, and adjusts feedback pitch and tonal thickness, if you're that kind. This control becomes meaningless when Compress is all the way right.


Use all the way right. Do not attempt to adjust this control below 2:00, unless you like your fuzz soft and squishy. Use to control feedback pitch. (Did I say that already?)


Many "incorrect" settings on this pedal squeal. This may annoy the faint-hearted. If you use the example settings, you won't get hurt. We don't want to see anyone hurt. Unless you're that kind. Don't forget to memorize or write down your favorite settings.

Yes, folks, like all Z. Vex pedals, it's as low current as possible, extending battery life so long... I have never changed the battery in the prototype (3 years). 'On' current is less than 3 mA... compare to the Tube Screamer (of course an entirely different animal) at almost 40 mA.

All Z. Vex pedals are hand painted and hand assembled, and each is unique. They are produced in small batches by umm, elves.

Hand-painted Fuzz Factories now have standard Boss-type 9VDC power jacks and green on/off leds!

(These use "o'clock" notation- not spinal tap 1 to 11)

Hi compression fuzz

Vol 10:00
Gate 3:00
Comp 9:00
Drive 5:00
Stab 5:00

Velcro fuzz

Vol 10:00
Gate 7:00
Comp 5:00
Drive 5:00
Stab 2:00

Cleanish hi octave intermodulation

Vol 10:00
Gate 2:00-3:00
Comp 7:00
Drive 7:00
Stab 5:00

Smooth fuzz

Vol 10:00
Gate 7:00
Comp 3:00
Drive 5:00
Stab 5:00 (lower Stab is more mellow)

Radio fuzz

Vol 10:00
Gate 7:00
Comp 10:00
Drive 12:00
Stab: Lower from fully clockwise while playing open 'A' with left hand. Stop at most interesting tone.

Image: Z-Vex Fuzz Factory

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Z-Vex Fuzz Factory videos

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Z-Vex Fuzz Factory Reviews


The Fuzz Factory!

I had watched many videos and read many things across the internet about the fuzz factory, videos of Matt Bellamy of Muse, and sites detailing that he has the pedals built directly into his guitars for those screaming noises.
I had also watched many video reviews on youtube concerning the pedal. Needless to say I was very excited.

Despite all of the information I had absorbed, I was not prepared for the possibilites the first time i connected it up.

When first using the pedal, read and follow the instructions!! There are many settings that will just produce noise, or random pitches, that will only be frustrating if you don't know how to cancel them out.

The best way to find your tone, and some other cool things, is to put aside an hour, and just mess around. For example, turning the Comp all the way to the right will make the guitar's sustain sh!@ out with a crackle. I dig that sound, but I appreciate some of you wont.

With enough time and effort, you will be able to coax out a convincing Big Muff tone, a more than adequate Fuzz Face sound, and a few other well known fuzz tones. But that is only the surface of what the pedal can do. Only in lengthy experimentation will you see how much is possible.

I frequently use this pedal with no guitar signal, as it produces a theremin like sound if you have the correct settings. Moving any of the knobs not including the Vol, will affect the pitch. So much fun!!

All in all a 10/10.

The Fuzz sounds alone would gain this pedal a rating of 10, but the overall quirkiness and the theremin oscillation just make this a neccessary pedal for anyone who enjoys fun pedals!

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