We can say without any hesitation that distortion is the essential effect for almost every guitar player out there. No matter the music style that you’re into, there’s a high chance that you first look into what kind of distortion you want to have, and then use it as a starting point to get other effects and see how they work with it. In this article, we’ll talk about the best fuzz pedals 2020.
However, it’s not that simple – there are different types of distortion, one of them being the fuzz effect. In fact, this is the oldest type of distortion, and what makes it really special is the extreme clipping, compared to the heavy clipping of regular distortion pedals and smooth clipping that we have with overdrive pedals. As a result, you get that completely “disfigured” tone with a very rich harmonic content.
Due to being so specific, it’s not an effect for everyone’s taste. What’s more, playing chords with it might not always work well. However, it finds its use in psychedelic rock, stoner rock, blues rock, and a few other genres, especially for lead sections. If you’re into this effect, we’ve decided to help you out and bring the top fuzz pedals that you can find on the market these days. Best fuzz pedals 2020, go!
- Power: 100 or 115 or 230 VAC 50-60Hz
- Power consumption: 2.4 Watts
- Traditional fuzz effect, plump and rich
- Whole Aluminium alloy classic, stable and strong
- Vintage sounds inspired by famous fuzz pedals of the '60s and '70s
- Uses advanced COSM technology to recreate classic fuzz
- Set voltage from 5v-15v
- Lower voltage for “dying battery” effect
- The JOYO Advantages: over 14 years of brand history, strong technical teams, many innovative patents, electroacoustic core technology, guide design of music masters,...
- Voodoo Octave effect: take your tone an octave up and add some fuzz too! A mid-cut switch gives you control over your tone. Put some fuzz on your chops, and then take it...
- Features a hybrid Germanium/Silicon design, pairing maximum tone with maximum temperature stability
- Wide gain range provides everything from amp-like overdrive to monstrous fuzz madness
- This 50-year-old is just hitting its stride with great harmonics and super octaves
- Amped gains with added EQ effects
- Exact same circuit as the classic Jhf1 Hendrix fuzz face
- Legendary fuzz face tones in a pedal board-friendly housing
- Designed with all the character, power, and tone of a classic fuzz and with the option to tame the sound and bring it back under control
- Features two completely different clipping options, not just the basic silicon or germanium option like most pedals
Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Carl Martin The Fuzz
To start our best fuzz pedals 2020 rundown off, we have a more expensive but an amazing fuzz pedal by Carl Martin. Simply labeled The Fuzz, this is more than just a simple distortion pedal since it comes with very detailed controls and an amazing circuitry that makes it sound really unique. You just won’t find a fuzz like this one on the market.
Sure, we have the basic parameter controls for the volume level and gain. Then there’s a 3-band EQ followed by two knobs for the so-called “Wave Guide.”
These are “deep” and “high” controls that allow you to add a different kind of harmonic content for the bottom and high-end. What’s also worth noting is that the circuitry works with a 12-volt current, which makes it sound different compared to the standard 9 volts that most pedals work with.
Donner Stylish Fuzz
Now going to something completely different, we’re looking into Donner, which is one of the cheapest brands out there. But despite their entry-level reputation, they actually make some pretty great pedals that even more experienced players would love.
For this list of best fuzz pedals 2020, we’re including their Stylish Fuzz pedal. Enclosed in a standard mini-sized casing, it comes with only the essential controls. But nonetheless, it’s a very rich-sounding fuzz that delivers quite a punch with a fuzzy rich content in the tone.
Looking at the appropriately named Stylish Fuzz, it comes with only three parameter knobs. We have small ones for volume and tone, and right at the very center, there’s a cleverly-named “Bustain” knob. Similarly to the old legendary Big Muff Pi, this control adds more fuzz and sustain into the equation. It’s one of the best choices for those operating on a budget.
Boss FZ-5 Fuzz
Of course, how could we ever avoid mentioning Boss on any list that involves effects pedals? Any list, best fuzz pedals 2020 included. Now, while they’re famous for other stuff, you can also find great fuzz pedals in their arsenal. Continuing their line of fuzz effects, we have the FZ-5, or simply dubbed “Fuzz,” as a pedal worth checking out.
The main idea behind this pedal was to make it as simple and as effective as possible. Although coming with Boss’ standard and well-known metal casing, we have a vintage-inspired and aesthetically-pleasing finish with it. The circuitry is designed to bring in the best traits of those old school devices like Maestro FZ-1, Octavia, and the Fuzz Face all into one.
So aside from the volume and fuzz controls, we have an additional switch that lets you choose between these three types of legendary vintage pedals. Additionally, the fuzz knob has an additional boost flavor past the 12 o’clock mark, which adds a very aggressive and harsh clipping mode into the equation.
MXR M236 Super Badass Variac Fuzz
Looking further into the world of guitar pedals, MXR is yet another brand that’s impossible to avoid, no matter the types of effects that we’re talking about. However, their M236, also known as the Super Badass Variac Fuzz, is just something else. Seemingly a simple pedal just like any other on the market, it comes with a feature that you don’t often stumble upon with other distortion devices.
Just like most of the fuzz effects out there, this one is packed with basic controls for its output volume, tone (essentially a treble roll-off), and the gain control. However, the fourth parameter, which is labeled as the “variac” control, sets its circuit voltage anywhere between 5 and 15 volts.
What’s more, this is a gradual control and not a multi-mode switch. By lowering its voltage, you’ll get that “broken amp” and “soaked” fuzz feel. And by pushing the voltage up, you’ll get a tighter and sharper tone. Amazing, isn’t it?
Joyo JF-12 Voodoo Octave Fuzz
Once again going into the budget-friendly categories, Joyo offers a lot of exciting pedals for pretty reasonable prices. If you need a cheap fuzz that does the job right, then their JF-12 is worth checking out. And its full name describes it pretty well – Voodoo Octave Fuzz.
The voodoo magic of this pedal is controlled through three basic knobs and an additional switch. The knobs are the standard formation of tone, volume level, and fuzz intensity.
Meanwhile, the switch toggles between the normal mods and the “scooped” mode that cuts out the mids. Aside from the pedal’s regular on and off switch and a true bypass circuitry, we get another footswitch that pushes your tone an octave higher and adds more fuzz. This comes as a great choice for stoner rock players who are operating on a budget.
EarthQuaker Devices Hoof V2
EarthQuaker Devices is, without a doubt, one of the most underrated companies out there. Their “boutique” quality of pedals is well represented with their second incarnation of the Hoof fuzz, truly one of the best fuzz pedals 2020.
Although a bit more expensive than an average fuzz, the Hoof brings an amazing and harmonically rich tone for all the true lovers of the fuzz effect.
The most important trait of this pedal is its circuitry that includes both germanium and silicon transistors, fusing two worlds into one compact and simple device.
In some way, the pedal manages to emulate overdriven tube amplifiers with a fuzz effect added on top of it. We have the basic controls on it, along with the “shift” knob that helps you shape the mids. In fact, the midsection is this pedal’s strongest point. You just can’t go wrong with it.
Electro-Harmonix Op-amp Big Muff Pi
Speaking of the fuzz effect and best fuzz pedals 2020, all the roads lead to Electro-Harmonix and their amazing numerous versions of the legendary Big Muff Pi pedal. The one that really stands out in our opinion is the Op-Amp Big Muff Pi version, bringing this legendary unique effect to a whole new level.
This particular pedal comes from the collaboration between The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan and James Iha and Electro-Harmonix. They used the old ’70s version of Big Muff to record guitars on the “Siamese Dream” album, giving inspiration for a new incarnation of this model.
With its basic controls for volume, tone, and sustain, you’ll be able to do anything you want. Additionally, there’s a switch for tone bypass, adding in more punch and mids as a result. Although fairly simple, this is a very potent pedal.
Danelectro is a brand that takes us all the way back to the best era of rock ‘n’ roll music. For this list, we’re including their EF-1 pedal, which comes as another simple yet very useful and potent fuzz effect.
Packed in a compact and stylish vintage-inspired metal casing, it has an interesting parameter control formation. There’s a 2-band EQ, which is much more useful compared to a simple tone knob.
However, more options come with its voicing switch. This 2-way toggle changes the way this pedal processes distortion, adding in a new flavor to it. But what’s really amazing about its tone is saturation and addition to the higher end of the audible spectrum. One of the best fuzz pedals 2020, for sure.
Dunlop FFM3 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Mini
Back in the old days, Dallas Arbiter used to produce the Fuzz Face pedal which shaped the tones of some of the biggest legends of all time, including Jimi Hendrix’s tone. Today, Dunlop continues this legacy and pays respect to one of the greatest musicians of all time. The FFM3 Fuzz Face Mini is Hendrix’s signature model, replicating what JHF1 did back in the day. And yes, it’s worthy of the “best fuzz pedals 2020” label.
Compared to the old version, this is a smaller and compact version. Nonetheless, the circuitry’s magic is still there. We have the basic two controls for volume and fuzz, making it a straightforward one.
But don’t worry, as you’ll be able to capture the true essence of the fuzz effect with it, especially if you pair it up with a vintage-styled tube-driven amp. Imagine legendary Hendrix’s tone encased in one very compact pedal – this is exactly what you’ll get with the FFM3.
Wampler Velvet Fuzz V2
As the final addition to this fine list, we have a special one by Wampler. The second version of the Velvet Fuzz is one of the best fuzz pedals that you can find on the market these days. Overall, it’s a pretty simple one and it comes with a bigger price tag. However, you’ll be able to do a lot of stuff with it.
We have the standard controls that you find on most of the fuzzes out there. However, the knobs are pretty responsive and allow for some versatile tone-shaping.
Additionally, there’s a switch for “big” and “tight” voicings. You can push this pedal into deeper territories and you can also use it as a somewhat tighter-sounding fuzz effect, making it heavier in the mid part of the audible spectrum. Listening to its tone, this one’s a great addition if you’re looking for the fuzz effect that will come in handy for any lead section.
And that wraps up our rundown of best fuzz pedals 2020! We hope that you’ve learned something new and found your new favorite device. Now, all you need is a killer amp to play these guys through. Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys. Rock on!