Review: Dunlop Fuzz Face Mini Fuzz

Fuzz Face MiniOften credited as being one of the very first distortion pedals in history, the Dunlop Fuzz Face has been a revered pedal ever since its creation in the ’60s. Dunlop’s newly designed Fuzz Face Mini range brings all of what you would expect from a Fuzz Face to a much smaller, compact casing. Given the fact that the insides of the classic Fuzz Face consist of little more than a handfull of components, input/output jacks and a bypass switch, it is not so surprising that Dunlop eventually decided to take all of this fuzz magic and put it into a much more convenient package. The Fuzz Face Mini is very faithful to the original design, and reduced price and size mean that it is a strong contender for a space anyone’s pedal board. The new range consists of a germanium fuzz (consistent with the earliest versions of the pedal), a silicon fuzz (consistent with latter models) and a Jimi Hendrix fuzz (designed as a replica of the fuzz used by the known and loved left-handed guitar legend. These are coloured red, blue and turquoise respectively.

Sound Quality

On top of the obvious benefits from having a much smaller casing, the tone of this pedal and its ease of use make it one of the best fuzz pedals ever created. While the fuzz is pretty extreme – being square wave it is very distinct – it is never-the-less a rather mild effect, which keeps your guitar sound unmuddied even when playing full chords and lower frequency bass notes. The fuzz is rather sweet, and notes sustain for a reasonable enough time that it is a great effect to use for both soloing (though it may have to be boosted a little by another pedal) and rhythm playing.

With only two pots controlling overall output volume and fuzz amount, this pedal provides sweet, warm fuzz tones in a convenient, easy to use little stomp box.

Build Quality

Dunlop’s new Fuzz Face benefits from increased strength thanks to its more compact design. The connections and screws which hold those few components together in the body are all well placed, and it seems to be able to withstand quite a bit of punishment. The LED is definitely bright enough to be seen easily on stage and the battery cover on the reverse of the pedal makes it easy to replace the 9v if you don’t want to use DC power supplies with it live.

Overall

9/10
Brilliant little fuzz pedal. Does exactly as advertised and – thanks largely to its simplistic circuitry – stays very faithful to the tones of the original. For the tone and size nothing beats this cute little guy.

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