I thought I would write a separate review of the fuzz pedal that I made rather than just adding it onto the end of the post about my attempts at making a pedal.
As you may already know if you read the previous post I chose to assemble the fuzz pedal first, due to it being the middle ground, not too complicated and not too simple.
Some of the processes would be the same no matter what pedal you are making however, there will usually be holes to be drilled (unless you buy a pre drilled enclosure) and components to be soldered (unless you have bought a pre soldered board).
The Big Mother Fuzza (BMF) is a very simple pedal. It is a fuzz, only a fuzz and an angry one at that. There is only one pot on the pedal, a volume pot, so there are no parameters that you are able to tweak on the face of it. As I assembled the pedal myself I could have altered the components to give different sounds, but as I don’t know anything about what the different resistors and capacitors do I didn’t want to deviate from the instructions at this time.
The BMF is noisy. It is noisy in a few different ways. The fuzz aspect of the pedal is very present and aggressive. There is quite a lot of treble, it accents the treble and doesn’t really touch the midds all that much. It isn’t really a sound I would choose, due to the lack of EQ options it’s a one trick pony. And unfortunately it is a trick that I don’t enjoy all that much. It is also noisy due to the hum that it creates, this is probably due to a few factors, the pedal is not shielded, so at least I know I should shield my pedals in the future. It also uses very cheap components especially the input/output jacks and potentiometers owing to the sounds it gives off. And also it is a fuzz so there will always be an inherent noise to the pedal. Its just more noise than my other fuzz pedal. It is also made worse when there is an overdrive pedal turned on in the chain. It is not noticeable when it is being used as you can’t hear it over the sound of the pedal, but when it is not being used it makes quite the noise.
At least I know that I need to make changes. It is in no way a finished product.
I like the aesthetics of the BMF, it appeals to me, but then it should as I made it. It is simple, there is no finish, it has been sanded smooth and I used a label maker to decorate the enclosure. The fit and finish is actually not too bad. I’m very happy with the quality of the foot switches, although they aren’t soft press ones they do feel like they will last a while. The same can be said for the knob, and LED bezel, all of these things were cheap but good quality. I will in future buy better jack sockets as the cheap ones were understandably terrible. Also better jack sockets may be smaller allowing me to top mount them. That being said its a relatively small enclosure and could easily fit into a smaller one.
So in conclusion, no I would not buy this pedal, I don’t really like the sound it produces, but that was never the intention, I already had a fuzz that I was more than happy with. It is a making project, an exercise in soldering. There are changes I would make, and will make when I try my hand at another one. And hopefully I will get better as I do this more. Also worth noting is that I made two together, shown in the photos below, the plain one I kept for myself, and is the one I am reviewing. The second one I covered in red fabric (again a test that I’m not particularly happy at the outcome of) but will sound the same as I used the same components. The only minor difference is that I put electrical tape over the inside of the bottom plate, this may shield it slightly and make the second one less noisy. I didn’t notice that it was any different when I tested it however.