A great fuzz pedal should energize your playing with fire and brimstone. But sometimes the fieriest fuzzes can be a real handful. Yellowcake’s Furry Burrito manages to be hot and forgiving by mating a nasty fuzz circuit with a relatively civilized overdrive employing a combination of silicon and germanium clipping diodes. It’s as smooth a fuzz as you’ll hear, without sacrificing the desired nastiness.
Monstruo de Dos Cabezas
The Furry Burrito is essentially an overdrive cascading into a fuzz. The fuzz and overdrive are controlled via the gain and drive knobs, respectively. Together they can produce eyebrow-raising snarl, but they also provide mellower saturation shades. Meanwhile, the filter knob controls a low-pass filter that lets the Furry Burrito move from wooly and bassy to hot and bright.
The LED indicator is an unexpected treat: It doubles as a trim pot controlling the amount of voltage feeding the circuit. Starving the voltage mimics the glitchy sputter of a ’60s germanium fuzz running at low gain. Cranked, the control adds highly musical and predictable oscillation.
Blue Light Special Sauce
I tested the Burrito using a Les Paul with a P-90 neck pickup. The pedal did an impressive job of turning a Fender Deluxe Reverb (set to the brink of breakup) into an agent of destruction. I could conjure liquid, Smashing Pumpkins-like lead tones and beautiful controlled feedback. Power chords became massive bricks of sound while retaining strong note-to-note definition, even with drive and gain set to maximum.
The Furry Burrito has the singing sustain and creamy saturation of a transistor-driven, Muff-type circuit, but with more focus and without the aggressive midrange scoop.
Some of the richness may be attributable to the asymmetric clipping of the silicon/germanium diode set. You hear less of the metallic sizzle you sometimes encounter in op amp-driven Big Muffs, and the fuzz tends to sound more harmonically complex. Both qualities make the Furry Burrito an agreeable fuzz when switching between amps. A fat switch also contributes to the pedal’s play-nice nature. It engages a larger capacitor, adding a touch more bass for open-back cabs and thinner-sounding combos. The Furry Burrito’s “tunability” also makes it perfect for bassists, who are likely to love the pedal’s tight low-end response in high-gain environments. The Burrito provides all the filth with none of the flub.
The voltage-starving trim knob is heaps of fun. The pot is sensitive, veering quickly from smooth distortion to a sputtering mess. It definitely takes finesse and practice to dial in. When you get it right, though, it adds a nice touch of ’60s germanium splatter. This relatively fragmented output lacks some of the ghostly overtones you hear in fuzzes with more sensitive or complex biasing functions (or, say, Neil Young’s strangled tweed Deluxe), but it sounds plenty cool when you need to get weird.
The Furry Burrito packs an impressive punch and much versatility into a relatively small footprint. While you can’t operate the overdrive and fuzz circuits independently, you still experience the extra gain, color, and dimension that a properly paired fuzz and overdrive can provide. It’s a study box that delivers uncommonly smooth and controllable fuzz at a fair price.