Foxpedal’s Defector Fuzz is a modern take on the Russian-built version of the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff, but with some somewhat secret features. There are two parts of the pedal: a rather gritty boost and a 4-stage transistor fuzz. The boost (controlled with the pre knob) feeds into the fuzz, but it can also be engaged independently. Unity gain for the boost is at about 9 o’ clock, although even here I noticed the bubbling influence of the fuzz. You get a little bit of dirt at lower boost settings, and when you crank it all the way it yields a medium-gain, classic-rock vibe.
In the center of the pedal is a small toggle that can move through three different fuzz flavors: silicon-diode clipping (classic Muff), no clipping, and LED clipping. Used without the boost engaged, the fuzz circuit is beefy and rich, with plenty of low end—especially in the LED mode. But the MVP here is the mid control: As you dial it counterclockwise it adds a hump, while turning it the opposite direction gives it the classic scooped Muff sound. If you can’t get over the old-school scooped sound, then this knob alone is worth the price of admission. Fuzz pedals aren’t meant to be timid, and the cranked Defector is fat and saturated without any fizziness. And it gets bonus points for its flexible tone controls and rock-solid construction.
Test gear: Gibson Les Paul, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Hot Rod Deville ML212
Creative tone controls. Very handy boost. Plenty of gain.
Foxpedal Defector Fuzz