When you get down to brass tacks (and transistors and capacitors), there’s not much to a Fuzz Face. And though the sum of good components and expert execution can be something extraordinary, it stings to shell out mega-bucks for what, on paper, looks like a couple bucks worth of radio parts in a tin box. TC Electronic’s Rusty Fuzz, which only sets you back $59, is a perfect Fuzz Face-style stomp for players fixated on this conundrum.

Tones range from good representations of vintage silicon Fuzz Face to excellent ones—particularly when you crank the fuzz and use humbuckers. Sustain is impressive with single-coils, too, but humbuckers coax the most singing and stinging tones from the Rusty. And it’s pure joy to lean into a full-step bend, consider the price, and laugh as the note hangs for an eternity. The tone knob adds versatility, and trebly settings are killer for stuttering unison bends and fast, punky chord sequences. Rusty’s weaknesses are few. It can sound thin at low gain and likes single-coils less than a pedal synonymous with Hendrix and Gilmour should. But at under $60, getting this close to classic silicon Fuzz Face tones makes the Rusty a steal.

Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Silverface Fender Bassman, Fender Champ


Sweet sustain. Killer thrashy tones.

Can sound thin with single-coils.


TC Electronic Rusty Fuzz


Ease of Use: