Squier Vintage Modified Telecaster’s Curtis Novak Tel-V bridge pickup feeding the Nettuno (with gain at max, tone at 9 o’clock, and level at 10 o’clock) and an MXR Reverb routed to a Jaguar HC50 miked with a Royer R-121 feeding an Apogee Duet going into GarageBand with no EQ-ing, compression, or effects.

 

Ratings

Pros:
Easy to dial in lovely, singing violin tones. Cleans up well with guitar-knob volume tweaks.

Cons:
A bit on the dark-ish side. Not for fans of nasty freak-out fuzz.

Street:
$200

Dophix Nettuno
dophix.it


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If fuzzes with hard-to-predict, interdependent controls tend to annoy you, then you may love the straightforward simplicity of the Dophix Nettuno. Built in Florence, Italy, it features gain, level, and tone controls atop a housing whose bottom panel has a transparent layer of acrylic through which a circuit-board-mounted LED shines a halo of white around the foot of the enclosure whenever the pedal is powered up and its input is connected.

This holy LED, however, is not part of the tone circuit. Instead, Nettuno uses silicon diodes and transistors mated to a bandpass filter to yield a fuzz forte that consists almost entirely of singing, velvety-smooth violin tones (or cello, if you tune down). While Nettuno’s tone control has a somewhat narrow range and limited high-end potency, these tendencies allowed me to dial in a bright Telecaster to sound as thick and woolly as a Les Paul. Sure, Nettuno’s low and low-mid emphasis may not kick a dark-sounding guitar into the spotlight, and volume-knob maneuvers won’t yield quirky in-between tones, but if you’re looking for a one-way ticket to Eric Johnson-style fuzz tones, this nicely voiced stomp could be a great fit.

Test gear: Squier Vintage Modified Tele with Curtis Novak Tel-V and JM-V pickups, Squier/Warmoth baritone “Jazzblaster” with Curtis Novak Jazzmaster Widerange pickups, Jaguar HC50 running in tandem with Fender Rumble 200