Ratings

Pros:
Great range in tone and gain controls. Surprising range of fuzz colors in gain control. Demented octave fuzz textures. Exceptionally sturdy feeling. Great value.

Cons:
Some potential users might want smoother high-end output.

Street:
$129

Tesico Fuzz
teisco.com


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When the Teisco brand first thrived in the ’60s, it stood apart from its many Japanese guitar-building peers by being deviant. Where rivals were happy to build thinly disguised ES-335s and Jaguars, Teisco reveled in the extroverted uniqueness of its designs. Now, the Teisco brand lives again, and though the sturdy, solid, and stylish Teisco Fuzz reviewed here isn’t completely unique in the strictest sense (it owes much to the Foxx Tone Machine), its viscous fuzz textures suggest that the new Teisco’s appetite for the unbridled and unconventional is no less voracious.

The new Teisco’s appetite for the unbridled and unconventional is no less voracious.

Though radical fuzz tones are more common than ever, the sounds of the Teisco Fuzz are, nonetheless, striking. Similarities to the Tone Machine are overt in sound, function, and layout. There are volume, tone, and gain knobs, and a small toggle that switches the octave effect in and out. But to my ear, the Teisco sounds huskier and slightly more aggressive than the Foxx at many settings. This is a very good thing. And the dry, crackling treble tones, searing fuzz textures at mid- to high-gain settings, and positively perverse, complex, and fractured octave tones lend this fuzz a quintessentially Teisco individuality that will thrill fuzz deviants everywhere.

Test gear: Fender Jazzmaster, Fender Telecaster Deluxe with Curtis Novak Widerange humbuckers, DeArmond JetStar with USA Gold Tone humbuckers, ’68 Fender Bassman, blackface Fender Vibrolux Reverb, Fender Vibro Champ.