The pots themselves have a nice damped, quality feel to their movement, and you get the impression that this is a sturdy piece of gear that’s going to handle the road nicely. The Tone control also features a slight detent in the middle.

Although the FD-1’s claim to fame is as a fuzz box, using it only for only that is a little like saying that Angelina Jolie does a good job of playing Lara Croft. The fact of the matter is that the FD-1 is more like a distortion toolbox, capable of the full range of overdrive tones, from a slight break-up, to total metal mayhem. Truthfully, at many settings, it’s more “drive” than “fuzz,” and that’s what pushes it over the top for this reviewer. In a world where I could have only one box to do a whole range of overdrive sounds, I would really have to seriously consider the EWS Fuzzy Drive FD-1.

Ironically, the weakest point in the Fuzzy Drive’s repertoire is the classic mid-’60s buzz tone that can only come from discrete germanium transistors. We’re talking about the cheesiest tones in the speaker-slit-by-a-razor-blade category. Try as we might, we could not coax an ice-pick buzz-saw sound out of the FD-1. It came close, but always maintained a decidedly warm nuance. That’s just as well, because that’s a sound this reviewer would never try to find unless paid to.

The EWS box offers a lot of versatility, good build quality, and a boutique tone. Yet with a suggested retail price of $149, it’s squarely in average Joe territory. It’s interesting to note that sister company, Xotic, offers no fuzz pedals, so by entering the market first with the Fuzzy Drive, EWS is carving out a nice niche for itself that has little risk of impacting Xotic sales. We imagine some guys will be searching for a classic Tone Bender sound, and will try out the Fuzzy Drive, only to find that it’s more flexible, and a whole lot warmer. If it hits them like it hit us, the FD-1 will surely stoke the fires of creativity. We can’t wait to see what EWS comes out with next.
Buy if...
you're looking for a distortion toolbox that will kick your creativity with overdrive.
Skip if...
you're the guy they hired to create the soundtrack for Green Acres, the movie. Only an old Vox Tone Bender will do.

MSRP $149 - EWS -