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Beyond Blues - August 2014 - Ex. 9

Archetype: Tom Morello is designed to precisely model the guitarist’s longtime amplifier and speaker-cabinet rig, incorporating key processors that replicate his signature sounds.

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A flexible fuzz conjures a unique voice with a vintage accent, with a helping of delectable overdrive sounds on top.

Inhabits a unique tone space on the Brit-fuzz spectrum. Rich low- and mid-gain overdrive, boost, and distortion sounds. Top quality. Thoughtful design.

Highest gain fuzz sounds can be toppy.

$285

Great Eastern FX Co. Focus Fuzz
greateasternfx.com

5
5
4.5
4.5

Fuzz boxes don’t get much prettier than the Focus Fuzz from Great Eastern FX Co. And if you’re into mid-to-late-’60s fuzz, you may well find they don’t come much cooler sounding either. Great Eastern founder David Greeves describes the sound of the Focus Fuzz as something between a Tone Bender, a Fuzz Face, and a Dallas Rangemaster. Citing those touchstones is not unusual when reaching for a way to describe a new vintage-style fuzz. But in the case of the Focus Fuzz, Greeves isn’t making offhanded claims. The Focus Fuzz truly seems to thread a line between the open, bassier qualities of a germanium Fuzz Face and the fierce, metallic, buzzy compression of a Tone Bender. At lower gain settings, it approximates the performance of a Rangemaster in many respects. It’s responsive to playing guitar volume and tone dynamics. And it’s even tempered at both ends of the gain spectrum, too. Moderate gain settings dish bushels of killer overdrive sounds and jangly near-clean tones. If you can’t find a cool dirt sound here, you might consider frog farming instead.

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Tuttle and Strings first recorded together on Strings’ 2017 release, Turmoil & Tinfoil.

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Looking back on their latest releases, the two bluegrass phenoms and friends sit down with one another to talk musical heritage, stage fright, gear, and more.

In any music scene, it’s natural that talented contemporaries will find each other and form fast, harmonious fraternity. It’s no surprise, then, that Nashville-based bluegrass virtuosos Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle became close friends and collaborators as early as 2017—when they were both just 24—and, as is now somewhat common knowledge, were one-time roommates. Tuttle was first featured on Strings’ full-length release, Turmoil & Tinfoil, and a few years later, Strings guested on Tuttle’s Grammy-winning 2022 album, Crooked Tree, on the track “Dooley’s Farm,” while performing together often in the interim.

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