Quick Hit: MXR Classic 108 Fuzz (Mini) Review
Searing silicon Fuzz Face sounds in a mini enclosure with a buffer to boot!
Fender Stratocaster and '68 Fender Bassman — BC108 output and fuzz at 100%. All volume adjustments via guitar volume.
Nice range of silicon Fuzz Face tones. Buffer switch expands sound options. Cool enclosure.
Limited control range.
Ease of Use:
Germanium Fuzz Faces get all the respect from vintage-aligned connoisseurs. But for all their many and real virtues—great attenuation dynamics, wider spectrum of fuzz shades—the searing, pure nastiness of silicon variations can be a delight. While not a Fuzz Face in name, the Classic 108 Fuzz (Mini) is essentially the same circuit that’s in Dunlop’s Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face. In terms of bang-for-buck, it’s one of the best tools for probing the silicon Fuzz Face recipe.
I’ve played several of the ’90s silicon Fuzz Faces that tarnished the pedal’s good name for a while, and this version (like several others in the Dunlop line) is a vast improvement. The basic voice (without buffer) is rich and perhaps darker and fuller than you might associate with a silicon Fuzz Face. But I love the slightly duskier shade—especially when I double down with guitar tone attenuation—and “dark” here is a very relative term. With the buffer on, the 108 is brighter and, as advertised, behaves much more predictably when there’s a wah in front. (Though I personally love the strangled chaos that comes with non-buffered wah recipes.) There’s a lot of flexibility here. Factor in the convenience of the mini enclosure and the Classic 108 adds up to a very sweet—and sweetly fuzzy—deal.