Quick Hit: Nanolog Orbital Fuzz Review

The nano-molecular sandwich returns in a fuzz that ranges from full and ferocious to fractured.

Recorded with a Fender Stratocaster, ‘68 Fender Bassman, Apogee Duet, Shure SM-58, and Apple Logic.
Identical figure is played in various clipping configurations, followed by a single first-position chord played in various clipping configurations.


Unique smooth to fractured fuzz tones. Excellent build quality.

Esoteric clipping technology adds up to a little extra cost.


Nanolog Orbital Fuzz


Ease of Use:



In 2018 we reviewed the excellent WaveFunction from Canadian company Nanolog Audio. Apart from sounding great, WaveFunction distinguished itself via proprietary “molecular junction” or “nano-molecular sandwich” diodes. In that pedal, which also used silicon and germanium clipping diodes, the nano-molecular diodes were comparatively bold, fat, hot, and aggressive. In the new Nanolog Orbital Fuzz you can choose molecular junction or silicon clipping for each of the two gain stages. The results range from full and hot to gigantic and hotter, and many unique textures in between.

Dual-nano-diode settings are warm and round with Big Muff-scale mass.

In general, dual nano-diode settings are warm and round, with Big Muff-scale mass. (Nanolog says the Big Muff was a primary source of inspiration for this design). Dual silicon-diode settings, meanwhile, are feral and toppy with hints of silicon Fuzzrite and silicon Fuzz Face. The two settings that mix diode types, meanwhile, range from heated and huge to a more focused, relatively low-output fuzz. The tone control has enough range to recast any of these sounds in significant ways, but it’s the gate control that most drastically reshapes the voices, turning each into a more chaotic, sputtering and trashy version of itself. I loved these sounds. And when you add in the fatter, singing, and sustaining voices, the Orbital Fuzz adds up to a most versatile and unique buzz machine.

Test gear: Fender Telecaster Deluxe with Curtis Novak Wide Range-style Humbuckers, Rickenbacker 330, ’67 Fender Vibrolux Reverb

On Black Midi's Cavalcade, Geordie Greep’s fretwork is an example of the 6-string as a capable component as much as a solo instrument, never completely stealing the show.

Popular music and mainstream tastes may be more fractured than ever, but the guitar continues to thrive.

As we soft launch into the new year, I’m not waiting for the requisite guitar obituary in the news. It’s not going to happen again anytime soon. Why? Because as far as the mainstream media is concerned, our beloved instrument is not only dead, it's irrelevant to the point of not even being an afterthought. When the New York Times published their most recent albums of the year list, there was barely a guitar-based recording to be found. Still, there is not only hope, but also cause for jubilation.

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Diatonic sequences are powerful tools. Here’s how to use them wisely.



• Understand how to map out the neck in seven positions.
• Learn to combine legato and picking to create long phrases.
• Develop a smooth attack—even at high speeds.

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Knowing how to function in different keys is crucial to improvising in any context. One path to fretboard mastery is learning how to move through positions across the neck. Even something as simple as a three-note-per-string major scale can offer loads of options when it’s time to step up and rip. I’m going to outline seven technical sequences, each one focusing on a position of a diatonic major scale. This should provide a fun workout for the fingers and hopefully inspire a few licks of your own.
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