A budget route to big silicon Fuzz Face-style flavors.

When you get down to brass tacks (and transistors and capacitors), there’s not much to a Fuzz Face. And though the sum of good components and expert execution can be something extraordinary, it stings to shell out mega-bucks for what, on paper, looks like a couple bucks worth of radio parts in a tin box. TC Electronic’s Rusty Fuzz, which only sets you back $59, is a perfect Fuzz Face-style stomp for players fixated on this conundrum.

Tones range from good representations of vintage silicon Fuzz Face to excellent ones—particularly when you crank the fuzz and use humbuckers. Sustain is impressive with single-coils, too, but humbuckers coax the most singing and stinging tones from the Rusty. And it’s pure joy to lean into a full-step bend, consider the price, and laugh as the note hangs for an eternity. The tone knob adds versatility, and trebly settings are killer for stuttering unison bends and fast, punky chord sequences. Rusty’s weaknesses are few. It can sound thin at low gain and likes single-coils less than a pedal synonymous with Hendrix and Gilmour should. But at under $60, getting this close to classic silicon Fuzz Face tones makes the Rusty a steal.

Test gear: Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Silverface Fender Bassman, Fender Champ


Sweet sustain. Killer thrashy tones.

Can sound thin with single-coils.


TC Electronic Rusty Fuzz


Ease of Use:



My years-long search for the “right” Bigsby-outfitted box finally paid off. Now how do I make this sumbitch work in my band?

Considering the amount of time I’ve spent (here and elsewhere) talking about and lusting after Gretsch hollowbody guitars, it’s taken me a remarkably long time to end up with a big Bigsby-outfitted box I truly love. High-end Gretsches are pricey enough that, for a long time, I just couldn’t swing it. Years ago I had an Electromatic for a while, and it looked and played lovely, but didn’t have the open, blooming acoustic resonance I hoped for. A while later, I reviewed the stellar Players Edition Broadkaster semi-hollow, and it was so great in so many ways that I set my sights on it, eventually got one, and adore it to this day. Yet the full-hollowbody lust remained.

Read MoreShow less

See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.

How does a legacy artist stay on top of his game? The pianist, hit singer-songwriter, producer, and composer talks about the importance of musical growth and positive affirmation; his love for angular melodicism; playing jazz, pop, classical, bluegrass, jam, and soundtrack music; and collaborating with his favorite guitarists, including Pat Metheny and Jerry Garcia.

Read MoreShow less