january 2016

Brute Squad

Photo by Bruce S. Gates

Six obscure amps that absolutely destroy.

My fascination with amps started before I was even a player. I remember hearing an accordion played through a Leslie speaker at a local park function as a preteen. The timbre—the lush physical cry of the horn and the full, resonant bass—marked the advent of my obsession with sound.

When I eventually started playing myself, I realized that the Leslie had been an immense part of that accordion’s glorious sound equation. I began collecting as many amps as possible, playing and performing with them often. Because many of them were used, maintenance soon became a real problem—which led to me getting my hands inside them and studying how they work. Repairs and inventions soon followed. I was hooked! Besides adding up to 20 years of great playing memories, my enthusiasm for all things amplified translated into a job for me, too. (I work as a designer and builder for EarthQuaker Devices in Akron, Ohio.)

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This painstaking clone of Mosrite’s late-’60s silicon Fuzzrite has something for tone freaks and trad-minded players alike.

The Jordan Fuzztite is Mahoney Guitar Gear's take on the rare late-’60s Mosrite Fuzzrite—specifically, the silicon-based versions made after the first 250 germanium units. Like the original, it has volume and depth controls, while an added toggle boosts volume and frequency girth in its up position by removing a 22k filter resistor from the circuit.

Players tired of Fuzz Face, Muff, and Fuzz Factory clones will love that the Fuzztite avails a variety of fizzing, trebly, mid-sculpted tones that sound like furious bees wielding an ear probe outfitted with shorting-out electrodes, especially in the low-gain original mode. Unity gain is achieved with volume just past 1 o’clock in low-gain mode, but push volume and depth past noon in high-gain mode and you get furry rotundness and even quasi Octavia sounds that should appeal to fans of more conventional fuzz fare. Some tone weirdoes may lament that most of the wonderful and disgustingly din-piercing sounds require careful lowering of your guitar’s volume knob, while others will shrug that off as merely part of the fuzz game.

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