Archive for the ‘fuzz’ Category

5 Tone Bones - Gear has stellar performance, value, and quality. This is definitely top of the class, best of breed, and it's a no-brainer to add this to your gear lineup!

GeekDriver by the Original Geek

The GeekDriver by the Original Geek

Summary: Is it a booster? Is it an overdrive? No! It’s the GeekDriver.

Pros: From gorgeous, slightly fat boost to searing, face peeling overdrive with tons of overtones and harmonics, this pedal does it!

Cons: None.


  • Hand-wired and soldered in the US
  • Volume, Treble, Bass and Gain Controls
  • Neutrik and Switchcraft jacks
  • True Bypass

Price: $205 direct

Tone Bone Score: 5.0. I’m absolutely blown away by this pedal! I can’t say for sure, but this is a pedal that I’d almost always have on.

I don’t give 5 Tone Bones away lightly. I have to be so totally blown away by some gear that I have to give it my highest rating. When I first heard the GeekDriver on Geek’s Premier Guitar Video, I immediately became intrigued. Then when I finally met the Geek himself at the shop he shares with Tonic Amps, and he demonstrated the GeekDriver in person, I knew I had to have one, so I told him I wanted one, and tonight I picked it up.

What exactly is the GeekDriver?

As the Geek will tell you, the GeekDriver is based upon the ColorSound Overdriver that was popularized by Jeff Beck. At its core, it’s a clean booster, but the Gain knob changes the game significantly, giving you anywhere from mild breakup to ugly, snarling dog overdrive, replete with tons of overtones and harmonics. At high gain levels, it’s like the ugly dog that’s so ugly you can’t help but love it, if you catch my drift.

One thing’s for sure, it’s not transparent, nor is it meant to be. When active it adds a slight compressive fat boost at all volume levels. The effect is incredibly subtle, almost visceral, in that  you “feel” that coloration more than you hear it. This aspect alone made me give this pedal the 5 Tone Bones. The effect is so sensual and appealing. I know I’m using a lot of flowery adjectives here, but it’s because it’s so hard to articulate the emotional effect that compressive boost has on me. When I get that feeling, I know I’m onto something good.

Then you turn the gain up, and in addition to that colored boost, you get layers of overdrive which become this ugly fuzz as you increase the gain that’s total ear candy. But despite the cacophony of distorted signals, the tone is still incredibly defined and articulate. Unlike a pedal like the OCD which can get pretty muddy when you crank the gain, the GeekDriver just oozes thick fuzz, but never gets muddy. Nice.

How it sounds…

In a word, it sounds awesome. It is very hard to describe what it actually sounds like. It’s like a colored overdrive with fuzz attached. In any case here are a couple of clips (BTW, both clips were recorded at bedroom level using my Aracom PRX150-Pro attenuator. That thing ROCKS, retaining all my tone and dynamics):

In this first clip, I was just noodling, switching back and forth a couple times between the clean tone of my amp and the GeekDriver. Note that I set the Gain pretty high on the GeekDriver on the first section to show how ugly it can get – I love that sound!

In this next clip, I start the solo out only with the GeekDriver, with a very light pick attack. In the second part of the solo, I add my Abunai 2 to the chain to demonstrate how delicious the GeekDriver sounds when another overdrive pedal is stacked on top of it.

I believe the GeekDriver was meant to be stacked. I placed it first on my board, then ran my Tone Freak Effects Abunai 2, and my Creation Audio Labs Holy Fire after it. With both pedals, the GeekDriver just FREAKIN’ ROCKED THE HOUSE!!! Oh, it’s sounds f-in’ awesome by itself, but used as a “base” pedal in front of another OD or distortion pedal, and the mix is like nothing you’ve experienced!

Overall Impressions

As you can tell, I freakin’ love this pedal! I’m not surprise why Jeff Beck dug the original ColorSound Overdriver. This is definitely Geek’s unique take on that classic pedal, and what a unique take that is! It may not be for everyone, especially if you’re looking for a transparent boost. But if you’re looking for something totally different from your typical boost or drive pedal, the GeekDriver has a voice all its own. Like I said, it freakin’ rocks the house!

About the Original Geek

Meeting Geek was pure serendipity. I originally was going to Tonic Amps to meet Darin Elingson about his cabs and Fane speakers. I didn’t know the Original Geek shared a shop space with him. That’s serendipity for you.

For those who are familiar with Jeff and his creations, he is known as “GeekMacDaddy,” and for years, his pedals have been by GeekMacDaddy. But his company has gone through a recent name change, and is now known as the “The Original Geek.” But who cares about the name? I certainly don’t. I just know his pedals kick f-in’ ass!

For more information, and to order one, go to http://www.geekmacdaddy.com.

Read Full Post »

Reinhardt Amps Willard Distortion Pedal

Just ran across this brand-new fuzz pedal from Reinhardt Amps, called the "Willard" distortion pedal. This pedal is pure 80’s fuzz, a sound that I came to love! From the video, it’s clear that this pedal is capable of producing some serious hair, but it also retains a lot of clarity. Built around a true NOS LM308N op-amp chip and based around a big-box Rat of that era, this is a very nice-sounding distortion box. Check out the video below:

Read Full Post »

Back in the early 1990’s, Jeorge Tripp started Way Huge and created a line of pedals starting with the “Fuzz Box” that for all intents and purposes started the whole boutique pedal movement. Later in the decade, he decided to go on to other stuff (I believe he went to Line 6). I didn’t play much electric guitar back then, but I do remember a couple of guys I knew who used to rave about Way Huge pedals. I had never heard of them, and as a primarily acoustic guitar player, didn’t really pay too much attention because distortion was not part of my tonal palette. That all changed when I started focusing on electric guitar a few years ago. I’d visit forums and lurk discussions about how people were paying hundreds (never saw any go for thousands, but apparently some did) for these rare pedals. I was amazed. These pedals must’ve been something special if they were in such high demand.

Then a few weeks ago, I had heard that Jeorge Tripp struck a deal with the Jim Dunlop company to resurrect Way Huge. I did a google search to see if I could find any info, and came up pretty empty-handed. Even the Way Huge site had no information – until I did another search about ten minutes ago, and saw that a search on “way huge” produced the result “Jim Dunlop – Way Huge” as a search result. Naturally, I had to click the link, despite the seemingly sexual undertones the link title might have implied.

To my everlasting surprise, the Way Huge site was completely transformed from the comic book-like line drawing theme into a real site, replete with Flash graphics! But to be clear, the fact that it’s Flash did not get me excited. It was the fact that it was a real site. You have to check it out!

Featured on the site are the three pedals Way Huge is offering right now: The Swollen Pickle Mk II, The Fat Sandwich, and the Pork Loin. The Swollen Pickle is a pure Fuzz machine, while the Fat Sandwich and Pork Loin are soft-clipping overdrive pedals. Each has a very unique voice. The sound samples really display the capabilities of each pedal, so I encourage you to check ’em out.

Personally, I’ve never been much of a fuzz guy, but I do love soft clipping pedals. So naturally, I gravitated toward the Fat Sandwich and Pork Loin pedals. Very nice sounds indeed!

Visit Way Huge at http://www.wayhuge.com

Read Full Post »

Fuzz pedal? Me? GoofyDawg? I know, I know… I’m an overdrive and overdrive/distortion pedal kind of guy. I usually prefer soft clipping pedals that throw just a hint of clipping and lot of input gain at an amp to make the amp’s tubes saturate and overdrive. And up until this point, I haven’t even discussed any fuzz pedals. But after hearing some of the sound clips from the new Algal Bloom from FH(fx), I have to say that I’m now rethinking my predeliction for overdrive pedals only. But don’t let me do the talking. Check out the clips on the Fuzzhugger.com site!

This pedal looks awesome! And from what I could tell from the sound clips, it’s capable of producing some gnarly fuzz and, as the guys at Fuzzhugger.com say, “[the Algal Bloom’s] name is inspired by its tone – thick and destructive – but very alive.” From the sound clips, I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description of the Algal Bloom.

It’s weird isn’t it? I’m normally not into that kind of sound, but it’s so ugly, it’s lovable! I had a little dog like that when I was growing up. It was a mix of Chihuahua, Toy Poodle, and Wire-haired Fox Terrier. Ugliest freakin’ dog you ever saw – like a little rat. But I loved that dog! He was smart and playful and so loving! Sorry, reminiscing… not that I could say that about the Algal Bloom, but there’s something about how it sounds that I just dig! Check it out!

Read Full Post »