Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1

Info

fuzz tone_front

 

NAME: Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1

TYPE: Outboard/FX

MANUFACTURER: Maestro

YEAR: 1963

DAY RATE: 65

WEEKLY RATE: 225

 

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fuzz tone_front

 

NAME: Maestro Fuzz-Tone FZ-1

TYPE: Outboard/FX

MANUFACTURER: Maestro

YEAR: 1963

DAY RATE: 65

WEEKLY RATE: 225

 

Story


Beginning in ’62, Gibson launched the Fuzz-Tone FZ-1 pedal under its Maestro brand name with a retail price of $40. The company also used the circuit in several basses including the EB-0F, EB-SF 1250 and Epiphone Newport EB-SF – the F suffix indicating “fuzz.”

It’s even possible Gibson saw this effect as primarily for bass use. Either way, the company soon released a 7″ 33-r.p.m. demonstration record in ’62, promoting the FZ-1 for guitarists. Still, Gibson didn’t quite know what they’d use it for. As noted in the May 3, 1962 patent application, the Fuzz-Tone was designed “to provide a tone modifying attachment and circuit for electrically produced signals which will permit stringed musical instruments such as guitars, banjos and string basses to produce electrically amplified and reproduced tones simulating other instruments such as trumpets, trombones and tubas.”

Gibson expected huge sales from guitarists who wanted to sound like sousaphonists, and dealers responded by snapping up all 5,000 units produced in 1962. But players didn’t buy. The story goes that Gibson shipped only three more Fuzz-Tones in ’63 and none in ’64.

That all changed come ’65, when Keith Richards used an FZ-1 on the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and the Fuzz-Tone instantly became the “it” pedal. Ironically – or maybe not – Richards says he indeed used the Fuzz-Tone to emulate a horn.

As he wrote in his 2010 autobiography, Life, “It was down to one little foot pedal, the Gibson fuzz tone [sic]… I’ve only ever used foot pedals twice [the other being an XR delay on Some Girls]… effects are not my thing. I just go for quality of “I was imagining horns, trying to imitate their sound to put on the track later when we recorded. I’d already heard the riff in my head, the way Otis Redding did it later, thinking this is gonna be the horn line. But we didn’t have any horns, and I was only going to lay down a dub. The fuzz tone came in handy so I could give a shape to what the horns were supposed to do. But the fuzz tone had never been heard before anywhere, and that’s the sound that caught everybody’s imagination.”

 

Specifications


Input Impedance – 1 Mohm
Maximum Recommended Input Level – 0 dBm
Output Impedance – 20k ohms (maximum)
Maximum Output Level – +5dBm
Equivalent Input Noise – -100dBm
Type of Distortion – Low order odd harmonic
Power Requirements – 9 VDC at 250 microAmperes

Manual

Video


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