You’ve Unleashed the Fuzzing Fury
This enclosure requires so much explanation. I mean, Fuzzy Bunny’s origin story isn’t as involved as Batman’s, which has obviously required 80 years of comic books and over 700 feature-length films to adequately portray, but it’s still a stretch for a pedal.
The short version: I used to have a small sailboat. I kept it on a trailer at a marina, and would launch it from the marina’s boat ramp every time I sailed. The boat ramp was also available for randos to use, and oh, did randos use it. I also have always logged all of my sailing activities in an online boat log, or “blog,” if you will. In 2012, I wanted to describe a particularly…active day at the boat ramp, but I try to keep it mostly PG-13 over there, and needed an angle to capture the timbre of the conversation. Thus, Fuzzy Bunny was born.
He has since become a recurring character on the boat log, and serves as a stand-in whenever I need to refer to a particular type of nincompoop. This is his first foray into effect pedals. It was only a matter of time.
The Fuzzy Bunny Fuzzing Fuzz is an octave fuzz, based on the fOXX Tone Machine of the early 70s. In addition to sounding great, the original fOXX Tone Machines (and some that followed) were known for being actually fuzzy—the enclosures were flocked. The Fuzzy Bunny is not flocked, and the enclosure layout is a more pedalboard-friendly modern layout with the knobs on top, but the sound is similar, and wonderfully chaotic.
A friend of mine built a pedal like this and I found the circuit to be intriguing. When I was breadboarding the Do Attend pedal and trying to make it more quirky, I experimented with adding hard clipping diodes after the gain stage and found that they didn’t add much. They made it quieter and maybe more compressed, but not really any more distorted. I could have gotten the level back with a boost stage after the clipping, but without a distinct difference in tone it didn’t seem worth pursuing. The circuit for this transistor-based fuzz pedal (the Fuzzy Foxx from PedalPCB) seemed to have hard clipping diodes though, so somebody must have gotten it to work.
Then I bought a bunch of weird old germanium diodes. I’ve been trying not to hoard too many weird old parts, because 1) I don’t really ascribe to the magical thinking that surrounds certain pedal components and 2) I worry that I’m only ever a couple steps away from filling my basement to the ceiling with Pampers boxes full of out-of-production op-amps, broken reel-to-reel tape recorders, and Two Guys circulars, but this was just a dime bag of diodes and I figured I could hack it. Germanium diodes are actually different from silicon diodes in measurable, non-magical ways, and I wanted to get a bunch so that I could test them and make sure that they actually worked and had the expected forward voltage. My batch was surprisingly closely matched (and no duds), and I don’t really know what the ultimate effect on the tone was by using them, but it sounds good to me.
The Fuzzy Bunny has fuzz (gain), level, and tone knobs, and a switch to engage or disengage the octave effect. It will get quite loud and filthy. The tone knob has a surprising amount of range, and the octave is among the most useful that I’ve personally heard on an octave fuzz.
The following sample has the Fuzzy Bunny on the bass and both guitars. The more rhythmish guitar is the Emomaster with its volume backed way off to lighten up the fuzz effect, and the other is the Coronacaster wide open with the octave on the pedal engaged.