Named one of the 10 “Must Have” pedals at NAMM by Guitar Player magazine
When I read about the painstaking process that Earthquaker Devices went through during the development of the Park Fuzz Sound, I was very interested in checking out this rare and mysterious device. I wasn’t very familiar with Park Amplification and didn’t know that it was a company started by the legendary Jim Marshall in 1965. I had seen some Park amps in pictures or videos, but didn’t know of their origins. I also didn’t know that they made pedals, specifically the Park Fuzz Sound. In 2013, Mitch Colby resurrected Park Amplifiers and sought the help of the pedal wizards at Earthquaker Devices to reintroduce the Park Fuzz Sound. Earthquaker had an original Park Fuzz Sound and was able to inspect its nuances in order to ensure they got it right. The original Fuzz Sound had some powering issues and was limited in that it couldn’t be daisy-chained along with other pedals, but the clever builders at Earthquaker fixed that problem on their reissue and even added some more fuzz, which is always good. These pedals are handmade in a mythical land in Ohio, named Akron.
During this year’s NAMM show I spoke with some people at Earthquaker about the new pedals coming out and it was clear they were excited and proud of the Fuzz Sound. Our conversation only furthered my curiosity about wanting to play one. I have played a few fuzz pedals in my time, but have never really been drawn to them. My previous thoughts were that they were associated with a very “garage” or “indy” kind of sound and didn’t have much appeal. While artists like Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, and Eric Johnson use fuzz boxes to develop their identifiable tone, I felt like these pedals sounded too similar and not as good as a good distorted sound. However, as my playing and music appreciation developed, I began to value the role that fuzz pedals played. I spent the past weekend demoing the new Park Fuzz Sound and, thanks to the cool people at Earthquaker Devices, I have changed my mind about at least one fuzz pedal.
The guitars I used for this demo were a Jackson Dominion, Jackson Chris Broderick Soloist, and for amps, I went with an EVH 5150III 1×12 combo. I kept the EQ on the amp around 12 o’clock for both the clean and dirty channel and just adjusted the knobs on the pedal. Using the Fuzz Sound through the clean channel of the amp offered some unique sounds. I think it would be great for playing single lines and adding some color to a solo. I noticed some subtle octave-like sounds that definitely add to the fullness of this pedal. The Treble/Bass knob is really responsive and allows the user a wide variety of tonal options. My preferred setting was to use the Park Fuzz Sound through a distorted channel. I used this through Channel 3 of the EVH combo and after playing this pedal for a few minutes; I realized that it would now become a staple on my board and on the boards of many other players. The best way to describe what this pedal does to a high gain setting is that it’s like putting a blue fuzzy wool sweater over your tone. It adds layers of warmth, and adjusting the Treble/Bass and Fuzz will dictate how thick that layer is. I am impressed by the tonal versatility of the Park Fuzz Sound. This is a germanium-based pedal that is full of some nice, rich harmonic overtones that break through like a flower from a cracked sidewalk.
Check out brief demo below and if you decide to pick up a Park Fuzz Sound by Earthquaker Devices, you will not be disappointed.