The Main Fuzz offers more options and tonal qualities than other Fuzzes I have tried. Based on the Fuzz Face, you can achieve anything from a clean boost, to warm or bright, to crunchy and distorted and to full-bore fat fuzz. The demo goes through various combinations, but I was surprised that with the Bias down and Fuzz quarter way, I couldn’t even tell the pedal was on (except I had more volume since the Volume was up high). As I increased the Pregain my clean signal sounded warmer with more headroom, but only a touch dirtier. Once I increased the Fuzz half-way and the Bias quarter way then my clean signal became a crunch rhythm that had more drive/distortion qualities than fuzz qualities. Bumping up the Fuzz and placing the Bias at 11-o’clock (its sweet spot) produced a heavier distortion sound, particularly with the Pregain up full. Throughout all this I had the Mode switch on the standard or mid-range setting. The bass Mode setting sounded best when I cranked up the Fuzz all the way for lead, as it made the tone creamier and full. When cranking both Fuzz and Bias for a fat splattering rhythm, the treble setting was best, since it cut through the mix better and removed some mud. When working with high-gain gear, the results were equality as impressive, although I eased off on both the Fuzz and Pregain while keeping the amp’s gain to about 12-noon at most. The result was far better note definition, harmonics, punch and clarity. The Main Fuzz also works exceptionally well with wah pedals due to the Pregain control. Many fuzzes sound too noisy (sometimes they howl) when teamed up with a wah, but since you can cut back the Main Fuzz’s Pregain you are able to tame a wah exceptionally well.
This has to be one of the better sounding fuzzes in my collection, mainly because it can have very different characteristics than what is typical for a fuzz. It can be used as a boost (with zero or very little coloring in the mix), as an overdrive/crunch/distortion (thanks in part to the Pregain control) or a thick, heavy and traditional sounding fuzz. Based on the Fuzz Face, there are three different Modes of operation: standard (very mid-range in nature), more treble (similar to a Tonebender Vox/Mk1.5) or more bass (similar to a Meathead). Its versatility produces a wide range of results, from a relatively clean boost, to slightly dirty and crunchy to thick and heavy. The Mode selection is perfect for dialing in a tone that cuts through the mix, whether playing rhythm or lead. On top of this, Ananashead Effects will customize this pedal so that it can be built with silicon or germanium chips, or a hybrid version (the version in the demo is silicon). As well, a bigger box version (with no graphics) includes an extra footswitch so that you can turn the Pregain on/off.
The Main Fuzz is simple to use, insofar as dialing in a good tone, but it also can be complex since it can be subtle or boisterous in the mix (depending on your tastes). As with any fuzz you set the Volume, Fuzz and Bias. The more hair you want, the more Fuzz you add. The more disruption you want, the more Bias you add (be aware that there is a sweet spot at 11-o’clock, which produces a perfect amount of dirt or grain for that overdrive/distorted quality). The Tone knob obviously gives you more bass or treble and seems to work within a limited EQ so that full bass is not dark or excessive and full treble, likewise, is not shrill or sharp. So far, so good, but this is where things get interesting (and more complex). There is a Mode switch, which ranges from standard/mid-range (switch down) to more treble (middle switch position) to more bass (switch up). You can hear the difference among positions, but none are excessive.
If you want more bass for a fat rhythm or thicker lead, you will hear it, but it’s not anything extreme compared to going with one of the other two settings, viz., more treble or midrange. The same holds true for the other positions and all are highly usable while giving a ‘bit more’ of a particular character. Obviously, then, you need to adjust the Tone relative to Mode, although sometimes I forget and it still sounds good. Lastly, the Pregain makes a big difference in how things sound, as more Pregain adds that overdrive quality so that Fuzz at 12-noon and Bias at 11-o’clock (for example) can sound very smooth and warm (Pregain up half-way) or very dirty and crunchy (Pregain all the way).
Measuring 4.5 (L) x 2.25 (W) x 2.0 (H) inches or 11.43 x 5.7 x 5.1 cm, the Main Fuzz weighs 10 ounces or 290g. Its all-metal chassis has a powder coated racing yellow paintjob with black screen writing/graphics. The footswitch feels solid with a click when engaged/disengaged, although there is no audible clicking in the signal. All knobs are heavy plastic and the pots feel smooth and solid when turned. The Mode switch has a solid feel and clicks in place in the three positions very well. All input/outputs are located along the sides of the pedal, and so some care is required when stomping. The Main Fuzz requires a 9VDC standard power supply (negative tip) while drawing 3mA of current.