Yes! It’s true. Lectrolab made a Fuzz box. The FUZZ BUZZ. We know this thanks to a most generous reader, Bill Takatsuki of Chicago. Bill ventured into his basement, pulled out this example, photographed it, and sent the results:
Click to enlarge
Bill, are a professional photographer? These are excellent pictures!
The pots are dated 1966.
As Bill told me, a look at the schematic reveals this to be a slavish copy of the first fuzz pedal the world ever heard, the Gibson Maestro. Most of us first heard this box on ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’. Needless to say, it’s a classic sound.
The Gibson Maestro FZ-1A schematic is included for comparison. The original Gibson product was the FZ-1, but was revised to FZ-1A in the mid-sixties. Fascinating story on the origins of the Maestro here (under “Background”).
I had one of those in 1967, and I have no idea what happened to it. It’s an old story oft told…
The patent for the Gibson fuzz (may be the first patent for any fuzz box, not sure) can be seen here. It is very interesting to see it points out (second page, column 3, line 45) vacuum tubes could be used just as easily as transistors to achieve the overdriven distorted sound. The patent was filed in 1962. Perhaps Randall Smith of Mesa Boogie has filed many patents for “inventions” which were already invented?
It is thanks to fantastic readers like Bill that we get this kind of information, so much gratitude goes out to Mr. Takatsuki.