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.


3 Responses to FUZZ BUZZ Pedal

  1. Bill Takatsuki says:

    Thanks for the kind words George, but if it weren’t for you, there would not be a place to share these things.

    A couple of things to note here. The case is made of a black plastic that seems to be or has become somewhat brittle. Could be a reason that not many of these survived the foot stomping that they got back in the day.

    A second thing is that there is a mistake in the schematic in regards to the footswitch. It will not work as it is drawn, and it is really wired like the Maestro FZ1A switch.

  2. Teri Greene says:

    When the Maestro pedal appeared at the music store, I couldn’t afford it but looked at it anyway, and there was the patent number on the bottom! I sent fifty cents to the Patent Office, got the patent, and built one.
    It was a beautiful thing.

  3. If you’d like to build a clone that has the sound of the original but is friendly to a modern pedal board, please check out my Fuzz E-one:
    Steve Daniels

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