Fuzz: Ibanez FZ7

Since this is the first in a small series of reviews that I will be doing I thought it would be a good idea to choose a pedal that is commonly overlooked and more importantly not a new “boutique” pedal. There is plenty of that already going on in my opinion.

The Tone-Lok series (also known as the 7 series), was introduced in 1999. The name “Tone-lok” simply refers to a rather unique and useful feature found in this series. All of the control knobs allow for you to push them down into the enclosure, ensuring that your settings would ever be altered again. The FZ7 Fuzz is one of 17 in the expansive line of unique and budget friendly pedals. Others include SB7 Synthesizer Bass, LF7 Lo-Fi Filter, TC7 Tri Mode Chorus, and SH7 Seventh Heaven to name a few.

This pedal has a normal layout as far as controls, from left to right we have Drive, Tone, and Level. Again, push all of those knobs down to lock your cherished settings into place. Below the controls is my favorite feature of this pedal, the “Damage” selector switch. This switch creates a tone that emulates a broken speaker or “broken radio” as they refer to it in the manual. In all actually it really just acts as a gate. At 0% you hear a fat fuzz sound, switch over to 10% (middle) for a rougher sound with a subtle gate, and lastly 100% for full on broken speaker sound with a harsh gate after the circuit.

My plan was to put together a little demo recording of this pedal, but if I were to actually commit to doing that for every pedal that I own I would have no life, and no time to get some actual work done. Maybe down the road I will do some. However, ShurSoma over at YouTube did an alright job at showing most of what this pedal can do. He even put out a mirror to suspend any disbelief that he is in fact playing a guitar.

I hope the prices of these don’t go up now that you’re reading this blog post. If you pay any more than $70 for this wonderful fuzzy delight you are a sucker. The only thing you should keep in mind is making sure that the stomp switch functions correctly and repeatedly. They are made with a very cheap plastic switch underneath and not susceptible to repetitive stomping of the foot. Who knew?

Until next time, this was another fuzz pedal you read about.

Published by Patrick Benson

Guitarist, repair tech, and noisemaker based in Los Angeles, Ca. Email for repair inquiries: crossedwiresla@gmail.com

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