That Pedal Show – Things To Know About Using Wah-Wah, Fuzz & Buffers

Published on Mar 2, 2018

In this episode we tackle the problematic subject of using wah-wah and fuzz together…

Your fuzz – especially germanium fuzz – sounds ‘best’ when it’s the first pedal after your guitar. However, most people prefer the sound of fuzz AFTER wah. So why not just put fuzz after wah? Problem 1: the wah range is greatly reduced with a traditional fuzz after it.

Forget about wahs for a second. Some fuzz pedals sound unpleasant if there’s a buffer before the fuzz in your signal chain. This is because the input of a classic germanium fuzz is relatively low impedance and works better seeing your guitar pickups directly; if you put a buffered output from another pedal between the guitar and fuzz, the fuzz starts to sound ‘bad’.
Now introduce a wah-wah and run into the real confusion…

1.Germanium fuzzes sound odd with a standard buffer before them, eg the buffered bypass in most non-true-bypass pedals, or the inbuilt buffer in TheGigRig G2.

2. A germanium fuzz placed AFTER a standard wah-wah can make the wah lose a great deal of its range. Putting the fuzz BEFORE the wah means the wah keeps its range, but doesn't sound as 'good' overall. Some people love it, and that's cool.

3. A wah-wah with a built in buffer to the wah circuit pretty much solves the ‘fuzz-after-wah’ problem. This is really confusing because we are putting a buffer before a germanium fuzz which we thought was a no-no! So…

4. Don’t confuse a regular buffer or buffered bypass with a buffer built into the effected sound of the output of your wah-wah. The buffer is only on when the wah is on in the case of the Fulltone.

5. Ergo, if you want your germanium fuzz to sound good after the wah, you need a wah-wah that specifically addresses this issue. It can be done – hooray!

Pedals in this episode…
• TheGigRig Three2One

• D’Addario Pedal Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Fulltone Clyde Standard Wah-Wah
UK & Europe:

• Vox V847 Wah-Wah
UK & Europe:

• ProAnalog Devices Supa Quack Wah

• Jim Dunlop CryBaby GCB95 Standard Wah-Wah
UK & Europe:

• Analog Man Sun Face NKT Red Dot

• Analog Man Sun Face BC108

• Hubcap John Germanium Fuzz Clone
Google search Hubcap John.

• Way Huge Russian Pickle Fuzz
UK & Europe:

• Jim Dunlop EP-3 Echoplex Delay
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 00:00
- No show last week… 1:54
- You’ve got a new guitar, Dan: 2:30
- Today’s amps: 3:35
- What are we doing today? 5:26
- Germanium and silicon Sun Faces: 7:03
- Russian Pickle Fuzz: 8:17
- GE transistors and diodes aren’t the same thing: 9:58
- Buffers, wahs, impedance and why it matters: 10:45
- Wah with in-built buffer, on and off: 11:50
- Wah, buffer OFF, all 3 fuzzes: 13:34
- Wah, buffer ON, all 3 fuzzes: 14:16
- Let’s try some other wah-wahs briefly: 14:50
- What’s the problem again? 16:00
- Try another fuzz – Hubcap John germanium fuzz: 16:45 (18:01)
- Here’s one of the problems! Wah with NO buffer into HJ germanium fuzz: 20:49
- So you do need a buffer after all. Really?! 21:52
- But hang on, this isn’t //that// kind of buffer: 23:05
- So what about a ‘normal’ buffer, like the output of a non-true bypass pedal? 24:00
- And just into the amp alone? 25:05
- ‘Normal’ buffer into silicon Sun Face and Russian Pickle: 26:11
- Wah after fuzz? 26:57
- And humbuckers? 29:00
- Les Paul: 29:38
- ES-335: 33:42
- ‘Frustrated With Gibson’ tangent: 31:29
- What have we learned today? 36:09

Amps in this episode
• Marshall 1987x with 2061x 2x12 cabinet with Celestion G12H Anniversary speakers
• Fender Super Reverb with 4x10-inch Jensen P10R speakers

Guitars in this episode
• Fender Custom Shop 1952 Telecaster
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster: watch Mick’s video at
• Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard: watch Dan’s video at
• Gibson Memphis 1958 ES-335

Our preferred retailers!
Andertons Music
Pedal Empire

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