30 Pedals in 30 Days 2015: Earthquaker Devices & Park Amplification Park Fuzz Sound



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A New Sound, Fresh From the Past.

Akron, Ohio-based Earthquaker Devices has been one of the top producers of fuzzes for some time now, bringing versatile units that take cues from vintage fuzz tones but include modern features and flexibility.  And one of their latest creations, the Park Fuzz Sound, leaves no doubt as to it’s tonal origins. 

Some quick history: the original Park amplifier company was started by Jim Marshall back in 1965.  Yes, that Jim Marshall.  Park was a born after Marshall signed an exclusive distribution agreement for his namesake amp brand, but the deal raised prices on those amps and global sales slowed.  Since the deal did not prohibit Marshall from building amps under a different name (as long as the design wasn’t exactly the same as his namesake line), Marshall used the Park name to sell a fresh line of amps through his old distribution network.  Park lasted until 1982, but was recently revived and is producing amps once again.

Recreating the original Fuzz Sound, a variant of the Sola Sound Tone Bender, was no easy feat, however.  In the examples Earthquaker Devices examined, the components were unlabeled, and a lot of experimentation was required to get a faithful Fuzz Sound circuit developed.  Fortunately, Earthquaker Devices is really, really good at this sort of thing, and the old school Fuzz Sound magic was recaptured via a set of new old-stock, hand-matched germanium transistors.  As a bonus, Earthquaker Devices was able to fill up it’s modern Fuzz Sound with a lot more range on the fuzz control, making it perfect for players that prefer more tonal horsepower. 

Earthquaker Devices also departed from the whimsical and otherworldly graphics that usually adorn it’s compact, tank-tough pedals for an elegant and faithful tribute to the original Fuzz Sound units.  The Earthquaker Devices Park Fuzz Sound also provides players with features like true bypass switching and, unlike a true vintage fuzz, the ability to be powered with an external power supply, which has been customary in these modern times.

Fuzz really is an indispensable effect for electric guitar players, and, in this author’s opinion, a truly great fuzz combines touch sensitivity and dynamics with a little bit of that anarchic, off-the-rails, “she’s gonna blow” personality.  The Park Fuzz Sound undoubtedly checks all of those boxes, as TTK has shown us.  Bravo to Earthquaker Devices and Park Amplifiers for bringing one of the coolest vintage designs in the pantheon of fuzz into the modern era.



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