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This is the JHS Smiley Fuzz, as part of the Legends of Fuzz series. It's an ode to some of the most important fuzz guitar pedal circuits ever made! The Smiley Fuzz is based off of the Arbiter Electronics Fuzz Face. The first few years of the Fuzz Face* were manufactured using germanium transistors but by 1969, germanium fully gave way to silicon devices and Arbiter never looked back. Hendrix himself preferred the silicon versions over germanium because of their sound, aggressive bite, and their stability in environments where germanium proved inconsistent. The JHS Smiley is a sonically faithful recreation of what makes these early silicon Fuzz Faces great. Several vintage units from my collection were considered and analyzed so that we could be sure to perfectly capture the magic that I love in this era. The Smiley is clear and defined, straddling the line between distortion pedal and a searing sustain, sustaining low end and crisp mid-range bite that you expect from a vintage Arbiter unit. One of the most revered characteristics of a good Fuzz Face* is its ability to clean up when the guitar's volume is rolled back, and the Smiley does this effortlessly. The controls are Volume and Fuzz. Volume sets the overall output level of the effect; turn it up and it gets louder. Fuzz is the distortion control; the more you turn it clockwise, the more fuzz you create. On the side you will see a “Mode” control. Push this button to access our own unique “JHS Mode”. This mode sends the Smiley into high gain / gated fuzz territory that you may never want to come back from.
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