Fuzz Review: Full Custom Music Repair – Barnacle Fuzz


Who: Full Custom Music Repair
What: Barnacle Fuzz

Price (MSRP/PAID): $149 – (Loaned from Builder)
Battery: Yes
Power Supply: Yes 9V Center Neg (Boss Style)
Size: 4.7″ x 3.7″ x 1.18″ (Approx: including jacks and knobs)
Available from: Direct/Dealers
Bypass:  True/Buffered (Select-able)
Review Date: 8/23/2011

Marketing:

Now that we are making the first run of the Barnacle Fuzz. Here is a list of features and some example settings. If you’d like to try or buy the Barnacle Fuzz stop on by. If you are a music store and would like to be a dealer for the Barnacle Fuzz contact us for minimum order quantity and dealer pricing. Retail price is $149.

Barnacle Fuzz Overview

The Barnacle combines the features of several 1960’s and 1970’s era fuzz pedals into a single, modern and useful package.

Features

Fuzz-The Fuzz control adjusts the amount of vintage fuzz goodness, this control is designed to work like the gain control of an amplifier.

EQ-The active bass and treble controls offer much more flexibility than a single tone control. At their center positions the controls are effectively bypassed. At their extremes they provide +/- 15db of cut or boost. The center frequency is set at 800 Hz.

Volume-Adjusts the output signal level to your amp. The Barnacle can provide 6db of full range boost. With the volume control at its center position the boost will be about 3db, depending upon the settings of the other controls.

External Supply Jack-Standard 2.1mm center pin negative 9 Volts. Current required is less than 20mA. A higher voltage power supply will not change the sound of the Barnacle as the supply voltage inside the pedal is internally regulated; this helps to keep the Barnacle free of noise. If the wrong polarity supply or a supply with an excessively high voltage is used it may cause damage to the pedal.

Bypass Switch- The Barnacle Fuzz has two bypass modes selectable via internal dip switch. Trü Bypass (oo–) for boutique style True Bypass and Buffered Bypass (–oo) which uses a unity gain buffer that does not bypass with the effect. This setting works well for those times when true bypass does not work, as in connecting many devices inline, extreme mismatches of impedance or long cable runs.

Frequency Response- The Barnacle Fuzz is designed to maintain an accurate representation of your original signal within +/- 1.5db when the EQ Controls are set to their center position. This allows the Barnacle to be useful not only for electric guitar but also bass, keyboard, acoustic guitar or many other applications. In fact, if you find something the Barnacle does not work for let us know.

Example Settings
(Fuzz, Treble, Bass, Volume)

Treble Boost – 2, 7, 3, 6
NYC Fuzz – 10, 7, 7, 2
Face-it – 3, 5, 3, 4
War pigs – 5, 3, 0, 7
Buzz-Tone (I Can’t Git’no) – 7, 10, 0, 4

Settings numerated 1 through 10 with 5 being half way.

Comments:

Before they contacted me, I had never heard of Full Custom Music Repair. This isn’t to discount them, but I do spend more than a bit of time trolling the internet, forums, and other pits of gear decadence trying to keep myself in the thick of things. So when I first laid hands on the Barnacle, I was expecting a home brewed effort of someone with a touch of knowledge. Boy, was I in for a surprise! What we have in the Barnacle is a pedal that is as well engineered any piece I’ve touched in some time. The two band equalizer on this pedal is a damn godsend, and works EXACTLY like I always expect these types of controls to work (but never seem to). Taking the time and effort to create a flexible bypass system is another point directly to the focus on meeting needs rather than just pumping out another clone.

The pure flexibility of the pedal is amazing. At high noon on the tone controls, the goal was to create a flat response and I feel that goal was achieved perfectly. This allows you to tweak like crazy and find usable sounds across the range of the knobs (which is a little uncommon when using a non-bass specific pedal on bass.) I even got some neat mid-pumped sounds by diving both knobs toward zero and cranking the volume. The bass can get a little out of control when you start to boost the signal, and I started rattling things and actually found the treble knob more useful on the whole for trying to dial in just the right amount of cut.

Bottom Line: Best new pedal I’ve had the chance to try in a very long time.

Photo Gallery and Video:

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or let me know Note: A rating of 5 = acceptable and should be considered a ‘good’ basic score

Sound Description: Range, Usable, Flexible
Versatility: 9
Sound: 7
Value: 8
Overall: 8