Fuzz pedals come in many different flavors. After tackling the most influential circuits (like the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, Sola Sound Tone Bender, Electro Harmonix Big Muff, and Univox Super Fuzz) it’s time to take a look at the best Foxx Tone Machine clones and evolutions currently on the market.
A Brief History of the Foxx Tone Machine
One of the first pedal designs of Danelectro‘s president Steve Ridinger was the Foxx Tone Machine, a warm and thick-sounding fuzz pedal with a controllable octave-up effect. He was 19 and it was 1972.
The pedal featured three knobs (Tone, Gain, and Volume) and a toggle switch to add the octave. The device’s case was uniquely covered in a striking furry enclosure that came in several different colors, here’s a beautiful bright red version of the original.
Although only manufactured for a few years, the circuit was licensed to other builders (“Ibanez Tone Machine”, “Turtle Tone Machine”, “Nashville Fuzzer” are some of its pseudonyms) and was used by such wide-ranging musicians as Billy Gibbons, George Clinton, and Adrian Belew.
The 6 Best Foxx Tone Machine Clones and Evolutions
50 years on, the pedal has been brought back by Danelectro, among others, and the coveted octave-up effect can be used by everyone. Here’s a shortlist of the most solid modern takes on the Foxx Tone circuit, ranging from clones sporting the exact same look and controls to “improved” versions with new features.
An updated version of their classic, the 3699 is the same as the old Foxx Tone Machine but even better and more compact. The upper octave is now more pronounced and footswitchable. A toggle is added for a mid boost if you need to cut through a live mix, therefore removing the mid-frequency scoop of the original.
Handmade in the USA, Warm Audio’s products are reliable and affordable recreations of classic studio gear. Their Foxy Tone Box nails the looks and sounds of the classic Tone Machine – including the fuzzy enclosure of the original. Inside are NOS Fairchild Germanium transistors, the same ones found in the vintage units.
A Foxx Tone Machine-inspired pedal by Matt Pasquerella, a boutique US manufacturer known for building some of the best takes on rare vintage Big Muff models. His Foxx tone machine sounds like the real deal, featuring NOS germanium diodes and a compact enclosure complete with a footswitchable octave.
Starting with the Foxx Tone Machine as a blueprint, with the Odin fuzz, Fjord Fuzz removes the tone and clipping stages and adds a louder output stage, resulting in a massive mid-forward octave fuzz. The upper octave can be triggered via the left footswitch. While version 1 only had the huge volume out control to worry about, V2 adds individual gain controls for fuzz and octave.
Based on Nick Greer’s personal Foxx Tone Machine, the Super Hornet uses NOS BC-107B transistors for some vintage mojo. The calling card here is the latching or momentary “Stinger” octave toggle, which has a range of live applications: use it to emphasize certain notes in a solo, or tap quickly for a killswitch-like stutter effect.
This gorgeous-looking and classic-sounding Foxx Tone Machine-inspired fuzz lets you blend in the octave to taste. An EQ toggle lets you push the upper mids for a more cutting sound in conjunction with the Tone control.
Other Foxx Tone Machine-Style Fuzz Pedals
Here’s a list of more obscure or discontinued pedals that are also inspired by the Foxx Tone Machine.
Explore All Kinds of Fuzz Pedals on Delicious Audio