Since the beginning of the new decade (the “twenties”) BOSS seems to have been focusing on refreshing their gain pedal roster, and the new FZ-1w Fuzz – sporting an original circuit that’s not directly inspired to existing vintage ones – confirms this effort.
Presented as a modern reinterpretation of vintage fuzz, the BOSS FZ-1w features three knobs and two modes (Vintage and Modern) and delivers classic fuzz tones without the “classic” vintage fuzz instability issues related to temperature, buffer and impedance-related compatibility, and component degradation.
This is a dynamic fuzz that can produce a useable palette of tones at any setting and cleans up nicely.
The Tone knob deserves a particular mention because it works differently depending on the selected mode: in Vintage mode it acts in the traditional way, affecting both low and high frequencies, while in Modern mode it works more like a “presence” control, only pushing the high end without affecting the mids or lows.
Redefined Vintage Fuzz and Versatile Modern Tones, Brought Together with Waza Craftsmanship
Fuzz was the first type of distortion pedal, and the retro sound of vintage units from the 1960s remains coveted by guitarists to this day. Realized through deep analysis of many legendary pedals and detailed Waza craftsmanship, the all-analog FZ-1W delivers the inspiring tone, feel, and vibe of classic fuzz in a reliable modern design. And like all Waza Craft pedals, the FZ-1W features premium components for top-quality performance and extended range for maximum tonal versatility.
• Premium Waza Craft pedal for the ultimate BOSS tone experience
• Redefined fuzz sounds that combine classic tone and response with modern versatility and stability, realized through BOSS Waza innovation
• Vintage mode delivers a retro fuzz experience with aggressive tone, dynamic touch response, and extreme sensitivity to input volume
• Modern mode provides a fatter sound and more mid focus to suit a wider range of music styles
• Powerful Tone knob provides deep sound-shaping control tuned for each mode
• Consistent sound and reliable performance with silicon transistor circuitry
• High-quality buffer for clean and clear tone when bypassed
• BOSS five-year warranty
Discovering the Heartbeat of Vintage Fuzz
When introduced in the 1960s, fuzz pedals changed the game for electric guitarists, giving them a bold and aggressive new voice that redefined the sound of rock music forever. Through those early days, innovative pedal builders tweaked and refined fuzz circuits based on the creative input of many now-legendary guitarists. Ultimately, this led to a small number of standout designs that became the benchmarks for the broad spectrum of players.
While developing the limited-run TB-2W Tone Bender, we explored and analyzed many vintage fuzz pedals and gained deep knowledge along the way. This experience inspired us to reimagine the classic fuzz effect with our unique Waza craftsmanship and expertise. Unlike previous Waza Craft models, the FZ-1W does not provide a reproduction of a past design. This pedal is our modern interpretation of vintage fuzz, and it carries the number “1” in its name to show our great respect for the classic circuits that helped shape the sound of rock guitar and launch the effect pedal industry that we all love today.
The Best Elements of Vintage Fuzz in a Modern Pedal
The simple circuits of the most sought-after vintage fuzz units produce bright and aggressive tones with long sustain. They’re very sensitive to playing dynamics as well, and the best designs allow you to clean up the sound by rolling back the guitar’s volume knob. But these classic pedals are also famously inconsistent—even between models of the same design—and variables like age, battery type, temperature, and more can have a dramatic effect on their sound and performance.
Backed by Waza innovation, the FZ-1W lets you enjoy all the great musical characteristics of vintage fuzz without the downsides. While inspired by historic circuits, this pedal presents an all-new BOSS approach fueled by our forward-thinking perspective and deep knowledge of effect design. Using top-quality silicon transistors, we’ve created a unique circuit that delivers authentic tone and response while maintaining stable performance in any temperature or operating condition. In addition, our modern approach greatly expands the sound possibilities over vintage designs, offering higher gain, lower noise, deeper tone-shaping control, and more.
Vintage Mode—Classic Fuzz, Wider Expression
With the FZ-1W’s Vintage mode, BOSS has redefined the classic fuzz voice with more gain and wider expressive range. The sound character is raspy and assertive without being harsh, and you can smoothly transition from heavy fuzz to crunch to crystal clean simply by riding your guitar’s volume. The powerful Tone knob simultaneously adjusts the high and low frequencies, allowing you to dial in a variety of different fuzz colors. And by turning down the Fuzz knob and cranking the Level, the FZ-1W works great as a boost for your amp and other gain pedals.
Modern Mode—Fat and Focused
Modern mode delivers a more refined and versatile fuzz voice with focused midrange and fatter tone, making it ideal for all types of current music styles. The gain range is even wider than Vintage mode, and cranking the Fuzz knob past three o’clock conjures rich, singing sustain for inspired solo playing. The Tone knob offers a different tuning that lets you tweak the brightness without altering the midrange, ensuring your sound always cuts through. And when used as a boost, Modern mode dishes a heap of girth with rich, mid-driven character.