The Valco KGB Fuzz JR is the latest release from a Canadian builder that’s putting a lot of emphasys on variable impedance as a way to affect not only your final tone but also the way the pedal interacts with other ones on your board.
A smaller sibling of the Valco KGB Fuzz, this Junior version is based on the same Silicon circuit but loses the Blend fader while keeping all the other features, including the 3-voice selector delivering Muff, Tone Bender, Velcro and 2-knob Modes (aka, Off position).
The Impedance knob is a little bit like the secret weapon here, affecting at once the tonality of the fuzz and the dry signal, and recreating, at lower settings, the sound of vintage fuzz pedals with their darker tone and slower transient response.
A Line/Inst Switch bypasses the Impedance section of the circuit, making the input compatible with line instruments.
Here’s what each mode does:
- Mid Scoop: Introduces a 1Khz EQ dip, for a ‘Muff’ style fuzz reminiscent of the Triangle variety. It cleans better than a standard Muff.
- 3 Knob Mode: A classic, singing fuzz with a more neutral EQ curve reminiscent of the Tonebender. Great for both rhythm and lead fuzz tones and plays nicely with a lower impedance setting.
- Gated: Uses the same EQ circuit as Voice 2, but adds an extra input drive stage, delivering gnarly and gated sounds like a classic gated/starved circuit that disintegrates the more you turn the fuzz knob up.
- “Off”= 2-Knob Mode: The Tone control is bypassed, leaving the Silicon voice of the fuzz untouched.
A Dry Out allows for extra routing options.
Check out our own video of the Valco KGB Fuzz Jr!
Valco KGB Fuzz JR, Builder’s Notes
The Variable Input Impedance works best with passive instruments (guitar/bass) and allows tone-sculpting with or without the fuzz circuit engaged. Lower settings yield softer dynamics/transients with a notable ‘rounded/vintage’ feel and tone. Higher settings gives a sharper high frequency response with a more direct/aggressive transient feel and more perceived gain. This makes for a great ’shaping’ control, where you can tune the pedal for its best response to the pickups you are using and how you want them to react/feel.
• Variable Input Impedance Selection.
• Multi-mode Silicon Fuzz, covering ’Two Knob’, ‘ToneBender’, ‘Muff’ and ‘Velcro’ fuzz styles.
•Impedance Selector- Changes the input impedance value, allowing you to change the tonality of the fuzz, dry signal, or any other pedal down the line. Recreates lower impedance sounds of vintage fuzz pedals. Allows you to alter/tune the transient/dynamic response of your guitar and signal path.
•LINE/INST Switch – activates the Impedance Selector when set to ‘Inst’. In ‘Line’ position, impedance is fixed.
•FUZZ – Controls the amount of Fuzz.
•TONE – Controls the tonal voicing. Tone is modified by the 4-position rotary switch, bypassed completely when the Voice is set to OFF.
•OUTPUT – Controls the overall output volume of the Fuzz section/circuit. Increased output headroom so you’ll never go unheard!
•VOICE – Selects the fuzz voice.
•OFF- ‘Tone Bypass’. Acts as a ‘2 Knob’ fuzz, using FUZZ and LEVEL controls only.
•1- ‘Mid Scoop’. Introduces a 1Khz EQ dip, giving a ‘Muff’ style fuzz.
•2- ‘3 Knob Mode’. A more neutral EQ curve with increased mid focus. Great for both rhythm and lead fuzz tones.
•3- ‘Gated’. Using the same EQ circuit as Voice 2, Voice 3 configures the fuzz section to enter deep bias saturation with the introduction of an extra input drive stage. The more you drive, the more gnarly and gated the sound becomes. The classic gated/starved fuzz sound.
•Dry Out (permanent ‘thru’ dry signal (pre-imp selector)).
Power: The KGB Fuzz JR can be powered by a standard 9V center-negative AC adapter or 9V battery.
Dimensions: 7.09″ length X 4.33″ width X 3.43″ height (180mm X 110mm X 87 mm)