Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 125

TWO GREAT
TASTES
The Area 51 Fuzzwah

F

uzz wahs are nothing new, of course. Released under scores of badge-engineered
monikers, they've promised aural overload
ranging from sirens to tornadoes. Problem
is, most have sounded like novelty toys -
funky and great for party tricks, but that's
about it.
Area 51's Fuzzwah changes that. This
pedal can make the weird sounds, sure, but
they're glorious; far-out wah, buttery fuzz,
and any combo of the two.
Dan Albrecht has been building "standard" wah pedals for a number of years
- rocker pedals that have garnered rave
reviews. He also makes a simple-but-killer
fuzz box with many an acolyte. Why not
meld the two into one?
Albrecht added extra boost to his
standard wah circuitry, which in turn
added character to the tone depending on
where the foot treadle was set. That extra
gain stage powers the amp's preamp. The

added gain smooths
out the sweep of the wah,
so depending on the rock
of the foot, the Fuzzwah can
produce incredibly subtle shifts or
downright massive ones.
Further, this isn't a frog covered in
warts of dials, controls, and switches:
it's a simple, solid wah with a single dial.
And, Area 51's build quality is superlative - important with a pedal that gets a
lot of footwork.
The ultimate glory here is you get three
effects in one. Turn off the fuzz and use it
as a regular wah; leave your foot off the go
pedal and just let the fuzz work its magic;
or combine the two for an infinite array of
sounds that change as quickly as you pick
and rock your hoof.
Morley built one of the most famous -
and truly usable - fuzz wahs back in the
day, beloved of players from Jerry Garcia

HIGHLY
EDUCATIONAL

Price: $275
Info: www.area51tone.com

to Metallica's Cliff Burton. But no one has
perfected the effects amalgamation like Area
51. - Michael Dregni

Price: $229.99
Info: www.
bogneramplification.com

The Bogner Oxford Fuzz

T

eaming with Rupert Neve, Bogner
Amplification has developed a line of
pedals based on its renowned amp channels.
One result, the Oxford Fuzz, is a smooth
and highly refined fuzz with unmistakable
tone and feel.
Housed in a sleek die-cast chassis with
top hat-style knobs and chassis-mounted
pots and switches, the Oxford's insides
are loaded - a Neve-designed transformer,
double-sided (and gold-plated) printed
circuit boards, German WIMA capacitors,
Japanese Nichicon capacitors, gold-plated
relays, and Carling switches. Controls include a true-bypass footswitch with large
LED, three-position Fuzz Mode toggle,
two-position Gain toggle, and knobs for
master Volume, Tone, and Fuzz. Hookups

include 1/4" input and output jacks and
a nine-volt power jack (internal battery
option). Ferrosilicon transistors ensure
consistent performance.
Clearly, Bogner invested a lot of thought
in the details of the Oxford Fuzz. So how
do they all come together? To find out, we
unshelved a Fender Blues Junior 1x12 and a
Les Paul Standard with Burstbucker pickups.
The Oxford produces a smooth fuzz with
a thick and harmonically rich tone with a
surprising amount of touch-sensitivity. Even
with an over-the-top grainy fuzz dialed in,
the pedal maintains a buttery tone - clear and
complex, thanks no doubt to the Neve transformer. Between the three-way Fuzz Mode
switch, two-way Gain, and Tone control, the
user can access a huge variety of fuzz/overdrive

January 2018

125

tones, from organic and mild transistor '60s
overdrive to out-of-control sustaining fuzz.
With its quality build and thoughtful
componentry, the Bogner Oxford Fuzz will
raise the grade of most any guitar setup. -
Phil Feser

VINTAGE GUITAR


http://www.area51tone.com http://www.bogneramplification.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open

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