A $100 mini fuzz from a local builder has utterly captured my attention despite only having one knob.
Overview & Cost: $99.00 from Thirty7fx.com or Reverb.com
Thirty7fx is the creation of fellow New Englander Doug Christ who aspires to make simple but highly useable effects pedals. The Fat Guy Little Coat is the first pedal, of many exciting ones to come, that packs a ton of fuzz tone into a compact, one knob mini pedal. As the labels suggest, this pedal goes from fuzz to fuzzier to fuzziest with ease, giving you a bit of a volume boost but a real increase in sizzle as you turn it clockwise. The pricing for these wonderful fuzz boxes starts at about $99 and increases just a bit if you order a custom finish. In fact, the custom finish options are pretty amazing.
The Fat Guy Little Coat I got came in a wonderful brushed metal finish and encasing that is rock solid, with some nice blue accents and an incredibly bright LED. I’m sure that’s going to make this pedal a treat to use on stage, and I’ve already got it wired into my gigging board. Powered by your standard 9v power supply, the straightforward Fat Guy Little Coat is built to last and tough to break.
Review & Opinion
In a world filled with derivate pedals and clones, there’s just something unique about the Thirty7fx Fat Guy Little Coat. The fuzz tones are amazing, with a crispy yet clear signal that doesn’t lose too many notes while still filling a ton of space. The circuit and general idea of this classic fuzz isn’t groundbreaking, as it draws inspiration from a vintage “colorsound”-style fuzz. But the small, tough as nails enclosure, single knob, and custom colors make it feel special. However, the price is what really puts it over the top. I mean, it’s a $100 boutique fuzz pedal, at a time when boutique, handmade pedals are $200, $300, or more. When it comes to the tones, you won’t be disappointed at all, with a very touch sensitive fuzz effect that responds wonderfully to your guitar’s volume and tone controls. It ends up more flexible than the single knob would have you think, especially when you cycle through pickup options on a Strat or LP-style guitar. As you can hear, it sounds great with all pickup styles too, especially the Tele single coils which fatten up nicely. The stronger my pick attack became, the more I could push the pedal into a warm, natural fuzz that was working with my overdriven tube amp to cut through the mix. At the same time, if you soften up a bit with the tone on your guitar rolled off, you get a wonderfully sustaining blues tone with some punch. Full tone on plus the bridge pickup takes it back to a real hot, buzzsaw like fuzz that is perfect for garage rock madness.
Final Conclusion & Rating: 8.5 out of 10
It’s hard to find any faults in this pedalboard-friendly fuzz. A vintage, smooth fuzz circuit housed in a beautiful brushed metal box that can squeeze into small spaces checks a lot of boxes for me. I think it will check a lot of boxes for you too, with a $100 price tag that makes it very accessible. I’m particularly interested in using it live, with the dark stage making the bright LED super useful and the small size fitting on my smaller pedal train board. Plus, I generally trust simple pedals more than complicated, 5 knob monstrosities, there is just less in there to break or wear down. But really, the high score here is more about the sound of the Fat Guy Little Coat. It’s just wonderful across the board, with the agility to fit in with any guitar pickup or signal chain. It also took a boost pedal really well, which opened up some cool rhythm/lead opportunities without losing any clarity or overdriving the signal too much that it changes the character. This is a highly recommended buy for fuzz lovers and pedal lovers alike, plus it is still way cheaper than your average small brand, high quality pedal even after you get a custom enclosure!
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