NAMM 2024: Having already inspired a generation of players to pick up the electric guitar, Jack White is looking to do something similar for stompbox design White’s Third Man Hardware launching the Fuzz-a-Tron, a “a basic no-fail DIY guitar pedal kit” to start aspiring pedal builders on their way.
The Fuzz-a-Tron is, you guessed it, a fuzz pedal. But you couldn’t call it that you first open the box. This is where you come in. And the good news is you don’t need a college diploma in electronics, or any experience at the sharp end of a soldering iron. All those instructions will be given.
Indeed, inside the box are all the ingredients you will need to make this fuzzbox. Third Man Hardware provides the recipe. And the Fuzz-a-Tron is a cool-looking fuzz. It has the old-school wedge enclosure, the skirted knobs reminiscent of a vintage Fender tube amp, not to mention the gonzo retro aesthetic that makes this unmistakably a Third Man product, one with the imprimatur of Mr Jack White.
Scan the QR code and there is a step-by-step manual that reads like day one of basic training for circuit jockeys; step one for building killer pedals, and players of all levels are invited to participate.
“This kit was designed with the beginner in mind, to give someone with little or no soldering experience the chance to succeed at building a classic sounding fuzz pedal,” says Third Man. “With an easy to follow and in depth build manual, this kit will teach entry level soldering and electronics skills.”
A bit like those lessons you got in school, except that at the end of it you’ve got a two-knob fuzz that promises some serious pedalboard firepower. Now, the controls. It could not be simpler.
There is one knob for volume, one for tone, and there’s a footswitch to engage or bypass the pedal. It might be a straightforward setup but that Tone knob gives the Fuzz-a-Tron plenty of range, from “dark and swampy” fuzz sounds when turned down low, to the more piercing, treble-forward aggressiveness of classic ‘60s sounds.
The Fuzz-a-Tron is one of two budget-friendly pedals debuting today from Third Man Hardware, with White’s pedal company teaming up with Donner Music for the Triple Threat, which presents an all-analogue platform combining echo, phaser and distortion. At $99, the Triple Threat is ridiculously affordable for a multi-effects pedal for guitar. As is the Fuzz-a-Tron, which is priced just $75 and is available to pre-order now.
Inside the box you’ll find the black metal enclosure, a circuit board and components, hook-up wire, battery lead, the all-important 1/4” input and output jacks, a footswitch, external power jack, rubber feet, and the Third Man sticker pack so you can finish off the look.
For more details, head over to Third Man.