Adjectives like “Hefty”, “Sturdy” and “Tank -like” come readily to mind when I think of describing the Bass Tight Fuzz.
This stomp box was obviously designed to last. It sports a very solid 14 Ga. metal chassis with metal jacks and knobs. The next adjective that comes to my mind is “Usable” – maybe not a very exciting or sexy word but in my world this is an important attribute. I like to goof with effects – time delays, distortion, wah’s… you name it and I have fun playing with them. The problem is that many of these items sound great while practicing at home, but are disappointing at a live show. This is particularly problematic with a bass guitar, because no matter how cool an effect is, it often delivers a death blow to the low end.., and isn’t that what we are paid to deliver?
Amptweaker’s Design Engineer, James Brown, has obviously gone to a lot of effort to insure that his bass-oriented products still deliver the low end and can be tweaked to meet the widely varying needs of different musicians.
The Tight Fuzz has a lot of knobs and switches – more than I have ever seen on a fuzz box. The good news is that there is a reason for each one of them! Here’s a list of all the controls:
Volume: sets the overall volume to balance with bypass level or increased for boost.
Tone: adjusts the highs up or down.
Fuzz: adjusts the level of distortion
Tight: if set high it adds a more aggressive attack, set low for a fatter sound
Dry Low: adds in additional clean low end.
60’s – 70’s tone: EQ tweak – 60’s is brighter and 70’s is more full range.
Transistor: Germanium (warmer) or Silicon (brighter/higher gain)
Edge or Smooth: as it sounds
On/ Off: True Bypass switch
In addition, the Tight Fuzz also has Pre/Post selectable effects loop that switches with the bypass footswitch. Access to the battery compartment is via an extremely clever slide out drawer that requires no tools. The drawer is held securely in place by a magnet. There is also a battery switch to remove the battery from the circuit when not in use. The unit can also be powered by a regulated 9V to 18V power supply.
These days I often hear and see the term “Baked In” sound – meaning that an amplifier or effect unit has a certain sound that is inherent to it’s basic operation. The Amptweaker Tight Fuzz is just about as far away from this concept as you can get. The name “Amptweaker” probably describes it best.
Even though there are a lot of controls on the Tight Fuzz, it is surprisingly easy to use. The controls are very intuitive and the engineering design is exquisite. As an example, the four knobs on the slanted portion of the case have both an arrow indicator on the top and drilled dots on the side of the knob barrel to let you know your settings at a glance – no matter the viewing angle.
The Tight Fuzz provides the user with the tools to sculpt a wide variation of sounds ranging from a subtly overdriven tube amp to a rip-snorting wall of fuzzed-out sonic bliss. The real beauty is that when you crank up the fuzz and the high end for some aggressive bite, you can still dial back in some of the “dry low” to retain a good tight usable low end. The manufacturer also includes a small instructional pamphlet to let you know what each knob and switch does, along with some hints on how to best utilize them. List price $220.00 Made in U.S.A.
For more info, go to: Amptweaker