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Metal Gear: NEXI FZZ-01 UD Fuzz Pedal

By: Wouter

NEXI provides us through their ‘the solution’ with an unique pedalboard that colleague Remco already put up for a test. This article and other online newsfeeds due to the awardwinning design at the IF Design Award 2017 really made me curious about the pedals. The Fuzz came as a stand-alone and he really stands his ground!

NEXI industries FZZ-01 UD
The newer Urban Series offer a wide range of pedals where the fuzz meets the desires of the Mississippi delta blues guitarist. All pedals are ‘Vintage analog’ and built by the best pedal designers of the Netherlands. A vintage analog sound, designed in the Netherlands and packed in a decent pedal with a dirty sound.

Specs
Also without the pedalboard the pedals are really solid. They can withstand a splash (useful on a stage environment) and have a big - not to miss - switch. The rubber base is a bit bigger than the pedal and gives it stability and has a removable lid that makes it possible to attach the pedal on the pedalboard. Connecting the pedal is a no-brainer, the rubber caps on the input, output and 9V adapter socket can be taken out. The bright LED light lets you know that your good to go, also on a dark stage. Your sound is shaped by three knobs: gain, tone and volume. The pedal comes in a simple cardboard box and who reads an user manual anyway? All NEXI pedals are available on their webshop or through well-known guitar stores for a friendly price of almost 100 euros.

Testsetup
My gear setup: my Bo~El MC6, with Vai’s Gravity Storm pickups by DiMarzio, soon to be switched to my Bo~El KIM, because this pedal fits nicely with a p90 in the neck position. From the guitar straight into the pedal and in a Peavey 6505MH into a Kool & Elfring 1x12 cab loaded with a V30 speaker. A G major from TC electronics adds some reverb and delay through the loop of the amp.

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Sound
When connecting the fuzz and playing the first notes my beard spontaneous grew several inches to Billy Gibbons size. As soon as the pedal is connected and with low gain settings you instantly get a perfect ZZ Top ‘La Grange’ sound. Watch out, your beard will grow with it. The fuzz gives a nice creamy compression without lacking clarity. When the gain is turned up the clarity of the sounds holds up and that’s a big plus for me. When the gain knob reaches ‘one o clock’ the fuzz starts to clip some more as expected from a fuzz pedal. This setting will fit a Black Stone Cherry song quite well. With the gain to the max the more slugge and doom metal filthiness is reached. Nasty growls without going over the top. A really positive remark is the wide range of possible sounds and the wide range in the shaping of the sound from each setting. The tone knob has a wide range and the volume gives a firm boost if needed. As described above is the gain possible for a travel through gain and fuzzland. This pedal is not a one trick wonder. I also tried the fuzz as a booster pedal, the way you use a tubescreamer to tighten up a high gain amp. Settings: low gain, mid tone and a slight boost on the volume. The pedal compresses and smears your sound. Useful for slow sludge or stoner chords it lays a greasy thick carpet of tone.

Conclusion
This pedal is a versatile and useable analog fuzz that provides definition and clarity. It is at its best in lower gain settings and also into more sludgy sounds. The pedal is possible to meet up with boutique style pedals only for a more friendly price. All NEXI industries pedals are built to last and will not let you down even after a good beating and a generous splash of beer. Also without ‘the Solution’ the pedals are really working well. I am already looking forward to test some more of them. And actually we all need some live gear without fear for beer!

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