The SM-15 is a limited run of Fuzz units we've made to celebrate the anniversary of moving into our Pacific Avenue Workshop.
When we set out to make this pedal, we wanted to capture the esoteric, hand built qualities of some of the vintage Fuzz pedals we love. It’s obnoxiously large, doesn't care about pedal board real estate, and it only runs on batteries. This fuzz is purposely the antithesis of modern boutique pedals, a tribute to those rare and collectable oddities that we’d all hunt for at junk shops years ago.
Fuzz Pedals that clean up well are not that common, some claim to clean up, but few really nail that rolled back Germanium sound. Most approach clean-up as a side effect of the Fuzz circuit, not the starting point. When we started to develop this circuit one of the things we focused on was lower gain playing situations. A fuzz that makes your rolled off clean tone better than if there was no fuzz at all, somewhat counter intuitive to typical Fuzz pedal design.
If you’re a player that looks for these qualities in a Fuzz, you know how uncommon it is for a Fuzz to get that right. The SM-15 doesn’t compromise to get clean, but we always had the low gain germanium sound in mind during the design process. The SM-15 was made with an overdriven amp in mind, blending with amps breakup to give Fuzz Texture to the tone.
The SM-15 uses Germanium AC125 transistors that are tested for gain and leakage then sorted into matched pairs. Much like our amplifiers, the circuit boards are hand wired on turrets. The enclosures are hand bent and welded out of 16 gauge steel, powder coated and silk screened here in New Brunswick, Canada. Each one is slightly different and as hand made as a pedal can be.
We’ve built two separate gain ranges into the circuit, a “normal” range and “saturated” range or North/South. The “N” position is wired to an internal trim pot to fine tune the amount of gain for that switch position.
With the switch in the “N” position, the gain structure of the Fuzz gets moved down range, a better starting point for rolling off for cleans or over driving an amplifier. The clipping takes on a more vintage Fuzz/ Overdrive feel, just enough to add some texture to the notes. In the Normal mode, the gain is full on, classic Fuzz Tone, but not so much gain that all definition is lost. You’ll find even at maximum settings, the attack is smoother than most Fuzz Face or Tone Bender circuits.
The Hi-Lo switch allows for two options for shaping the low end. This switch works well for going between single coils and Humbuckers or to trim the lows when you get your amplifier up to stage volume. On the front of the pedal you’ll also find Volume and Fuzz controls and a True Bypass Switch. Used as a Boost, Overdrive or Fuzz...the SM-15 covers a lot of ground. It’s the fuzz tone I had in my head, we hope it’s the Fuzz tone you’ve been chasing too.
- Hand bent and welded 16 gauge steel enclosures, each one slightly unique. The enclosures are actually made by a human, in a steel fabrication shop in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.
- AC125 Germanium Transistors
- Turret Board construction, just like our amps.
- Over Sized (massive) 6 1/4", 3 3/8", 2 1/8". Great for braining an unruly mob.
- Powder Coated and hand rubbed to a matte finish.
- True Bypass, no battery drain when bypassed.
- Battery Only, just like the old ones.