Zvex Effects Fuzz Probe Vexter
Model: Fuzz Probe Vexter
The Fuzz Probe is a kind of cross between a theremin and
a fuzz factory. There is a 3 5/8” antenna plate mounted on a chunk of 3/8” clear acrylic that passes over the top of the ped- al housing, angles down to sharp turn, and goes back to the pedal. Under the whole mess is a 3 5/8” by 7” sheet of aluminum that provides shielding from annoying ground effects and wires under the stage. It also serves to protect the knobs from being knocked off if you drop it on them... and it makes a nice toe chopper if you are barefoot, so (legal disclaimer:) DO NOT DROP THIS PEDAL ON YOUR FOOT! IT IS HEAVY AND
HAS VERY POINTY CORNERS THAT COULD DAMAGE
LIVING CREATURES AND FINE HARDWOOD FLOORING.
ALSO, YOU COULD BREAK SOMETHING. Like your dog.
WHAT DOES THIS PEDAL DO?
Already, it should be apparent that this is the most dangerous pedal I have ever made. Ow! The antenna plate projects a field
of RF energy that is affected by your foot (or other appendage), al- tering the circuit that generates it, and in so doing, increasing the brightness of that LED on the top of the pedal and also controlling the STABILITY (STAB) knob on the back. I could have made it
just control that LED, I mean, that’s enough for some people, but nooo, I went and connected it to the stability knob too. This lets you select your favorite squealy Fuzz FactoryTM setting (doesn’t the band love that?) and then mess around with the STAB knob with your foot and create little melodies and interference modulations with your guitar (doesn’t the band love that even more?).
HOW DOES ONE GET IT TO DO SOMETHING INTERESTING?
Well now. That’s a fine question. Let’s say you set the knobs (face them straight on to do this) to vol=9 o’clock, gate=7 o’clock, comp=10 o’clock, drive=noon, and stab=7 o’clock. By the way, to get the widest range for the probe control, be sure to leave the stab knob on 7 o’clock. THE PROBE ADJUSTS
THE STAB KNOB FROM WHEREVER IT IS SET, UPWARDS TOWARD THE MOST CLOCKWISE POSITION AS YOU GET CLOSER TO THE ANTENNA. It you set the stab knob more clockwise, say, to select a favorite pitch to start from, the probe will let you raise that pitch up to the top as you get closer. If you put the stab knob at the top, at 5 o’clock, all the way up, the probe will do NOTHING. That’s cause it is made to adjust that knob from WHEREVER IT IS SET to the TOP, and if it is already
at the top, then no adjustment takes place. Get it? No? Well, just set the STAB somewhere lower than all the way up, prefer- ably all the way down, and don’t bug me about it.
START WITH THOSE SETTINGS AND FOLLOW THESE RULES:
1) Plug in (input and battery switch is on right). Turn your guitar volume slightly down. Just a little.
2) Make sure your guitar cords are AWAY from the antenna. They will mess with the probe just like your foot does.
3) The pedal will be squealing (if it’s not, stomp on it until it is). You can adjust the pitch of the squeal with your foot.
4) Use the volume control on your guitar to adjust the blend of the pitch effect and guitar fuzz.
5) Noodle with the settings (other than the volume control, they all affect the pitch and tone).
DON’T MESS WITH THE SCREWDRIVER ADJUSTMENT
SETTING UNDER THE PEDAL. Now that I said that, half of
you will run for a screwdriver. Just remember this: use a bright light first and MARK the original setting. The white screwdriver slot has a light arrow imprinted on it... really, it does, look closer. Use a pin or sharp tool or sharpie and scratch or mark the
metal where the original setting is before you goof around with the control. Turning the control in the direction of the arrow INCREASES the sensitivity of the antenna. I put this control on
the pedals to make it easy for me to adjust the units to a good starting point, where the STAB is controlled completely over a few inch range of motion. In case you want to reduce the sensi- tivity, turn the RF control in the opposite direction from the arrow and you can make the plate respond only when your foot is in contact with it. If you are careful, you can adjust it so that the sensitive range goes from just touching it to putting your weight on it. Maybe that’s what you want... how should I know?
BATTERY & POWER SUPPLY
The Fuzz Probe can be powered with a 9V battery or any standard filtered/regulated musical 9VDC power supply with a Boss-style connector (negative-tip barrel connector). To change the battery, take out the screws on the bottom of the painted part of the pedal. The entire bottom plate will lift away. Look at the way the battery is placed... the clip goes toward the stomp switch. Take out the old one and put in an ALKALINE. Because, it sounds just as good as
that cheap offshore battery I gave you with the unit, and will last a lot longer with the LED thingie eating it alive. By the way, when your foot is off the pedal, if the led is off, the battery will last a long, long time. Most of the battery life is lost when the LED is BRIGHT. The Fuzz FactoryTM draws very little power.