Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Review – The Best Fuzz Around? (2024)

The only Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W review you’ll ever need. Probably.

Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Review

⭐️ Verdict: Best Overall Fuzz 🏆

The Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Fuzz is just an incredible pedal, scoring a mammoth 94% on our Stomp-O-Meter. Whatever you want from a fuzz pedal, it can deliver, from silky vintage tones to aggressive modern sounds it’s got it all. Built like a fortress and versatile enough to cover almost any genre, this pedal is a no-brainer for fuzz fans.

I loved how every sound I got out of this pedal was great. The full range on each knob was usable, making it a Swiss-army knife of fuzz – something for every occasion.

It also sounded great with both single coils and humbuckers. Often fuzz pedals work better with single coils, but both my Strat Plus with Lace Sensor pickups and my Les Paul Studio sounded incredible through the pedal, and into a variety of amp styles.

The only downside to this pedal I can see is if you’re wanting to play noise rock and make really wild, oscillating feedback, sounds it’s not going to get you there. But for 99% of guitarists, you can’t go wrong with the FZ-1W.

See how it compared to other fuzz pedals in our roundup review.

Pros

Premium Sound Quality

Versatile Tone Shaping

Robust Build Quality

Amazing Value

Cons

Complexity for Beginners

Not for Boutique Snobs

Too ‘Safe’ for Some

Less Wild Sounds

Best fuzz pedals
Buy from
Guitar Centre
Buy from Amazon

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

94% 🤩

Sound Quality

97% 🤩

Build Quality

95% 🤩

Value for Money

93% 🤩

Features and Versatility

92% 🤩

Ease of Use

91% 🤩

Looks and Design

90% 🤩

How we test & score pedals

Guitar Mammoth Testing Process

We do hands-on testing of every product we review and assign a score to all the parameters that matter. We get that pedal selection is subjective, but we’ve tried to make our scoring as objective as possible so you can find the right fuzz pedal for you.

To reach our Stomp-O-Meter overall score we test each pedal to its limits, and then assign a score for each metric according to this weighting:

  • Sound Quality (30%)
  • Build Quality (20%)
  • Value for Money (20%)
  • Features and Versatility (15%)
  • Ease of Use (10%)
  • Looks and Design (5%)

For this Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W review, I used my 1993 Fender Stratocaster Plus with Lace Sensor single coils, and my 2022 Gibson Les Paul Studio with stock humbuckers. Both were put through Fender, Marshall and Vox-style amps. If you’re interested in how we do our testing, read our testing guidelines.

Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Review

Overall Score 94% 🤩

Why’d we land on 94%? Well, after playing this pedal with both my much-loved Strat Plus and my Les Paul, through a slew of amps – I was blown away. The FZ-1W didn’t just keep up; it shone. It’s not perfect (what is?), but it’s very close, especially for the fuzz fanatics among us.

Sound Quality 97% 🤤

This pedal sings, screams, and everything in between. With my Strat’s single coils, it delivered clarity and punch, giving those classic fuzz tones without getting muddy. Switching to my Les Paul, the humbuckers brought out a rich, saturated fuzz that filled the room. Each amp brought something different out of the pedal, from the Marshall’s compressed aggression to the Fender’s sparkly headroom and the Vox’s punch and cut. It’s a 97% because, while it’s versatile and rich, the search for the perfect fuzz tone is endless.

Build Quality 95% 🤩

Boss is known for making tanks, and the FZ-1W is no exception. It feels solid, the knobs are sturdy, and it looks like it could survive a drop from a second-story window (not that I tried). It’s the kind of pedal you stomp on with confidence, gig after gig. It’s not at 100% because, well, I’ve seen some boutique pedals that go even beyond in craftsmanship, but for a mass-produced unit, it’s top-notch.

Value for Money 93% 🤩

Considering the sound quality, build, and versatility you’re getting, the FZ-1W offers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s not super-cheap, but it’s also not priced like those ultra-rare boutique pedals. For what it does and how well it does it, I’d say it’s an incredible investment. It’s a workhorse that delivers on multiple fronts, making it a valuable addition to any pedalboard.

Features and Versatility 92% 🤩

The dual-mode switch alone adds a ton of versatility, letting you flip from vintage to modern tones on the fly. It’s like having two pedals in one. Plus, the simple control layout means you’re not spending hours tweaking to find a good sound. It works beautifully with different guitars and amps, giving you a wide palette to work from. It’s not a 100% because there are pedals out there with even more knobs and switches for the tweakers, but for most of us, it’s more than enough.

Ease of Use 91% 🤩

Even if you’re not a pedal geek, you’ll find the FZ-1W pretty straightforward. The controls are intuitive, and it doesn’t take long to dial in a great sound, whether you’re after something subtle or more extreme. The reason it’s not scoring higher is that with so much versatility, it can be a bit overwhelming for absolute beginners. But a little experimentation goes a long way.

Looks and Design 90% 🤩

Boss pedals have a classic look, and the FZ-1W falls in line. I love their simple utilitarian looks, and their patented foot switch is one of the reasons these pedals would last a nuclear war. It’s sleek, with a design that’s both modern and a nod to the past. Up close the metallic paint sparkles in the light, adding a touch of quality. The pedal is compact enough to fit on any board without sacrificing usability. The reason the score’s not higher is purely subjective; some folks might prefer the more creative designs of boutique pedals. But for a pedal that sounds this good, I’m more than happy with how it looks.

Deep Dive into the FZ-1W

What Makes It Special?

Boss have established an incredible range with Waza Craft, and the FZ-1W is now one of my favorites. This thing’s a labor of love, giving a nod to the classic fuzz sounds we all enjoy while also throwing some new tricks into the mix. And it’s made with Boss’s legendary build quality, so throw it in your gig bag and kick it around a stage, and it’ll come back for more.

Tone and Versatility

The dual-mode switch on this pedal is a total game-changer. You can flip from silky-smooth vintage fuzz to sharp, in-your-face modern distortion in a heartbeat. Despite its straightforward design, there’s a whole world of sounds packed in there, making it a dream for anyone who loves to play around with their tone.

Build Quality and Reliability

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that Boss pedals are built to last, and the FZ-1W is no exception. This pedal can take whatever you throw at it—be it the chaos of touring, long studio sessions, or just jamming at home. It’s gonna be one of those pieces of gear you’ll find yourself coming back to over and over, probably for decades.

Who’s It For?

PlayerFZ-1W Fit?Why
Bedroom RockersYesExplore a universe of fuzz without breaking the bank
Gigging MusiciansYesReliable and versatile for any stage
Recording ArtistsYesProfessional quality tones
Fuzz NewbiesMaybeEasy enough to use, but the depth might be overwhelming
Boutique Pedal AficionadosMaybeIncredible sound, though it lacks the boutique mystique (if that’s your thing)
Table outlining who the FZ-1W is for.

Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Alternatives

We tested a huge amount of fuzz pedals to write our roundup of our favorite fuzz pedals available today.

We selected our top five picks of fuzz pedals, the FZ-1W coming out on top. The other four picks were:

Best alternative for value 💰
Best fuzz pedals

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

89% 🙂

JHS Pedals: 3 Series Fuzz

Securing a solid 89% on the Guitar Mammoth Stomp-O-Meter, the JHS Pedals 3 Series Fuzz stands out as our choice for ‘Best Value’.

JHS make incredible but expensive pedals. With their 3 Series, each with just 3 knobs, they’ve created a budget range that sounds premium. They strike the perfect balance between quality, innovation, and affordability.

Read more in our best fuzz pedals roundup review.

Pros

Affordable Quality

Incredible Fuzz Face Sounds

Flexible Fuzz Range

Beautifully Simple Looks

Cons

Too Simple for Tweakheads

Lacks Extreme Fuzz Options

Only for Fuzz Face Lovers

Could Lose in a Snow Storm

Buy from Guitar Centre Buy from Amazon
Best alternative for sound quality 👂
Best fuzz pedals

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

92% 🤩

Electro-Harmonix: Op-Amp Big Muff

Landing a proud 92% on the Guitar Mammoth Stomp-O-Meter, the Electro-Harmonix Op-Amp Big Muff Reissue brings back the legendary sound that defined a generation of music. (An original 1970s model would set you back big bucks).

As a die-hard fan of the grunge era, and specifically The Smashing Pumpkins, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this reissue – and it didn’t disappoint. Hands up, that’s probably why I gave it 95% for Sound Quality and the Guitar Mammoth ‘Best Sounding Fuzz’ award.

Read more in our best fuzz pedals roundup review.

Pros

Iconic Pumpkins Sound

Aggressive Fuzz Style

Amazing Harmonics

Simple Controls

Cons

Not Traditional Muff

Not Super Versatile

Can’t Do ‘Violin’ Tone

One Trick Pony

Buy from Guitar Centre Buy from Amazon
Best alternative for extreme fuzz 🤯
Best fuzz pedals

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

84% 🙂

Death by Audio: Supersonic Fuzz Gun

Scoring a wild 84% on the Guitar Mammoth Stomp-O-Meter, meet the Death by Audio Supersonic Fuzz Gun.

With knobs for gain, bias, and tone, plus a crazy feedback loop, it’s like nothing else. You can dial in a heavy fuzz wall, right through to sounds that are just wild. But, if you’re into classic, smooth fuzz, this will not be your jam.

Read more in our best fuzz pedals roundup review.

Pros

Iconic Pumpkins Sound

Aggressive Fuzz Style

Amazing Harmonics

Simple Controls

Cons

Not Traditional Muff

Not Super Versatile

Can’t Do ‘Violin’ Tone

One Trick Pony

Buy from Guitar Centre Buy from Amazon
Best alternative for unique fuzz 🤪
Best fuzz pedals

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

90% 🤩

Z.Vex: Fuzz Factory

Hitting an incredible 90% on the Guitar Mammoth Stomp-O-Meter, the Z.Vex Fuzz Factory is a standout.

I get excited every time I play this pedal. With its five-knob setup, you can shift from a gentle fuzz to a wild, screaming distortion. It’s a pedal that begs you to play and experiment with its range – that’s why I gave it ‘most unique fuzz’ in our roundup review.

Read more in our best fuzz pedals roundup review.

Pros

Endless sound variety

Totally Unique

Highly interactive

Not Another Big Muff

Cons

Not for Classic Tones

Can be Overwhelming

Feedback Sensitive

Confusing When Hungover

Buy from Guitar Centre Buy from Amazon

Why choose the Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W?

The team at Guitar Mammoth have played hundreds of fuzz pedals between us, and all of us agreed that the FZ-1W was an incredible pedal, which is why we gave it our ‘Best Overall Fuzz’ award. .

What I really love is that it’s not just based on a Fuzz Face, or Big Muff like 90% of fuzz pedals new to the market, it’s got its own sound. And it’s got an incredible range, making it work with whatever setup you run, or sound you’re chasing.

“Unlike other Waza Craft pedals, the FZ-1W is not based on an existing unit. Rather, it is an original creation inspired by the origins of fuzz.”

Boss
Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Review
Summary: Best Overall Fuzz 🏆
Best fuzz pedals

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

94% 🤩

Sound Quality

97% 🤩

Build Quality

95% 🤩

Value for Money

93% 🤩

Features and Versatility

92% 🤩

Ease of Use

91% 🤩

Looks and Design

90% 🤩

How we test & score products

Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W

It won ‘Best Overall Fuzz’ for a reason. The Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W fuzz pedal is a titan in the world of guitar effects, offering unmatched versatility, durability, and quality. Its ability to navigate between classic and modern fuzz tones with ease makes it a standout choice for guitarists of all levels, from beginners to pros. And it’s incredible value for money.

While it may not cater to those seeking the most extreme fuzz sounds or the unique allure of boutique pedals, its performance, reliability, and user-friendly design make it a formidable option for nearly everyone else.

Boss have done it again dagnammit.

Pros

Premium Sound Quality

Versatile Tone Shaping

Robust Build Quality

Amazing Value

Cons

Complexity for Beginners

Not for Boutique Snobs

Too ‘Safe’ for Some

Less Wild Sounds

FAQ

Can the FZ-1W handle both vintage and modern music styles?

Absolutely. Its wide range of tones makes it perfect for any genre (except for maybe noise rock, or anything where you need wild sounds and lots of feedback).

Is it easy to tweak settings during a live performance?

Yes, its intuitive layout makes on-the-fly adjustments a breeze.

Will it fit well with my existing pedal setup?

Definitely. Its compact design and versatile sound profile make it a great addition to any pedalboard. And it’s versatility make it suitable for virtually every guitar, pickup, and amp combination.

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