JHS 3 Series Fuzz Review – Small price, awesome sound (2024)

If you’re looking for incredible fuzz tones on a budget, check out our JHS 3 Series Fuzz review.

JHS 3 series fuzz review

⭐️ Verdict: Best Value Fuzz πŸ’°

The JHS 3 Series Fuzz notched up an impressive 89% on our Stomp-O-Meter, and took our ‘Best Value Fuzz’ award.

JHS are renowned for high quality but they tend to be on the more expensive side. With the 3 Series they’ve created a budget range that sounds premium, and the 3 Series Fuzz is my favorite in the range (though I’ve only played the Chorus, Delay and Compressor otherwise).

This pedal lives up to JHS’s commitment to quality and simplicity. It’s based on a Fuzz Face design and achieves all those classic tones we all know and love. I couldn’t help playing Purple Haze the second I plugged it in. And just rolling off the volume on my Strat and it cleaned up beautifully for Little Wing. (Though disappointingly, it didn’t make me play as well as Jimi.)

But this is no ordinary Fuzz Face clone. With the Bias control, you’re able to create sounds you previously could only achieve with a dying battery. This ‘gated fuzz’ sound is awesome, like ripping velcro that sputters and shuts off, giving you a whole new breadth of sounds to explore: think Jack White or Ty Segall’s Cover of Every 1’s A Winner.

The pedal played really well with different gear setups. Both my Strat with Lace Sensor single coils and my Les Paul Studio sounded great, although the Strat in the neck position was ‘the one’ for this Fuzz Face style circuit, which was no surprise.

The only downside I encountered with the JHS 3 Series Fuzz was its focus on classic and vintage fuzz tones, which might not satisfy those in search of extreme, chaotic fuzz effects for genres like noise rock. However, for the vast majority of players seeking a reliable, high-quality fuzz pedal that won’t break the bank, look no further than the JHS 3 Series Fuzz.

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

Pros

Affordable Quality

Incredible Fuzz Face Sounds

Gated Fuzz Sounds

Beautifully Simple Looks

Cons

Too Simple for Tweakheads

Lacks Extreme Fuzz Options

Only for Fuzz Face Lovers

Could Lose in a Snow Storm

JHS 3 series fuzz review
Buy from
Guitar Centre
Buy from Amazon

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

89% πŸ™‚

Sound Quality

91% 🀩

Build Quality

89% πŸ˜‘

Value for Money

94% 🀩

Features and Versatility

88% πŸ™‚

Ease of Use

87% πŸ™‚

Looks and Design

85% πŸ™‚

How we test & score pedals

Guitar Mammoth Testing Process

For this JHS 3 series fuzz 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.

JHS 3 Series Fuzz Review

Overall Score: 89% πŸ™‚

On the Stomp-O-Meter, the JHS 3 Series Fuzz secures a commendable 89%. This score reflects its performance across a range of criteria, from sound quality to design. It’s a pedal that, while maybe not perfect, offers an incredible fuzz experience for guitarists of all stripes, all at an amazing price.

Sound Quality: 91% 🀩

The JHS 3 Series Fuzz shines with a 91% in sound quality. It delivers a rich palette of fuzz tones, especially when you bring the Bias and Fat controls into the mix. Whether you’re playing with single coils or humbuckers, this pedal adapts seamlessly, offering clarity and punch without muddiness. I also love how well it cleans up with the volume on your guitar, helping shape tones mid-song.

Build Quality: 89% πŸ˜‘

With an 89% in build quality, the 3 Series Fuzz is robust and reliable, ready to stand up to the rigors of the road. While it may not boast the boutique-level craftsmanship some pedal aficionados seek, its solid construction ensures it’s a workhorse that won’t let you down.

Value for Money: 94% 🀩

The pedal excels in value for money, scoring a high 94%. The 3 Series range focuses on simple circuits with straightforward controls, bringing down the cost – and the Fuzz is the pick of the bunch. It’s an affordable entry into high-quality fuzz tones, making it an attractive option for guitarists looking to expand their sonic arsenal without a hefty investment.

Features and Versatility: 88% πŸ™‚

Features and versatility come in at 88%. The 3 Series Fuzz keeps things straightforward with a three-knob layout and a Fat switch, yet it offers a surprising depth of tone. It may lack the extensive tweakability of more complex pedals, but its range from subtle to aggressive fuzz is as wide as the Grand Canyon.

Ease of Use: 87% πŸ™‚

Ease of use is another strong point, with the pedal scoring 87%. Its intuitive design makes it accessible to players of all levels, allowing for quick tone shaping without a steep learning curve. This score reflects the pedal’s user-friendly nature, encouraging experimentation and exploration.

Looks and Design: 85% πŸ™‚

In looks and design, the 3 Series Fuzz earns an 85%. Its minimalist aesthetic is sleek and modern, which I personally love, but some people might prefer more unique or boutique looks. This score acknowledges the pedal’s functional design, which prioritizes performance over flashy visuals.

“The 3 Series Fuzz is based around classic 1960s style two-transistor fuzzes, and it’s done in a way that gives you maximum flexibility from the circuit. It keeps it simple, but still gives you some great options.”

JHS Pedals

Deep Dive into the JHS 3 Series Fuzz

What Makes It Special?

JHS Pedals have carved out a niche for themselves with the 3 Series, and the 3 Series Fuzz is a standout example of their craftsmanship. This pedal is a testament to simplicity, offering a range of fuzz tones from vintage warmth to modern aggression without unnecessary complexity. It’s built with the quality JHS is known for, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of the road and the studio alike.

It’s the Bias control that made the pedal stand out for me. The sound and build quality was incredible, but with Bias you’re getting a feature normally only found in more expensive boutique pedals. You also have a Fat switch for boosting the bass which gave another nice variety of sounds.

Sound Range and Ease of Use

The 3 Series Fuzz distinguishes itself with its straightforward yet versatile approach to tone shaping. With just three knobs and a bias switch, it offers a surprising depth of sound. You can dial in everything from a subtle fuzz to a thick, saturated tone with ease, making it perfect for players who love to tweak their sound but appreciate simplicity.

Durability and Value

JHS pedals are renowned for their durability, and the 3 Series Fuzz is no exception. Designed to endure, it’s a reliable companion for any musician’s pedalboard. Coupled with its affordability, it represents exceptional value, offering premium tones at a price point accessible to a wide range of players.

Who’s It For?

PlayerThe pedal for them?Why
Bedroom RockersYesPerfect for beginners exploring a wide range of fuzz tones at home.
Gigging MusiciansYesDurable, reliable, and versatile for live performance.
Recording ArtistsYesOffers a variety of professional quality tones for studio work.
Fuzz NewbiesYesSimple to use, making it great for those new to fuzz effects.
Boutique Pedal AficionadosMaybeOffers quality sound, though it has a more straightforward aesthetic, and not as tweakable as some.
This table outlines who the JHS 3 Series Fuzz is for.

JHS 3 Series Fuzz Alternatives

In our quest to find the best fuzz pedals on the market, we tested a load of options. While the JHS 3 Series Fuzz stands out for its blend of simplicity, sound quality, and value, there are a lot of great fuzz pedals out there.

It’s what you need from a fuzz that matters. But if you want straightforward design, robust build, and versatile tones, all on a budget the 3 Series can’t be beaten.

Here are our best alternatives, which you can also find in our roundup review of best fuzz pedals.

Best alternative overall πŸ†
Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

94% 🀩

Boss: Waza Craft FZ-1W

Scoring a mighty 94% on the Guitar Mammoth Stomp-O-Meter, the Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Fuzz brings a fresh perspective to the classic fuzz sound, blending vintage warmth with modern clarity in a way only Boss can. It’s a pedal that redefines what a fuzz can be, without costing an arm and a leg like some vintage units.

As someone who’s been on a lifelong quest for the perfect fuzz tone, spanning from the gritty textures of 60s rock to the explosive sounds of 90s alternative, the FZ-1W was an exciting pedal to dive into – and boy, did it deliver. That’s a big part of why it snagged a 97% for Sound Quality and earned the top spot as the Guitar Mammoth ‘Best Overall Fuzz’ in our review.

Read more in our full review of the Boss Waza Craft FZ-1W Fuzz.

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

Buy from
Guitar Centre
Buy from Amazon Read full review >
Best alternative for sound quality πŸ‘‚
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 β€˜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% πŸ™‚

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 πŸ€ͺ
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?

At Guitar Mammoth, we’ve collectively played through hundreds of fuzz pedals, and the JHS 3 Series Fuzz has really made an impression on us.

What’s great about this pedal is that while it starts with the classic Fuzz Face tones we all love, it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to its Bias and Fat controls, it pushes beyond to carve out its own unique space. And it does all this at a price that’s hard to beat. It’s not just mimicking the classics; it’s offering something new and versatile, all without breaking the bank. Whether you’re after that vintage fuzz vibe or something a bit more tailored, this pedal has you covered.

JHS 3 series fuzz review
Summary
Best fuzz pedals

Overall: Stomp-O-Meter 🦣

89% πŸ™‚

Sound Quality

91% 🀩

Build Quality

89% πŸ˜‘

Value for Money

94% 🀩

Features and Versatility

88% πŸ™‚

Ease of Use

87% πŸ™‚

Looks and Design

85% πŸ™‚

JHS: 3 Series Fuzz

The JHS 3 Series Fuzz pedal really stands out in the guitar world. It’s versatile, tough, and offers great quality without costing a lot. It nails those classic fuzz sounds with the help of its Bias and Fat controls, making it perfect for any guitarist, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been playing for years.

It might not be the go-to for the wildest fuzz tones or have the unique vibe of more expensive boutique pedals, but for pretty much everyone else, it’s an awesome choice.

JHS has definitely nailed it with this one, giving us a top-notch pedal at a price that’s hard to beat.

Pros

Affordable Quality

Incredible Fuzz Face Sounds

Gated Fuzz Sounds

Beautifully Simple Looks

Cons

Too Simple for Tweakheads

Lacks Extreme Fuzz Options

Only for Fuzz Face Lovers

Could Lose in a Snow Storm

FAQ

Can the JHS 3 Series Fuzz pedal achieve both vintage and modern fuzz tones?

Yes, it’s designed to cover a broad spectrum from classic, warm fuzz tones reminiscent of the 60s to sharper, more contemporary sounds. The Bias and Fat controls help fine-tune these tones to your preference.

Is the JHS 3 Series Fuzz pedal suitable for beginners?

Absolutely. Its simplicity, with just three knobs and a switch, makes it accessible for players at any skill level, providing an easy way to explore different fuzz sounds.

Will it fit well with my existing pedal setup?

Yes, the JHS 3 Series Fuzz is compact and versatile, making it a great fit for any pedalboard setup. Its straightforward design ensures it can easily integrate with other pedals, enhancing your overall sound without complications.n.

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