Early FX69 Grunge (1993), with original box
Introduced in Summer 1993, the DOD FX69 Grunge shared the same basic circuit as the FX70 Metal X (FX70X), but was voiced as a high-gain fuzz pedal. The FX69 was also notable as the first of many DOD pedals with non-intuitive control names (see below). The FX69 sold well, paving the way for less commercially viable products such as the FX33 Buzz Box, but was ultimately replaced by the final-series FX69B in 1998.
- Controls: Loud (level), Butt (low eq), Face (hi eq), Grunge (distortion)
- From the manual: "The FX69 Grunge is a hypercharged high-gain pre-amp so nasty and so heavy, it'll have your bandmates screaming for mercy. Even its distortion is distorted. ... This is the kind of high-gain distortion that allows notes to sustain into infinity, simulating the distortion of a guitar amplifier turned up to eleven - wait... no twelve -, clipping the signal and causing distortion. One of the advantages of using a pedal-type distortion like the FX69 is that big, heavy distortion can be produced at any amplifier volume or setting."
- Sample settings (scanned from the user manual)
- Historical context: One of the side effects of the increased popularity of "grunge" music in the early 1990s was a renewed interest in guitar effects pedals, with the band Mudhoney even naming an EP after their two favorite fuzz boxes ("Superfuzz Bigmuff"). With the subsequent mainstream success of Seattle bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam, the marketing department at DOD Electronics seized the moment by naming their new fuzz pedal the "Grunge" pedal. Its instruction manual included sample settings for Melvins, Accused, Napalm Death, and "Territorial Pissings" sounds.
Among notable "grunge" artists, only Kurt Cobain of Nirvana "used" a Grunge pedal, at MTV's "Live and Loud" broadcast (Dec. 13, 1993, Pier 48, Seattle). However, it was a "complete joke", with Kurt subsequently throwing it into the crowd on some accounts. Kurt never used the FX69 live or in the studio, instead favoring Boss DS-1 and DS-2 distortion pedals. Despite the lack of a strong connection to "grunge" music, a DOD FX69 Grunge pedal resides in a display case in the "Northwest Passage" wing of the Experience Music Project in Seattle, just down the hall from Mudhoney's eponymous Superfuzz and Big Muff pedals.
- Technical info:
- Notable IC chips: three 4558-type op-amps
- Component-side circuitboard image: May 1993
- Related circuits: FX70 Metal X, FX70C, FX33 (loosely based)
- FX heritage: FX69 FX69B
- External links:
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