Plugged in, this fuzz pedal demonstrates a wide array of tones from mild to crazy fuzz tones. The interface is clean and easy to follow, and the dials have a nice amount of resistance to them. There are three knobs and three switches that make up the pedal: level out, tone and gain. It also has a foot switch to activate the effect, a gain switch with two stages, as well as a fuzz-type switch. The pedal boasts a Rupert Neve designed transformer, and you can hear the quality in the way it breaks up as you push the gain. The sound is consistent, has quite an organic tone and really brings out the sensitivity in your guitar.
The pedal works brilliantly as a clean boost, to give your clean sound a subtle and classy signal boost with a touch of colour, resembling the break up you get as you turn up a tube amp. When you flip the gain switch to the ‘+’ position, the pedal becomes a different beast all together. The saturation and sustain that comes as you push the gain knob up is pretty satisfying and when pushed to the extreme, the pedal becomes a delight of squelch and glitch while maintaining a certain warmth.
On a milder setting, the Oxford Fuzz allows for clarity and cleanliness in your chordal playing, but with an edge. It brings out voicings in the chords that are distinct and independent. It overdrives quite beautifully as you dig in a little more and play some single lines in the lower register as well, and the input gain seems to work similarly to a tube driven amp as you turn up the gain.
Turning up the gain further, the pedal shines as a tool for gritty solos and single note lines. Using it in the studio, I found tweaking the tone knob really helped the sound come through in dense track mixes. This is where I believe the real tone test lies. I ran some of my synths and other keyboards through it and got some pretty wild sounds.
Breaking into riffs with the gain turned up gives the sound real power. In my experience, a lot of fuzz pedals start to lose definition as you push them, but in this case, a certain amount of it is maintained whilst still getting the chaos you want from a fuzz pedal. The sustain you get as you hold down notes and chords is extremely musical and defined but also has an edge that cuts through. My favourite use of the pedal was in a bluesier scenario, keeping a moderate amount of gain and turning up the tone.
Another great little touch is that the on/off light seems to react to your input level, almost like an indicator of how hard you are working the pedal. It goes without saying that the range from Bogner is concise, clean and of a high quality. Perhaps we can attribute some of this to the Neve componentry included in the build. Either way, the Oxford Fuzz is a versatile and beautiful sounding guitar effects pedal.