Ibanez 850 Fuzz Mini


Mini pedals have been all the rage for quite some time now, and Ibanez has wisely gotten in on the game. Taking timeless classics such as the Tube Screamer and its famous analog delay and shrinking them down to fun size stompboxes, Ibanez has a new wave of classics that begs to be fastened to everyone’s pedalboard. The 850 Fuzz Mini is the latest in the lineup, and I was anxious to try it out when I opened it up and put it in the palm of my hand.

The tiny 850 Fuzz Mini is hard to miss in a bright orange enclosure with black knobs, making it the perfect choice for your Halloween gig. Tone, Level and Sustain knobs allow you to precisely dial in your sound, with the latter knob being big enough that you can adjust it with your foot if you’re careful.

The Tone knob can make the overall sound exceedingly bright or very dark. I preferred it around 1:00 on the dial for a fuzz that cut through without being overly harsh. Where you set it will depend on the sound you’re after and the musical context you’re playing in; all of the sounds are useable, though. The brighter tones reminded me of old school Beastie Boys-esque punk, while the darker tones sound smokey and are a great option to have available if you have other dirt boxes set up for specific sounds. Towards the middle of the dial, the tone knob yields everything from classic rock to ’90s grunge walls of sound, depending on the level of fuzz.

On lower fuzz settings, the 850 can do some cool overdrive sounds. With the fuzz set low, and the Level set high, you can add a layer of fuzzy grit to a clean or slightly dirty amplifier. However, the real fun happens when you crank the sustain knob. There are a lot of thick, juicy sounds with higher gain settings, and you can tame them by adjusting your guitar’s volume knob. This could easily be a pedal you leave on all the time at full blast, and get a wide array of sounds by riding the your guitar’s volume control throughout the gig.

The 850 Fuzz Mini sounds great with a variety of pickups. It really brings the thunder with humbuckers, and it can beef up single coils considerably. I really enjoyed it with P-90s, as they sit in between single coils and humbuckers in terms of output. Players with even a little bit of experience know they can get a variety of sounds from most gear based on their touch and technique, but sometimes certain gear doesn’t lend itself well to anything but one sound. At first glance, you may think the 850 is a one trick pony, but I can assure you, there are many sounds to be found, and you don’t have to look very hard to find them.

The Ibanez 850 Fuzz Mini is a killer pedal that puts out sounds much bigger than you would expect. Its user-friendly design, small size and great tone make it a wonderful option for someone who is new to fuzz or players who want to add another color to their board without dropping tons of cash. I’m mighty tempted to assemble a board out of all the Ibanez mini pedals, and after trying this one, I think you will be too. It’s orange, it’s little, it’s fun, it rocks. Go get one.

What We Like: Killer fuzz tones in a small package. Easy to dial in. Affordable.

Concerns: None, unless you have an aversion towards mini pedals.

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