Enmore Audio

Engineering the Sound: what does the world’s most expensive fuzz sound like?

What does the most expensive fuzz pedal in the world sound like? The Baldwin Burns Buzzaround is as rare as hen’s teeth, but Engineering the Sound managed to get their hands on one.

The fetishising of vintage gear – for better or worse – is here to stay. The Baldwin Burns Buzzaround is a fuzz pedal that falls into that ‘mythical’ category. Manufactured for just a few years in the mid-’60s, it’s from a time when pedals were more primitive. But good lord, they sounded good. Needless to say, Engineering the Sound was more than a little eager to put this ancient fuzz through its paces.

As an effect, fuzz is somewhat of an acquired taste. It was born in a time where distortion was synonymous with faultiness — and definitely not desirable.

That all changed with some ringing endorsements from the likes of The Kinks (the iconic ‘ripped speaker’ tone of You Really Got Me) and that unforgettable riff from The Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction. Possessing the ability to switch on and off distortion with the help of a simple box was revolutionary; the Baldwin Burns Buzzaround was right there at the beginning.

For the demo, we lined up the Buzzaround with a few other fuzzes, so you can really get a sense of its unique flavour. The others included the Death By Audio Fuzz War, the Ivan Richards Rich Fuzz, and Mosrite Fuzzrite clone.

And just so know, the rarity of the Baldwin Burns Buzzaround has pushed up its value extraordinarily. The market has them sitting at around 10k (!) at the moment, so if you’ve fallen for this particular tone, you might need to rob a bank (not that we condone that kind of thing).

While you’re here, check out our Ultimate Fuzz Pedal Guide.