Woodchipper Bass Octave Fuzz—a VFE design


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The Woodchipper is an enhanced version of the classic 1974 Maestro Brassmaster bass fuzz. Peter Rutter from VFE Effects did his usual magic by adding active tone control circuitry, an improvement over the original’s  fixed notch EQ switches. Although it has increased gain, and lower noise, at it’s core, it’s the same circuit as the original and delivers a bass fuzz tone unlike any other. [See video demo from MrExcane.]

The octave effect is analog and generated by an internal transformer and clipping diodes. The clean blend (like on the original) makes this useable on bass by blending back in the low fundamental. The addition of the “bottom” knob brings in a filtered subfrequency for a deeper fundamental note.

I’ve built several bass fuzz clones including popular circuits from Darkglass and Zvex. This is by far my favorite so I built a couple extra to share with the world. They seem to be fairly uncommon and don’t come up for sale often.

This is VFE’s latest “SPS series” version, but I’ve used 3 smaller knobs as an homage to the earlier edition. It’s available in orange sand or red sand powder-coated finishes. Let me know if you have any questions about this item. (The orange one has a very minor scuff on the bottom from bench testing, visible in last picture.)

It can also sound great on guitar, as demonstrated by Mike Hermans in this demo:


  • Top-mounted jacks
  • 3 large aluminum knobs (3 plastic)
  • 10k:10k audio transformer for octave generation
  • Soft bypass switching for greater footswitch longevity (a programmable momentary mode is also available)
  • UV printed graphics
  • handmade in Indianapolis, USA
  • charge pump for generating 18v power using a standard 9v power supply




Orange sand powder coat, Red sand powder coat