Today, we’re going to talk about the Inductor Guitars MP-1 Fuzz, also known as the Mellifluous Pussy Fuzz. This is a clone of the popular and mysterious Interfax Harmonic Percolator (HP-1). The original Interfax Harmonic Percolator was made in the 1970s in Milwaukee Wisconsin, and is mainly known today because Steve Albini of Shellac uses one. You can read other posts mentioning the Interfax Harmonic Percolator here.
Erik Jarvi of Inductor Guitars has cloned the circuit and add his own twist to the MP-1 Fuzz. The pedal is very simple. One gain knob and 2 toggle switches controlling two types of clipping (Germanium diode and MOSFET). My initial thought of this pedal, was that it’s a great sounding fuzz. I like ‘wooly’ fuzzes with that low end break up. It can sound nasty, but not harsh.
For this demo I again enlisted the help of my good friend, Jimmy Rolle. He is playing his Gibson Custom Shop Elegant Les Paul into a Germino Lead 55 (plexi style amp) through a Marshall 4×12 cabinet. There is nothing between the guitar and amp besides the Inductor Guitars MP-1 Fuzz.
You can listen to the high quality MP3 clip via SoundCloud
As you can see, this is a great sounding fuzz. You can pick up your own for only $157 dollars on their website. You can pick from white or black enclosures. I would say this is an excellent value for this fuzz!! Also, be sure to follow them on Twitter and ‘like’ them on Facebook!
For this demo, I also had an opportunity to ask Erik Jarvi of Inductor Guitars a few questions.
– How did Inductor Guitars begin?
I’ve always wanted to work for myself. But after an all to common 2008 layoff I really focused on what I wanted to do. I started Inductor Guitars. I’m going back to what I love doing – building things that are musical in nature. As a sound engineer I always loved doing the on-site guerrilla repairs. Gotta make it work or the whole show could go down in flames type stuff. During that time in my life, I was designing a tube differential mic preamp that I was never able to get right. I always wanted to come back to it.
– What inspired you to work on guitar, pedals and amps?
I’ve always been into audio – I was in a band which you can hear my terrible playing on my site which lead me into sound engineering. I was a live sound engineer for 10 years and before that an Intern after college at Electrical Audio while recording was still done in the basement. I’m a tinkerer and jack of all trades at heart with a shortish attention span, I don’t think I’d be able to make just guitars or pedals or amps without being bored. I don’t plan to be a big business with lots of employees, I like to get my hands dirty so to speak rather than just running a business from an ivory tower.
– Where are you located?
In beautiful Warrenville, IL. a suburb of Chicago.
– What inspired you to clone the Interfax Harmonic Percolator and add some improvements for the MP-1?
Heh. Well to be honest I built a few different pedals for my first product and my version of the HP-1 sounded the best. Second place was a clone of the Axis Fuzz which it still on the drawing board.
– What were the changes/improvements you added to the MP-1? And why did you want to add these changes?
I added a separate clipping stage using IRF520 MOSFETs that can be combined with the germanium diode clipping stage or used separately. The MOSFETs add a tubey crunch whereas the 1n695 germanium diode have a harsher clip. I also changed the the feedback resistors to both stages to add more fuzz and added a 1n5 capacitor to ground ala Mr. Bill’s Pussy Fuzz. My whole philosophy is to make products that are familiar but different that anything in the market.
– Curious why you didn’t included a LED for the MP-1
The second version of the MP-1 will have an LED, I felt it was better to release it without than try to shoehorn it in.
– Who would be interested in the MP-1?
Firstly anyone who is into the particular sound of Steve Albini who brought the HP-1 to prominence. I think my version is extremely versatile – for instance I know that it was used on the bass for the next Surfer Blood album as a separate fuzz channel and the guitar player Drew Long from a local metal band called Bury the Kings has said he’s has plans on using it.
– How can people order the MP-1? And how much?
You can order one on my website while it’s on sale for $157 here: http://www.inductorguitars.com/?product=mellifluous-pussy-mp-1-black
– Are you working on any new pedal designs?
I’ve got 4 different designs that I’m working on. The closest one to be finished is an all germanium (transistors and diodes) fuzz that is tentatively called the Ge Juice Box named from Buster’s (on Arrested Development) addiction to juice boxes. It’s an original design and should really cut through the mix. I’ve also got an 30 watt amp that is close too, but needs a great tone stack, it’s based an the AX84 project. Other ideas are an all opamp fuzz distortion with a parametric eq, an overdrive that ventures into fuzz territory and maybe a tremolo based on the Vox Repeat Percussion effect**.