Jimi Hendrix’s Marshall Supa Fuzz

access_time First seen circa 1967

There is a scan of a receipt from a Sound City music store in London from January 1967 showing that Jimi purchased a Marshall Supa Fuzz. [The Jimi Hendrix Experience, a collection of original Sound City receipts 1966 – 1967] This receipt was recently auctioned off, alongside another receipt for a for Fender Telecaster Bass for Noel Redding.

Please note that although the receipt reads Marshall “Super” Fuzz instead of “Supa”, it is likely that that was just an error from the person who wrote the receipt. There was, however, a pedal sold around the same time with a similar name – the Univox Super Fuzz, but a simple error in writing is a far more likely possibility. Next to that, Jimi was photographed using the Marshall Supa Fuzz just four days after purchasing it – on January 24, 1967, at The Marquee Club.

Jimi Hendrix with Marshall Supa Fuzz. January 24, 1967, The Marquee Club. Photo source: www.themarqueeclub.net

From the photo above we can see that Jimi’s Supa Fuzz was a 1966 version, or MKI, with control knobs closer together than on the MKII model. This model was based on the Tone Bender MKI circuit, with a modified tone circuit to give the Marshall version a different sound. Interestingly, on this MKI model of the Supa Fuzz, the fuzz was internally fixed at maximum.

You can read more about the history of this pedal, and the Tone Bender at The Tone Bender Timeline.

Studio Use

It’s very hard to tell whether Jimi ever used this pedal in the studio, or whether this was simply a short-term fuzz that he didn’t get to use much aside from a few odd occasions.

To try and figure something out – in January 1967 Jimi met Roger Mayer, and used a pedal that he developed, Octavia, to record the solo on “Purple Haze”, and on some parts of “Fire”. Roger notes that Jimi used the Octavia after a fuzz unit, and based on what Roger said, it seems that the fuzz effect was a completely separate unit at that time (later on, Roger would combine the fuzz box into the Octavia).

Jimi placed the Octavia after a fuzz and wah unit in most cases so it would react to the combined effects of both the wah and one or more fuzz boxes. […] It then became obvious that both a driver section and the Octavia section should be combined into one box.

Roger Mayer – Octavia

Unfortunately, Roger does not go into specifics, so we don’t know whether the fuzz used on the track was a Marshall Supa Fuzz, or something like an Arbiter Fuzz Face, which Hendrix used extensively later on. There is a chance that Jimi used the Supa Fuzz to some extent, but we’ll probably never know for sure.

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I may have missed something about the criteria used to generate your list. It seems quite exhaustive until you get to Effects. You make no mention of Octavia, Fuzz face, Uni-vibe, and of course, Wah-wah.

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access_time 1967

Roger Mayer Octavia

Jimi started using this pedal around January 1967, after meeting Roger Mayer – an acoustic engineer working for the British Admiralty who as a hobby designed and built effect pedals for guitars, when they were still virtually unknown. In case you’re unfamiliar with the functionality of the Octavia pedal, in Roger’s own words Octavia “produces a sound that is an octave higher than the note you are presently playing.” The […]

access_time 1969

Shin-ei/Univox Uni-Vibe

Jimi Hendrix used this effect most famously during the Woodstock festival on August 18, 1969. As far as studio use, the pedal was most famously featured on ‘Machine Gun’, released on the 1970 album ‘Band of Gypsies’. History behind the Uni-Vibe pedal The history behind this pedal doesn’t seem to be all that established, as different sources claim different origin stories. The most commonly accepted version is that this pedal […]

access_time 1969

Vox V846 Wah Pedal (Woodstock)

Throughout his career, Jimi used a number of different wah pedals. However, it’s often hard to tell which one he was using on a particular occasion because of the low-quality footage on some of the concerts. Fortunately, on one occasion that perhaps matters the most to some, that is the Woodstock festival in 1969, the type of the wah used is somewhat well established. According to Dave Weyer, who at […]

access_time 1966

Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone

Jimi was seen using this pedal while he played with the Squiers. More specifically, the pedal was seen sitting behind Jimi on a photo taken of him at Cheetah club in New York City sometime in mid-1966. It’s unknown whether he ever used the pedal aside from this one occasion. The Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone is one of the first fuzz pedals to become hugely popular. It was first introduced in […]

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