Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Dallas-Arbiter England Fuzz Face

Stevie started using the English version of the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face sometime around the release of the In Step album, in 1989. Most notably, the effect can be heard during his performance of Voodoo Chile during his 1989 Austin City Limits performance.

Some sources also claim that he used it on the solo for the original release of Couldn’t Stand the Weather, but based on Cesar Diaz’s statements, that would be impossible.

I was also the one to introduce Stevie to the Fuzzface. He didn’t know what one was until In Step. […] I had two of the original ones marked NKT, which stands for New Market. They would tend to sound really good when they were nice and cool, but when they got hot, they’d go down. The fix for any old Fuzzface that has germaniums is to put it in the freezer. Take it out, play your song and replace it with another one that’s cold.

Cesar Diaz The Last Great Interview (SRV)

Also, Cesar Diaz, who worked as Stevie’s technician, installed American-made transistors in the units that Stevie used.

The early ones we used were Dallas-England. Some of the later Fuzzfaces stamped Dallas –Arbiter had germanium transistors, and some were silicon. It was because the Fuzzfaces with germanium transistors would lose gain when they got hot that I came up with my own modification that went into Stevie’s. I used an American transistor that wasn’t as susceptible to heat, and the gain was pretty much equivalent, yet very, very consistent. We had about 10 of those because when we were in England, I bought a bunch of empty shells and installed my own modules in them.

Cesar Diaz The Last Great Interview (SRV)


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