Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Nomad Super Fuzz (rite)?

Back around 2011 I came across a post on an old guitar effects forum that had a photo of a random grouping of vintage fuzz pedals. Last year I made a post about one of these, the insanely rare v1 bakelite version of the Seamoon Fresh Fuzz (check it out here). But another, even more rare pedal stuck out of the blurry pixelation and looked like a Mosrite Fuzzrite but with the logo "Nomad" blazoned across the front...

Nomad Super Fuzz Mosrite Fuzzrite

Fast forward 13 years, and I now own both of the pedals from that photo. And while the bakelite Fresh Fuzz is definitely one of my grail finds, the more interesting one is actually the Nomad Super Fuzz.

What is this thing? Where did it come from? WHO is Nomad???

So let's get into what we do know just by holding one of these in my hands.

Nomad Super Fuzz Mosrite Fuzzrite

After opening it up I was met with probably the biggest surprise; that it's a germanium Fuzzrite! Either from late 1966 or early 1967. It shares the exact same guts as my longtime germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite from the same era, and pretty much the same tone.

This was surprising because as of now I don't think any other OEM versions of a germanium Fuzzrite have ever surfaced. And even later silicon versions, like the Guild Foxey Lady and the ZB Custom fuzz aren't considered true OEMs.

Nomad Super Fuzz Mosrite Fuzzrite

Now I will admit, when I first saw this pedal I considered the possibility that the "Nomad" logo was added later on. And if you've ever seen a real germanium Fuzzrite there's a great chance that all of the labeling has worn off completely. So anyone could theoretically take a blank enclosure and add to it however they wanted.

But upon closer inspection the original knob, switch, and jack labeling are all still in tact and worn exactly the same way as the "Nomad" logo itself.

So this obscurity does seem to be very real! Which  leads back to the original question, Who was "Nomad" in the first place? and what was their relation to Mosrite?

Nomad Super Fuzz Mosrite Fuzzrite

There is a Nomad in the effects world, that in 1968 would debut their first effect, the Banshee Fuzz. These were made by Applied Audio out of New Jersey and distributed by LIMMCO Inc. They then followed this up with the Rogue Fuzz, also made by Applied Audio, which was the same as the Banshee with an extra gain stage.

But these effects aside and the handful of Nomad amplifiers I have been to find photos of, none of the logos match; and other than attending some tradeshows like NAMM and AMDIE the same years, the likelihood of LIMMCO having a random bi-coastal relationship with Mosrite is very slim.

So as of now, there are still a few mysteries left to be researched. 

Nomad Super Fuzz Mosrite Fuzzrite

The final cool little detail to mention about the Nomad Super Fuzz is that if it legitimately has a 1966/67 production date then it would predate the Univox Super Fuzz by at least a year, and was just a few months behind the Marshall Supa Fuzz. Which means that this is the very first pedal ever called "Super Fuzz", if we don't count the Marshall, that is. ;)

Alright, please let me know if you have any further info on Nomad, Fuzzrite OEMs, or this pedal specifically. As always you can message me via Email or Instagram

thanks for reading!

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