The Flare Fuzz Machine is a clone of the ZVEX Fuzz Factory, a really interesting little box first released in 1995. It’s essentially a classic Fuzz Face with a LPB-1 booster in front of it, but with the twist that half of the components are replaced with knobs, allowing fine-grain control over the transistor bias and letting you create everything from a really thick-yet-musical fuzz, to gated velcro-ripping, to some pretty crazy pitch-oscillation.
This is not a user-friendly pedal by any means. The knobs are very interactive, and there are a lot of setting combinations that straight-up don’t work. But if you start with some default knob settings, you can get a good feel for what it’s capable of. See page 5 for suggested starting points.
The Fuzz Factory is notable for being custom-built directly into the guitars of Matthew Bellamy of Muse. He uses it for his main drive tone as well as for feedback & oscillation purposes, controlling the effect via the Stability and Compression knobs which are mounted to the front of the guitar.
The Flare is a close adaptation of the Fuzz Factory, but with 8 knobs while the original only has 5. The added knobs are Softness (gain reduction of the input boost stage), Body (bass blend before the fuzz) and Tone (treble cut after the fuzz).