Chances are you have no idea who Zachary Vex is, but I know you’ve heard his work. He’s the guy behind Z.Vex, a line of guitar effects pedals that sells around 20,000 units a year. Z.Vex is headquartered in Minneapolis and makes such products as the Fuzz Factory, a guitar pedal that’s used by Jack White, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. Matt Bellamy has a Fuzz Factory built right into one of his guitars so he didn’t have to bother with a foot pedal. There are two dozen other models with names like the Octane, the Woolly Mammoth and the Box of Rock, each designed to get new, weird and wonderful sounds of out of guitars. And while there are plenty of other guitar effects pedal manufacturers out there, the sound of Z.Vex pedals—which are hand-built and hand-painted by a staff of five people—has hooked guitarists around the world.
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