Category Archives: fuzz

Selmer Buzz-Tone

I have been building Selmer Buzz Tones for a few groupies n fans recently. 

Featuring rare 2N2613 transistors on choc brown paxoline board, on eyelets just like the original. 

One small mod is the cap tuck away under the board, to give it some juice.

Cheapo build for a friend:

Another build.. featuring the Palenque astronaut..


Expensive nos carbon comp build for a groupie:
They all sound 👍🏿.

Ram’s Head Battersea Power Station Big Muff ₽i

    

When i was a Londoner, id often catch the 24 bus on sunday mornings from Hampsted Heath to its final destination, Pimlico. There was a pub there, next to the bus station where we would go have brunch and shoot pool. In the afternoon we would visit the Tate, usually.

And we would enjoy the haunting, post modern view of the abandoned Battersea Power Station from Pimlico.

Gilmour used a rams head Big Muff on Animals apparently.

Built for a friend on a pcb by OP ELECTRONICS, IT. Transistors BC239C from ebay seller, Whazzgroover. Sprague caps, etc

First time i mess with a hot glue gun, and i guess you can tell! 🐣

Selmer Buzz Tone

Syd Barrett’s hairy boost.. VERY WARM AND THICK. Perfect counterpart to Syd’s favourite amp settings, basically treble at 10. 

Perfunctory build on eyelet board, with external vero for transistor testing, using 2N2613 as per original.

Very surprised by the final tone, i really like it.. Sounds very nice.   
I broke out the wem copicat to have a better idea if it nails syd’s tone.

Check it out clicking here

I also made a quick little excuse for a tune to test it further.. sorry for the hurried and far from great mix:

Melanie Wright-a Buzz-Tone tryout

Jh-1 Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzzface

   Jim Dunlop holds the name FUZZFACE licence. Before it was spelled, FUZZ (space) FACE.

   Silicon BC108 transistors, vintage style build.

UPDATE BEWARE

Much to my surprise, and horror, the other day i decided to have a better look at the board. Well.. AT THE BACK OF THE BOARD, HIDING, it’s all SURFACE MOUNT TRIMMERS. EEEEEEEEEK!!!! This is the fakest pedal ever!

I decided to sell it right away. Although:

How does it sounds? Not bad in my opinion.. And the presentation is quite lush.

The Hendrix family on the other hand.. Geez they never got it with their son being a genius. And now that they can remix his oeuvre in the most appalling way, they went for it. 

I mean.. Has any of you listened to the reissued experience lps? 

Awful out of focus fx added, messy sound image (changes at every other track on the Are You Experienced lp), poor original sources research, no whatsoever idea of whats goin on: they managed to DESTROY even a song as straight forward as Fire! 

Idiotic panning solos? Yeah! 

Awful. 

And before you can say ‘man’, they put out the jimi hendrix fragrances. As if the world needed them badly.

So all in all this is possibly the only instance of the hendrix genius almost given a proper name.

Maestro FZ-1a Fuzz Tone

dates about 1966-67

 

maestro+epi casino=garage!

Well.. At last i can say it: my clone (see back pages/older posts) sounds GREAT. Against this original (2N2614 transistors), with little or no attack pot excursion, aka max it or it wont fuzz, my clone is a pot full of sweet spots. Maxed, it is plain evil. Compressed.

Comparison, original vs my clone:

http://youtu.be/W53eVxDDml8

Still, the original has got so much mojo.. Magic. I will not mod it to bias the transistors better. As the Poets said, THAT’S THE WAY IT’S GOT TO BE.

Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz Tone

  
The first fuzz box.. The Satisfaction horns sound, the star of so many fuzztonic records. I had to make myself the perfect clone! Yes i built a couple of these before, but i wanted to build it properly.. This is what i came up with:


Finding 2N270 transistors to buy was HELL. Impossible, hard to find, someone who sells them. Rca’s here in Europe, NONE. Forget it. Until…

I did find them! A small stash of them actually! And i didnt have to sell my body to get them. Not RCA’s, but NOS 2N270: leaky, gainy, nasty 2N270s!
Next, i set up this testing board with a nice ZIF socket!

First good set-listen:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/odzftcbdcp2mi1e/maestro%20fz1.m4a?dl=0

Q1 hfe 79 lkge 0.12mA

Q2 hfe 168 lkge 0.53 mA

Q3 hfe 131 lkge 0.70 mA

I tried inverting Q3 and Q2 but the distortion was oscillating..

Maestro fz1a

image

1.5 volts of pure 60es fuzz.
Hot on the heels of “(i cant get no) Satisfaction”‘s success, that triggered sales of the fz1 (a product that lied for its first couple of marketing years virtually in denial), once the stock left of the original model was over, the Gibson/Maestro plants started churning out this, the fz1a.
This is a bit different in sound, still with a very distinctive vintage vibe. If you play garage, this is a must have sound, as this is the pedal thats been taken up by all those garage kids on the wake of the Stones’ USA invasion circa 65!
I didnt have any layout to follow for this, so i had to do it myself from the schem.. works great!

I used some carefully selected ac128 (sub-shit standard Tungsram), oc75 x 2 (crappy chinese Motorola) germanium trannies, NOS ICEL caps, the usual carbon comps.

Q1: hfe 57, leakage 0.08

Q2: hfe 306 (yes..), leakage 0.60

Q3: hfe 2718 ahem.. 358, leakage 0.83 (i really had to wait for this one to settle, but remember these are truly shitty transistors!)


Artwork taken from a japanese 60es pop 45.

Guts:

imagebea!
yours truly

Maestro fz1

image

Ann Margret!
Maestro fz1!
My fave fuzz (after all ive been collecting 60es rock all my life have not i).
Built on a bakelite sheet point to point.

image

Comparing the fz1 to the fz1a, using a fender strat neck pickup in the following sequence:

Clean – fz1 – fz1a

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxh3iclkno2ej9s/1%20clean-fz1-fz1a.m4a?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7dbfi0b42wlfqjx/2%20clean-fz1-fz1a.m4a?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ddldrtx6lz1lq19/3%20clean-fz1-fz1a.m4a?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gpopdq3o1ww7qei/4%20clean-fz1-fz1a.m4a?dl=0

bea!


yours truly

Germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite

image

Stock values.
Nos italian caps.
I tried a lot of different trannies combos..
Check the usual Soundcloud stream for the full audio repornage.
2n508 on q1, hfe 153
2n1307 on q2, hfe 83
Piercing!
And.. yesterday i listened for the first time to an Iron Butterfly record..

sonic evidence;

please if you feel inclined, and can stomach bad guitar playing, check out the trannies shootout at the same Soundcloud stream..

bea!
yours truly