Category Archives: maestro

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

Gary Hurst Tone Bender mki builds

First build,

image

Started going crazy after a while (the led zappeling in time with the q1 whizzeling until it died screaming).  Shame because it was a great build, sounded ace and COMPLETE: AC128 on q1, measured hfe of 30 (!!), some russian trannie on q2 measuring 138, another AC128, hfe 80ish.
Built from scratch again, same components, different trannies, 1n1307 on q1, hfe=136, and two AC128, 100ish, 80ish hfed.
Boxed in a rush to a recording session..
Video of my mate Alle playing his mean 1970 Ibanez thru a Laney valve amp and my mki pedal:

videoooooo

Still room for improvement as it was backing off sustain when Alle would play way up on the fretboard.

bea!
yours truly