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Anyone (Craig??) have any kits or suggestions for vintage Fuzz Tones?


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I'm looking for the vintage fuzz sound that was popular in 60's music. Not just distortion or gain, but the real fuzz sound.

 

I tried something called the "Fuzz Factory" or "Fuzz Filter" in NYC, they wanted 240 bucks or so for the thing, it was small, green, and had a comp and gate built in. It was close to what I'm looking for.

 

One of the things about the fuzz's I've tried so far is that it seems easy to get them to misbehave, and I'd rather not have it do that.

 

So if you know of any kits, projects, older pieces, re-issues, or brand new pieces that might fit the bill, I'd appreciate your suggestions or comments.

 

Thanks. :)

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You need a classic Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face. They're easy to build, if you want to, but I think that Jim Dunlop has made them available at around $70. Also, an Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi is a great choice; used by Billy Corgan and Jack White. A MXR Distortion+ is an easy build, and is pretty much in the realm of fuzz, but can get other tones as well.

 

I've built a Fuzz Face clone for someone on the guitar forum, and I could build you one on a PC board for about $30. It would be using 2N2222 silicon transistors on a 2" x 2" board. Two transistors, four resistors, two pots, three capacitors.

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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I'd say either the Big Muff Pi or the Fuzz Face is going to get you close to what you're after at an affordable price. Some of the boutique pedals are extremely cool, but you're going to have to pay the bucks for 'em. On a budget, those two are probably your best bets.

 

BTW - Very cool homepage you have there Bluestrat - nice job on your custom amps. :thu:

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Depends what type of fuzz you're looking for and, to a certain extent, what kind of pickups you have in the guitar. The Fuzz Face and Big Muff came along in the later 60's and will give you more of a "creamy" fuzz, like Hendrix. If you want the really ratty trebly mid 60's fuzz like the Stones' "Satisfaction," you gotta have a germanium transistor fuzz. The ones that were popular back in the day were the Mastro Fuzz and the Vox Tone Bender. The Maestro is no longer made and very hard to find; the Tone Bender was reissued a few years ago but you can still find them around - I have one and love it. I believe there are companies that make new fuzz boxes (and maybe kits/plans) using germanium transistors, but their names escape me at the moment.

 

It's the nature of the beast with the germanium transistors that the sound will not always be entirely consistent or predictable. That's part of their charm. :D Putting a preamp in front of it can help, if your pickups are not high gain. Also DO NOT put anything other than a preamp in front of the fuzz, or it will be wildly inconsistent and may not work at all. If you have a chain of effects, put the fuzz first or you're asking for trouble.

 

Last, make sure you keep fresh batteries in it and try experimenting with different types of batteries - no kidding, different batteries really do sound different.

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I'm looking for sort of a cross between Stones (Satisfaction), Cream (We're Going Wrong), Hendrix, Jeff Beck in the Yardbirds, and the old San Francisco Sound. Tall order I know.

 

I thought I saw a re-issue of the old brown box from Maestro, was I wrong? I often am!

 

Maybe some of you can talk a little more about the classic fuzz sounds and what boxes were used.

Thanks. :)

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I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES

(Annette Tucker - Nancy Mantz)

Last night your shadow fell upon my lonely room

I touched your golden hair and tasted your perfume

Your eyes were filled with love the way they used to be

Your gentle hand reached out to comfort me

Then came the dawn

And you were gone

You were gone, gone, gone

I had too much to dream last night

Too much to dream

I'm not ready to face the light

I had too much to dream

Last night

Last night

The room was empty as I staggered from my bed

I could not bear the image racing through my head

You were so real that I could feel your eagerness

And when you raised your lips for me to kiss

Came the dawn

And you were gone

You were gone, gone, gone

[repeat chorus 2X]

Oh, too much to dream

Oh, too much to dream

Too much to dream last night

Oh, too much to dream [repeat to fade]

now that was some fuzz tone ;)

 

Seriously, used to have a Big Muff that was real sweet and soaked (stolen) ..but I am seriously considering having Bluestrat build me one of his!

Lynn G
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Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:

BTW - Very cool homepage you have there Bluestrat - nice job on your custom amps. :thu:

Thanks! I haven't had any time for building anymore since I started at UNCC. :(

 

I'm booked up solid for the rest of the semester; too much work to do before finals.

 

I might however have the time to put together a couple of the Fuzz Face circuits (takes about 30 minutes to wire up each board) for Johnny B and Geezer, if they're interested.

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Originally posted by guitar geezer:

I'll email you for an address for the check...but take your time (I'm sure it's getting close to FINALS...yeeech) and I'll have to save my allowance ;););)

BTW who did you make the other one for...i foret easily :rolleyes:

Mike Gug. He sent me a kit that he bought and had me build it for him. What I'm proposing is wiring a board with the circuit and leads, complete with the volume & fuzz controls, battery connector, and leads for connecting to the DPDT switch (not included). I can get the switch for you, but they're $10 each. :( I get the switches, jacks, and enclosures here:

http://www.smallbearelec.com

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Here's the schmatic for the Mosrite Fuzzrite:

 

http://www1.korksoft.com/~schem/veffects/mfuzrite.pdf

 

I doubt you'll find the TZ82 transistors, but I read on another page that they are general purpose NPN geranium.

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Bluestrat, I just looked at your home page (if Phil recommends it, I don't think twice) and got a thrill out of your Silvertone 1483. My first amp was a 1484 that I still have minus its main power transformer. I also now have another 1484 that is missing a smaller transformer and has been modded somewhat, which may be why it's missing that part. Neither one works, but the second one does heat up some of the tubes. I really don't want to take it all the way down to a ground-up rebuilt, but I think I should replace the caps while I have it apart. I've looked at capacitance to estimate distance on telephone pairs for a long time, but I'm not sure what these caps should look like on a VOM.

 

I think the 1484 is a 1483 with tank reverb and a very cool tremolo. I understand they were copies of some Fender amps of the day.

 

Henry

He not busy being born

Is busy dyin'.

 

...Bob Dylan

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Actually, the Silvertone tone stack (bass, treble) was way different than the Fenders of the day, as was the phase inverter, so I guess you could say that the 1483 isn't like Fender at all. It does sound similar though.

 

I sold that amp a while back. Bought it for $50 and sold it for $150, so even though I did all that work to it, I think I did OK. I just wasn't using it, and I figured that someone else would love to have it. :)

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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Let me do a few calcultions and I'll send you a PM tonight. :)

 

*edit* On second thought, send me a PM. I can't PM you. :( The DC power jack only costs a dollar, but I've gotta see how much money I'm going to have tied-up in all the parts, and what my profit margin will be.

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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WOW, I still have a Fuzz Face.

 

I was a janitor in Kings Castle Casino Circa 19__ while going to school.

 

The lounge band was having a bad day, and the lead guitarist threw it out of the dressing room into the hall and it bounced off the wall.

 

It sat, for the rest of the night.

 

After the band had left I picked it up and took it home.

 

It worked fine, and my guess is, he had a bad cable and thought it were the box.

 

I'll have to dig it out and pair it with my newly refurbed Champ black face and the George Fullerton (Red) signature G & L I bought from Clay bailey.

 

Thanks,

 

Rob

Label on the reverb, inside 1973 Ampeg G-212: "Folded Line Reverberation Unit" Manufactured by beautiful girls in Milton WIS. under controlled atmosphere conditions.
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Last, make sure you keep fresh batteries in it and try experimenting with different types of batteries - no kidding, different batteries really do sound different.

I haven't experimented with this, but some people like the sound you get when the batteries are running low. Have you ever seen those Danelectro batteries? That's what those are: they deliver a lower voltage than a standard 9V battery.
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Originally posted by dementia13:

Last, make sure you keep fresh batteries in it and try experimenting with different types of batteries - no kidding, different batteries really do sound different.

I haven't experimented with this, but some people like the sound you get when the batteries are running low. Have you ever seen those Danelectro batteries? That's what those are: they deliver a lower voltage than a standard 9V battery.
Whenever I get a new pedal of any type I swap betteries until I find the best sounding one. Sounds strange, but it does make a difference. Alkaline batteries are made to hold a constant voltage level and then die suddenly, where zinc batteries (like the Danelectro batteries) lose voltage at a constant rate (actually a curve, if you were to plot it).

 

Fuzz Faces are unique in that they continue to function just fine when the voltage gets as low as 6V! The battery doesn't last long after the voltage gets that low, but you do get a nice tone. Might have something to do with power supply sag (kinda like a tube rectifier in a tube amp). Most pedals with chips in them like a constant 9V.

BlueStrat

a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)

 

...Better fuzz through science...

 

http://geocities.com/teleman28056/index.html

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