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Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

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  • #31
    Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

    thanks a million, John ...
    looks very cool

    folks, you can look up the history of the tonebender MKII on the 'net, but basically, it started as more or less a copy of the Maestro fuzz - I think Gary Hurst designed it in conjunction with Vox and a couple guys who owned a shop in London and came up with the Colorsound name ...
    the MKI was the first production fuzz built in England

    (Gary Hurst is making a cool reissue of the MKI now that sells for about $300!)

    the first fuzz I heard was on "Heart Full of Soul" by the Yardbirds, and this pedal is that tone ... it's also heard on the bass on The Beatles' "Think For Yourself", plus all over the first couple Zepellin albums

    my best friend in high school had a Vox version of the ToneBender that also sounded great

    there are several current boutique versions, like Fulltone's SoulBender, the Yardbox, Stone Bender, the DAM version, etc, etc

    these are my favorite flavor of fuzz - plenty of gain, a more vocal quality than a Fuzz Face, and I think the circuit is a little easier to control - the cutoff point doesn't seem so abrupt

    John did a great job - I'd love to say I could build one myself, but I lack a little patience with the small stuff, and I know John knows how to tweak these circuits by ear till they're just right

    it's kind of funny, but I knew if John played this thing, he'd want one, too

    there's also a 3 knob version - it's a slightly later circuit that added a tone control. The tone control makes it more convenient, but I think the added circuitry might cut some of the overall output

    my thanks again to John for a great job ...
    take your time sending it back, John
    "music heals"
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    • #32
      Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

      Originally posted by Curly
      thanks a million, John ...
      looks very cool

      folks, you can look up the history of the tonebender MKII on the 'net, but basically, it started as more or less a copy of the Maestro fuzz - I think Gary Hurst designed it in conjunction with Vox and a couple guys who owned a shop in London and came up with the Colorsound name ...
      the MKI was the first production fuzz built in England

      (Gary Hurst is making a cool reissue of the MKI now that sells for about $300!)

      the first fuzz I heard was on "Heart Full of Soul" by the Yardbirds, and this pedal is that tone ... it's also heard on the bass on The Beatles' "Think For Yourself", plus all over the first couple Zepellin albums

      my best friend in high school had a Vox version of the ToneBender that also sounded great

      there are several current boutique versions, like Fulltone's SoulBender, the Yardbox, Stone Bender, the DAM version, etc, etc

      these are my favorite flavor of fuzz - plenty of gain, a more vocal quality than a Fuzz Face, and I think the circuit is a little easier to control - the cutoff point doesn't seem so abrupt

      John did a great job - I'd love to say I could build one myself, but I lack a little patience with the small stuff, and I know John knows how to tweak these circuits by ear till they're just right

      it's kind of funny, but I knew if John played this thing, he'd want one, too

      there's also a 3 knob version - it's a slightly later circuit that added a tone control. The tone control makes it more convenient, but I think the added circuitry might cut some of the overall output

      my thanks again to John for a great job ...
      take your time sending it back, John
      Hello buddy....It's hard to believe that the pedal used on the Yardbirds material is the same pedal Page used on Zeppelin 1 and 2? I say this because your pedal is heavier and throatier sounding like Page's Zeppelin tone...Might be this pedal through a Vox AC30 that makes it have that buzzy,but thin tone like "Satisfaction" from the Stones...Your pedal doesn't sound like this and if it's supposed to then I screwed up! LOL.....Through my BF Pro Reverb it almost reminded me of a decent overdrive/distortion unit and was alot ballsier than the tones I hear on Heart Full of Soul..Either way,my ears tell me that they like your pedal alot...Enough that I'll be ordering the stuff to build my own! I'll use it tomorrow with my band and see what they think also and how it fits into the mix...I've messed with a tweaked MXR D+ but this pedal is really a better pedal to nail those early classic rock tones...You do have some great ears buddy and you were right...

      there's also a 3 knob version - it's a slightly later circuit that added a tone control. The tone control makes it more convenient, but I think the added circuitry might cut some of the overall output
      Most everyone likes the MK 2 version better and the 3 knob version lacks the gain and is smoother sounding....I don't feel your pedal actually needs a tone control and you can adjust that a bit by trying different cap values...The board has sockets that you can just plug the new value caps into if you like? As you increase the lows,you'll also increase the mids.If you bosst the lows too much though,your pedal tone turns to mush and I Liked the pedal the way it is,though it does have some upgrades that were added into it.
      Last edited by STRATDELUXER97; 10-31-2005, 07:35 PM.
      Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

      Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

      Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

        Originally posted by Guitar Toad
        I don't want you to have any headaches! But, I'd say the future looks bright for StratDeluxer pedals
        How's this for an ad campaign . . .

        "Need a little backbone in your effects? Get a Spina!"

        Artie

        When John splits a humbucker . . . is it a Spina-tap?

        Comment


        • #34
          Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

          Originally posted by ArtieToo
          How's this for an ad campaign . . .

          "Need a little backbone in your effects? Get a Spina!"

          Artie

          When John splits a humbucker . . . is it a Spina-tap?
          Artie......Or "Spinabifita".....
          Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

          Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

          Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

            Originally posted by STRATDELUXER97
            Artie......Or "Spinabifita".....
            I don't know which one of us is worse.

            But . . . that was a very cool website. I'm gonna have to build a couple of those circuits. Especially the SS 18-watt and Matchless. I'm curious to see how those sound.

            Artie

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

              Originally posted by STRATDELUXER97
              Hello buddy....It's hard to believe that the pedal used on the Yardbirds material is the same pedal Page used on Zeppelin 1 and 2? I say this because your pedal is heavier and throatier sounding like Page's Zeppelin tone...
              John,
              I've tried to read as much about the ToneBender as possible, but it's a little confusing...

              I think Jeff Beck probably used a MKI on "Heart Full of Soul" - I agree the tone is a little thin, but I think some of that is attributable to the recording - we're talking '65!

              Differential Audio Manifestationz ("DAM") - http://www.stompboxes.co.uk/index.html - makes a very accurate repro of the MKII ...
              The MKII is a rebuild of the mighty Sola Sound Tone Bender MKII that was made famous by a certain Jimmy Page. The Sola Sound Tone Bender MKII needs no improvement!! It is one of the finest British fuzz boxes ever made and the D*A*M MKII is as close as you can get to the real deal with out paying serious amounts of cash.
              so whether you are after that elusive early Led Zeppelin/Page era Yardbirds tone or just after one fantastically organic sounding fuzz box this could be for you. Features a three stage transistor circuit that has almost endless amounts of sustain which will remain remarkably controllable and melodic.

              here's a little history from their site:

              Electronics engineer Gary Hurst designed the Tone Bender range of effects beginning with the Tone Bender MKI. The MKI was a three transistor circuit based upon the Gibson built Maestro Fuzz-tone that was modified by Hurst to produce more sustain than its American counter part. The story goes that guitar legend Vic Flick, then man responsible for the James Bond Theme!! Brought a Fuzz-tone (FZ-1) to Hurst and requested the sustain to be increasesd. The MKI was the first ever British made Fuzz box available to the public and sold for 14 guineas. It was housed in a gold and dark grey folded steel chassis with some of the early units housed in a wooden and steel enclosure.

              The Sola Sound company was set-up by Lari and Joe Macari in 1965; the Tone Bender units were made in a Edgware factory, North London and sold from their Denmark street based Music store.

              Users of the MKI unit included Pete Townshed of the Who, Jeff Beck of the Yardbirds and also the Beatles used the MKI Tone Bender unit on the album Rubber Soul. Paul McCartney actually used a MKI on the second bass track on the recording "Think for Yourself" Mick Ronson was also a user the MKI from his time with "The Rats" up until he played with the "Spiders From Mars"

              In early 1966 the Tone Bender received its first major changes, the folded steel case was replaced with a sand cast aluminium design finished in grey hammerite. It featured a newly designed two transistor circuit that used two Mullard OC75 devices. The name Sola Sound still did not appear on the case and the silk screening just stated the unit as a Tone Bender. The two transistor circuit is said to have been leaked to Arbiter who went on to design the legendary Fuzz Face also this circuit type was later used by Vox in Italy to design the Vox Tone Bender.

              Only a small number of the two transistor Tone Benders were produced before the change to the more famous three transistor MKII. The original MKII's featured Mullard OC81D transistors which were designed for use as audio drivers in radio equipment, more commonly the MKII was built with Mullard OC75's and even OC71's. Sola Sound also produced the now very popular MKII Tone Bender for Marshall under the Supa Fuzz name and also produced Vox Tone Bender MKII which confusingly pre-dates the Italian Vox Tone Bender.

              The nice folk's at Sola Sound still produce a MKII Tone Bender in the sand cast chassis which features the original two transistor circuit.

              Gary Hurst is now also producing a great looking recreation of his original 1965 Tone Bender.
              "music heals"
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              • #37
                Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

                Nice readings buddy and very informative also....Upon messing around more with the pedal,I find Germaniums are all over the place based on temperature and small voltage changes. These things make the pedal act alot different...Things that I've both measured and my ears hear...I see why everyone went to the silicon stuff,but silicon lacks warmth and sweetness and is harsh,tight,and bright by comparison...

                I've done quite a bit of research about the Tonebender series also and Fuzz Central has some great info and mods etc on the site that I've printed up to study..I also notice that the pedal works very nicely with a strat and single coils,but is a bit un-inspiring with my LP and humbuckers...Seems I'll be messing quite a bit listening to what the different bias voltages do to Q3 and the tone of the pedal....I initially had it set for around 3.5 volts(About 1 volt low)and thought it sounded heavenly this morning...Tonight I put the voltage to 4.6 volts or there abouts and noticed the pedal wasn't as inspiring to me this evening...Another mod is to put an outside "bias" pot for Q3 off the board,but this pot would have to be very limiting on how much voltage it allows Q3 to see....Say a spread of about 3 to 5 volts only...As you increase this bias voltage,the pedal takes on a really crappy,muddy fuzz that I hated...The secret then lies in the matching of the germaniums and getting the bias voltage set for the "sweet" spot...Interesting and a new learning experience at the same time...Basically this pedal is a Fuzz Face with an extra gain stage or 1 extra transistor...I never liked the FF,but this pedal has tons of potential once I get it dialed in right...
                Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

                Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

                Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

                  John,
                  well, I think Fuller and others may have opted for more control over the tone, like the 3 knob version, in trade for some of the raw power of the 2 knob. Also, Mike added an internal trim pot in his.
                  "music heals"
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                  • #39
                    Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

                    Originally posted by Curly
                    John,
                    well, I think Fuller and others may have opted for more control over the tone, like the 3 knob version, in trade for some of the raw power of the 2 knob. Also, Mike added an internal trim pot in his.
                    I've not been inside Mike's version of the Tonebender and I'm not sure what he uses his trim pot for,but the "69" pedal has a trimmer in there also....The schematic calls for an 8k2 resistor to bias the collector of Q3,but it's not anywhere even close when you try and bias for 4.5 volts at Q3's collector...The 20k trimmer got me to about 3.5 volts,but a 50k trimmer got me right where I need to be,though I like the lower voltage settings because the pedal is smoother and less gainey...I Like smooth and I don't need alot of gain...I'd pick smooth almost everytime anyway as you know...Over a period of a few days to a week I'd be able to have a really good overall concept of both the tone and the inner workings of this pedal...I Love this stuff and it was you that got me really into modding wahs....Remember? LOL...

                    Bottom line for me....I enjoy this alot....I just want the pedal to sound as good but hopefully better than you expected when you get it so you can rave about it....The raving is worth more to me than the small amount of money involved in building the thing for a friend... Rock On blues brother!
                    Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

                    Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

                    Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

                      Hey, i was wondering what you call the ON/Off foot switch there..... is it a TPTT?? where did you get it...I've just started attempting to build pedals and i'm looking for one of those switches. I'm really new to this stuff, the only one i have completed (a booster) hums like crazy and pops every time i push the button. but it boosts....

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                      • #41
                        Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

                        Originally posted by warlordbob
                        Hey, i was wondering what you call the ON/Off foot switch there..... is it a TPTT?? .
                        it's a DPDT switch ... the best ones are either the Carlings or the blue Taiwan, or Fulltone's
                        you might check Small Bear, which is where I ordered all the parts for this ...
                        here's the link:
                        Small Bear

                        General Guitar Gadgets has lists of parts for the projects on his site
                        Last edited by Curly; 10-31-2005, 10:56 PM.
                        "music heals"
                        facebook

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                        • #42
                          Re: Curly's Colorsound Tonebender MK2

                          Originally posted by Curly
                          it's a DPDT switch ... the best ones are either the Carlings or the blue Taiwan, or Fulltone's
                          you might check Small Bear, which is where I ordered all the parts for this ...
                          here's the link:
                          Small Bear

                          General Guitar Gadgets has lists of parts for the projects on his site
                          Actually it's a 3DPT switch(Notice the extra terminals) and I get mine from SmallBear Electronics in NYC or here.....http://www.diystompboxes.com/cart/
                          Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

                          Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

                          Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.

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