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Latest Pedal Build ... Fuzz Face

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  • Latest Pedal Build ... Fuzz Face

    I'm not really big on Fuzz pedals. I like the 3 knob Tone bender MKIII's ok but even those can be too extreme (for my tastes). I recently built a germanium Fuzz Face and I'm loving it.

    I used an Aion board (Aion Electronics Solaris). It incorporates the popular mods like an Input control which is basically an input level control. Honestly, I can do without this control and l leave it wide open (which is effectively like not having it there) but what's interesting about it is how the input level changes the character of the fuzz in combination with the other controls. It's a versatile control for tweakers. It's also got a "Body" control which is an input capacitor blend pot (basically controls how much bass get's through). And a Contour control which is more like a midrange control (and also increases gain/fuzz). There is an internal "gain" pot which appears to increase the bias of the first transistor while decreasing that of the second. And an internal bias pot for adjusting bias on the second transistor. Some other internal mods increase available output level which can be a problem with the Fuzz Face. Obviously it also has the standard Fuzz Face volume and fuzz controls. There is also a voltage inverter on board so it can be used with the "standard" center negative supplies or daisy chained with other pedals.

    Probably not for someone who just wants a simple Fuzz Face. I'm not a schematics or circuit genius but this appears similiar to the Fulltone 69 with some changes in implementation. It can be built as a more standard Fuzz Face by using jumpers on the board and leaving out the additional controls.

    This is really a pretty easy build but it's not all that simple in that germanium transistor selection and biasing can be tricky. I don't expect many here will build it but for anyone who may want to and is not familiar with germanium transistors, it's probably easiest to buy a fuzz face set from a place like Small Bear electronics and use their included bias resistors.

    I'm not big on bread boarding (which would make things easier) but I socket the bias resistors and transistor locations and swapped transistors and bias resistors until I was happy. I ended up going with a set of Amperex transistors that are a bit higher gain than what is usually recommended for Fuzz Face circuits. Then I remove the resistor sockets and solder them in. I keep the transistors socketed. Again, that can all be avoided by using a matched set of transistors which would keep this a pretty easy build.

    This thing is like a Fuzz Face on steroids. It's not overly fuzzy but more like a hybrid fuzz face / creamy overdrive. Cleans up incredibly well with the guitar volume too, which surprised me given the gain of the transistors I used.
    I don't normally post in detail like this but I'm extremely please with this one. Thought it was worth sharing for the few here who may be interested in building a fuzz pedal.

    Couple photos. A gut shot and one of the enclosure to show the controls. Forgive the lack of fancy. I personally don't care what they look like, just that they work and what they sound like.

    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Darg1911; 12-10-2018, 03:49 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Latest Pedal Build ... Fuzz Face

    Built a bunch of DIY overdrives with PC boards supplied by Arcadia Electronics, great sounding pedals, and I tweaked some component values for better tone, two of the guys in the band I manage use them live and in the studio...


    • #3
      Re: Latest Pedal Build ... Fuzz Face

      Very cool, great build! Lots of tweakability to get it dialed into your preferences and rig.
      Oh no.....

      Oh Yeah!


      • #4
        Re: Latest Pedal Build ... Fuzz Face

        Nice build, very neat. I just put a really small pot inside the box of my germanium fuzz face so I could tune it by ear, which worked out pretty well.
        Join me in the fight against muscular atrophy!

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