This fuzz is my homage to the Solasound Tonebender*. Using my own tweaked version of the Mk2 circuit, but voiced closer to the MK1. Using a matched pair of super rare vintage ‘New Old Stock’ TO106′ ME c1016 RedDot silicon transistors from Aug 1975, and a single RCA 2n3053 from 1977 I have enough of these transistors for over a thousand units, so theres no chance of running low soon.
The tone is very much classic ToneBender*, think Mick Ronson on Ziggy Stardust. The bias control is the key on this pedal, With careful dialling you can find all sorts of sweet spots. Stay clockwise for thick, chewy, loud open and dynamic fuzz, as you turn anti clockwise the fuzz will increase and Mids will start to come forward, continue anti clockwise, for brighter cutting MK1 territory.
To dial the classic MK1 voice, mute the strings and turn the bias control till the background hiss just fades. This is the point where the transistors are switched off, however the moment you touch the strings they come to life. This is very much a feature of the Mk1.
Turn the bias further clockwise and the attack becomes more spitty and ‘stop start’ until no signal will pass.
Bass boost / stock switch does pretty much what it says on the tin.
Unlike the BlackHatSound the clean up from the guitar volume is very different. with the bias fully clockwise, Your guitars volume will act more like a gain control for the first quarter turn down giving you some very clear and dynamic tones. With the bias further anti clockwise the clean up starts to get more brittle and spitty .
In all if you like your Fuzz with lots of bite and vintage mojo but still with plenty of tight bass this is the pedal for you.
*ToneBender is a trade name owned by Solasound of London, supplied by Macaries, who are still making awesome fuzz pedals too =)
There will be a Studio version at some point, (please don’t ask when though … ) with an attack (fuzz) control and some other foot-switchable features; a bit like the LuxMaster is to the 108Master.
I build these fuzz pedals in my garden workshop in Northamptonshire UK. This includes painting, drilling, and acid etching my design onto the enclosures. Constructing the entire circuit ‘Point to Point’ only using the components, theres no boards or circuit traces to dilute your signal purity. I finish the entire pedal to a standard that I think looks as good inside, as it sounds on the outside. It might be covered up but when you’re in that moment you KNOW the mojo you have under the hood.
Please be aware, these are totally hand built and so there might me some slight cosmetic variation between each pedal. The acid ecthing process produces a gunmetal patina on the enclosure with will vary from pedal to pedal. This is most noticeable on the sides and imparts a unique character to each pedal. Tonally, I play each one to make sure they sound as good as the first one, before signing off, no tone generator, no gadgets – just a telecaster and my ears.
The grade and rating of every component has been painstakingly tested. I am proud to be able to say that this silicon fuzzface sounds as good as many GE versions but without the temperamental audio behavior.
Vintage RCA 2n3053 and ME C1016 transistors
Please note, all my silicon pedals have a boss style 2.1 center negative DC jack only, there is no battery snap. Silicon transistors are not sensitive to DC supply type unlike their germainium counterparts.
Thank you for reading, if you have any questions about this pedal feel free to message me.
RF interference – Many old fuzz circuits are vunerable to Radio Frequency Interference from a host of different modern electronic devices ranging from lighting to heating controlers to fridges. This is by the nature of the design and to reduce the chances of this happening would radically alter how the pedal sounds. If you are having problems with RF using one of my pedals here are a few resouces that can help. RF interference is not down to a faulty pedal.