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Old December 22nd, 2011, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
11 Gauge
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Originally Posted by vjf1968 View Post
I am pretty sure 11 Gauge could give more info.
Yeah, it's a Frantone Peach Fuzz.

Here is a YouTube video comparing the two.

The cool thing is that the Peach Fuzz has an unorthodox design - it doesn't have a "traditional" transistorized circuit. The main source of all that madness is actually a small power amp chip. The chip was typically just something that the DIY crowd played around with for years - there's something called the Smash Drive that used that odd chip.

...The Lovepedal Purple Plexi/Provalve/etc. use the same power amp chip, as does the Sonic Titan by D*A*M, as does some pedal that was inspired by Dimebag Darrell's tone, or something like that (Krank amps made it).

...But TTBOMK, Fran actually designed an entirely "more elaborate" circuit around the power amp chip - it is actually driven by at least one gain stage prior to it (which I think is an op amp chip and clearly not "traditional" transistor design, either).

The circuit for the Purple Plexi/Sonic Titan/etc. are so sparse that it is almost ridiculous - the power amp chip truly is about as "homebrew DIY" in its roots as they come. You can still get the chip at most Radio Shack stores (that still carry stuff other than iPhones or flat screen TV's), which was the whole idea behind it. Just very odd that there are designs that don't elaborate that much from the crude basics.

...EXCEPT FOR the Peach Fuzz (and Dano's V1 "lift" of it).

Something to keep in mind with a fuzz pedal and mass production is that it REALLY helps if it doesn't use transistors. Even though there are SMT variants of lots of silicon types of transistors, there is absolutely no effort on the part of semiconductor companies to replicate anything obsolete that might be preferred in an effect pedal. Germanium is obviously out of the question.

And - many of the really old fuzzes work off the principle of having a "wrong" or "not so great" input impedance. The Fuzz Face and Tonebender are the extreme examples, but even a Big Muff has a relatively low one, too. So what's the deal with that? Well, many mass produced pedals don't use true bypass or even mechanical bypass, and that simply won't fly with a Fuzz Face (without some hard core tweaking and "performance compromises").

...Enter something like the Peach Fuzz, and Dano was tempted to the nth degree. Considering that the Timmy and OCD are also very basic chip oriented designs, it was easy to press them into production on the cheap.

I'm surprised that big pedal companies haven't taken the late 70's op amp Big Muff and tailored that for numbers in the thousands, especially after finding out that Billy Corgan used one exclusively for those super popular Smashing Pumpkins albums. There's no denying that droning/buzzing sound that so many youngsters would absolutely love in a $30 - $60 package.

But my hat is off to Frantone for coming up with a non-transistor fuzz variation. And Dano was cunning to replicate it.
"Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes." - Confucius
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