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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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GFS Brownie Classic (2nd gen) Insides

I took apart my new GFS Brownie Classic (the second-generation one in the aluminum enclosure). Here are my pics. My camera doesn't have a macro mode, so some of them might be a little fuzzy. I'm posting links to the full-size photos, in case someone wants to zoom in and try to make out some small details.








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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Old April 14th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Neatly dissected. Thank you.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Same as V1. Hoo-rah!

I do like that little orange gumdrop for the 1uF output capacitor. And I see that they are back to the green cap for the .0033uF tone cap. Or maybe GFS gets all of theirs with that one (mine had a red one, IIRC).

Now - the million dollar question is what is the value of the "lower resistor" in between the op amp chip and C1? If you can make out the color of the bands, we might be able to tell if it is 560 ohm or the incorrect value of 56K.

560 ohms s/b green/blue/black...maybe another black or two, but 56K would replace a black stripe with an orange one (may look brown on the blue body).

I've got pics attached of my Mouse with the resistor highlighted, just to give an idea.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 01:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Now - the million dollar question is what is the value of the "lower resistor" in between the op amp chip and C1? If you can make out the color of the bands, we might be able to tell if it is 560 ohm or the incorrect value of 56K.
I've still got it apart (awaiting follow-up questions like this one). I'm at home now, but when I pop back to the office later today, I'll get the value from that resistor.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 02:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dang! These are TINY resistors!! My old eyes (even in bright light, with new bifocals) can't really make out the different color stripes. At home I have one of those flip-down magnifier visors. I'll try that next!
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Old April 14th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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OK, I put on my visor magnifier and was able to see clearly. All of the other little blue resistors are pretty easy to read, but this one is a bit harder. Here's what I see:

Green -- a little hard to see against the blue, but it's there
Blue -- I may be imagining this one, but I think I can see it
Black -- definitely there
Red -- definitely there
Brown -- definitely there



All the resistors I looked at have a brown stripe at one end, which I'll take for the tolerance bit (+/-1%). That means the Green/Blue/Black would be 560 and the red is the multiplier (100ohm).

The red looks pretty red.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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All the resistors I looked at have a brown stripe at one end, which I'll take for the tolerance bit (+/-1%). That means the Green/Blue/Black would be 560 and the red is the multiplier (100ohm).

The red looks pretty red.
Bada bing!

They fixed it, hopefully for GOOD.

I was thinking more about why Biyang "temporarily discontinued" the Mouse/Brownie/etc. and I am convinced that they are phasing in the aluminum box because companies like GFS probably prefer it, and they have to compete with companies like Joyo. Since neither of them use a stamped steel box, it made sense to switch. The labor to diddle around with the stamped boxes probably proved not to be so wonderful, either. It is not uncommon for one of the 4 topside allen screws to be stripped/****-eyed from the factory.

It would also explain the price increase as the tooling switches over, and because aluminum is more expensive than steel, regardless of the source.

Either way, they are back, and that is what is important to folks who specifically dig the Brownie.
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Old April 14th, 2012, 05:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for going the extra distance on this.
I have been playing mine for hours now through a BillM modded Bjr, and really loving it
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes, guys, your research into this is GREATLY appreciated!

I was about to spend about $150 last night on a ProCo 1985 Rat reissue, but I thought I'd wait and see what you guys found out about the innards of this new Brownie.

Needless to say, I ended up ordering the Brownie tonight!

Thanks again!
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Old April 14th, 2012, 09:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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LM 308? Man an oldie and moldie. Not real quiet and very slow.

What is this thing? A Brownie? I see the op amp is socketed so you can play with other flavors. Did they hook up the feed-forward compensation on the thing in this circuit?
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Old April 15th, 2012, 01:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Did they hook up the feed-forward compensation on the thing in this circuit?
Yep. 30pF cap between pins 1 & 8, just like the original ProCo pedal. That's the only reason that there's 3 little ceramics in the thing. The other two are a 100pF in the neg feedback loop to smooth things out just a little, and there's also a .001uF shunted to ground on the input to kill RF noises.

Other than the millenium bypass, it's faithful to the original ProCo recipe (well, there is the reverse log 100K tone pot in place of the Rat's 100K linear unit, but that might actually be a slight improvement).

Actually, R.G. Keen was inspired by the Rat bypass with the Darlington transistor - it was literally the foundation that he started with.

http://www.geofex.com/article_folder...ium/millen.htm
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Old April 15th, 2012, 02:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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So is this thing basically a RAT fuzz box?
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Old April 16th, 2012, 03:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm like a dang cat acting like I want to come in the house... then turning around... then coming in... etc. I have put this pedal in my shopping cart a few times. I listen to youtube clips. Sometimes I hear those clips and I think I should get it. Other times I think it's just not for me.

Not only that, but there's the visual. I like the odd/small box of the rat. Crazy how much the eyes determine things.

I have a Boss BD-2 that has been my main source of dirt. I have a Joyo UD on the way because I've wanted to have the ability to have a little dirt and a lot of dirt. I'm just wondering if I will even have need for the brownie. Dang internet. Didn't have this problem years before I knew all this stuff was out there.
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Old April 16th, 2012, 03:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Dang internet. Didn't have this problem years before I knew all this stuff was out there.
+1 :)
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Old April 21st, 2012, 08:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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FYI - They are still making some Brownies with the incorrect resistor. I just took delivery of one of these brand new Brownies direct from GFS this week. It sounded terrible. I put my multitester on there and, sure enough, it had the 56K ohm resistor. I put a 470-ohm 1/8-watt resistor from Radio Shack in there and now it sounds great. Pretty much exacly like an old RAT II I used to have in the early 90s!

Without 11 Guage's posts about this issue I would have flipped this thing unnecessarily, so thanks!
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 10:49 AM   #18 (permalink)
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FYI - They are still making some Brownies with the incorrect resistor. I just took delivery of one of these brand new Brownies direct from GFS this week. It sounded terrible. I put my multitester on there and, sure enough, it had the 56K ohm resistor. I put a 470-ohm 1/8-watt resistor from Radio Shack in there and now it sounds great. Pretty much exacly like an old RAT II I used to have in the early 90s!

Without 11 Guage's posts about this issue I would have flipped this thing unnecessarily, so thanks!
Well, this is a bummer! I was hoping they had fixed the resistors on all of these with this 2nd generation issue.
I just got my Brownie last Friday and now I'm curious as to what resistor's in it. Was it very hard to disassemble? Do you know what size allen wrench you need for the little knob screws?
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:06 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Well, this is a bummer! I was hoping they had fixed the resistors on all of these with this 2nd generation issue.
I just got my Brownie last Friday and now I'm curious as to what resistor's in it. Was it very hard to disassemble? Do you know what size allen wrench you need for the little knob screws?
The "wrong" resistor is NOT a deal killer for the Brownie,IMO.

Now mine came with the wrong resistor, and I did send it to 11 Gauge for correction, but the dang pedal sounded great before, and after. It did make the pedal lose the "cocked-wah" effect when turning my guitar volume down, which is nice and I know it affects the Gain too, but this pedal is great, If you need the fix, you just have it done or do it yourself. The mode switch (sorry, broken record) is a wonderful thing. "3 Rats in one"!

Used this pedal again (as only OD) with "Fake LP" and clean Fender amp last night; left it ON all the whole time, and let the guitar do the 'cleanup' and 'dirty work'- could not be more dynamic with this particular combo...
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 01:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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...for correction...It did make the pedal lose the "cocked-wah" effect when turning my guitar volume down...
If you REALLY want to hear how much of an effect that 56K resistor has, do the following:

1. turn down your guitar volume

2. turn the dist/drive knob from low to high

3. if you can't hear anything, turn the guitar back up and rotate the dist/drive knob from low to high

The wah effect as you sweep thru the gain is very noticeable with the wrong resistor in there. So depending on where you set your gain/dist, it might be sort of like a Rat, or it may be more like a wah rocked forward, or a wah rocked backwards.

Again, some may like the accidental effect of the wrong resistor, but I think the majority of folks don't like it, especially those that are familiar with what a Rat should sound like. And after the resistor is changed, most seem to like it a LOT more.

So it really again is a subjective thing, but the semi-consensus seems to be that the 56K resistor is a significant alteration from a stock Rat, especially depending on where you set your dist/gain.

Since it is one resistor, it makes it a little less painful to fix/get fixed. The other good news is that the value doesn't have to be spot-on to the stock 560 ohms - 680 or 470 work fine, too. But 56K is many magnitudes too high.

Heck, even 1K or 2.2K would be a lot closer to the original circuit, tonewise.
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