A Pre-emptive Biyang Fuzz Star CL buy...

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
Just silly posting, as Tuesday, I should be getting a ( local, CL) Biyang Fuzz Star fuzz, and I'm kind of excited!

I'm a Biyang pedals fanboy ( years now, various), currently using their Reverb and their Rat clone, and have always wanted to try out the Fuzz Star.

I believe it is a Big Muff type ( vs. A Fuzz Face or other type), and honestly, I'm always looking for a ( cheap!) fuzz or distortion that I can use ( still with a strong fuzz/sustain) that works at the lower to moderate volume my gigs are ( and guitar volume has to be)
So in other words, one whose fuzz I can crank, w/o having to crank pedal Level.
I know this may not give me as dynamic as the Fuzz Face/ ' control everything from guitar volume' thing...just give me some decent 'fuzz intensity' I wanna hear, at my volume. If possible?

The Rat comes close in that it behaves for me as far as volume is concerned, but ( duh!) it has a hard-rock character to its distortion, vs. Classic Fuzz

So, I'm looking for the right fuzz that will get along with what I'm already doing with my amp/pedal setup.
Will come back and comment after getting the Fuzz Star and trying it out.
Wish me luck!
( no biggie, it is cheap, and I enjoy working things out)
 

Attachments

  • 20220418_113240.jpg
    20220418_113240.jpg
    123.5 KB · Views: 20
Last edited:

dougstrum

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Posts
3,371
Location
blu ridge mtn cabin
Hope you like the fuzz star.
I've had the tri verb for about a year. It's simple and works great.
Only complaint, the led was eyeball scorching bright! Used black sharpie to tame it; much better now but still my brightest pedal on light.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
Hope you like the fuzz star.
I've had the tri verb for about a year. It's simple and works great.
Only complaint, the led was eyeball scorching bright! Used black sharpie to tame it; much better now but still my brightest pedal on light.
Thanks, we will see.
Funny, I only use 4-5: pedals max at a gig.

But I swear ( not that I'm unhappy with what I have) when it comes to overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals, I do like trying out a bunch ( at home first) just to hear what things sound like.
Do they sound better, worse than what I'm using? Or maybe a cool twist?

Love the sound and control layout of the Biyang Tri-Reverb- easy to work with!
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
I believe it is a Big Muff type
It is a Big Muff type. I got one quite a few years ago now, and poked around under the hood for quite a bit of time. IIRC, the values of the components in the tone stack were unlike anything from any known Big Muff model, but there's no disputing that it still has that characteristic Muff type of sound.

The Fuzz Star is one of those peculiar pedals that has a combination of thru-hole and SMD construction.

Actually, it looks like I posted about modding a Fuzz Star to be like a Green Russian, in the Burnt Fingers forum, about nine years ago.

The one thing you probably won't care for is the Fuzz Star uses a linear taper level/vol pot, so unity gain happens down around 9:30 or so, IIRC. I think I talk about that a bit in the old thread.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
It is a Big Muff type. I got one quite a few years ago now, and poked around under the hood for quite a bit of time. IIRC, the values of the components in the tone stack were unlike anything from any known Big Muff model, but there's no disputing that it still has that characteristic Muff type of sound.

The Fuzz Star is one of those peculiar pedals that has a combination of thru-hole and SMD construction.

Actually, it looks like I posted about modding a Fuzz Star to be like a Green Russian, in the Burnt Fingers forum, about nine years ago.

The one thing you probably won't care for is the Fuzz Star uses a linear taper level/vol pot, so unity gain happens down around 9:30 or so, IIRC. I think I talk about that a bit in the old thread.

Thanks 11 Gauge!,

I'm picking up Fuzz at noon today ( CL " meet you at the McDonald's!") and look forward to fooling around with it this afternoon.

If I like it, cool! If not then I sell it back on CL! ( I bet I keep it)

It all started with my GFS Brownie Classic ( that YOU modded for me), but I've always liked the Biyang effects.
( Brownie long gone, as it was huge and heavy and I like Biyang's small Baby Boom pedals now, so I have their ' Rat' Max Distortion)

The Biyangs all sound good to me ( love the MXR size) and are affordable.
Plus I love the feature that they still use batteries ( even their Reverb one!) when I just want to grab one pedal for a jam or practice.

Will see if I like the new Fuzz and report back.

I'm in a 'new-old' ( old friends reuniting ) pickup band, that is gonna revisit some louder/old rock music than my current bands.
So hoping this may be a good lead addition?
 

VintageSG

Poster Extraordinaire
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Posts
5,274
Location
Yorkshire
It's a fuzz pedal.
No excuses or justification required for adding to a fuzz collection.
Report back, as other fuzz-addicts ( self ) like to skronk vicariously through others pedals :)
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
I'm in a 'new-old' ( old friends reuniting ) pickup band, that is gonna revisit some louder/old rock music than my current bands.
So hoping this may be a good lead addition?
I haven't used my Fuzz Star in probably at least 3-4 years, and since I modded it to be more like a green Russian Muff (and could have possibly even done more mods to it after that), I don't know if I could tell anything objective or useful.

Also, I think my own personal tastes WRT Big Muff pedals has kind of changed, recently. I'd like more of that Gilmour kind of vibe, but with a BF/SF Fender amp (primarily my old SR, which I just put WGS Veteran 10s in last Fall), and in all honesty, it just doesn't work, at least not to my satisfaction. I should probably try a Muff with my Marshall Origin 20, but I've got the whole rig with that absolutely dialed in, and I don't want to change anything.

...Maybe just barely on-topic with this whole 'louder/old rock' kind of thing - I have a late-70's Big Muff that I resurrected from the dead, and have spent years tweaking it, but have never been super happy with the way it sounds, at least relative to my favorite Muffs (like my mid-90's green Russian). I finally went under the hood (again) a couple of months ago, and re-worked it to be closer to what Kit Rae believes Gilmour's favored ram's head to be spec'ed out as. And unfortunately, I just don't really care for it, at least not with BF/SF amps. Maybe I should just have a spending crisis and grab a Reeves or HiWatt or something...🤪
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
I haven't used my Fuzz Star in probably at least 3-4 years, and since I modded it to be more like a green Russian Muff (and could have possibly even done more mods to it after that), I don't know if I could tell anything objective or useful.

Also, I think my own personal tastes WRT Big Muff pedals has kind of changed, recently. I'd like more of that Gilmour kind of vibe, but with a BF/SF Fender amp (primarily my old SR, which I just put WGS Veteran 10s in last Fall), and in all honesty, it just doesn't work, at least not to my satisfaction. I should probably try a Muff with my Marshall Origin 20, but I've got the whole rig with that absolutely dialed in, and I don't want to change anything.

...Maybe just barely on-topic with this whole 'louder/old rock' kind of thing - I have a late-70's Big Muff that I resurrected from the dead, and have spent years tweaking it, but have never been super happy with the way it sounds, at least relative to my favorite Muffs (like my mid-90's green Russian). I finally went under the hood (again) a couple of months ago, and re-worked it to be closer to what Kit Rae believes Gilmour's favored ram's head to be spec'ed out as. And unfortunately, I just don't really care for it, at least not with BF/SF amps. Maybe I should just have a spending crisis and grab a Reeves or HiWatt or something...🤪

In a nutshell ( besides my own actual deficiencies as a guitar player),
I've always had an issue or ability to develop a smooth, yet searing/sustaining lead tone ( say, a la Gilmour may be a good example, or rawer- early Steely Dan...) that I can incorporate into bands that play small, quieter gigs
- me, with overdrive and good old Blues/rock & Roll/ rockabilly? No problem there...
But my lead playing ( 47) years now is always short staccato solos ( lots of notes, good crunchy, maybe jazzy, melodic phrasing, yes) based on never having a tone that just SUSTAINS-
That you can just slow down the amount notes, manipulate one note on the fly, knowing the notes aren't gonna just 'drop off!'
Do you know what I mean?

Want the fuzzy sustain w/o the huge volume, Ha!
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
In a nutshell ( besides my own actual deficiencies as a guitar player),
I've always had an issue or ability to develop a smooth, yet searing/sustaining lead tone ( say, a la Gilmour may be a good example, or rawer- early Steely Dan...) that I can incorporate into bands that play small, quieter gigs
- me, with overdrive and good old Blues/rock & Roll/ rockabilly? No problem there...
But my lead playing ( 47) years now is always short staccato solos ( lots of notes, good crunchy, maybe jazzy, melodic phrasing, yes) based on never having a tone that just SUSTAINS-
That you can just slow down the amount notes, manipulate one note on the fly, knowing the notes aren't gonna just 'drop off!'
Do you know what I mean?

Want the fuzzy sustain w/o the huge volume, Ha!
Yeah, I think I get what you're saying.

The only way I've really been able to get that whole sustain at low volume thing to work is by stacking the right combo of pedals, and IME, there's usually a compromise with how compressed and distorted things have to be, in order to get the notes to hang on.

I've actually had the most personal success by driving something like a Jordan Bosstone into a Boss OD-3, but I guess I should be clear that neither pedal was stock, and this was with my own subjective tastes with amps and such. But yes, I could get this setup to sustain and hang on the notes, at very reasonable volumes (all things considered).

The funny thing is I've always had probably the inverse of your situation. I'm a lefty who plays right-handed, and I don't have the most deft of chops. I'm very legato with what I do, and can't really pick anything much beyond 1/8-notes. I also rely a lot on hammer-ons and hammer-offs with a lot of stuff, which makes the note decay quite different than if plucking the string. But long story short - yeah, 'manipulate one note on the fly' - I tend to do that a bit, but have always sort of depended on having enough volume at the amp to really make it work correctly.

...Sort of getting in the weeds - when I think of the whole 'sustain at any volume' thing, I always eventually think of guys like Fripp, who uses a Sustainer or I guess the current equivalent would be the Sustainiac systems. I know Steve Vai has also used them to get even endless sustain with clean tones, and IIRC, JY Young of Styx has used them to get sustain at more tolerable volumes. The biggest issue for me with the whole Sustainer/Sustainiac thing is I've just never wanted to experience the trouble or expense of getting it fitted to an existing guitar (if it would even be possible), and just don't care for like the Schecter models that they come factory-installed in. But that would certainly eliminate the need to keep messing with things like pedals/amps/sufficient volume.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
Yeah, I think I get what you're saying.

The only way I've really been able to get that whole sustain at low volume thing to work is by stacking the right combo of pedals, and IME, there's usually a compromise with how compressed and distorted things have to be, in order to get the notes to hang on.

I've actually had the most personal success by driving something like a Jordan Bosstone into a Boss OD-3, but I guess I should be clear that neither pedal was stock, and this was with my own subjective tastes with amps and such. But yes, I could get this setup to sustain and hang on the notes, at very reasonable volumes (all things considered).

The funny thing is I've always had probably the inverse of your situation. I'm a lefty who plays right-handed, and I don't have the most deft of chops. I'm very legato with what I do, and can't really pick anything much beyond 1/8-notes. I also rely a lot on hammer-ons and hammer-offs with a lot of stuff, which makes the note decay quite different than if plucking the string. But long story short - yeah, 'manipulate one note on the fly' - I tend to do that a bit, but have always sort of depended on having enough volume at the amp to really make it work correctly.

...Sort of getting in the weeds - when I think of the whole 'sustain at any volume' thing, I always eventually think of guys like Fripp, who uses a Sustainer or I guess the current equivalent would be the Sustainiac systems. I know Steve Vai has also used them to get even endless sustain with clean tones, and IIRC, JY Young of Styx has used them to get sustain at more tolerable volumes. The biggest issue for me with the whole Sustainer/Sustainiac thing is I've just never wanted to experience the trouble or expense of getting it fitted to an existing guitar (if it would even be possible), and just don't care for like the Schecter models that they come factory-installed in. But that would certainly eliminate the need to keep messing with things like pedals/amps/sufficient volume.
Complete 'flip side' to my own 'fuzz at low voume quest' thread:

For Christmas ( for cheap kicks & curiosity) I got myself the 5-watt Monoprice 'fake Champ' that I am just now finding out ( finally taking it out of my apartment, to jams), sounds very good, with both the Tone and Volume knobs cranked.
- 'real tube overdrive!' (as they say, but it's true here- very good crunch and raw edge, decent sustain)

So there's a part of me that just wants to plug in a Fuzz Face ( nothing else), crank it, use my guitar Volume knob, & stop worrying about all my own guitar BS-
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
Complete 'flip side' to my own 'fuzz at low voume quest' thread:

For Christmas ( for cheap kicks & curiosity) I got myself the 5-watt Monoprice 'fake Champ' that I am just now finding out ( finally taking it out of my apartment, to jams), sounds very good, with both the Tone and Volume knobs cranked.
- 'real tube overdrive!' (as they say, but it's true here- very good crunch and raw edge, decent sustain)

So there's a part of me that just wants to plug in a Fuzz Face ( nothing else), crank it, use my guitar Volume knob, & stop worrying about all my own guitar BS-
I understand that, too!

I have an old '67 Champ, and had fun messing around with it for awhile. It still has the original speaker, so ultimately I didn't really want to mess with it too much, in an effort to just get a little more low end out of it. I did mod it at one point, basically making it more like a tweed Champ, but ultimately put everything back to stock.

Then I got one of those Blackheart Little Giant heads, and that worked out a bit better than the Champ, especially once I replaced the output transformer with something much more stout. I then ran that into various cabs with 10s or 12s in them. I'd just put some kind of basic boost'ish thing in the chain, and was pretty much happy with what I was hearing. Eventually, I modded the LG to be more tweed-like, basically just pulling out the tone stack circuitry. I really just wanted to have as good of a sound with the volume turned up as possible.

Then I got one of those VHT Special Six heads, which IMO was just a better take on the LG, as-is from the factory. It basically came with a great output transformer, and is also built on either an eyelet or turretboard as opposed to PCB, although I've never modded it from stock. You've basically got what's like a hardwired BF/SF Champ tone stack in normal mode, and then it gets lifted/bypassed in boost/OD mode. Both modes have what's like a very basic singular tone knob.

...The Special Six is kind of neat in that you can use dirt pedals and stuff with it in normal mode (at least with the vol. not set too high), but then you can turn on the boost (via a footswitch) to get the crunchy/tweedy thing working.

My problem is that I'm kind of set in my ways, and love the clean thump that I get with something like my '71 VR, and I can never get enough of that with the little 5 watt jobs to be satisfied. I've actually had better luck doing that with something like my Vox MV50 Boutique or Boss Katana (better low end at lower volumes), too.
 

Lies&Distortion

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
May 27, 2014
Posts
1,614
Location
SE Michigan
In a nutshell ( besides my own actual deficiencies as a guitar player),
I've always had an issue or ability to develop a smooth, yet searing/sustaining lead tone ( say, a la Gilmour may be a good example, or rawer- early Steely Dan...) that I can incorporate into bands that play small, quieter gigs
- me, with overdrive and good old Blues/rock & Roll/ rockabilly? No problem there...
But my lead playing ( 47) years now is always short staccato solos ( lots of notes, good crunchy, maybe jazzy, melodic phrasing, yes) based on never having a tone that just SUSTAINS-
That you can just slow down the amount notes, manipulate one note on the fly, knowing the notes aren't gonna just 'drop off!'
Do you know what I mean?

Want the fuzzy sustain w/o the huge volume, Ha!
You should be able to get that with a muff style pedal. Maybe goose it with something to fill out the scooped EQ.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
I haven't used my Fuzz Star in probably at least 3-4 years, and since I modded it to be more like a green Russian Muff (and could have possibly even done more mods to it after that), I don't know if I could tell anything objective or useful.

Also, I think my own personal tastes WRT Big Muff pedals has kind of changed, recently. I'd like more of that Gilmour kind of vibe, but with a BF/SF Fender amp (primarily my old SR, which I just put WGS Veteran 10s in last Fall), and in all honesty, it just doesn't work, at least not to my satisfaction. I should probably try a Muff with my Marshall Origin 20, but I've got the whole rig with that absolutely dialed in, and I don't want to change anything.

...Maybe just barely on-topic with this whole 'louder/old rock' kind of thing - I have a late-70's Big Muff that I resurrected from the dead, and have spent years tweaking it, but have never been super happy with the way it sounds, at least relative to my favorite Muffs (like my mid-90's green Russian). I finally went under the hood (again) a couple of months ago, and re-worked it to be closer to what Kit Rae believes Gilmour's favored ram's head to be spec'ed out as. And unfortunately, I just don't really care for it, at least not with BF/SF amps. Maybe I should just have a spending crisis and grab a Reeves or HiWatt or something...🤪
Just following up on my own thread, ha!

I got the Fuzz Star yesterday PM, plugged my Tele into it> small amp ( in apartment, so, quietly!) and I don't know if I like it or not?
I think I might, but it is so loud/powerful!

The Level knob is at unity volume, at 8:00 o'clock, so barely ON!

It has a 3-way toggle switch ( btw, identical to my Biyang Max Distortion 'Rat') for NORMAL> BRIGHT>WARM. Assuming it is a diode clipping options switch?

All I know is that the best sound ( 'most Gilmour?') I got out of it, seems to be with both the Fuzz and Tone knobs at 3:00, and that toggle switch on ' Warm' - it is more compressed and low end sounds pretty cool- then cranking that Tone control gives the fuzz a cool raspy edge at the same time. Makes things 'take off' at these settings. Pretty good sustain too.

But I definitely have to get used to the sheer output of this thing!
Interestingly enough:
I got out the Biyang Max Distortion ( photo below) and with it set almost the same, toggle switch on 'Warm', Tone and Distortion at 3 clock, Volume at 10 clock- the sound was similar and maybe more useable, for me. Not quite as crazy, and sounded better when backing guitar volume off, from full on.
Also this pedal has good sound when leaving switch on 'Warm' and backing both Tone and Distortion back- nice overdrive there...the 'Muff' is not as useable doing this

-I only like both pedals on the 'Warm' setting it seems; other settings are louder, cleaner

- but I think I prefer the ' Rat' to the ' Muff'- just a better fit for me. Will keep fooling around...

Edit- not a new challenge for me, just recurring:
I have to get used to phrasing/playing differently when having so much distortion in my sound. Need to slow dow, more legato/let distortion carry the notes... Its It's very different from what I have done for 48 years- but I want to embrace it, just at my volume situation
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20220419-182534_Photos.jpg
    Screenshot_20220419-182534_Photos.jpg
    167.3 KB · Views: 10
Last edited:

stepvan

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Nov 15, 2018
Posts
1,519
Location
out there somewhere
Thanks, we will see.
Funny, I only use 4-5: pedals max at a gig.

But I swear ( not that I'm unhappy with what I have) when it comes to overdrive/distortion/fuzz pedals, I do like trying out a bunch ( at home first) just to hear what things sound like.
Do they sound better, worse than what I'm using? Or maybe a cool twist?

Love the sound and control layout of the Biyang Tri-Reverb- easy to work with!
Honestly the fuzz I use is the behringer fuzz mostly for the boost pedal function but the fuzz effect is pretty good too for the price my other fuzz is a caline puffer fuzz that is fuzzface-like.
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
Honestly the fuzz I use is the behringer fuzz mostly for the boost pedal function but the fuzz effect is pretty good too for the price my other fuzz is a caline puffer fuzz that is fuzzface-like.
I think it's an " It's not you, it's ME!" thing, when it comes to fuzz or heavy distortion use.

It has to to with a very long history of my playing music that just did not call for this effect ( or if it it, I just played with a more overdrive sound/less distortion and sustain).
Plus playing at just a lower volume ( my kind of gigs/venues) than many other guitarists/bands.

Yet, I still now want to have this kind of sound option. I think too hard maybe
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
Just following up on my own thread, ha!

I got the Fuzz Star yesterday PM, plugged my Tele into it> small amp ( in apartment, so, quietly!) and I don't know if I like it or not?
I think I might, but it is so loud/powerful!

The Level knob is at unity volume, at 8:00 o'clock, so barely ON!

It has a 3-way toggle switch ( btw, identical to my Biyang Max Distortion 'Rat') for NORMAL> BRIGHT>WARM. Assuming it is a diode clipping options switch?

All I know is that the best sound ( 'most Gilmour?') I got out of it, seems to be with both the Fuzz and Tone knobs at 3:00, and that toggle switch on ' Warm' - it is more compressed and low end sounds pretty cool- then cranking that Tone control gives the fuzz a cool raspy edge at the same time. Makes things 'take off' at these settings. Pretty good sustain too.

But I definitely have to get used to the sheer output of this thing!
Interestingly enough:
I got out the Biyang Max Distortion ( photo below) and with it set almost the same, toggle switch on 'Warm', Tone and Distortion at 3 clock, Volume at 10 clock- the sound was similar and maybe more useable, for me. Not quite as crazy, and sounded better when backing guitar volume off, from full on.
Also this pedal has good sound when leaving switch on 'Warm' and backing both Tone and Distortion back- nice overdrive there...the 'Muff' is not as useable doing this

-I only like both pedals on the 'Warm' setting it seems; other settings are louder, cleaner

- but I think I prefer the ' Rat' to the ' Muff'- just a better fit for me. Will keep fooling around...

Edit- not a new challenge for me, just recurring:
I have to get used to phrasing/playing differently when having so much distortion in my sound. Need to slow dow, more legato/let distortion carry the notes... Its It's very different from what I have done for 48 years- but I want to embrace it, just at my volume situation
Yeah, those dreadful linear taper vol/level pots on some of these econo pedals can be a bit of an aggravation.

I also find that the lower volume you play, the more you have to drop the vol to hit actual unity gain, because the amp's preamp isn't really doing much.

If I were strictly a bedroom player, I think I wouldn't like something like the Fuzz Star. Dropping the vol to 8:00 to hit unity gain is IMO a bit ridiculous.

Yeah, the FS is like other Biyang pedals, in that the toggle gives you other clipping diode options. That actually makes it a little bit unique as far as Muff copies go, because the vast majority of them seem to just use the stock EHX silicon diode pairs at the two clipping stages.

IMO, as far as cheap Muff copies go, the FS is probably a little above average. I think that makes it a decent deal for what you pay. But if someone has an idea which specific Muff original they want (e.g. triangle, ram's head, Russian, etc.), it's probably going to be worth it to spend a bit more to find something that attempts to copy the original more closely. The other obvious reason to do this is because hopefully you get a pedal that doesn't have unity gain at 9:00 or lower on the vol dial!
 

Chiogtr4x

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2007
Posts
14,125
Location
Manassas Park, VA
Yeah, those dreadful linear taper vol/level pots on some of these econo pedals can be a bit of an aggravation.

I also find that the lower volume you play, the more you have to drop the vol to hit actual unity gain, because the amp's preamp isn't really doing much.

If I were strictly a bedroom player, I think I wouldn't like something like the Fuzz Star. Dropping the vol to 8:00 to hit unity gain is IMO a bit ridiculous.

Yeah, the FS is like other Biyang pedals, in that the toggle gives you other clipping diode options. That actually makes it a little bit unique as far as Muff copies go, because the vast majority of them seem to just use the stock EHX silicon diode pairs at the two clipping stages.

IMO, as far as cheap Muff copies go, the FS is probably a little above average. I think that makes it a decent deal for what you pay. But if someone has an idea which specific Muff original they want (e.g. triangle, ram's head, Russian, etc.), it's probably going to be worth it to spend a bit more to find something that attempts to copy the original more closely. The other obvious reason to do this is because hopefully you get a pedal that doesn't have unity gain at 9:00 or lower on the vol dial!

I do enjoy the 'quest', as I actually trust my ears to guide me.
And even though it takes a little time, I end up having a good 'on the cheap' track record when it comes to most of my guitar stuff. I think everything I own is cheap or 'player' budget.

So are you saying that the frustrating, 'linear taper Vol.pots' thing is kind of what you get, have to deal with, when getting these cheap clone pedals? Is it an actual pedal size thing? ( small pedal= small pots= w/o a lot of taper/sweep?) or nothing to do with size, just a cost-cutting item?

Thanks for info, always!

(BTW, I will be able to try this pedal out at band practice volume, next week.
Will continue with at- home fiddling!)
 

11 Gauge

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 21, 2003
Posts
12,665
Location
Near BWI Int'l
So are you saying that the frustrating, 'linear taper Vol.pots' thing is kind of what you get, have to deal with, when getting these cheap clone pedals? Is it an actual pedal size thing? ( small pedal= small pots= w/o a lot of taper/sweep?) or nothing to do with size, just a cost-cutting item?
No, nothing to do with the size. If Biyang makes (or probably more likely made) a big box equivalent of the Fuzz Star, it would probably have the exact same linear taper volume pot.

This is more just along the lines of keeping costs down and simplifying construction, so basically something like the Fuzz Star has three linear taper 100K pots in it. That simplifies component inventory, and makes it more foolproof WRT getting the right taper & value pot in the right spot on the PCB.

The truth be told, even ProCo (in the Rat) used three 100K log taper pots, which is probably why the filter control is wired in reverse, because the sweep works better that way. For ProCo to get the traditional/intuitive effect would have meant using a reverse-log pot.

Also, some original EHX Big Muffs had either linear or log 100K pots, I guess really depending on whatever could be sourced in large quantities. Seeing something like a linear pot for the tone control (which is a must) and then a log taper pot for the vol. control is actually more typically found with either some DIY kits, or some of the more spendy boutique Muff variants.

All of this said, components at the 'recovery' gain stage (after the tone circuit) can be modified, to increase/decrease the amount of recovery gain (which is probably the right way, design-wise, to get the vol. knob to end up at a theoretical 12:00 position). Oftentimes, all that has to be done is to make that transistor's emitter resistor a bit larger, if a linear taper pot is being used.

...But in the case of the Fuzz Star specifically, I can understand why Biyang wouldn't go to any kind of custom alterations like this. And as far as swapping resistors go, they're SMD, so not really an option for the casual DIY'er, either.

I'm fairly certain that the Mouse, Brownie, and Max Distortion all have a log taper vol. pot, so it might be possible to get a part number off of it, and then it's just a matter of sourcing it from somewhere. I'd guess that the same pots that Biyang are using are mass produced for other electronics, so something should be available. Probably the only other potential snag I might think that would be encountered is that these specific pots use a solid 'D' shaft, to be used in conjunction with a setscrew knob (it's a little less common).
 
Last edited:




Top