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

Chiogtr4x

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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 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).
Thanks for the clarification!
Will just deal with Fuzz Star as is ( we both have our weaknesses!), and figure out how to work it in- plus doing that in a band ( volume) context will help- won't need to be so dang sensitive about the Volume

Side:
for those who are not TDPRI long timers, I have an old history of bugging the hell out of 11 Gauge, about Blues Drivers vs. OD-3's, Rats, Tube Screamers, Fuzz Faces, OCD's, Timmy vs
Danelectro CTO-1...

Very patient and informative- I try to retain the basic sound/operating info; will never actually understand electricity or electronics.
Thanks, 11 Gauge!
 

11 Gauge

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Very patient and informative- I try to retain the basic sound/operating info; will never actually understand electricity or electronics.
I don't think the end user really needs to understand electronics. I just need to use the technical language to try and explain what's happening and why it's happening. It's no different than someone explaining why a chicken cooked at 400 degrees will turn out different from one cooked at 350 degrees, or why your car engine might have better performance and longevity if you use 0W20 oil instead of 10W30.

Stuff like pots, as boring and as simple as they are, can really have a profound effect on the performance of guitars, effects, and amps. It really comes down to them having both the right resistance value and taper.
 

Chiogtr4x

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I don't think the end user really needs to understand electronics. I just need to use the technical language to try and explain what's happening and why it's happening. It's no different than someone explaining why a chicken cooked at 400 degrees will turn out different from one cooked at 350 degrees, or why your car engine might have better performance and longevity if you use 0W20 oil instead of 10W30.

Stuff like pots, as boring and as simple as they are, can really have a profound effect on the performance of guitars, effects, and amps. It really comes down to them having both the right resistance value and taper.

I can't tell you how much a difference on the pots upgrade made (pickups too, I'm sure), between the old Epiphones I owned in the '90's- early 2000's and the 2018 SG I now own.

Literally a 'night and day' difference in clarity/treble, and how the Controls sound thru their rotation...
 

Chiogtr4x

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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.

Hi, it's me again, sorry!

Assuming this Fuzz Star is along the lines of a Big Muff design, any guess as to which Muff model it may come close to, when that toggle switch is in 'Warm' mode?

( note: I have never owned or played a Big Muff, just read about them here or mag/video reviews)

All I can note, is this indeed the 'warmest' mode of the three, it is the quietest ( the ' Bright' being loudest, then '
Normal'), yet has the thickest, fuzzy-est sound of the 3 ( don't know if this is compression?) Has slightly spongier low notes.
IMO, the pedal sounds best in this mode, but with Tone control up, to help with edge or pick attack, to help sound cut through.

Does this sound like a certain Big Muff?

Just curious,
understood if answer is " I have no idea!"
Thanks
 

11 Gauge

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Hi, it's me again, sorry!

Assuming this Fuzz Star is along the lines of a Big Muff design, any guess as to which Muff model it may come close to, when that toggle switch is in 'Warm' mode?

( note: I have never owned or played a Big Muff, just read about them here or mag/video reviews)

All I can note, is this indeed the 'warmest' mode of the three, it is the quietest ( the ' Bright' being loudest, then '
Normal'), yet has the thickest, fuzzy-est sound of the 3 ( don't know if this is compression?) Has slightly spongier low notes.
IMO, the pedal sounds best in this mode, but with Tone control up, to help with edge or pick attack, to help sound cut through.

Does this sound like a certain Big Muff?

Just curious,
understood if answer is " I have no idea!"
Thanks
Although I'm going by memory, the FS isn't really accurate to any specific Big Muff that I know of, but there was a lot of variation with what EHX made, so making a comparison is sort of a moot point.

Having said that, I recall from tinkering with the FS that Biyang went with something kind of unique in the tone stack, which should make it less mid scooped than your typical Big Muff. I think I have details of it in the link to the old thread in Burnt Fingers.

Regarding the three modes - they toggle between different clipping diode selections. I'm assuming normal just uses a basic silicon pair like a typical Muff would. Warm is probably using what are called Schottky diodes, and these have a lower forward voltage, like germanium diodes, which will attenuate things the most, and compress the most. Bright is using what looks like a single red LED in conjunction with one or two silicons. You can see this LED on the PCB in the Burnt Fingers thread - it's clearly not a status LED!

...And expanding on those modes - for the most part, EHX never really used anything other than just regular silicon diodes. So the closest you'll come to sounding like a EHX Big Muff will probably be in the normal mode.

When I A/B/C/D'ed the FS against other Muffs that I have, it sounded a bit different, when it was stock. I tried to make it sound more like my green Russian Muffs, and was successful, to a degree. I was hoping to have it sound 1:1 with them, since it is so compact (my one green Russian Muff scratchbuild is in a slightly larger '125B' enclosure). Alas, it still differs, but the key thing here is that I really have my personal tastes in preferring on specific type of Muff sound. If you have no previous experience, that's probably going to actually work in your favor!
 

Chiogtr4x

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Although I'm going by memory, the FS isn't really accurate to any specific Big Muff that I know of, but there was a lot of variation with what EHX made, so making a comparison is sort of a moot point.

Having said that, I recall from tinkering with the FS that Biyang went with something kind of unique in the tone stack, which should make it less mid scooped than your typical Big Muff. I think I have details of it in the link to the old thread in Burnt Fingers.

Regarding the three modes - they toggle between different clipping diode selections. I'm assuming normal just uses a basic silicon pair like a typical Muff would. Warm is probably using what are called Schottky diodes, and these have a lower forward voltage, like germanium diodes, which will attenuate things the most, and compress the most. Bright is using what looks like a single red LED in conjunction with one or two silicons. You can see this LED on the PCB in the Burnt Fingers thread - it's clearly not a status LED!

...And expanding on those modes - for the most part, EHX never really used anything other than just regular silicon diodes. So the closest you'll come to sounding like a EHX Big Muff will probably be in the normal mode.

When I A/B/C/D'ed the FS against other Muffs that I have, it sounded a bit different, when it was stock. I tried to make it sound more like my green Russian Muffs, and was successful, to a degree. I was hoping to have it sound 1:1 with them, since it is so compact (my one green Russian Muff scratchbuild is in a slightly larger '125B' enclosure). Alas, it still differs, but the key thing here is that I really have my personal tastes in preferring on specific type of Muff sound. If you have no previous experience, that's probably going to actually work in your favor!
Thanks much! ( again)

I do think this little pedal has potential, once I hear ( and tweak) things in band context ( rehearsal)
 

11 Gauge

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I do think this little pedal has potential, once I hear ( and tweak) things in band context ( rehearsal)
Actually, since it probably has more mids than your average Muff, that will potentially make it more usable in a band context. The mid scoop with many Muffs tends to make them disappear in a band context, IME.

Possibly the only other potential issue is whether or not the bass dominates too much, and the resulting guitar tone gets lost in the sauce. This is why I like the green Russian Muff specifically, because it doesn't have as much of that boomy, droning low end.
 

Chiogtr4x

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Actually, since it probably has more mids than your average Muff, that will potentially make it more usable in a band context. The mid scoop with many Muffs tends to make them disappear in a band context, IME.

Possibly the only other potential issue is whether or not the bass dominates too much, and the resulting guitar tone gets lost in the sauce. This is why I like the green Russian Muff specifically, because it doesn't have as much of that boomy, droning low end.
Thanks
I don't think I'll be too picky if I can just get a good fuzzy sound that cuts through at the volume that I need

that's the mission

Basically it's something that I want to be able to go to predictably as it won't be used as a whole lot
If that makes sense I'm pretty good at working this stuff out with the right tools if that makes sense

I actually trust my ears pretty well - but we know there's no accounting for good taste ha!
 




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