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Analog Man Sun Face or diy?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by trxx, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't own a good fuzz. Prices on the things make me gawk given how simple the circuits are. Sun Face or diy?
     
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  2. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    Analogman makes great stuff. But making a Fuzz Face is a lot simpler than navigating the Sun Face ordering page and all its options.

    If you want to buy a Fuzz Face off the shelf, there are a lot of good ones out there. I really like my Fulltone '69, and I think I'm going to spring for some kind of silicon one before too long.
     
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  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    If you can source the same chips as Mike go for it.

    I have one. It’s my favorite fuzz thus far. I didn’t think that much of either the Fulltone ‘69 or ‘70 but honestly any of them work.

    I actually like my French Toast octave fuzz a lot. It is a cheap Danelectro but is great.
     
  4. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are tons of really good fuzz pedals out there for not a lot of money. If you want to get into pedal building (I'm almost there, myself) then a fuzz is a great place to start. Otherwise it would be good to just look around. I just got an Outlaw General geranium fuzz for, I think, $60. It sounds great and I am happy with it. It's fuzz.

    The cool thing about fuzz is that it is simple and often has very low part counts so the independent builders cut their teeth on fuzz pedals. Since they are often unknowns, they can't get away with charging a ton for their pedals. I'd beat the bushes for an up and comer in the pedal manufacturing community and jump on theirs. Here's one I may buy one day (It's very cheap).


    dirty.jpg
    Tone City supposedly has a nice fuzz pedal too. Chicago Stompworks too (both are on Reverb).
     
  5. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    That seems to be the rub. I know jack about germanium transistors. This would be for a fuzz face type.
     
  6. deus56

    deus56 Tele-Meister

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    So many good choices out there now.
    You really can't go wrong with any of Mike's offerings though.
    Bought her from Mike a long time ago.
    Yes, the circuit is simple but some builders can make the simplicity
    beautiful.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  7. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    I’m not sure was Mike is producing now but he used to have germanium and silicon versions. Regardless he sources both and then tests them.
    The other thing is he likes batteries to power his pedals.
     
  8. MojoTrwall

    MojoTrwall Tele-Holic

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    Some folks are building 808 and 909 diy, or coding dsp to do complex effect.

    You could teach 12 years old to build fuzz in middle school by themselves, and select germanium transistor.

    It's crazy the mindset in guitar World over some effect.
     
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  9. NorthenLights

    NorthenLights Tele-Meister

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    That's what the internet is for!
    My advice is to start with a silicon version (just finished one myself). Reason is BC108s are so much cheaper than vintage germanium, and generally more consistent so you don't risk buying the wrong ones. Move on to germanium when you know what you're doing.
    Most of the other components I managed to get from old radios. Building pedals i really alot of fun when you start getting the hang of it.

    However, if you are going to do it yourself, it has to be because you have an interest in building pedals, not because you want a cheap sunface. It's pretty likely that you will mess up a couple if times, spend lots of time trouble shooting, redoing bad solder joints, struggling with cables etc. If you are not interessted in the learning process, it's probably best to just cough up the cash for a real one.
     
  10. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    They're currently out of stock, but Electrosmash offers a complete germanium Fuzz Face kit, for ~$110. That also includes the germanium transistors, and instructions to bias both of them (and not just Q2), for the best performance. This is the big plus to the Electrosmash kit IMO, as it doesn't require that Q1 and Q2 be sorted and measured for 'the perfect gains' with hFEs of 80 and 120.

    [​IMG]

    https://shop.electrosmash.com/product-category/amplifiers/germanium-fuzz/

    I'd say contact them, to see if you can find out if/when they might have more.

    The only other caveat I might see is that these appear to ship from Europe. Not sure if that might make shipping exorbitant, all things considered.

    Just to reiterate, the main thing you're paying for, to get a good sounding germanium Fuzz Face, is a pair of 'perfect' transistors with hFE gains of 80 and 120. They'll also be sorted for low 'leakage' as well. Most builders try to find old NOS (obsolete and increasingly rare) transistors that meet these criteria, which further drives up the price.

    The Electrosmash kit gets around the NOS transistor hurdle by using a pair of (much more available) Russian germanium transistors that have gains of at least 50 hFE, and then biasing them to be the same as the 'perfect' transistors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  11. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    This is the real value in "boutique" fuzz pedals- the actual construction is the easy part, knowing how to select and tune the transistors is where the "magic" lies. Silicon is easier to work with than germanium, a novice is much more likely to wind up with a good sounding Si Fuzz Face than a Ge one.

    There are plenty of good fuzz pedals that cost less than a car payment, too- the red Dunlop Fuzz Faces (both the big one and the Mini) use Russian germanium transistors, and sound great. The silicon ones also sound great, even cheapies like the Danelectro French Toast and Behringer Super Fuzz rock out most righteously. And we haven't even gotten into Big Muffs, which are their own wonderfully filthy beasts (and widely available, and inexpensive).
     
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  12. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I always thought that I dislked fuzz, but I don't. I just don't care for less than really good fuzz. When I hear demos of the various Dunlops I would not use the sounds that I hear from them, and same goes for most others that I have heard. Analog Man's stuff sounds good to me, along with a few other boutique makers' stuff. I'm not a boutique pedal snob by any stretch, but fuzz seems to be an area where my ears are picky. Of course, I don't want to pay a car payment for one, so according to what I have heard it's either Analog Man or diy for me. Maybe both.
     
  13. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I would caution you on two fronts:

    1. Fuzz pedals are REALLY application-dependent, more so than any other pedal type. Read enough reviews of any fuzz pedal, and you'll read people saying that it's the best pedal ever made, and others saying it's the worst. They're both right. You really need to try a fuzz out yourself, playing your rig, to really get a handle on whether they work in your personal paradigm.

    2. Judging fuzz pedals by demo videos is an iffy proposition at best (ANY pedals really, but fuzz particularly). There are tons of variables, none of which are related to the pedal in question (see point 1 above). I won't argue that you don't like certain gear demo videos better than others, but it's nothing like having the pedal istelf plugged into your guitar and amp. I don't have a Sunface, but I do have an Analogman Peppermint- it's cool, but it's not MORE cool than any of my half dozen other really cool fuzzes... some of which cost less than $50 new.
     
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  14. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    If I have to choose between anything or DIY, I go for DIY when I can.
     
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  15. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

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    I've had a couple of sunfaces and each one was cool. You can't go wrong with any Analogman product. It depends on your ear and what you like.

    If you like sunface get one.

    Anything else might be close or possibly negligible.

    My feeling on gear is that a lot of times, the difference between really special stuff and goof stuff is inches and not feet.

    If that makes sense. Best of luck!
     
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  16. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    The other caveat with DIY fuzz is that you can really end up in a rabbit hole.

    All it takes is building one fuzz that makes at least some sounds that grab your attention, and then there's the risk that you'll get caught up building another, hoping to improve on those good qualities. Then, potentially at some point, you come to realize that there are some neat variations, and you'll favor fuzz X for some stuff, fuzz Y for some other things, and then fuzz Z for yet even other stuff.

    If it's a fun experience going down that rabbit hole, then maybe the resulting obsession won't be a problem. My guess is that the average person probably just wants to build something once or maybe twice, and then focus on other stuff.

    So if you're the kind of person that doesn't really get into building stuff (even if it fairly simple and easy to build), it might be better to just go for something that someone else has already built.
     
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  17. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I've had some good FF and prefer Tone Benders, or Muffs at the far end of fuzz.
    Analogman is big money so you best know for certain that's the exact fuzz you want.
    Super simple yet they vary greatly.
    Has anyone ever bought exactly one fuzz pedal and it happened to be the one they liked best?
    Maybe if you can try a bunch of good ones with your rig.

    OTOH buy lots of them!
    I tend to aim high after years of starting low and ending up higher.
    Some like certain cheap gear though, only you can decide.
     
  18. bobk

    bobk Tele-Meister

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    Highly recommend the Sunface by ANALOGMAN......
     
  19. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Actually, my very first pedal was a triangle Big Muff, from the first few years of its production. I liked it a lot, but didn't know what I had, so I eventually got rid of it.

    Anyway, not sure if I would have concluded that I liked it the best, as I didn't really have easy access to trying much of anything else.

    By the time I was making actual deliberate choices about what fuzz pedals I wanted, I got back into the fuzz game with the purchase of a green Russian Big Muff in the mid-90's, and I think I just got lucky, and ended up liking it even more than my old triangle.

    With the exception of those two, I haven't really liked any fuzz 100% for the long term. The two other instances that come closest are experiencing a Skreddy Lunar Module Deluxe, and the building of a modified Jordan Bosstone.

    I think my expectations are far from typical, though. I'm not really trying to ape the fuzz tones of Hendrix, Gilmour, or EJ. I have a sound in my head that I want to hear, but most fuzzes don't produce it.
     
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  20. cwhuntersr

    cwhuntersr TDPRI Member

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    After decades of buying various versions of ODs and distortions, thinking that fuzz wasn't what I was looking for, I tried out a JHS Muffaletta...so much time and money wasted. I know the Muffaletta isn't the "best" of each of the sounds, but the variety got me much closer than I've ever been. Now I'm eyeing the Sunlion, but the choices for the transistors have me paralyzed for which one I actually want.
     
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