Catalinbread/Moseley germanium Fuzzrite

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
7,099
Location
Wisconsin
IMG_20221206_075331_329-01.jpeg

I've only gotten to test it at low volume, but so far so good. Hopefully I'll get to play it loud soon.

I was skeptical about any pedal from Catalinbread designed after Howard Gee split, but I decided I wanted the germanium version for the following reasons:
>Nick's mom no longer owns Catalinbread.
>They had an original Mosrite example to base it on.
>It was the first fuzzrite circuit, and is supposed to be the one on Inagaddadavida, and closest to what the Ventures used. Not that it matters too much, but that's a solid reference point.
>The following demo video. He picks and uses his fingers, and pulls a lot variance out with touch. That's what I most want to hear in demos, and rarely get to. It's a fuzz that can blast and sound blown out, and still be touch responsive.

 

Vibroluxer

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Posts
2,074
Location
Pittsburgh
View attachment 1058777
I've only gotten to test it at low volume, but so far so good. Hopefully I'll get to play it loud soon.

I was skeptical about any pedal from Catalinbread designed after Howard Gee split, but I decided I wanted the germanium version for the following reasons:
>Nick's mom no longer owns Catalinbread.
>They had an original Mosrite example to base it on.
>It was the first fuzzrite circuit, and is supposed to be the one on Inagaddadavida, and closest to what the Ventures used. Not that it matters too much, but that's a solid reference point.
>The following demo video. He picks and uses his fingers, and pulls a lot variance out with touch. That's what I most want to hear in demos, and rarely get to. It's a fuzz that can blast and sound blown out, and still be touch responsive.



Isn't that Supro Tremolo just the best? I love it!
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
7,099
Location
Wisconsin
Isn't that Supro Tremolo just the best? I love it!

It's tremolo is just ok, but it's overdrive really might be the best. It does great things after a fuzz, when my amp's too clean but I want fuzz into dirty amp. The Fuzzrite has a ton of output available and can really blow it out.
 

JesterR

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Posts
1,286
Location
Germany
It's tremolo is just ok, but it's overdrive really might be the best. It does great things after a fuzz, when my amp's too clean but I want fuzz into dirty amp. The Fuzzrite has a ton of output available and can really blow it out.
This is intersting. Because SI version has not too much output. Just above unity.
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
7,099
Location
Wisconsin
This is intersting. Because SI version has not too much output. Just above unity.

This is above unity before the volume knob gets to noon. And it gets louder on the "modern" setting. I wonder if this is a catalinbread change, or a difference in the germanium circuit. It's more than just the transistors that are different. The si fuzzrite clone I have is a kit someone else built, so I don't trust it's accuracy. I think it boosted above unity, but I'll have to check. My si clone is crazy bright, way more than what I think of as a fuzzrite sound.
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
7,099
Location
Wisconsin
Update: turned it up to a nice household volume, where the household can hear it, but I still get to live here.
It is very fun. Lots of sounds hiding in the variables. I like how it can have all the sputtery fizzy edges, but also be percussive. "Depth" turned down a little it can be hairy and thumpy. Attempts to clean it up with guitar volume makes an interesting sound.
I just made some cool sounds that came dangerously close to songwriting. And now I'm debating making a five pedal board and gigging with two fuzzes. I think I need the face for at least one song, even though I hate the idea of a five pedal board.
 

JesterR

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Posts
1,286
Location
Germany
This is above unity before the volume knob gets to noon. And it gets louder on the "modern" setting. I wonder if this is a catalinbread change, or a difference in the germanium circuit. It's more than just the transistors that are different. The si fuzzrite clone I have is a kit someone else built, so I don't trust it's accuracy. I think it boosted above unity, but I'll have to check. My si clone is crazy bright, way more than what I think of as a fuzzrite sound.
Just bought SI version yesterday again. It has unity gain about 3 o´clock. Not that it bothers me, but I am just surprised.
 

Ben Harmless

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Posts
5,308
Location
Salem, Mass
Just bought SI version yesterday again. It has unity gain about 3 o´clock. Not that it bothers me, but I am just surprised.
Same on mine. It doesn't shock me. I think the original SI version was an "as close as possible" circuit, and it was a fairly primitive, two-transistor design. I actually have other early-fuzz-based pedals that I like more, but the Fuzzrite is a cool box when you want to come at something like it's the '60s and not everything has massive level boosts. It's a less-is-more challenge.
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
7,099
Location
Wisconsin
Same on mine. It doesn't shock me. I think the original SI version was an "as close as possible" circuit, and it was a fairly primitive, two-transistor design. I actually have other early-fuzz-based pedals that I like more, but the Fuzzrite is a cool box when you want to come at something like it's the '60s and not everything has massive level boosts. It's a less-is-more challenge.

Simple design seems to often equal complex sound. This thing has so many little spitty, fizzy, hairy details. The first users just turned them on and blasted, but there are so many quirks and noises and odd sounds when playing with dynamics.
 

JesterR

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Posts
1,286
Location
Germany
Same on mine. It doesn't shock me. I think the original SI version was an "as close as possible" circuit, and it was a fairly primitive, two-transistor design. I actually have other early-fuzz-based pedals that I like more, but the Fuzzrite is a cool box when you want to come at something like it's the '60s and not everything has massive level boosts. It's a less-is-more challenge.
My surprise was that Ge version seems to have a lot more volume, with unity gain about 12 oclock.
 

burntfrijoles

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
10,424
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
I was skeptical about any pedal from Catalinbread designed after Howard Gee split
I haven’t bought any pedal from Catalinbread since Gee departed, although I tried a Belle Epoch but returned it because was noisy.
They had an original Mosrite example to base it on.
I think Howard designed the Fuzzrite pedal in collaboration with Mosley (from Mosrite) based on the original, using original units. Is the new pedal just a revision?
and closest to what the Ventures used.
I never think Ventures when I think of fuzz.🤣
 

Jared Purdy

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Posts
4,738
Age
63
Location
Toronto, Ontario.
View attachment 1058777
I've only gotten to test it at low volume, but so far so good. Hopefully I'll get to play it loud soon.

I was skeptical about any pedal from Catalinbread designed after Howard Gee split, but I decided I wanted the germanium version for the following reasons:
>Nick's mom no longer owns Catalinbread.
>They had an original Mosrite example to base it on.
>It was the first fuzzrite circuit, and is supposed to be the one on Inagaddadavida, and closest to what the Ventures used. Not that it matters too much, but that's a solid reference point.
>The following demo video. He picks and uses his fingers, and pulls a lot variance out with touch. That's what I most want to hear in demos, and rarely get to. It's a fuzz that can blast and sound blown out, and still be touch responsive.


I'm not at all familiar wth that pedal by Catalinbread, but I do have the Topanga Spring Reverb. That thing is incredible. The reverb from it is indistinguishable from the real spring reverb in my 64' Hand Wired PR. I use the Topanga with my 57' Deluxe.
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
7,099
Location
Wisconsin
I haven’t bought any pedal from Catalinbread since Gee departed, although I tried a Belle Epoch but returned it because was noisy.

I think Howard designed the Fuzzrite pedal in collaboration with Mosley (from Mosrite) based on the original, using original units. Is the new pedal just a revision?

I never think Ventures when I think of fuzz.🤣

The first version of the mosrite fuzzrite used germanium transistors and the circuit was a little different. They only made a couple hundred of these, and then produced the more common silicon version. The silicon version was copied for the catalinbread fuzzrite. The germanium version wasn't released until recently. 2021? I'm not sure, but I think it was released after catalinbread was bought by the current owners. I don't know if Nick Harris (original founder, RIP) and Howard had already planned this version, or worked on it, but it's the natural thing to do. They had an original ge fuzzrite to copy, and it's the one on some famous recordings. More importantly, it's awesome sounding, and can go way beyond what the 60s guys did with it.

The new catalinbread owners seem ok. I don't know if they'll make new designs I care about, but I'm glad I can get the old stuff and it's not from Nick's mom. And really glad they made this ge fuzzrite, because I really like playing it.

The Ventures did the 2000lb Bee, a famous example of fuzz. They used some custom built thing that Ed Sanner is believed to have based the fuzzrite circuit on.
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
3,122
Age
48
Location
Tampa, FL
There were a bunch of similar fuzz pedals under different names. I made this a decade ago when I was big into making pedals. I made a couple of Si Orpheums back then - they were gnarly!

TB 60s fuzz comparison chart.GIF
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
7,099
Location
Wisconsin
There were a bunch of similar fuzz pedals under different names. I made this a decade ago when I was big into making pedals. I made a couple of Si Orpheums back then - they were gnarly!

View attachment 1060326

That's cool! Can you really build all of those off that schematic just by eliminating the not used components? Did you ever happen to compare a jordan bosstone?
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
3,122
Age
48
Location
Tampa, FL
That's cool! Can you really build all of those off that schematic just by eliminating the not used components? Did you ever happen to compare a jordan bosstone?

The component values change from pedal to pedal, so you can basically build all the different versions using the same circuit board, or you can tune the sound of a version to make it more like another. A fun thing to do is replace resistors with pots of a similar value and then tweak the sound to taste.

The Bosstone had two different versions that I know of, and they were very different pedals from this one. FWIW, I don't like the Bosstone that much.

Jordan bosstoneCA 2.gif



jordan bosstoneTN.gif
 

burntfrijoles

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Posts
10,424
Location
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
The new catalinbread owners seem ok. I don't know if they'll make new designs I care about, but I'm glad I can get the old stuff
I have my DLS and 5F6 that I purchased maybe 7 to 8 years ago. I wouldn't let either of them get away.

The first version of the mosrite fuzzrite used germanium transistors and the circuit was a little different. They only made a couple hundred of these, and then produced the more common silicon version. The silicon version was copied for the catalinbread fuzzrite.
I just watched Howard's YouTube video of the first version and it seemed like he just sampled a bunch of the originals and picked from the best sounding to attempt to emulate them. He didn't mention whether they were the silicon or germanium but just that they used a number of them to copy. He stated that there was wide variation in the quality and sound of the transistors in that era and they all sounded different.
There are so many different "styles" of fuzzes. I got tired of chasing various fuzz tones and finally settled on an Analogman SunFace and even there Mike has different silicon and germanium species in those.
BTW, looking at Howard's demo of the 2016 model, made me realize how much I miss his demo's of their products.
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
3,122
Age
48
Location
Tampa, FL
Apropos of not much, I made a similar chart for different wahs. I should find some schems of Teese wahs and add them to this.

Wah Comparisons.gif
 




Top