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OMG! Silicon fuzzes are incredible! What’s your fave?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by 4pickupguy, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    I built a BYOC silicon negative-ground Tone Bender MkII years ago, and it's still my favorite fuzz for smooth fuzzy lead.

    It's not so useful for cleaning up 'cause it's got a cap across the input that kills a lot of highs. Like rolling your tone almost all the way down on the guitar. The pedal makes its own harmonics, it doesn't need them from the source. Doesn't much matter which pickup you use, or even which guitar, the pedal kind of has its own sound.

    So it's not very versatile, but what it does is very smooth and pleasing. There are other pedals to do those versatile tricks that you can control from the guitar...
     
  2. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    A very timely thread for me...I have been researching Fuzz pedals lately and just 5 minutes ago hit the "buy" button on a Jesse Davey made Kingtone Fuzz Si (silicon version) $249.00.
    Kingtoneguitar.com No affiliation, just liked the versatility. Hand made in California. He has several other interesting pedals, as well.
    Not cheap, but appear to be quality products.
    I prefer the not so dark tone of silicon over germanium and don't like putting my pedals in the freezer. Hope to get it in within a week.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
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  3. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    To be clear he was talking specifically about FF circuits, not, all simpler designs are better than any other complex designs. I mean, I was shocked to see so few components underneath the microphone stand base.

    9192836A-7174-47BC-9335-2CDE6CA4F90F.jpeg

    I’ll see if I can find the episode. I think it was a “History of Distortion” Themed show. I recall it being pretty interesting.

    Edit: Ok, found it. About the 30 min mark. The whole show is good though and speaks to this topic pretty well....

     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  4. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Afflicted

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    That certainly makes more sense, but the ZVEX Wooly Mammoth is a more complicated FF variant and I have to say it's a pretty sweet fuzz.
     
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  5. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    Memory is a funny thing and I’ve learnt (the hard way) to distrust mine somewhat. Having said that, I thought all he was saying was that the less components, in any kind of circuit, the more impact each one has. Hence, you need a lot of care with simple circuits. As in, one thing changing can have a huge effect. I don’t recall him making any value judgements about simple vs complex.

    I think the show was that main ‘Lets chat to Josh’ one.

    Maybe this one?



    But it could have been this one?



    Edit. Just noticed the time stamp on the episode above says "The importance of components" at 30:25, so maybe that's it. I can't actually watch it right now. Cos I have to watch the BBQ...

    Pax/
    Dean
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
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  6. kafka

    kafka Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't know what's in anything. I try not to pay attention to the ingredients. I really like my Supro fuzz, so much so that I ran out and got a Chase Tone Red Velvet. After that, I got Chase Tone Fuzz Fella. I don't know which of these are what type. But, I think they're all great.

    So it only took me close to 40 years to try a fuzz pedal, and now I think they're great.
     
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  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Please, Please let us know what you think!!! I looked at that one. Just killer!
     
  8. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    There is such a concentration of Fuzz scholarship in this thread that I can't resist asking (in hopes not to derail the thread): if you could only buy ONE fuzz, and a cheap one at that, what would you choose?

    For ref: I am using Strat, Tele or Casino into a clean BF amp. Other gain pedals is use normally: BB, Zen and occasionally Rat.

    I'm interested into old school tones, even though the spectrum of what I like is pretty broad (from "Satisfaction" to Gilmour, including Hendrix). Oh, and I like both sides of the fuzzy equations… the "clean up" fat clean sound à la Hendrix, and the full-tilt screech.

    Any suggestions for someone willing to dip a toe in the fuzz world?
     
  9. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    I replaced one of the germaniums in my fuzz face with a silicon and a feedback cap to smooth it out. It doesn't clean up as nicely as germanium, but it cleans up better than a purely silicon one, and it's sort of a best of both worlds as far as tone and gain on tap.
     
  10. Phye

    Phye TDPRI Member

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    Keeley Fuzz Bender-You want Si, its there. You want Ge, its there. Wanna mix em? Yup
    Its there.
     
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  11. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I’m jus t gonna leave this here for no particular reason.....;)

     
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  12. jimi00

    jimi00 TDPRI Member

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    I’ve become obsessed with the fuzz sound. I have quite a few fuzz pedals in my collection. But the one I go back to most often is a hybrid Ge/Si from Magnetic Effects, the White Atom: https://www.magneticeffects.net/white-atom
    All the settings are quite usable and it achieves a very large palette of fuzz sounds from a choked up « robot in the baffle » to a smooth tubesque lead distortion. Did I also mention that the guy who makes them uses them live with his band?
     
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  13. Askwhy

    Askwhy Tele-Meister

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    I like the Dunlop Hendrix mini. Probably not the choice of connoisseurs, but it has both germanium and silicon. Ge sounds better, but also performs like crap in hot weather like the vintage ones. Being able to easily switch to silicon has made the pedal still useful for outdoor gigs. The switchable buffer is nice too. Great sound, great options and small format. I don't have golden ears and most fuzzes sound similar to me, so I like the ones I can actually use live with little hassle. YMMV of course!
     
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  14. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    Um, dunno.

    You'd have to define cheap, I guess.

    Gilmour used, I believe, both germanium and silicon Fuzz Faces and then Big Muffs, so again, define Gilmour’s fuzz tone. Satisfaction was a Maestro Fuzztone. So, that’s a fairly big range.

    Personally, I’d start with a standard classic design type of pedal - Fuzz Face clone maybe. Begin at the beginning as it were, and then proceed forward in time, if needs be.

    Maybe some kind of cheap Chinese silicon Fuzz Face clone or variant? Classic but stable. Just to see if you like it. I think they start around $20-ish. That way, you can get a feel and not be out too much if you don’t like it. Then, I guess, move on to something Big Mufff-like if you want.

    I haven't watched any, but the 60 Cycle Hum guy has a fair bit on cheap fuzzes.







    The caveat I guess, could be that if it’s too cheap, you might not be getting a good example of what fuzz can be like. Maybe. But, worth a go, I’d say.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
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  15. TeleBluesMan

    TeleBluesMan Tele-Holic

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    Am I the only one who likes the EH Big Muff Pi Nano?
     
  16. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

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    Wasn't germanium fuzz the holy grail a few years ago? Funny to watch this transition.
     
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  17. pi

    pi Tele-Meister

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    I think it's the input of the circuit which defines how well it cleans up, not the type of transistor. The older designs did that.

    On the web description of the fuzz in the post from the OP, it says "With a high impedance input design, it is strongly recommended that low
    impedance signals do not precede the pedal (buffered bypass pedals or active pickups, etc.)."

    The fuzz circuits that clean up with your pickups usually have to be the first effect in your chain. The way I've heard it described is that rather than creating a signal into the circuit, the pickup acts like it is part of the circuit. This is also why some of those older circuits don't sound as good if you put them after another pedal.
     
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  18. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    Thx a lot! Yeah, I know, saying "I want a fuzz that does all fuzzes and cheap please" ain't very helpful ;D

    As for cheap: anything below 60-70€ would do, also used. I see EH Big Muff Pi fuzzes going for about that range. So anything around there would still be considered good – and I totally agree: I'm ok with dipping my toe by buying a cheap clone, but it makes sense only if you get a good approximation.
     
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  19. 63 vibroverb

    63 vibroverb Tele-Afflicted

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    When I was a kid, my grandpa got me an Ibanez FZ-7 for my birthday. My very first fuzz and it was great at the “sun-about-to-explode” type of heavy leads and damaged speaker sounds. Definitely silicon - I would not use it today, but it was very cool and I had a lot of good times with it. The physical pedal enclosure was kinda cheap and problematic, maybe I would’ve kept it if it was in a better box.
     
  20. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    If using a clean BF amp, I would personally avoid Fuzz Face and Tonebender types of fuzzes. Actually, I wouldn't use those types of fuzzes even with an overdriven BF amp, either.

    I would also actually avoid Big Muff types as well, with a clean BF amp - too scooped in the mids with both the pedal and the amp together.

    One of the most pleasing amp-agnostic fuzzes that I've personally used is the Jordan Bosstone. It has a relatively simple fuzz circuit, and uses very common silicon transistors. There are some costlier Bosstone derivatives, but there are also some more affordable ones, and there are DIY kits available that are both affordable and fairly easily assembled.

    Oh, just FYI - if you didn't already know, the Jordan Bosstone is the fuzz that you hear on Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky:



    Here's someone using a Voodoo Lab Bosstone (pretty much 1:1 with the original Jordan Bosstone) to play some Pink Floyd'ish stuff:



    And here's a pretty decent video where the sustain, octave effects, cleanup, and range of fuzz strength is shown (with a Bosstone DIY clone):

     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
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