Tonebenders?

Jellyroll

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I have had A LOT of fuzz pedals, and I’m sure I’m not done buying them, but these days I have landed on the Tonebender myself. A MKII variant and a real bang for the buck! The Reuss Germanium Bender is just so awesome and versatile. The company is criminally ignored, so enjoy the very reasonable price! This easily compares to the D*A*M* Tonebender I owned for many years, but it’s one fifth as expensive!
 

Stedgett

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Oh what's the best <insert description> pedal? I have been down so many of those rabbit holes. Got a few maps if you want but they just lead you in a circle. Buy from someone who has a return policy so you can try. Music stores are not ideal as there are some critical variables, such as your guitar and your amp. I truly have empathy, In the remote past, it was one or two available. Now it seems a zillion of with every variation you can imagine and some you can't. Pedal paralysis is a real thing. Maybe give your main guitar and amp and certainly someone on here will have a similar rig, and tell you what works for them. Good luck!! :)
 

Killing Floor

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I really the RambleFX Twin Bender. It’s easy to find the tone I want between the 1.5 and Mark II circuits. It’s also got bias control on the outside.
And you had me at chicken heads.
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vjf1968

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I have collected too many fuzz pedals over the years but can't part with them.

I managed to get the Rush Pep Box built by Lucy Rush and that is a splatty fuzz. Definitely use a carbon/zinc battery with that

The Rambler FX Twin Bender Unprofessional is probably the best American made tonebender clone available next to my Prescription Electronics Yardbox but the Twin Bender has a lot of volume on tap plus it takes a standard Boss type barrel adapter. The Yardbox is reverse polarity so your better off using a battery.
 

gitold

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The Big Knobs Colour Jumbo is a silicone 1974 version that’s a lot of fun and can be found cheap on Reverb.
C0C30A4E-23F0-42A3-A8DE-59B1175DDA57.jpeg
 

mistermikev

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I love germanium fuzz. I had tried all sorts of variations on it from ff to tb to shin ei to you-name-it. I roll my own so I can't tell you what is the best variation in the market... but just chimed in to relay something that surprised me in my search for 'grail fuzz'. Early on I played a rangemaster and was never really crazy about them. That said, at one point I built one with a variable freq selector... and that changed everything for me. Long story long... rangemaster with a wide open freq range or iow just a germanium booster - is the stuff dreams are made of imo. Not going to give you that crazy over-the-top fuzz (that is its own cool thing)... but for something that you want to turn on and leave on for almost everything - it is really great. As I recall the first stage in a tonebender (depending on the version) is just that - a full range germanium boost. You run that into other fuzz pedals and they become a whole nuther animal. Hope something there is usefull.
 

Ciro

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Richard at Monsterpiece gets a lot of good reviews on his work. He has a number of options in the Tonebender realm.

I personally love this tone;

His comment on it;
Yep, that's the 3 knob MKIII fuzz. It's really it's own thing. Circuit is different from the fuzz faces and other tonebenders. To me it sounds similar to, but not exactly the same as a less compressed, and less woofy big muff.... but that's just what my ears hear. It's more musical to my ears.
 

Wooly Fox

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JHS Bender to get a flavour for tone benders (cheaper than most and you see a few on reverb) then go for the more exotic if it works for you.

Fuzz is very personal in taste so try as many as you can in the TB category.
 

HandOfIke

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I think the Fulltone Soul Bender is a Sola-Sound type ToneBender. Fulltone are always worth checking out as they are sticklers for authentic tone replication.
 

monkeybanana

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Germanium circuits are very transistor dependent. Each circuit has its charm. If using the wrong transistors you can lose the circuit's signature sound and end up with a pedal that sounds like a fuzzy overdrive.


MK I: Gated and velcro fuzz. Similar to a Gibson Maestro Fuzz Tone which is what this pedal was trying to copy. Notes have an octave up effect in the upper register--it's not as pronounced as an Octavia but it is pleasing. Bridge pickup with tone rolled way off sounds awesome as the stock circuit is very bright. You will sound like a Yardbird.
MK II: There are a few variants. It is thicker than a MK I. You get a little bit of clean up with the volume knob but not as much as Fuzz Face/1.5. The circuit is a FF/1.5 with an extra transistor stage at the front but does not sound like a Fuzz Face.
MK 1.5: Fuzz Face circuit. Great clean up. Neck pickup with guitar volume rolled back is sparkly clean. Some variants (actually the more common one) is a lot brighter than the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face. Though apparently one of the early MK 1.5 variants is the same as a FF and I think predates it.
MK III: Has a useful tone knob -- makes the circuit sound like an overdrive and slightly less fuzzy than the previous pedals.
MK IV: Same circuit as MK III with a couple parts of different values making this thicker than the MK III.

Have fun
 

zambiland

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Here's a comprehensive history:
Tonebender- Fifty years of Filth
They were all germanium until the post Mk IV, Supabender, went with silicon.
Of course many modern versions of all types have been made with germ or silicon.

This is an excellent resource! Thanks so much. From this I can glean that I have a Vox Mk. 1.5. It was stuck in the back of the first amp I bought ca. 1979, a Lafayette tube amp from the 60s. That was also the first amp where I experienced tube amp voltage, poking around in the guts. I still remember that tingle.
 

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erratick

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My fave is the lovepedal hotel or mk3 or whatever it's called. It's underrated so it isn't expensive. It's really well made.

Works really well with humbuckers and single coils (although you have to adjust settings on the pedal swapping). I have problems with some fuzz where they'll do fine with one or the other pickup type.

Probably down to the compression that happens in the Mk3 (I dig the compression, I don't want blow out when I switch).

Comparison with some of his others:

 

SanoTele

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Hi All!

I've recently started diving into the world of fuzz. I've recently got an Analogman Sun Face, SM Octave Fuzz, Fulltone 69, Fulltone Queen Bee and Pedal Pawn Fuzz, and interested in finding some kind of Tonebender.

I'm not too sure where to start. Sola/Macari's Tonebender is out of the price range unfortunately. I'm tempted to just splurge on an Analogman Sun Bender, but given the cost and shipping charges, it is a large chunk of change.

So talk me into the Sun Bender, or out of it or just let me know what Tone Benders you like!
I second (or third, maybe) the Keeley Fuzz Bender. It sounds great, has a bias knob (which is an added bonus), and can be had for a reasonable cost for a boutique, US-made pedal.
 

Caevan O'Sh!te

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Learn to use the Volume knob on your guitars.

Just sayin'

👆 THIS. And your "touch".

Anyway...it was a great pedal.
Great note separation for rhythm.
I suppose the guys from Badfinger used them.
I strummed one chord and immediately wanted to play the intro to No Matter What.

One of those 'Level high, Attack low' control setting scenarios?
 




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