Tonebenders?

fuzz guy

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 20, 2021
Posts
199
Location
Adelaide, South Australia
I have a hard time watching the TPS guys, but Josh Scott is good value and this is a good video demo of the different Tone Benders.



EDIT: It says "video unavailable", don't know why. Just go to Youtube and search That Pedal Show Tone Bender Special.
 

MatchlessMan

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Posts
615
Location
Wiltshire UK
I'm not a fuzz fanatic, but always liked the bender sound so I got a

EarthQuaker Devices Park Fuzz Sound​

It's a Mk III type that sounds great and is a solid build, top jacks.
Picked it up locally for $100 a year ago; they sell for between $120 and $150 used on Reverb or new for $180.

On your side of the pond they go by Colby Fuzz Sound, same pedal.
I have one of these, it’s great, especially as I play in a Bowie tribute band. It runs from a standard centre-negative power supply and works well after other pedals or buffers, in fact to my ear it sounds better that way. The downside is that it can become a bit ‘starved’ in very hot weather!
 

Whitebeard

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Posts
207
Location
Port Richey, FL
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 have a Monsterpiece GE Fuzz. Mine is from approx. 2012 when he was making them in his basement. The box/can is bigger than the current version. Here's a demo of the current Monsterpiece GE Fuzz - https://monsterpiecefuzz.com/pedals/ge-fuzz
 

BoxcarBenny

NEW MEMBER!
Joined
May 16, 2022
Posts
1
Age
47
Location
Melbourne
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!
Hi, I became fascinated with fuzz guitar sounds from all the great 60’s pop records and through to the 70’s soul fuzz flavours. I bought a vintage maestro fuzz tone for a pretty penny and it wasn’t what I was hearing in the old records…long story short I started to build my own and now have to great models—one of which is a tone Bender variant of the Vox variety which captures the Robbie Krieger Doors type fuzz, the Ron Asheton fuzz on the first Stooges record and some of Neil Young’s fuzz tones from his early days with CSNY. I want to add that my Tone Bender variant, which is The “Tone Snifter” is silicon-stable and has an external bias, option for stock or cascading extra sustain—has that distinct compressed attack, nasty as hell and CLEANS UP.

 

mictester

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2017
Posts
30
Location
East Anglia, UK
I build my own. Some years ago a friend brought a Macari's 1970s silicon Tonebender around here for repair. He said that it sounded "horrible". On trying it our, I found that he was right. I took it apart, and did a quick check of the obvious - looking for physical damage, leaked battery gunk and liquid spills. There wasn't anything obvious. I wondered if someone had tried connecting the battery back-to-front (I've seen that a few times) and done damage to the transistors..... I decided to check the voltages around the transistors and quickly discovered that it was wildly mis-biased!

A few minutes on the 'net, and I found a set of "typical" voltages, and changed out the resistors to bias it correctly. I realised that some of the values were either 1/10th or even 1/100th of the correct values - it was like this from new! Presumably its constructor at Sola Sound either couldn't read the colour code (perhaps colourblind) or just didn't know what they were doing!

Once it was sanely biased, it sounded great, but had a tendency to go unstable at extreme fuzz settings. I added a pre-set resistor in series with the Fuzz control, and that allowed me to set a "maximum" setting without the screaming instability! I changed a couple of capacitor values, since it sounded rather "thin" to my ears, and after consultation with its owner, I added a "Fat / Thin" toggle switch, which made it much more versatile. Changing the value of one of the tone control capacitors opened up the range of the control, making it much more usable. It sounded so good, that I jotted down the values I'd come up with, and I've made dozens of them for friends.

If you use three 2N3904 transistors, a small diecast box and the relevant pots, sockets, passive components and a battery clip, you can build the whole thing for £10 - 15 [probably $14 - 20 US]. It's an easy build, and if you don't fancy using stripboard, there are plenty of ready-etched PCBs around on the 'net.

MAKE YOURSELF ONE! - You'll be glad you did!
 

Derrick

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Posts
27
Location
Maryland
I build my own. Some years ago a friend brought a Macari's 1970s silicon Tonebender around here for repair. He said that it sounded "horrible". On trying it our, I found that he was right. I took it apart, and did a quick check of the obvious - looking for physical damage, leaked battery gunk and liquid spills. There wasn't anything obvious. I wondered if someone had tried connecting the battery back-to-front (I've seen that a few times) and done damage to the transistors..... I decided to check the voltages around the transistors and quickly discovered that it was wildly mis-biased!

A few minutes on the 'net, and I found a set of "typical" voltages, and changed out the resistors to bias it correctly. I realised that some of the values were either 1/10th or even 1/100th of the correct values - it was like this from new! Presumably its constructor at Sola Sound either couldn't read the colour code (perhaps colourblind) or just didn't know what they were doing!

Once it was sanely biased, it sounded great, but had a tendency to go unstable at extreme fuzz settings. I added a pre-set resistor in series with the Fuzz control, and that allowed me to set a "maximum" setting without the screaming instability! I changed a couple of capacitor values, since it sounded rather "thin" to my ears, and after consultation with its owner, I added a "Fat / Thin" toggle switch, which made it much more versatile. Changing the value of one of the tone control capacitors opened up the range of the control, making it much more usable. It sounded so good, that I jotted down the values I'd come up with, and I've made dozens of them for friends.

If you use three 2N3904 transistors, a small diecast box and the relevant pots, sockets, passive components and a battery clip, you can build the whole thing for £10 - 15 [probably $14 - 20 US]. It's an easy build, and if you don't fancy using stripboard, there are plenty of ready-etched PCBs around on the 'net.

MAKE YOURSELF ONE! - You'll be glad you did!
Great if we know what your circuit is using 2N3904 transistors. Care to share :)
 

brupop

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Posts
39
Location
Oregon-USA
Great if we know what your circuit is using 2N3904 transistors. Care to share :)
AIONFX Fuzz Projects
The Deimos is the Mk II
The Phobos is the Mk III
You can get either the PCB only or a complete kit.
They have some of the best instructions for those just starting out with pedal builds; and Tone Bender builds are simple, easy circuits.

Another good vendor: PedalPCB Tone Vendor MkII
PCB only, no kits.
 
Last edited:

Derrick

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Posts
27
Location
Maryland
AIONFX Fuzz Projects
The Deimos is the Mk II
The Phobos is the Mk III
You can get either the PCB only or a complete kit.
They have some of the best instructions for those just starting out with pedal builds; and Tone Bender builds are simple, easy circuits.

Another good vendor: PedalPCB Tone Vendor MkII
PCB only, no kits.
Thanks, not looking for a kit... I know there a re a ton of schematics on line. I was asking @mictester to share his circuit that sounds so good with 2N3904 transistors and cap/resistor tweaks.
 

E5RSY

Doctor of Teleocity
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Posts
12,231
Location
Georgetown, TX
1652997089038.png
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
2,602
Age
48
Location
Tampa, FL
It has been pointed out, but to restate - every Tone Bender version is completely different. Comparing a Mk I to a Mk 2 is no different from comparing it to a Mayer Axis Fuzz - they are completely different circuits,

That said, my home built Mk I is my most recorded fuzz. I reach for it constantly. After it are my Foxx Tone Machine and then the Mayer Axis Fuzz (especially if I am using a humbucking guitar).
 

warchol

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Posts
143
I really like the LovePedal Bonetender I bought a while back.
Check it out on YouTube:

(Of course Andy makes everything sound good);)
Only available used (as are many really good LovePedal boxes...).
 




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