A tiny fuzz face

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Scrutinizer, Jun 27, 2006.


  1. Scrutinizer

    Scrutinizer Member

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    I’ve always thought it would be fun to build a tiny fuzz circuit using surface mount (SMT) parts. Here’s my creation:

    [​IMG]

    The circuit is based on Jack Orman’s NPN Fuzz Face schematic. I used MMBT3904 transistors. The circuit was built on a piece of copper clad PCB material. I used an Exacto knife to create small ‘islands’ of copper on which the components are soldered.

    [​IMG]

    How does it sound? I'm not good at describing tone, but this fuzz is definitely usable. Plenty of spit and snarl is available, and cleans up nicely by rolling back the guitar's volume control. In other words, it does what a fuzz face is supposed to do.

    I'm not sure yet if I will put this in a stompbox enclosure - I already have an great sounding FF on my board: a Throbak Fuzz Haze.
     
  2. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Pedal? You could put that in your guitar!
     
  3. Medication

    Medication Member

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    +1. very cool.
     
  4. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    Dude I think you're on to somethin here...

    Maybe make it fit within a guitar...then while playing live you could flip a handy switch?


    Jason
     
  5. analogmike

    analogmike Gold Supporting Member

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    make it fit inside the plug on the end of a patch cord :)

    Nice job!!!!
     
  6. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    Have it directly on the guitar's output jack, like some of the old booster pedals. Maybe have a bypass switch, definitely very cool. The Mighty Mite or something like that.
     
  7. Big Bob

    Big Bob Guest

    I'm thinking an inlay at the 12 fret......:AOK Awesome!

    Bob
     
  8. Todd Lynch

    Todd Lynch Member

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    Nice job; instead of a Fuzz Face, this is more like just a whisker or two.
     
  9. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    Use a large pedal board and just put THAT on it!
     
  10. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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  11. Franklin

    Franklin Member

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  12. 1968

    1968 Member

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  13. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    So, could you build analog multieffects like that? I'm thinking a plate that would mount to the surface of the guitar with pressure sensitive switching. Small plug from output jack to plate, then cable from plate to amp. Maybe even a proximity sensor pad like the "Probe" stuff from Zvex so you could play your was with your elbow... The possiblities are endless!
     
  14. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    Hah! Great ideas lads! That Fuzz Face is incredible!
     
  15. Scrutinizer

    Scrutinizer Member

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    Thanks for the compliments. You guys have some very cool ideas. I like the idea of putting this in a guitar. I should build a partscaster to use for these electronic experiments.

    Discrete transistors that are even smaller than the ones I used are available. These parts are so small that if they fall on the floor, they are almost impossible to find. Check out this datasheet:

    http://www.diodes.com/datasheets/ds30636.pdf

    That’s two 3904 type NPN transistors in a single package measuring 1.6mm x 1.6mm! For reference, the dimensions of the MMBT3904 transistors used in the tiny fuzz face are 3.0mm x 2.5mm.

    Next tiny project will be a tiny Big Muff Pi, using MMBT5088’s.

    Oh, and before anyone asks me to sell one of these – sorry, not for sale. It takes about 2 hours to build one of these, most of that time hunched over a stereo microscope, solder iron in one hand, solder in the other. Building one = a fun & rewarding challenge. Building dozens = tedious work.
     
  16. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    You should patent that or something...there's a market out there (or in here!). :)
    Greg
     
  17. gururyan

    gururyan Member

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    Can we hear it?


    ...please?
     
  18. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I'm actually an electronics technician (ASEE) but have never really dealt with (soldered, desoldered, etc.) any surface mount stuff. In fact, I always thought it was so small and close together on the pins that it wasn't doable for manual soldering. I didn't quite understand that about "islands of copper"....you don't have any more detailed pics of you actually doing this, or some point on the PCB before you solder in a chip?
     
  19. QOTSA

    QOTSA Senior Member

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    That is insane!!! Ive got a guitar with a fuzzface circuit in it. That thing is way smaller. Id have it implanted in your fingernail so that you could turn it on and off every time you pick the string!
     
  20. Scrutinizer

    Scrutinizer Member

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    It is not that difficult to manually solder and/or rework surface mount components, provided that one has the correct tools (temperature controlled iron and/or hot-air SMT rework station, liquid flux, very fine diameter solder, solder wick of various sizes, tweezers, microscope). Of course, a steady hand is critically important.

    I didn't take any pictures while I was building this. Perhaps this doctored image will help you understand the "islands of copper" concept.

    [​IMG]

    All black wires (and the small green wire) are ground
    Red wire is +9V
    White wire is the input signal
    Tan wire goes to Volume pot
    Orange and yellow wires go to Fuzz pot

    As I mentioned above, next up is a 'tiny' big muff. I'll take some pics of the construction process.
     

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