Anybody tried a Throbak Stone Bender?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by EXP, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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    im looking at several fuzzes, FF clones(PPF,BBB,scaryface) and Tonebender clones. i came across this one and the clips sound good. reminds me of Zeppelin's BBC sessions. anybody tried one?
     
  2. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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  3. hdiddy

    hdiddy Supporting Member

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    I have the Fuzz Haze and thinks it sounds Great; I was also interested in that pedal and the Overdriver pedal
     
  4. Scrutinizer

    Scrutinizer Member

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    First, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I did some work for Throbak, and got some pedals as payment. Beyond that, I have no business relationship with the company.


    I have a Throbak Stone Bender mkII and a Fuzz Haze. Great sounding pedals! The clips at the Throbak site only scratch the surface of what these things can do. Both pedals have a mini toggle switch that enables an internal pre-gain trimmer. With the pre-gain disabled, the SB and FH are both very sensitive to the guitar’s volume knob setting, and work best as first device after the guitar.

    Enabling the pre-gain trimmer smoothes out the response, and makes it possible to use either of these boxes after a buffered FX while still maintaining most of the touch sensitivity. Driving the Fuzz Haze with a RC Booster (w/ RC used as unity gain clean buffer) yields some very smooth & touch-sensitive overdrive tones. The Stone Bender stays quite fuzzy (in a good way) when used after a buffer.

    Of the two pedals, the Fuzz Haze is easily my favorite, and has definitely earned a permanent spot on my pedalboard. The Stone Bender is also a keeper, even if I don’t use it as often. It does some things (for instance: Page’s tone on Communication Breakdown from the BBC Sessions disc) better than any other dirt box in my arsenal.


    I’m expecting delivery of the other two Throbak Pedals this week. Can’t wait!
     
  5. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    I though I should speak up since I make the Stone Bender and the rest of the Throbak lineup of pedals.

    It is no accident that the Stone Bender reminds you of the Led Zeppelin BBC sessions. Being a Jimmy Page fan I had heard all of the folklore that he used a Sola Sound MKII Tone Bender for all of Led Zeppelin I and apparently still uses one in his live setup. I made my own MKII clone quite a while ago and was never satisfied that I was getting the same tones that Page got out of the pedal. After seeing the HOW THE WEST WAS WON DVD and actually seeing Pages Tone Bender MKII in use during the Danish TV appearance I became convinced that his Tone Bender had to be modified in order to keep the low note definition that Page clearly has. I set out to see what I could do to the original circuit to duplicate this tone. Many parts swaps and a couple of switchable modifications culminated in the Stone Bender. Careful component selection and the two mods I have added are key to getting Page's tone. After I finalized the pedal I am now convinced that Page used his modified Sola Sound Tone Bender as an always on overdrive for the Led Zeppelin II era also. I think he also dabbled with the 3 knob Tone Bender that you see in the French TV appearance of the HOW THE WEST WAS WON DVD. But frankly that appearance is exceptional for the lousy guitar tone Page has and I think he soon abandoned it for the old Sola Sound Tone Bender. The Royal Albert Hall show as well as the entire HOW THE WEST WAS WON CD set have the modified Sola Sound 2 knob Tone Bender sound all over it. Granted much of this is speculation on my part but I think the sound bears out this thesis when you hear a correctly modified 2 knob Tone Bender.

    My personal preference between the Fuzz Haze and the Stone Bender is I prefer the Stone Bender with Humbuckers and the Fuzz Haze for single coils. But both pedals work great with humbuckers or single coils.

    Also I have to say that Scrutinizer did an amazing job designing the CAD layouts for my pedals. I had previously etched my own boards using PNP blue and I was just about going insane drilling all of the holes in the boards. The Overdrive Boost would not have fit in such a compact enclosure without Scutizer's expertise. I put a call out on other forums a while back for help in making some CAD layouts and Scrutinizer generously offered his skills and only required the finished pedal as payment. He did an incredible job and listened to every request I had and all of the Throbak pedals are better for it.

    I hope his info helps.

    www.throbak.com
     
    justabubba likes this.
  6. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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    yeah, that helps ALOT thanks. im sold! i might be ordering one this week. tonight we did '' The Girl I Love(She Got Long Black Wavy Hair)'' and i got pretty close w/ a AM Sunface. but obviously its not a Tonebender.
     
  7. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    StevieRaveOn68,

    Believe it or not I actually play the into riff to The Girl I Love when I am in the process of tuning the pedal by swapping the transistors in and out until I get the magic combination. So if that is the tone you are after the Stone Bender will deliver.

    Also I do have a 5 day trial period on all my pedals. So if for some reason it does not work for you I am happy to take it back.
     
  8. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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    Throbak, pm and email sent! :)
     
  9. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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    got my Throbak Stone Bender today.:dude

    Jon was right, he said it nails that '' Zep BBC sessions '' and it delivers that fuzz tone in spades.
    along with Beck/Yardbirds stuff nails it to a T

    the minute i plugged it in, and played the intro to '' The Girl I Love'' it was dead on. and this was thru a blackface super reverb! havent tried it yet w/ my marshall 50w plexi.
     
  10. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I'm really interested in the Overdrive Boost - those clips sound fantastic! I must have listened to them 10x by now...
     
  11. brad235

    brad235 Member

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    ive had one for about a week now, and i think its a great pedal. it has alot of options and knobs, but once you get it dialed in, its a fantastic sound. i love the master volume knob on the side, its very useful. its a well thought out, and great sounding pedal. i had been looking for a colorsound overdriver/power boost clone for a while when i found out Jon was building one. after hearing about all of the options it was going to come with, i decided to wait for this one. Jon was very nice, and kept me updated on its progress. good guy to deal with, and he makes good stuff. hope this helps a little. brad
     
  12. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    erksin,

    The response to the first Overdrive Boost pedals that I shipped out has been very positive. One of the problems with Colorsound Overdriver clones as that they need high playing volume to really shine. My clone has the added switchable Germanium modification that allows great low volume tones as well. With the Overdrive Boost the original unaltered Overdriver circuit can still be switched back in when you need great tone at big volume but the Germanium mod gives some sweet bedroom as well as high volume tones. It is a very versatile pedal.
     
  13. erksin

    erksin Member

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    The thing that got me interested was the great low volume clip on your site. I do almost all of my playing at home now and it's been a real struggle finding pedals that sound great at those levels.

    Can you explain how the pedal works in 'attenuator' mode? I am a little unclear as to how I can crank my amp and use the OB in that way...
     
  14. EXP

    EXP Supporting Member

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    this pedal is addictive, its touch sensitive and has nice sustain. its officially one of my fave fuzzes and sounds good through fender amps.
     
  15. THROBAK

    THROBAK Vendor

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    erksin,

    When I am developing a new design I play the prototype pedal through my Throbak 18 watt clone and my Matchless Lightning clone. A great non master volume amp and a great master volume amp. I socket all of the key components in the pedal and swap out different brands and types of capacitors, transistors, resistors... to really tune the pedal to perfection. When going through this exercise while developing the Overdrive Boost I noticed that the switchable Germanium pair that I added to the circuit had this attenuator like effect. I found that if I set my 18 watt clone's volume on 8 and turned on the ODB with the Germanium mod on I could easily manage the volume to bedroom levels with the ODB master volume control and still keep the thumpy low end and scooped mids of the cranked amp. As well as keep the same touch and feel that you get with the amp cranked. This only seems to work with the amp cranked thus I call it an attenuator like effect because the sound is reminiscent of my Marshall Power Brake Attenuator and the amp has to be set at high volume levels before the Overdrive Boost is switched on for it to work.

    I actually did not intend for the Germanium pair to have this effect but stumbled upon it when choosing the diodes that I would use in the diode pair modification. My intent was to just add an additional flavor of distortion, which I did. However while fine tuning the Germanium pair I found that if I used the correct Germanium diode with the correct Germanium transistor acting as a diode I could get this attenuator like effect.

    So this is how you get the attenuator effect at bedroom level.

    1. Your amp must be cranked (if it is not the sound will be brittle).

    2. The Germanium modification must be switched on.

    3. Adjust the gain, bass, treble and master volume on the Overdrive Boost to get sweet, cranked tone, feel and dynamics at bedroom levels.

    I'm not entirely sure why this works but it does. I have some theories that I will not further bore you with but suffice it to say the bedroom tone I get from the Overdrive Boost with my cranked 18 watt clone compares very, very well to my 18 watt clone through my Marshall Power Brake attenuator.

    By the way I do have a 5 day trail period on all my pedals, so you will be the final judge of the tone.

    Jon
     

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