Compare and contrast the Tonebender Mk. II and the GE Fuzz Face

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by forgivenman, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    How would you describe the tonal similarities and differences between these two circuits?

    Off the bat I’d say one difference is that the Tonebender sounds more aggressive at higher fuzz settings.

    What do you think?
     
  2. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    or we could talk about Timmy's
     
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  3. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Topographically, a Tonebender MKII is a lot like a Fuzz Face with a pre-gain slapped on the front.

    Not unlike a Timmy with a boost in front of it, eh @forgivenman ? ;)
     
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  4. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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  5. MBT74

    MBT74 Member

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    From my experiences, the MKII isn’t as muddy as a Ge FF, it’s a bit more “ragged” sounding, not as smooth and a little bit brighter. And the MKII doesn’t clean up anywhere near as well with a guitar volume knob as the Ge FF does.
     
  6. forgivenman

    forgivenman Member

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    would you say the Mk. II is more aggressive?
     
  7. erksin

    erksin Member

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    In my limited experience, a Ge FF is smoother/woolier and a Mk.2 feels tighter at the pick with more top end rip to it.
     
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  8. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    Fuzz Faces - Warm, blooming sustain, great cleanup, can be agressive but is easy on the ears, wide range of tones from clean to overdrive to full-on fuzz. It's the Hendrix-fuzz of choice

    Tonebender MKII's - Bright, trebley, more aggressive, harder clipping, doesn't clean up, very 2D sounding in my opinion (not much room for versatility as it's "the sound" from the go).. YMMV. You could find a nice one, or one that sounds like a pi$$ed-off hornet in a tin can
     
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  9. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    They are so differnet it's hard to sum up. Tonebenders have more a life and sound of their own, whereas fuzzfaces are looser and kinda melt into your amp. Tonebenders are more striking as far as their brute fuzziness. Which probably doesn't make sense. Hard to express.
     
  10. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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  11. Jazzmaster60

    Jazzmaster60 Member

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    I’ve always read that the Fuzz Face is very close to the Tonebender Mk 1.5 so I think it’s more correct to always say the Fuzz Face is a lot like the Tonebender.
     
  12. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Right. Both are two transistor fuzzes, and depending on whose version of events you subscribe to, one design was lifted from the other.
     
  13. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Supporting Member

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    Fuzz Face = Jimi
    Tone Bender MkII = Jimmy
     
  14. glynomes

    glynomes Member

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    You're making it sound as if there's a theory out there that reads that the MK1.5 was copied from the Fuzz Face. There's almost a year between the two models. Whether someone working for Arbiter actually cloned a Tone Bender, or something else, or whether it's a coincidence, isn't clearly established, but it's blindingly obvious which model hit the market first.
     
  15. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I wasn’t making it sound like anything, as my understanding is the same as yours.
     
  16. HeavyCream

    HeavyCream Member

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    A lot of good descriptions here. I would just like to add that the MkII is not super bright. It is definitely brighter than a Ge FF, doesn’t have the woolly low end the FF does, and plays nicer with an LP than a FF.

    Also, the FF “Fuzz” control is different from the MkII “Attack” control. Most guys keep the Fuzz control all the way up, or close to it, and control the fuzz with the guitar volume knob. Turning the Fuzz knob down will decrease gain/fuzz.

    Not only does the MkII not clean up the way a FF does but the Attack knob changes the character of the fuzz from slower, looser and somewhat squishy to fast, tighter and aggressive. Some guys like to keep the Attack on 0! I kinda like it like that myself.
     
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