Difference between MKI and MKII ToneBenders?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Drifting, Feb 16, 2009.


  1. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    So, I'm a fuzz neophyte of sorts.

    I've settled on some overdrives, and have now come to the realization that alot of sounds I like come from fuzz tones too.

    I have(Well I think I do) a pretty basic knowledge of what a Muff Fuzz is, a Fuzz Face, Germanium v. Silicon, pro's and con's of fuzzes in general.

    But what are the differences between MKI and MKII Tonebenders?

    I think the MKI's are often associated with Led Zeppelin I & II, so I have a basic idea of the sound, but what makes it different than the MKII?

    Thanks for enlightening me, if you can.
     
  2. Curly

    Curly Member

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  3. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    MKII has more saturation and higher gain. The MKI is more primitive sounding, but has more output. The MKI packs some serious output. Mick Ronson and Jeff Beck/Yardbirds were 2 MKI users. I believe it was also used on The Spencer Davis Groups "Keep On Running". Page used a MKII during the Yardbirds and sparingly on the 1st album and Jeff Beck used a MKII on his Truth album.
     
  4. SonicVI

    SonicVI Member

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  5. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    Thanks, looks like I want both. :bong:messedup

    Will probably go with a MKI first.
     
  6. E Baxter Put

    E Baxter Put Member

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    MKi are very hard to find and or make well. I also think the MKii is a more immediately pleasing sound for high gain/ sustain fuzz.
     
  7. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    You'll have to make it yourself. I've only seen one other pedal maker other than D*A*M offer a Hurst MKI and it didn't sound like a MKI. BTW, The Music Ground Hurst RI is a MKII circuit in a MKI enclosure.
     
  8. Paulo Grua

    Paulo Grua Member

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    Awesome tone - funny it is now the modern sound again - thanks to guys like Jack White, that Muse guy I forgot the name and others, this raw, unpolished tone is back to the mainstream - or something close to that.
     
  9. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    Oh yeah, I know:messedup

    I'm gonna sigh up for the DAM waiting list, when it re opens.


    I'm beginning to dive into building stuff, and fuzzes are fairly simple circuits, don't know if I'm ready yet though. From what I can tell, the big deal with fuzzes is the right transistors, and the quality of them, which is what sets DAM apart from many others.

    Thanks again for all of your help!


    Edit: I like your quote, Peter Green had a great sense of humor! One of my favorites too.
     
  10. E Baxter Put

    E Baxter Put Member

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    I have the Hurst MKI Tone Bender which has the MKII circuit and I have a DAM 1966. The Hurst sounds very nice and is a high gain monster. It sounds great on every setting. The DAM 1966 is pretty sensitive to settings and has a unique low gain sound, but it sounds amazing with my amp turned up to the edge of overdrive. Lately I have been gigging with my Hurst Tone Bender. The MKII sound is what I have been using lately, and it can be gnarly.
     
  11. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    Stop it, you're hurting me! :worried
     
  12. SonicVI

    SonicVI Member

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    I have a MK1 circuit on my breadboard right now and it's total Mick Ronson.
     
  13. E Baxter Put

    E Baxter Put Member

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  14. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    The transistors and proper tuning are a pain in the ass with the MKI. The circuit is sensitive to excessive transistor leakage and gain. Once you get that squared away, it's really an amazing sounding fuzz. Especially with humbuckers. I just started getting into building and probably should have picked a simpler circuit!:Spank
     
  15. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    Do you have a layout for this? I've got it on a breadboard as well and am procrastinating with drawing up a layout. Will probably do it on tagboard though, since I don't have stripboard here at the moment.
     
  16. SonicVI

    SonicVI Member

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    I'll repost the layout after I get it corrected.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  17. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    :BEER Thanks!!
     
  18. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    I don't mean to burden any of you, but what would I need to build something of this like?

    I don't mean give me a step by step explanation and all that jazz.

    I've just recently gotten into soldering and am beginning to understand electronics(it's hard to do this on top of school), but I'd feel really motivated to build my own fuzz box, even if it wouldn't have an enclosure just yet.

    I've already got a good handle on how to solder and work with wire, but I don't understand the concept of turret boards. I know the purpose of PTP is to get a 'closer' sound(despite being less efficient for mass production), but would I have to drill holes in this turret board or buy one pre-assembled?

    If it was something simple like a PCB(not like they had those back in the day) it would be a no-brainer, but I don't understand how the turret board works exactly.

    I know getting my hands on real, quality, Germanium transistors wouldn't be a fun process, nor a cheap one, and tuning the MKI would be a bi**h but I feel really strongly about doing this.
     
  19. SonicVI

    SonicVI Member

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    This is a turret board. The turrets are little posts to which you make all the connections. In some ways it's even easier than using perfboard and pcbs. You can make your own or buy them prefab.
    [​IMG]

    I think the "tuning" difficulty of the MK1 is somewhat exaggerated. If you want it to sound 100% exactly like a real one then yeah, it might be tough, especially since the TI 2G381 trannies are VERY hard to come by, but since there's really only a handful of people out there who have even heard a real one in person it kinda leaves it to you to decide how it should sound, which means tuning isn't that hard. Also, keep in mind that of the three or four known MK1s out there, none of them is the same as the next which means there may not even be an exact MK1 sound as they all sounded somewhat different. As long as you throw in a few transistors that don't have too much leakage and high enough gain then the circuit will work and will sound like fuzz. The tuning part is pretty much selecting transistors until it sound best to you.
     
  20. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    Thank you, I appreciate your response. Since they don't just build Germaniums anymore, would you have to resort to evilBay to get some? I'd feel uncomfortable doing that, there are people waiting to rip you off. Is there another source?

    What tools would I need to measure the leakage and gain? Sorry once again, still learning electronics :crazy

    That's another reason I've been wanting to build some pedals of my own, besides the satisfaction of actually building it, is that it sounds like you want it.
     

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