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do i NEED a mkii tonebender?

Hiwatt Bob

Member
Messages
1,008
so i've been enjoying the hell out of my DAM 1966. mainly the superbee setting. so i understand the 1966 is a MK1.5?? how much of a difference is there between that and the MKII? is the difference enough to justify having both?

if yes, then i'm not sure i'll be able to afford another DAM--so what other MKII's are out there for a more reasonable price?

also, how does the MKIII's compare to the MKII and the MK1.5?

i'm sure this topic has been done to death, but any help would be most appreciated!
 

JLee

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,757
The '66 is a Vox Tonebender clone. The Tone Bender MKI.5 was made by Solasound and has more in common tonally with the Fuzz Face, just without the tubby low end. MJM, Throback, Retroman and Skinpimp make MKII clones. MKII has the most gain and spit. MKIII is smoother and has the addition of a tone control and a touch more low end than the MKII. MJM, Retroman, Prescription Electronics and Skinpimp make a MKIII clone. Soulbender is also a MKIII clone, but no longer in production.
 

E Baxter Put

Member
Messages
997
I would say there is a big difference, and yes you need both.

Luckily there are a bunch of MKII clones out there.

I have the 1966 and a MKII, and I mostly use the MKII sound. But the 1966 sound is super cool for certain songs.
 

gururyan

Member
Messages
4,851
I've got a plethora of germanium fuzz pedals ranging from D*A*M to MJM to Skin Pimp. As soon as I think I favor one MK over another, I'm left scratching my head again. I love the rip of MK1.5, but can't do without the wall of fuzz the MKIII gives me. It's like trying to pick one color.
 

Hiwatt Bob

Member
Messages
1,008
so is the consensus that the type of transistors don't make as much of a difference as having the right balance between the particular transistors?

i've seen models with the bias pots--do those allow you to get decent sounds without having to have perfectly paired transistors?

will OC75's clean up decently in a MKII circuit? i don't want clean clean--but can these be backed off to at least a medium grit overdrive?

thanks again for the help-
 

Guinness Lad

Senior Member
Messages
15,860
I just got a ProAnalog MKII, it's a pretty smoking pedal. For kicks I used it and a Peppermint fuzz together, both set full on...wow, lots of fuzz going on, I felt like I was in the 60's for a moment.
 

Ben C.

Member
Messages
6,863
What does one of these sound like after a buffered pedal (not heresay - please info from someone who's actually tried this), and would that deter you from buying one if that was the only position you could use it in?

Thanks!

-Ben
 

seiko

Member
Messages
3,971
What does one of these sound like after a buffered pedal (not heresay - please info from someone who's actually tried this), and would that deter you from buying one if that was the only position you could use it in?

Thanks!

-Ben
I wouldn't use any tonebender after a buffer, the buffer changes the sound and robs the pedal of much of it of its volume rolloff capabilities.
 

Windup 43

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,528
If you're looking for a MK 1.5 inspired fuzz, the Monsterpiece is supposed to be just that.

Anyway, IMO, when it comes to replications of vintage fuzz pedals, model numbers and what the builder says it's supposed to be means basically nothing. You have to use your ears and let them be the judge on what it is you want.

For example, I'm a big fan of the Throbak Stonebender...I think it's the best sounding fuzz I've ever used. It's supposed to be based on the Sola Sound MKII circuit, but someone told me that they really don't sound much like a real MKII and that he was suspicious if the builder had ever even heard a real MKII before.

So, if that's true, should I really care? Of course not...doesn't change my opinion of its tone one bit. I've heard what a DAM MKII and a BYOC MKII sound like...both are great, but I still feel the Stonebender sounds better.

Ears, man...gotta use them.
I have the BYOC and Stonebender and while I really like the BYOC, I definitely prefer the Stonebender- also my favorite fuzz. BYOC is more compressed w/ massive gain/sustain, where as the Stonebender is a little more open sounding and way more versatile and just sounds better IMO. Fwiw, I believe Page's MkII was tweaked and would not sound exactly like a stock MkII of that period. And I agree about the ears thing :D
 

Ben C.

Member
Messages
6,863
I wouldn't use any tonebender after a buffer, the buffer changes the sound and robs the pedal of much of it of its volume rolloff capabilities.
I'm aware that it's frowned upon for technical reasons that I understand and tonal reasons which are generally summed up as "changes the sound for the worse". But I just wanted to know what specifically changes in the sound of the pedal for the worse? Does it start feeding back uncontrollably, loose all of it's low end, etc.
 

seiko

Member
Messages
3,971
I'm aware that it's frowned upon for technical reasons that I understand and tonal reasons which are generally summed up as "changes the sound for the worse". But I just wanted to know what specifically changes in the sound of the pedal for the worse? Does it start feeding back uncontrollably, loose all of it's low end, etc.
I found it tightened the bass further -- not great with this type of pedal -- and generally made the fuzz less responsive to pick attack and volume control.

Edit: Responsiveness and being able to control the fuzz level with the volume control might not seem like a huge deal particularly if you're coming at fuzz from the Big Muff wall of sound angle but it is one of the best aspects of a tonebender, you get more than one shade of fuzz.
 

Ben C.

Member
Messages
6,863
I found it tightened the bass further -- not great with this type of pedal -- and generally made the fuzz less responsive to pick attack and volume control.

Edit: Responsiveness and being able to control the fuzz level with the volume control might not seem like a huge deal particularly if you're coming at fuzz from the Big Muff wall of sound angle but it is one of the best aspects of a tonebender, you get more than one shade of fuzz.
Thanks Seiko!

Tighter bass with this type of fuzz does not sound like a desired characteristic, I agree. As far as vol cleanup / dynamics with picking... yes, I understand it's a hallmark of the beast and a signature of germ fuzzes in general as well. And I value that sort of property in any fuzz / OD / distortion for sure.

Thanks again!
 




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