Fulltone '69 Fuzz...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Nevada240, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Nevada240

    Nevada240 Member

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    I recently got a Fulltone '69 Fuzz box as a tip from a job. Just got it a few days ago but I already like it a lot. Checked it on eBay and its going for around 400$! And getting really good reviews. I think it's nice but what's all the fuss about and whys it worth so much? Thanks
     
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    It actually depends a little on which version you have. There are:

    1. The reissue (small box, pinkish paint)
    2. The 69SR-handmade last year, the most valuable
    3. Original (big box)-depends a little on the transistors, some of these may sell for $400 but you'd have to find one that had the right transistors...

    It's a great sounding Germanium fuzz, that's all.
     
  3. Nevada240

    Nevada240 Member

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    It's the red one. Says '69 in white on front with slick red paint box. Signed and serialized on bottom. I definitely know its not the mkII. What exactly does germanium fuzz mean, and why does that make it different or expensive? Sorry, this is new to me but I need to learn sometime. Thanks
     
  4. Stratm69

    Stratm69 Member

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    There are two types of fuzz transistors:

    1. Germanium
    2. Silicon

    Germanium: Used for its warm, rounded fuzz-characteristics. Has great cleanup with the roll of your guitar volume. Most regard Germanium as being used in lesser gain fuzzes, but this isn't always the case as there plenty of high gain Germanium fuzzes out there. Refer to early Hendrix albums, most notably 'Are You Experienced'. Transistor types include: NKT 275, 2N404A, etc.

    Silicon: Used for its mild, clipped fuzz-characteristics. Cleanup is not as great, but this can vary. Most regard Silicon as being used in higher gain fuzzes, but this can widely vary too. Refer to later Hendrix albums, most notably 'Band of Gypsys'. Transistor types include: BC108C, BC183L, etc.

    Good Germanium transistors tend to be less obtainable, if obtainable at all. This is why they generally cost more. Most Silicon transistors on the other hand are generally widely available, especially BC108's (the most famous of Silicon-fuzz transistors), therefore they cost less and are easier to obtain.

    When it comes to the original Arbiter Fuzz Faces, it was Germanium-equipped ones that came first in 1966. Many highly regard the early Germanium Fuzz Faces as being the "holy grail". In Late '69-'70 came the Silicon-equipped Fuzz Faces. What it boils down to is, you're just comparing apples to oranges. Both have their purposes and are equally "holy" in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  5. effcee

    effcee Member

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    I really like my Fulltone '69 Mk II because it's one of the only Fuzz Faces I've heard which will actually cut through the mix. Nowadays, whenever I go back and play old-skool FFs I wonder how the heck we ever got along with those things.
     
  6. MadFrank

    MadFrank Supporting Member

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    That's a very sweet tip! Well done. Fuzz's are the single greatest thing to happen to the guitar after the invention of amps, but they can be fickle, tempermantal buggers too! The Fulltone fuzz's are very highly regarded in the fuzz world, but most importantly, if you find a fuzz that really works for you - keep it and love it!
     
  7. Frosted Glass

    Frosted Glass Member

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    The fuss: Mike Fuller learnt that if you hand test your transistors and match them within a specific range you can get a consistently great sounding fuzz. Thats something we almost take for granted these days but back in the mid 90s it was a revelation. He also added a few extra controls not on the vintage units.
    Whys it worth so much? They got discontinued few years back. Even though its back its a mkii and there'll always be those who say the replacement isn't as good as the original.
     
  8. 66Park

    66Park Member

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    Fulltone does make some nice fuzzes, and my early silver box '69 is my favorite of the four of Mike's fuzzes I own. The added controls allow a great variety of sounds and can really help it cut through with a band. Mike knows what he is doing, and all the little mods he did to the vintage circuits were well thought out and make the fuzzes very practical.
     
  9. strombie

    strombie Member

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    Love the mkii. Never played the big box version but the new ones sound so wooly and warm.
     
  10. BurgundyMist

    BurgundyMist Member

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    I have the original version with 2 x NKT275 transistors. That's the only one I have played so can't compare other versions but it is very nice and relatively versatile Germanium fuzz.
     
  11. effcee

    effcee Member

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    I love my new Fulltone '69 Mk II. From various clips I've heard, it's very close to the original -- perhaps a wee bit 'milder' sounding overall, but that's a good thing in my book. I always shy away from end-of-the-world sounding fuzzies. :::::blech!:::::

    At any rate, I can't imagine any Fuzz Face fan not enjoying it. It's very usable and sweet sounding.
     
  12. darkstriker

    darkstriker Member

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    Sorry about unearthing this. Thinking about getting me a '69 mk II in a trade deal. I'm playing mainly a Clapton strat into a Black Cat. As I understand this one has an input control. Is that supposed to make it sort of play better with, say, the preamp on the EC strat?
     
  13. killer blues

    killer blues Member

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    just get an analogman sunface nkt 275. Every bit as good without the hype or the price. I A/B'd mine with every variant of the '69 and the sunface was just as good, even cleaned up better. Plus you get it and the support without the attitude.
     
  14. darkstriker

    darkstriker Member

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    Well, I've got the chance of getting this '69 for less than half the price of a new Sunface so that adds a bit to the decision. Haven't seen a used Sunface around here yet.

    Basically just trying to find out if by playing a preamp'd stratocaster I can expect a germanium fuzz to sound like it's supposed to?
     
  15. killer blues

    killer blues Member

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    thats about as good a reason as any to get it! I'm not trashing it, they are reall nice. I'd go for it.
     
  16. AXXA

    AXXA Supporting Member

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    Using the mid boost on the strat will probably make the fuzz sound pretty bad. Putting any boost or buffer before a fuzz face sounds and responds very poorly IMO. It should sound great with the boost off though.
     
  17. darkstriker

    darkstriker Member

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    Cool, thanks. Maybe this way I'll finally get myself to mod the EC to bypass the preamp.
     
  18. x-ray specs

    x-ray specs Member

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    Here's a good comparison vid between the sunface & 69er. Both are good, but I like the more open sound of the 69 myself just a little more than the also awesome sunface.

     
  19. vegetablejoe

    vegetablejoe Member

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    The EC midboost is always on. I would be interested to see where on the circuit you can splice in an on/off switch...

    For those with '50's wiring in their guitars, from my experience, '50's wiring doesn't let fuzz pedals work properly. had to have my wiring set back to normal/modern on both strat and lp.
     
  20. hamerman55

    hamerman55 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've not seen where anyone with active pickups have used vintage style Fuzz Faces, but I do know that theses fuzzes really sound awful with any sort of buffer or other pedal in front it. It has to do with impedance mismatching. The way I think about it is that Fuzz Faces act as if the guitar is part of the circuit. It really sounds best with something like a '60's type Strat or Les Paul circuit in front of it. Depending on how the Clapton Strat is wired, it could sound awful, or OK. If I remember, the EC Strat has vintage noiseless pickups, which should be fine if the preamp can be completely out of the circuit. If the Fuzz Face sounds thin and sputtery, then the circuit is still buffering the output. It is a simple fix to take the active circuit out of the guitar, and put a traditional wiring setup in there. I did that with my '90's vintage Strat Pro, including the "Texas" mod of moving the middle pickup tone control to the bridge pickup. Very handy, since the bridge pickup can be a little icepicky.
     

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