Fuzz Face problem...

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,362
I've got a hendrix mini fuzz face. It sounds great, but play local gigs - especially out door gigs, when I roll my guitar all the way down, it picks up a radio station as clear as can be.

It does it with all of my guitars, with any length/brand of cable I've tried, into any amp, regardless of being battery or power supply operated. So I feel like it is simply the fuzz face. I know a 3 other people with the same pedal, and 2/3 of them have the same issues - so it seems like around 75% of us seem to have this problem here in town, with a few lucky people not having with their pedals.

Is this something all fuzz faces are at risk of doing? Is there something I can do to fix it, or is it a lead dress/layout thing where a better fuzz face would get rid of the issue?

If this is just a problem with my fuzz face (or that model of fuzz face), what would be a good alternative that doesn't have this problem?
 
Last edited:

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,362
Alternatively, if this is just a quirk of fuzz face pedals in general, is there a fuzz that can sound huge, but also clean up really well. I've got an old green russian muff, but it doesn't clean up remotely as well as the fuzz face.
 

vintage66

Member
Messages
6,697
It's not abnormal for a fuzzface, especially a silicon ff. You can always either leave the volume at the lowest setting that there's no radio, or just click the pedal off when you're not playing. Fuzzfaces do clean up better than most any other fuzz-you might try a germanium one for less radio interference, but the tone will be different, darker and possible wooly. A Lunar Module can get into fuzzface territory and isn't prone to turning into a radio, but it isn't exactly the same. Plenty of fuzz on tap. The Scarab Deluxe isn't a fuzzface but it can certainly fill in for one, it doesn't quite have the same wall of fuzz that the fuzzface does wide open,but it cuts like a knife.

I'd have to check to see if mine has any interference, but a good germanium ff that borders on a silicon sound is a TI/UK Sunface. I chose it because it didn't have the typical wool of most germaniums. Without plugging it in, I can't remember if I've experienced it with that pedal though.
 

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,362
I had never heard that germanium is less prone to radio interference. Can anyone else co firm/deny? Maybe I will have to go in search of a ge fuzz face...
 

Chugs

Member
Messages
169
A simple mod of a small capacitor, say 100pf, to ground at the input of the circuit can stop the radio interference. Better still, a series resistor followed by a capacitor to ground. 1K and 100pf. Increase the capacitor size if radio interference persists.
 

mam8dg

Fuzz Addict
Messages
362
I've owned tons of fuzzes and have experienced the same thing. My white dot NKT275 Sun Lion was particularly problematic in that respect. With some models (but not all), that is just the nature of the beast.

I'd try picking out some FFs that you are interested in and doing some research to see whether others have experienced the same issue.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
15,706
The basic fuzz face circuit can operate as a radio demodulator under the proper circumstances.
germ-vs-silicon doesn't really differentiate... similar radio-effects can easily be demonstrated with appropriate silicon transistors in the same type of circuit.


it's a fuzz face-circuit issue, not a specific-to-germanium issue, imo.


...that's all I got to say... I'll let the AM radio engineers here discuss how to reduce the noise.
 

Dave Fox

Senior Pedalmaker
Messages
731
I addressed the RF problem in silicon FF 15 years ago when designing Captain Coconut. My remedy is to put a 472 cap (.0047uF) at the input of the circuit, other side going to ground. It doesn't hurt the tone at all and it totally fixes the problem.
All Foxrox Hot Silicon and CC Hybrid pedals have this. It's usually not needed on germanium FF's because Ge transistors don't have the frequency range of silicon.

Before doing mods I suggest trying a different guitar cable and also consider that proximity to a radio transmitter is a big factor too.

I always loved those moments in Jimi's Isle of Wight performance where you hear radio transmissions. After the 4 minute mark on Foxy Lady it almost sounds intentional in a trippy way.
 

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,362
I addressed the RF problem in silicon FF 15 years ago when designing Captain Coconut. My remedy is to put a 472 cap (.0047uF) at the input of the circuit, other side going to ground. It doesn't hurt the tone at all and it totally fixes the problem.
That seems like a pretty big cap value - are you sure that is correct? I've seen others suggest things like 47pf.

Thanks!
 

HughesP

Member
Messages
1,362
I thought there was a footswitch on the fuzz face for cleaning it up?
That assumes I am by my pedal board all of the time! I've been playing some rock shows where we move around a bit and I'm sometimes right up at the front of the stage, away from my pedal board, soloing when the song finishes. For the "theatre" of it all, it would be awesome if I didn't have to immediately run back to my pedal board!
 

Shiny_Beast

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,723
adding a few k inline to the input, like the sunface input trim, solves this problem, but can change the splatty vibe you get when the guitar volume is up full.
 






Trending Topics

Top