Fuzz Factory Spam Cans - What were they?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mikemac, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. mikemac

    mikemac Member

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    Anyone know what the spam can trannies were? Sylvania 2nxxx I believe.
    Any help is appreciated! Thanks.
     
  2. Phats

    Phats Senior Member

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    maybe look at DIYstompboxes.org or freestompboxes.org

    Both great DIY resources.
     
  3. Pedal Dan

    Pedal Dan The Island of Misfit Pedals Gold Supporting Member

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    They were/are pretty cool.
     
  4. olejason

    olejason Supporting Member

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    I thought they used AC128's or SFT353's but I might be remembering wrong
     
  5. Mr. Kite

    Mr. Kite Member

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  6. mikemac

    mikemac Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I've done a bunch of searches with nothing. There are more than 1 or 2 with the spam can shape from what I can tell. If I find the answer anywhere else I will let all know.
     
  7. Phats

    Phats Senior Member

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    Got any gut shots of the older FF?
     
  8. smitty.west

    smitty.west Senior Member

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    i've got a jerms spam can fuzz factory replica that i absolutely adore; probably my favourite fuzz. will take a gut shot and post it tomorrow if i can remember.
     
  9. ogaiyingh

    ogaiyingh Member

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    Both great DIY resources.[​IMG]
     
  10. chaseblissaudio

    chaseblissaudio Gold Supporting Member

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    I can be of a little help here, as I worked for ZVEX for several years. Zack initially got those transistors from Ax-Man, a surplus store in Minneapolis - he bought all of them. As I recall, Zack thought they were made for a local manufacturer decades ago.

    I remember there was one employee that made it his mission to try and find some more for Zack. There was a number on the side of them but it didn't cross reference to any common part number. He spent a ton of time trying to find them. It really did seem like they were some kind of small batch for a local manufacturer, just no more to be found.

    So, you'll most certainly find transistors that look like spam cans... but I just don't think there are any more of *the* spam cans in those original fuzz factories, anywhere.

    This is sort of an aside, but kind of interesting. When I was working there, Zack had a small stash of spam can resistors left, like a dozen or so. At some point a few years ago (2010 or 2011), Zack went down to Compass Point Studio in the Bahamas to get his band's record mastered by Terry Manning. I guess Terry wanted a Fuzz Factory, and Zack wanted to do something special for him, so he asked me to build a special one for him with spam can trannies in it. I went and tested every one of the trannies left, and there were only two that worked (the rest were extremely leaky)... so as far as I know, I built the last spam can fuzz factory. :) I played it for about an hour after I built it, and to my memory, it was the best fuzz I ever played. Although I realize that my experience was heavily influenced by the "lore" of it all and the psychology that "hey those are spam cans in there!" That fuzz was gorgeous.
     
  11. toyroomtim

    toyroomtim Member

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    stupidly informative right there. 9 thumbs up.
     
  12. fabulusfab777

    fabulusfab777 Supporting Member

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    Thanks Joel, very nice information. Anyone knows around when they stopped using those transistors ? You built the last one in 2011, but production wise ? Could we say that the older hand painted FF have those and the newer vexter series doesn't ??

    Thanks
     
  13. amz-fx

    amz-fx Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the post Joel. Great story! I enjoyed it.

    Didn't Terry Manning work for a studio in Memphis many years ago? I recall being there for some sessions and he was around though I did not meet him. (The name of the studio escapes me at this point but I'm sure it will come back later... or not)

    Best regards, Jack
     
  14. Pedal Dan

    Pedal Dan The Island of Misfit Pedals Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got SN 92 from Feb. 97.

    I think the original run was just over 120.

    The one I have was painted by J. Myrold
     
  15. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    The last spam can versions were made in 1988, IIRC.
     
  16. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have one built in 12/7/98 and it has regular transistors, not spam cans. Worth mentioning that I've owned 4 FF, and two were noticeably better sounding than others.
     
  17. rummy

    rummy Member

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    Great stuff!
     
  18. chaseblissaudio

    chaseblissaudio Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Jack! Fun for me to be responding to a post from you :) (I'm a big mini booster fan and an admirer of your work) I wasn't sure but I checked out his wikipedia page and it looks like the name of the studio you are thinking about is Ardent Studios. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Manning
     
  19. chaseblissaudio

    chaseblissaudio Gold Supporting Member

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    There were very few spam can trannies. I don't know for sure when they stopped being made, but it sounds like it was somewhere around 1997 or 1998 based on the other posts in this thread. I only worked there from 2008 to 2013, so it was well before my time. The only reason I made that *one* later was because of the spares Zack had and that he wanted Terry to have one with the spam cans. There certainly are not any vexters with spam cans.
     
  20. smitty.west

    smitty.west Senior Member

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    here's a gutshot of my jerms spam can fuzz factory clone (iirc he said these trannies were as close to the originals as he could find)- love this thing to bits:

    [​IMG]
     

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