Fuzz people: help! (question about transistors)

Bman20

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,438
Ok so i bought a 90's reissue TC Tonebender MKIII built by macaris. The unit sounds cool, but i noticed it has 3 silicon transistors in there. My question is, is it ok to buy a matched triplet set of GERMANIUM transistors like on ebay and just unsolder the silicons and solder these in? Ive always heard the germaniums are overall smoother and can do low gain tones better. Is this true?


Thanks in advance
 
Last edited:

BMF Effects

Great tone made simple.
Platinum Supporting Member
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4,236
Without seeing the pedal I'm going to guess it's probably wired for negative ground (as opposed to positive ground like a Fuzz Face, Tonebender Mk.I/II). If that's the case, yes you could make the swap as long as...

1) You use NPN germanium transistors.

2) Get the pin outs correct.

I also suspect you'd need to re-bias the pedal as well.
 

benjammin_

Member
Messages
267
^ what he said. Honestly, if you feel comfortable enough to unsolder transistors, you might just be better off making your own fuzz box and not having to deal with polarity or rebiasing. It's a really simple circuit!
 

BMF Effects

Great tone made simple.
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,236
^ what he said. Honestly, if you feel comfortable enough to unsolder transistors, you might just be better off making your own fuzz box and not having to deal with polarity or rebiasing. It's a really simple circuit!
^What he said. :aok

I had a customer send me a BBE Window Pane fuzz with a note that simply said, "Make it not suck." so I turned in into a Ge/Si hybrid fuzz with a NPN germanium transistor which gives him the ability to use a standard wall wart to power it.
 

Bman20

Silver Supporting Member
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1,438
Ok cool thanks for the info guys. I really dig the curcuit, but based on what ive read, i thought switchingout the silicons for germaniums would eliminate someof the harsher high end it currently has. And i would like the volume roll off on the gtr to be more usable to get better lower gain tones. When u guys say i would need to wire it for positive and re-bias, how do i do that?
 

wingwalker

Fuzzy Guitars
Messages
6,783
Better idea...Just send it to Mr. BMF effects with a note that says "Make it not suck"!

Trust me...Scott knows fuzz!!!
 

Shiny_Beast

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,723
Am I the only one who would warn against this? Try it, but be prepared to put the old ones back in if it sucks ass. Mark down which one was in which position as you pull them. Getting fuzzes to sound right can be a mystical process, don't leave yourself up fizz creak.
 

Drewski

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,098
Put it up for trade in the emporium. If you dont know how to bias the pedal, none of this will end well. Trade it for something you think youll like better.
 

Bman20

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,438
Also, since were here amongst knowledgable fuzz ppl, whats the biggest difference between a mkIII and a mkIV? Ive noticed the vintage version of my tc tonebender actually has two dif versions. One has the jumbo circuit in it with silicon (like mine) and the other the mkIV circuit w/3 germaniums. Anyonehave experience with both?
 

Bman20

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,438
And yea based on what u guys have said here, im reluctant to fool with it with my current knowledge--id hate to mess a cool pedal up
 






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