JMI using rejected Acid Fuzz germ transistors

Echoes22

Member
Messages
428
I had originally posted this thinking the 3 letter British company was D*A*M when it turns out it is JMI. TGP wouldn't let me edit the thread title so I thought I would start a new one to prevent any confusion or false information to be spread about DAM.


Here is the post from the Acid Fuzz facebook explaining the situation:
"
Many of the newer production “mojo” germanium transistors you see out there on the market are the byproduct of the work I did with a Srilankan electrical engineer who was trained in the 1960’s when germanium was the norm. As the owner of Acid Fuzz pedals I have been collecting the holy grail fuzz transistors since my 20’s and several years ago I realized that they are now ~all gone. It became such an issue that some were even faking devices by re-stamping transistors with “NKT275” etc… So, as a lover of vintage fuzz sounds who could see the end of the road ahead, I decided to do something about the situation. I found an engineer who knew the germanium wafer manufacturing process exceedingly well and we spent several years and more money than I care to admit making clones of the best examples from my collection.

Acid Fuzz is a small company and we do almost zero marketing. So, very few people actually know these devices exist. We use them in our own pedals and do not sell the transistors as such. What’s unfortunate is that I received a fuzz pedal for repair made by a very well known larger company in the UK with a three letter acronym name. When I agreed to repair the pedal which the owner described as “noisy” and “just does not sound right for the money I paid”, I had no idea the the manufacturer was actually purchasing my rejected transistors and using them in their products, marketing them as “NOS” transistors, meaning New Old Stock. I was shocked to see my rejected transistors in a product that cost twice as much as an Acid Fuzz pedal. The owner said it was new, but I had to be sure it wasn’t a case of someone tampering with the pedal and re-selling it. So, I ordered one directly from the company in the UK. That confirmed things. My rejected transistors again.

The deal I have with my manufacturer is that because I did the work to get the ball rolling with these devices, agreed to their terms, and supplied the originals, I have first dibs on every batch and select out the best for our pedals. Due to the nature of germanium, the specs are all over the place. So, I reject many of them. When we were in the prototyping stage, which took a long time to get right, I often rejected 100% of entire batches. As you can imagine, that gets expensive, quickly. So, as the devices did meet data sheet specs, they could technically be used in other circuits, such as switches, radios, etc… with good results. So, they were sold off by the manufacturer and other vendors to recoup costs. They may have met data sheet specs, but for one reason or another, in the real world they just weren’t up to the task sonically for our pedals.

Unfortunately Ivan, the engineer I worked with to develop these clones passed away. He was a very enthusiastic and kind man who thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. He usually worked on devices for military use and coming from war torn Sri Lanka he liked the idea of making devices that were used to make music, not war. Fortunately his work was saved and the new engineer agreed to continue where he left off."

Considering how insanely expensive these things are, I think potential customers should be made aware of this.
 

superslidetail

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
978
Not surprised its JMI, although I would have guess BPC before them. I've owned an Acid Fuzz Face with NKT275s and its a top notch pedal. :aok
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,873
So, I'm going to be that guy... But until I see a picture of the Acid Fuzz transistors, and then a picture of the JMI pedal with those transistors, how can I fault JMI? This is something that Acid Fuzz has had in the works for a while, so you're telling me that no one has noticed that their JMI pedals with "NOS" transistors said Acid Fuzz on them, or didn't have the proper markings? And if they did have the proper markings and are only distinguishable to Acid Fuzz and the manufacturer due to a specific design feature, then shame on the manufacturer for making clone NOS components and shame on Acid Fuzz for calling out JMI. For all we know, JMI bought those transistors thinking they were NOS because the guy marketed them as NOS.

Of course, if it's obvious, then shame on JMI. But, if the transistors say "Mullard" on them, why is anyone hating on JMI alone?
 

Fuzzr

Member
Messages
3,190
JMI is probably one of the sketchiest pedal brands, up there with Vertex and "thanks, Ken".
 

BobbyFudge

Member
Messages
3,291
Thanks for correcting this! ...Hate to see Acid Fuzz get caught up in this stuff. I'm eagerly awaiting the new Sonic Boom!
 

Babysquid

Member
Messages
356
For all we know, JMI bought those transistors thinking they were NOS because the guy marketed them as NOS.

Of course, if it's obvious, then shame on JMI. But, if the transistors say "Mullard" on them, why is anyone hating on JMI alone?
If Music Ground / JMI / BPC didn't have such a reputation for shady practices already I'd be with you. Unfortunately their past, and continuing, conduct leads me, and many others here, to believe that they knew exactly what they were buying.
 

Babysquid

Member
Messages
356
This is something that Acid Fuzz has had in the works for a while, so you're telling me that no one has noticed that their JMI pedals with "NOS" transistors said Acid Fuzz on them, or didn't have the proper markings? And if they did have the proper markings and are only distinguishable to Acid Fuzz and the manufacturer due to a specific design feature, then shame on the manufacturer for making clone NOS components and shame on Acid Fuzz for calling out JMI.
Acid Fuzz make it quite clear on their website that the transistors they are using are replicas built for them.
 

Mr2D

Member
Messages
1,814
Yeah - JMI/BPC/Music Ground are shady as f*ck. I know we (rightfully) grumble about Vertex/Freakish Blues/Farndurk/Nose/T1M but those guys are rank amateurs compared to the aforementioned.

Slightly ashamed to admit I bought a guitar from their Leeds shop many, many years ago, but it was long before the story broke.
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,873
Acid Fuzz make it quite clear on their website that the transistors they are using are replicas built for them.
Yes, they make that clear. I just don't see any pictures of them. I took about 5 years off of TGP so most of those companies you mentioned, I have no idea about. No idea about JMI either. I do know that TGP is pretty rabid about calling people out though, and I feel like someone would have cried foul already with pictures if it was something super obvious. Maybe I'm wrong, and that's fine. I would just like to see the transistors in question is all.
 

WhoJamFan

Member
Messages
2,557
They were building fake Hiwatts???
Indeed, and trying to pass them off as artist owned/used ones. Big scandal a few years back, easy to do a search and find-espevially over at the Plexi Palace Vintage Amp forum.
Music Ground are even less desireable Hiwatts to own than the ones made in the 80s in Modesto because at least the parts on those weren't fake.
 

Fuzzr

Member
Messages
3,190
Yes, they make that clear. I just don't see any pictures of them. I took about 5 years off of TGP so most of those companies you mentioned, I have no idea about. No idea about JMI either. I do know that TGP is pretty rabid about calling people out though, and I feel like someone would have cried foul already with pictures if it was something super obvious. Maybe I'm wrong, and that's fine. I would just like to see the transistors in question is all.
Something tells me pics wouldn't convince you. The Gear Page gets it right, more than wrong in these situations.
 




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