MJM Guitar FX London Fuzz - Appreciation Thread!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mk.ufo1988, Jul 1, 2020 at 12:40 AM.

  1. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    For fun I thought I would start an appreciation thread for one of my favorite builders of all time, MJM Guitar FX. His London Fuzz has always been at the top of the list for a Fuzz Face aficionado like myself.

    I've taken some screenshots from basic image searches to create a small timeline of the London Fuzz and depict its inception to what it currently is now. A bit archaic in some regards to early build quality, but I find that part of the charm with these. BUT NEVER DOUBT THE TONE!

    Folks have always considered the "early big boxes" the most sought after which stands to reason. But honestly, there's not a huge margin of difference between those and later examples. There's plenty more photos across the internet, but it appears the same electrolytics, resistors, and even the transistors have remained the same quality or brand for the most part throughout the years (with some NOS sprinkled in sparingly). There was a formula and consistency to the madness, you can't go wrong with any of them in my experience whether it be early or later models. I've owned both with no complaints!

    The two with the green-pcb's pictured below are mine, germanium and silicon! These white-box versions are no longer in production sadly but are highly recommended. I've had the early big boxes but have equally settled on these white-box ones!

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 1:00 AM
  2. JumpinBradFlash

    JumpinBradFlash Member

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    Another fan here. I’ve had three versions. My first fuzz face was a London Fuzz and it got me hooked. That was the version before the current enclosures I believe (red and white enclosure). Later on I picked up a big box version (red) and now i have the black and white enclosure with the external bias. I’d like to try his silicon version some day and wouldnt mind getting an early big box again.
     
  3. Windup 43

    Windup 43 Supporting Member

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    I’ve been through a lot of Ge fuzzfaces, my old MJM smallbox w/ external bias and modified for more output and a drop less bass (to keep things from getting too muddy) is still at the top of the heap for me, along with some other stellar Sunfaces that I also own/use. Massive gain on tap but still cleans up ridiculously well, def. a life keeper.

     
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  4. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    I was in the market for an early big box, then said screw it, I wanted a matching silicon to go with my GE London Fuzz from the same era instead (which is what's pictured above). My Fuzz Face gas has ended, but that'll become more like a 'I can look but don't touch' basis (we know how it goes :eek:)
     
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  5. JumpinBradFlash

    JumpinBradFlash Member

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    Which Si transistors did you get in yours?
     
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  6. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    It came with BC108C's (CDIL branded), which I've seen in Analogman Sunfaces and load of other Fuzz Face renditions (Chase Tone Fuzz Fella). I think MJM used stock resistor values in my LF's, so the transistors should be around stock gain ranges maybe? All silicon-models have internal bias I believe no matter what. They're both slightly hotter but the cleanup is there. That little extra gain makes for a nice rolled-back Hendrix/Strat rhythm tone.

    My germanium London Fuzz uses gold-legged Texas Instruments. No idea what the # is on them since MJM removes that on most transistors.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 2:39 AM
  7. JumpinBradFlash

    JumpinBradFlash Member

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    I thought they might be the 2N527’s If they are the same as mine. They looked identical and sounded close to a Sunlion i had with the 2N527 gold legs
     
  8. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    It's all speculative, if you ask MJM he will only tell you they are Texas Instruments from the 70's. I've tried, he keeps his secrets close! :D
     
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  9. CohenTheBarbarian

    CohenTheBarbarian Member

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    I have the Ge version with bias knob.
    I LOVE it.
     
  10. MilesMitchell

    MilesMitchell Member

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    I've been fortunate enough to own quite a few MJM London Fuzzes. I had an original red big box GE that I paid $110 for, sold, missed it so much that I tracked it down and then bought it back. I also had a small box one with the bias knob and a SI one. Finally, I even owned an AVS London Fuzz. That one was marginally better than the standard production models.

    The GE ones sounded very similar even though they were built years apart and were in different enclosures. So snatch one up if you see a deal! Old doesn't always mean better.

    Also, shout out to the MJM Sixties Vibe!!! That was hands down my favorite vibe. I'm still kicking myself for not grabbing one that popped up a year ago on ebay for $120.
     
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  11. MoonshineMan

    MoonshineMan Member

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    I wanted a Ge Fuzz Face and the LF scratched that itch entirely. It’s the sound for fuzz I hear in my head.
    It’s not one of the sought after ones; small box, two knobs, and whatever else.
    No idea and no concern about differences between this and the others, and no need or desire to buy another one.
    I’ve considered adding a bender and muff, since I know they’re different, but I just don’t need to.
    This gets me the Warren Haynes sound.
     
  12. DewieCox

    DewieCox Supporting Member

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    The Sixities Vibe slays any vibe out in front of it. Nothing in the same price range is close.

    Their Brit Bender is solid too.
     
  13. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    I have the Brit Bender MKII and love it! Awesome Zeppelin tones and I've found you can actually roll the guitar volume back on these for some cleanup and not full-bore fuzz.
     
  14. Shiny_Beast

    Shiny_Beast Member

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    Next on my list, they might even have one used at the shop around the corner.
     
  15. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    I had an early germanium London Fuzz. Sold it a few months ago, but it was a great sounding unit.

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  16. dewey decibel

    dewey decibel Member

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    It’s pretty dirty (got it like that) but here’s my older one with the bias knob. Thing is, I don’t play it that much because it really needs to be run into a dirty amp which I don’t get to do too often (although the Menatone next to it can be a decent substitute). Also have a big box Foxey Fuzz which is just perfect for those sustainy Isley leads.
     
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  17. Jet Bycraft

    Jet Bycraft Member

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    Fortunately, I scored a London Fuzz from G.C. a few years back.

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  18. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    Very nice, I had one just like that with the NKT shaped transistors (TO-1's?).
     
  19. mk.ufo1988

    mk.ufo1988 Member

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    Super clean! Very nice!
     
  20. Jet Bycraft

    Jet Bycraft Member

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