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My Fuzz Face clone only works when it's the only pedal connected??

logen99999

Member
Messages
594
Hey guys, I bought a Swaptronics fuzz face a few years ago that's been collecting dust. I recently plugged it in to a fender amp and played using my les paul. killer fat tone!

But for some reason the pedal refuses to work if it's in a pedal chain. It only activates when it's the only pedal between the guitar and amp. If i have any other pedal in the chain, including a tuner pedal, the swaptronics fuzz doesn't even turn on. Meaning when I engage the switch the signal is killed, but when disengaged I get the bypass signal.

What can be going on here? I have a suspicion this has something to do with grounding and buffering. I recall reading something about these things creating an issue with pedal. But i dont know enough about this stuff to be certain.

I'd LOVE to get this pedal working properly. Does anyone have any suggestions? here is a picture of the guts.

 

ED_P

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,195
Are you using a One Spot or other multi effect power supply? Positive tip fuzzes sometimes don't work well in a chain with other effects that are negative tip polarity if you are sharing the same power supply.
 
Last edited:

sonichronic

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,166
what ED_P said... it is possibly a positive ground pedal with the polarity reversed inside
"you will not under normal circumstances be able to share or daisy chain this supply with other pedals.
an individual or isolated power supply (voodoo lab) is required." that is what my fuzz face clone says on it.
 

Boba7

Member
Messages
404
Is that a pulldown resistor connected to the input jack?? Bad idea...

I hope you didnt pay too much money for this pedal.

Otherwise yeah, there's no voltage inverter in the pedal so you cant daisychain it...
 

logen99999

Member
Messages
594
See my fuzzface page POWER section for more info on why a reverse polarity pedal will blow out your power supply if you share power. (Stinkfoot will probably pop in soon, I think I linked to some of his info too). http://analogman.com/fuzzface.htm#power
Thanks for chiming in, i've been eying you pedals for years!

I dont want to risk blowing anything out so i'm going to stick to 9v batteries with this fuzz face. I clipped the LED light out of the circuit to hopefully make the battery last longer. This thing goes through batteries really quickly for some reason.

Other than that its a great sounding fuzz. it's really tick and wooly when dimed, but even then rolling off the volume on the les paul yields a really glassy clean tone. this is unlike many other pedals I have that get dark and muddy when you roll the guitar volume off.

Can you recommend any fuzz pedals you make that can compare to this? I play a les paul and love that fuzz face eric johnson tone.
 

Alchemy Audio

Member
Messages
1,569
That pedal will sound better with battery power anyway (I recommend the cheap carbon zinc found at your local dollar store - really!)
 

analogmike

Vendor
Messages
7,119
Thanks for chiming in, i've been eying you pedals for years!
Can you recommend any fuzz pedals you make that can compare to this? I play a les paul and love that fuzz face eric johnson tone.
That pedal looks like a hybrid silicon/germanium FuzzFace. We have made a few but so far I don't like them as much as a normal silicon or germanium. Dave Fox started making hybrids in his Captain Coconut, he tuned them well.
 

Tube Geezer

Member
Messages
13
Hey guys, I bought a Swaptronics fuzz face a few years ago that's been collecting dust. I recently plugged it in to a fender amp and played using my les paul. killer fat tone!

But for some reason the pedal refuses to work if it's in a pedal chain. It only activates when it's the only pedal between the guitar and amp. If i have any other pedal in the chain, including a tuner pedal, the swaptronics fuzz doesn't even turn on. Meaning when I engage the switch the signal is killed, but when disengaged I get the bypass signal.

What can be going on here? I have a suspicion this has something to do with grounding and buffering. I recall reading something about these things creating an issue with pedal. But i dont know enough about this stuff to be certain.

I'd LOVE to get this pedal working properly. Does anyone have any suggestions? here is a picture of the guts.

This is the hybrid pedal I've made and it is wired positive ground. Put the battery back in, disconnect the input jack when you are not using it (so save battery power) and the pedal should work fine. Input jack is on right, output jack is on left. Input jack is switched to turn on power when your guitar cable is plugged in. You must use a separate (not chained) power adaptor with this pedal since it is wired positive ground.

Best regards,

Dave Adams (a.k.a. swaptronics fuzz)
 

Tube Geezer

Member
Messages
13
this pedal was cheap as hell. maybe $50.
The 10K resistor connected to the input jack functions as an RF (radio frequency) filter. With silicon fuzz pedals and the classic Arbiter England schematic, you get radio noise without one of these. It has little effect on the input signal, but major effect on eliminating this noise that is common without it.

I started making Hybrid pedals in the past because I came into a huge supply of NOS Texas Instruments 2N404 germanium transistors. When you put a BC-179 silicon transistor in the Q1 position of the schematic and the 2N404 germanium transistor in the Q2 position, you end up biasing the pedal off of the silicon transistor which is very stable. As a result, you can use higher gain germanium transistors in the pedals without worrying about a thermal or bias problem. You still need to check for leakage and bad transistors (which are common in old stock germaniums). Many of the germanium transistors are usable now when they would not properly bias in an all germanium pedal.

Keep in mind, a fuzz pedal is a very simple circuit with around $18 of parts in it--makes you wonder how some builders get $125 for their builds :)
 

Alchemy Audio

Member
Messages
1,569
Keep in mind, a fuzz pedal is a very simple circuit with around $18 of parts in it--makes you wonder how some builders get $125 for their builds :)
Perhaps your statement is made (at least partly) in jest but I hate comments like this.
$125 isn't a bad price to pay for a hand built pedal by someone who knows what they are doing.
Keep in mind that $18 in parts is only a fraction of what it costs to run a business.
There are plenty of threads here on the subject - with excellent contributions from professional builders who can debunk that claim.
 

joelster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,429
Perhaps your statement is made (at least partly) in jest but I hate comments like this.
$125 isn't a bad price to pay for a hand built pedal by someone who knows what they are doing.
Keep in mind that $18 in parts is only a fraction of what it costs to run a business.
There are plenty of threads here on the subject - with excellent contributions from professional builders who can debunk that claim.
Right. Not to mention the labor to build it. You do put a value on your time, right?
 






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