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Please tell me more about Buzzaround

pennylink

Member
Messages
1,863
Buzzaround... which records/songs new or old feature it?

Without having to sell a kidney, what's the 'best' clone that's generally available?
 

MadFrank

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,251
The Original Burns-Baldwin Buzzaround was made in such limited quantities, less than two hundered I once heard, that it's not only very rare, but only one famous player is assosiated with it, Robert Fripp of King Crimson. As such it's as assosiated with his (early) tone as the Mk.2 is to Page. I don't think many 60's originals are known to still exist, and Fripp has two!

As for clones, Skinpimp makes a superb one. I have one and it's awsome. One of the most unique, musical and versatile fuzz's ever made, IMO. Montgomery Appliances (Whoismarykelly on TGP) makes a great one too, as does Ghost Effects, Pigdog and I'm sure some other great builders that I can't remember right now! D.A.M. made a great one once, but I'm sure that's about as rare as the original!

Hard to describe how it sounds, as it's quite versatile, but I would say it's a member of the Tonebender family, distantly related cousin at least, but has it's own sound and dynamics. Best to listen to some of the great demo's out there. Sometimes it reminds me of the angry offspring of the unholy union between a Big Muff and a Mk.1 Tonebender, but that's just me! Every fuzz lover owes it to themselves to check one out at some point.
 

kurge71

Member
Messages
100
Totally dig my Dentone Buzzaround. It is hard to describe. Very fuzzy but gets boldly nasty in an Iommi Paranoid way. A unique fuzz flavor for sure
 

standingzero

Member
Messages
619
Great circuit, I wouldn't pay more than 200 usd for one.

If you get one I would look for one with a master volume. That didn't come on the original circuit, but it's quite easy to add. It really helps to get the right kind of saturation at a useable volume.

I built my own npn germanium version so I could use it with a daisy chained power supply. Sold it to a forum member and he dug it. Cost me about 80 - 90 bucks to build including specialty paint and such.

Here she is:



Here's the thread: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/1048537

Here's a demo: It's easier to hear it than to just have it described.


Guitarpcb and Madbean sell the pcbs. Join the forum and build one^^ or find someone to do it for you. I like guitarpcb's version because you can make it pnp or npn. My next one will be a silicon version just to try something different.
 

redeyeflight

Member
Messages
227
The Troggs were noted buzzaround users but yes, generally Fripp is considered the main man when it comes to the buzzaround. Nominally its somewhat of a MK III tonebender although I find it has more gain as well as the obvious different tone network. I have a DAM fuzzaround here as well as a Pigdog Spectrafuzz and I have to say they sound very very close. I used to own a creepy fingers buzzaround copy and I found it to alo be great but a bit more modern sounding if you will: more mid scooped and tight. Never tried a skinpimp but I've heard good things. On the cheaper end I recommend the creepy fingers but an all out vintage replica you'll be looking at the pigdog, or if you can find one (and they do pop up from time to time) a dam fuzzaround...expect to pay around a grand for the dam though.
 

MadFrank

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,251
I didn't know that the Troggs used one! Huh. Interesting. Any specific record to check out?
 

enocaster

Member
Messages
5,180
I had my "mystery builder" Buzzaround clone in the Emporium for ages and no one bought it. I plugged it in again this week and LOVE it - it pays to sit on things for awhile. So glad it didn't sell!

+1 to the "Big Muff meets Tonebender" description. It has a Muff's "thick wall of fuzz" but without the mid-scoop and with a tighter bottom end and more chord clarity. I'm getting some great early Sabbath sounds with it.
 

Ginsly

Member
Messages
351
I had my "mystery builder" Buzzaround clone in the Emporium for ages and no one bought it. I plugged it in again this week and LOVE it - it pays to sit on things for awhile. So glad it didn't sell!

+1 to the "Big Muff meets Tonebender" description. It has a Muff's "thick wall of fuzz" but without the mid-scoop and with a tighter bottom end and more chord clarity. I'm getting some great early Sabbath sounds with it.
I think the one you have is an eZone53 Buzzaround - I just picked one up last month, and it's fantastic! It looks identical to a DAM Fuzzaround inside, and based on clips I've heard it comes darn close sonically. I do want to have it modded with a master volume at some point, though...
 

enocaster

Member
Messages
5,180
I think the one you have is an eZone53 Buzzaround - I just picked one up last month, and it's fantastic! It looks identical to a DAM Fuzzaround inside, and based on clips I've heard it comes darn close sonically. I do want to have it modded with a master volume at some point, though...
THANK YOU! It's nice to know what I have. Let me know if you find anything out about the master volume - that'd be useful.
 

standingzero

Member
Messages
619
THANK YOU! It's nice to know what I have. Let me know if you find anything out about the master volume - that'd be useful.

Trust me the master volume is fantastic! You can dime the Balance and Sustain while rolling the overall volume back for a massive sound or you can lower the Balance and Sustain and push the volume up for a cleaner more gritty sounds.

Get it done for sure, it's a simple mod.
 

redeyeflight

Member
Messages
227
I didn't know that the Troggs used one! Huh. Interesting. Any specific record to check out?
There's a couple of pictures as well as a live show on YouTube that clearly show them using a buzzaround...I'll try and find them. As far as specific recordings that feature the buzzaround I'm not sure?
 

pennylink

Member
Messages
1,863
Wow, that's some great information. Thanks everyone :) Couple more questions:

What transistors offer the most authentic sound? Anything else I should look for when comparing clones?

How pedalboard/wah-friendly is the Buzzaround? Put first in line I guess? Before or after wah?
 

midwayfair

Member
Messages
2,046
What transistors offer the most authentic sound? Anything else I should look for when comparing clones?
MadBean has this as a project and has some good notes on the transistors on page 3:
http://www.madbeanpedals.com/projects/Bumblebee/docs/BumbleBee.pdf

Madbean forum might be a good place to pick up a clone, though I haven't seen too many build reports of them posted.

There's also been lots of discussion at DIYstompboxes and I think FSB about the transistors. Chances are anyone building it is just going to use a set of tonebender gain buckets and be done with it. At three gain stages, you wouldn't hear much of the individual character of any transistor anyway, and noise and total gain would be your biggest concern. In general, transistors that sound great in one type of pedal will sound great in another very similar circuit. There's that great a difference between the circuitry in the Buzzaround and the Tonebender.

I certainly wouldn't hold out for one made with the original trannys. Even if you trust the guy building it to think they're genuine, the guy he bought them from might be less trustworthy ... seriously, they're harder to find than white dot NKT275s.

p.s. Madbean's can be build NPN, just like any other PNP circuit. You just turn the caps around and hook up the power backward, then use the right transistors of course.
 

arem

Member
Messages
1,254
Jimmy Behan built me a great Buzzaround for a great price. Mine has a master volume knob and a toggle which switches a couple of caps to Elka Dizzytone values, which gives more low end and a more aggressive tone. Jimmy's work is top notch and he's an easy guy to deal with, I can't recommend him highly enough.
 

redeyeflight

Member
Messages
227
The elka dizzytone is another cool alternative to the buzzaround. It's gnarlier, trashier, and just a bit more out of control. I know ghost effects in the uk is supposed to make a very fine clone. Btw, someone asked...the original transistors in the buzzaround are NKT 213s so that would obviously give the most authentic sound. The pigdog I have uses oc82ds and sounds really close to my NKT dam fuzzaround so I'm not nessicarily convinced you have to use those specific transistors.
 




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