So I want a fuzz.....

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by DK207, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. DK207

    DK207 Member

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    I've looked into past threads and done my homework, but the question remains: Silicon or Germanium? And which manufacturer?

    I have several AM pedals and have loved them all. I have been considering getting a sunface, fulltone 69 or 70, or the soon to come Foxrox Hot Silicon Fuzz. These choices are based mostly on manufacturer reputation and sound clips on their websites. My issues are as follows:

    1. I want a pedal I can use a power adaptor with b/c I hate buying bateries and will forget to unplug the fuzz to save the 9v batteries.
    2. I honestly can't decide if there is really a big difference between Si and Ge fuzz pedals based on sound clips.

    I dig Hendrix, Clapton, other classic rock and some more modern stuff including Phish and others. Almost all of my effects are TB and those that are not are removed from the signal chain with a loooper (except for my AM TS9/808). Just wondering if anyone has experience with any of the above fuzz pedals and can offer some advice as to where to go?

    Thanks in advance!:BEER
     
  2. empty71

    empty71 Member

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  3. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Silver Supporting Member

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    Once you've actually got the Fulltone '69 and '70 in front of you, you'll hear the difference- the silicon is brighter, harder on the highs and IME more prone to feedback.

    I went with the McFuzz, which is a hybrid: germ for clipping, silicon for amplification. Great tone control. Haven't looked back.
     
  4. kgmessier

    kgmessier Member

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    I have an AM Fuzz Face and have the same concern as you: I don't want to be changing batteries all the time. However, I have a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 and use the battery connecter lead they provide to power the Fuzz Face. The PP2 even has a "sag" option that emulates the tone resulting from a dying battery, a tone many guitarists prefer.

    - Keith
     
  5. DK207

    DK207 Member

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    Do you have the Si or Ge version?

    Thanks to all for the above replies. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to be buying and selling a few before I find my keeper fuzz :eek:
     
  6. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I think to "get" the idea of Si versus Ge, without actually trying them all for extended periods of time, the best way is to refer back to Hendrix recordings from different time periods. Early he used a Germanium Fuzz Face. Warm, dry, soft, go listen. Then refer to BOG or a later album, where more silicon fuzz was used. More gain, "clearer," (unless there were a bunch of other effects going), etc.

    The switch was not just Hendrix deciding to switch, but the manufacturers switched from germanium to silicon for supply/quality reasons, although I suppose he could have kept using his older pedals if he really felt strongly about their sound being better than silicon. Mostly, I think it's just different, but all the same, germanium sound is closer to what I'm looking for. The Hellbilly actually uses a germanium transistor going into a silicon transistor for the output, so you sort of get both. I think the germanium is used for the first stage and the silicon stabilizes the voltage of the germanium transistor and adds some gain. I believe one of the available fuzz cards for the Captain Coconut 2's Fuzz Foot Fuzz Face clone works like this. The Squeeze Factor pedal sold by Tone Factor also uses a germanium transistor I believe, but that's a compressor, not a fuzz (not to say that they wouldn't sound cool together, I want a third McBroom/ToneFactor pedal and I want it to be a Squeeze Factor!)

    BTW, the PP2 is a great unit. I use the battery clip connectors for my old wah and a stupid old Walco pedal. The sag control feature is cool. You could use one of those with a Sun Face and not have to worry about batteries. Hendrix99, I've got a CompROSSor, too. Great pedal. Different sound than the Orange Squeezer will give. How do you like that Area 51 board in your wah? I've got an old Crybaby and was thinking about (after the wallet has been recharged from the "holiday" season) having Area 51 slap on a new inductor, pot, true bypass, maybe a buffer circuit- I could go either way on the power jack thing since I have the battery clip on the PP2 connection, but also I don't want the power cable to get pinched too much coming out of the bottom of the pedal between the bottom plate and edge of the heavy casing... Any thoughts on how it sounds?
     
  7. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    Demeter Fuzzulator :RoCkIn
     
  8. DK207

    DK207 Member

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    I put it in my sig prematurely! It is on backorder for a week or two more (the factory that produces his inductors is moving), but I will post a review as soon as I get it in ! I have heard nothing but great things about it, so I decided rather than spend $200+ on a new wah, I'd spend $110 for the new board and power jack as I have a case and ICAR pot already. Dan from Area51 is one of the coolest guys out there, give him a ring with ?'s and he'll talk your ear off! I called him last year with a few questions and was on the phone for almost an hour. Very nice guy. I'm also considering his buffer circuit since I embarked on my fuxx quest. It has a bypass switch so if you're not using fuzz, it is disabled.

    Thanks for your info above, as well. After listening to my plethora of Hendrix recordings, I think that Ge is the way I want to go. I may try the BYOC kit first, as it comes with both Si and Ge with gold plated sockets so I can switch and mix/match.


    :BEER
     
  9. retro

    retro Member

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    Why not get both?

    http://www.retroman-music.com/SYBIL PAGE.htm

    Don't let the color or soundclips fool you. This is one great sounding, very versatile and well made pedal.

    If you were in SoCal you would be welcome to try it.

    I don't know what trannies Jimi used on what recordings.
    I've read Si pedals were available in the later part of the 60's. So I really don't know what trannies were used for what and when. My experience has been and I am old enough to have used vintage gear (pedals) when they were new, that I get more Hendrix sounds out of Si then Ge. When I saw him, with Billy and Mitch ( We thought he was going to show up with Buddy) he was using a Fuzz Face. What was inside I don't know. But it sure sounded like Are You Experienced. Considering what is generally mentioned about the later Billy Cox, BOG era to coincide with his use of Si leaves a question mark for me about what was used on early recordings.

    At any rate I think having both in one seems like such a good idea, that I am not sure why there are not more pedals out there like this one.

    When I get an interface again, I will do clips and a review.


    By the way, although I just sold my Mojo Vibe, the Sybil and my Mojo worked well together also. And it will work using ac, although it also has a on off switch so it can be left plugged in.
     
  10. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I've been searching for a fuzz for about 5 years and I've owned about 6, Fulltones, AM Sunfaces, Keeley, etc.

    Just got a BJF Pink Purple, wow, it can go from an almost Zendrive OD tone to a vintage fuzz tone just by tweaking the nature knob. Small footprint, ac input, doesn't matter where it is in the chain, no hassles just great tone.

    If you don't like them they are extremely easy to sell.
     
  11. Bloomfield fan

    Bloomfield fan Silver Supporting Member

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    After owning many fuzzes, I settled on the AM Sunface. However, it does not have AC power. So I would recommend the Fulltone 69. I would definately try a few. Just because there are a lot of these around does not make it bad. Mike makes a great fuzz and the controls are useful and versitile and it can run on ac power
     
  12. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Can't really go wrong w/any of Fuller's fuzzes; '69, 70 (both the blue and the purple - they ARE different) or the SoulBender. I kept the SB- perfect clone of the early Brit-rock sounds.

    Prescription Electronics seems to have fallen out of favour, but the Experience has a massively lardaciuos bottom end and the FaceLift comes in Ge or Si flaves. I've got both on one of my pedalboards.

    My newest fuzz is the UlraViolentII; unusually versatile, w/three *active* tone controls that can be mixed into the basic fuzztone. I got mine used and have been exchanging email w/Lorren, the builder, @blackbox. Guy's very responsive & helpful..and the pedal keeps surprising me every time i plug in.

    EDIT: just read your post (more carefully) again and the Blackbox Ultravoilet2 does not have an LED or adaptor jack, altho' Lorren's told me he'd mod the pedal for 35 bucks.
     
  13. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    You could still use the AM Sunface with a Voodoo Lab PP2 or similar 9v powered unit (I think the majority of people here use a power system). Just use the battery clip, this might be a pedal that would benefit from the SAG control to lower the amount of power to the pedal to simulate a vintage or old battery...
     
  14. kgmessier

    kgmessier Member

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    Mine is germanium.

    - Keith
     
  15. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Ah, Grasshopper, you have much to learn. The search never ends. ;)
     
  16. boomchickaboom

    boomchickaboom Member

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  17. porsch8

    porsch8 Member

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    Buy my Pharaoh Amps Uptown Fuzz. It has true-bypass, cool yellow LED, 9V jack, Level, tone, and attack knobs, cool black/yellow sparkle finish.

    From what I understand, its a combination of Germanium and Silicon trannies.

    $115 shipped
    daltscher@gmail.com
     
  18. DK207

    DK207 Member

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    haha, tell me about it!

    I think I have made a decision (for now).

    I live about 5 mins from music toyz in Maine, so I am going there with my pedal board to try out the '69 with my other gear. If it sounds decent, I'm going to grab it! If not, I think I'm going to build the BYOC and tinker with that for a bit.

    Thanks again for all the advice!
     

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