So what pedal is the best bang for the buck among Tonebender clones?

loosegroove

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208
The only one I owned, which was years ago, was an early PE yardbox. The only thing I didn't like was that it had no LED. So what's out there that is relatively inexpensive? And another plus would be if it were easy to find on the used market.
 

drolling

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6,102
The Fulltone Soulbender's been around a long time, so you don't hear much buzz about it. Tons of useful fuzztones packed in there. It's true-bypass and DOES have an LED, but I always know when it's on. I see them used at a reasonable price all the time. That's how I got mine.
 

RickB

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Try and find a used BENT made by Bob McBroom. If not, check out his regular production model - Bender Over Under.
 

Curly

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1,400
the short answer is probably a used SoulBender

I'm a fan of this type fuzz, so I have a SoulBender, and a PE Yardbox - both good pedals.

I also have a custom built clone on the way:





this is a version of the Sola Sound ToneBender MKII ..

I have a friend on the Seymour Duncan Forum, StratDeluxer, who has done several mods for me, as well as quite a few others on the forum - mostly wahs and ODs. As you can tell, he does excellent, neat work, works quickly, and his mods are affordable. He also tunes his work by ear, switching out parts till it's just right.

I asked if he'd build me a ToneBender, got his list of parts, and he put it together. I'm looking forward to getting it in the next couple of days and doing a taste test. :)
 

popinvasion

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7,535
does anyone out there mod the pe yardbox, I think that pedal is fantastic and could sound slightly better.
 

Curly

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1,400
Originally posted by Sunsetamps
does anyone out there mod the pe yardbox, I think that pedal is fantastic and could sound slightly better.
I agree the Yardbox sounds great, but doesn't seem really easy to dial in, whether it's the pots or the crazy backwards wiring

I suppose you could try Don Butler, or even PE, depending on what you want.
 

loosegroove

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208
Originally posted by drolling
The Fulltone Soulbender's been around a long time, so you don't hear much buzz about it. Tons of useful fuzztones packed in there. It's true-bypass and DOES have an LED, but I always know when it's on. I see them used at a reasonable price all the time. That's how I got mine.
Yeah, that one is on my list, I was just seeing what else is out there.
 

loosegroove

Member
Messages
208
Originally posted by Curly
the short answer is probably a used SoulBender

I'm a fan of this type fuzz, so I have a SoulBender, and a PE Yardbox - both good pedals.

I also have a custom built clone on the way:





this is a version of the Sola Sound ToneBender MKII ..

I have a friend on the Seymour Duncan Forum, StratDeluxer, who has done several mods for me, as well as quite a few others on the forum - mostly wahs and ODs. As you can tell, he does excellent, neat work, works quickly, and his mods are affordable. He also tunes his work by ear, switching out parts till it's just right.

I asked if he'd build me a ToneBender, got his list of parts, and he put it together. I'm looking forward to getting it in the next couple of days and doing a taste test. :)
Looks cool! How much did that set you back?
 

loosegroove

Member
Messages
208
Originally posted by gururyan
I'm not sure what it's based on, but I finally found the fuzz tones I had been searching for in the MJM London Fuzz, there are two pages of audio at the link too.
Clips sound great. But to me they sound a little more Fuzz Face-esque than Tonebender.
 

Curly

Member
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1,400
loosegroove,
PM sent regarding the pedal I had built.

the MJM London is a 'Face' circuit. I've heard it's one of the best, but it's a different animal.

the DAM is a dead clone of the original, down to the cosmetics. Their site is definitely worth checking out.

the original designer of the Tonebender, Gary Hurst, has a custom version of the MKI. You can find it on Ebay, but they aren't cheap.

I tried to read as much as possible about the various Benders before I had one built. You can go on the DIY effects sites and get quite a bit of info.
the trick to these simple circuits is using good components, getting the transistors matched, and dialing out any harshness.
for my clone, I ordered the parts from Small Bear, and the board from General Guitar Gadgets. I did a version of the 2 knob Sola Sound MKII.
there were at least 3 versions of the original Tonebender, and some pedals follow different variations.

still, the answer to the original question though, is to get a used pedal - either the SoulBender or one of the other versions.

IMO, the 'Benders' are the best fuzzes - more musical and a little easier to control than the 'Faces'. Just IMHO though. :)
 

meterman

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7,902
If you get a Soulbender, try and find one that was built after 8/01/01. Mike made some mods to the circuit (volume pot and bias resistor I think) during 7/01 that really improved the pedal tremendously IMHO.

The Soulbender is a MkIII type, I also have the McBroom Bender Over Under which is a tweaked MkII type. Both very cool, similar in some ways but different in others, hard to say which I prefer....the BOU is more raw & aggressive, also cleans up way better at the guitar though and has a wide range of dirt tones this way. The SB is smoother, has the tone knob, and has a wider range of gain available at the pedal but cleans up less well at the guitar, if that makes any sense. Both cool.....

The kits at BYOC are real easy to build if you've done any kind of electronics work, it couldn't get any easier actually! I built the Phase90 clone and it works/sounds pretty good.

Another option for a MkII type is the Lola from Retro-Man. I've only heard clips of this one but he's got some cool tweaks to the MkII circuit and I have two of his other fuzzes (Sybil and Scram) that sound excellent and are extremely well built. He may be my favorite builder these days, can't wait for his MkIII fuzz to be ready!!
 

Last Nerve

Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart.
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Originally posted by RickB
Try and find a used BENT made by Bob McBroom. If not, check out his regular production model - Bender Over Under.
Wiser words were never spoken. :D
 

jgyn

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5,528
I have a Soul-Bender that I like...

What type of Tone Bender did Jeff Beck use on 'Truth'?
 

loosegroove

Member
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208
Hey Guys. Thanks for the replies. I guess a Fulltone SoulBender it is, unless I can find a Bent or OverUnder. The DAM and Proanalog are out of my price range.

Gary, thanks for the PM. Maybe once I become a Tonebender conoisseur like yourself, I'll have one built.
 

jordanL

Member
Messages
1,479
Originally posted by RickB
Try and find a used BENT made by Bob McBroom. If not, check out his regular production model - Bender Over Under.
electronically theres no difference, the Bent comes in a larger box- I emailed Bob whne I saw a bent for sale a few weeks ago. I have a BOU, Killer pedal-Bob makes great stompers.
 




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