Stephen Douglas Design Rustic - user reviews?

edgie

Member
Messages
1,891
Hi guys, I have the Leona and I'm very impressed by it. I use it as a pseudo fuzz face.

I'm wondering about the Rustic too since it was designed to be a modded fuzz face. It seems to have the right features based on the info and vid. I'm curious what transistors were used, if they are tempermental, and how is the noise floor, etc. I was thinking some of us here bought a unit during the holiday sale yet until now I can't find a dedicated thread which is not the demo thread.

Background: I had the Retroman Cybil before and I remember really liking its combined silicon and germanium traits -- enough gain, tighter lows and sweetly rounded treble, nice cleanup. My only issue was the noise floor and size.

I tried the Analogman Sunface NKT 275 with sundial before and I was underwhelmed. I feel it's box-y for my taste.

The Analogman BC109 didn't really float my boat as I didn't find it to have many shades of gain with the volume knob of the guitar as the other germanium fuzz faces I tried.

Had the Mojohand Crosstown twice too. 1st unit sounded nice but I can't have that mixture of wooliness and openness of the Cybil and the labels were illegible. The Pink version for some reason wasn't as dynamic and sounded box-y. Not sure why, maybe the transistors.(?) As far as features are concerned, I think this is the closest to the Rustic.

I also tried the Jam Fuzz Phrase. It sounds sustainy and gain is just enough but it's too dark and crumbly that you can't almost do chords. I wish there's a bias and sag/bass knob.

So there you have it, all the fuzz faces I had so far. I used them all before an overdriven MIAB(60's-70's flavor of gain)pedal.
 

sparky_8

Member
Messages
662
I can answer a couple questions and leave it open for others to chime in.

Transistors vary a bit, but are typically 2N404A. I've been using newer production transistors and have found minimal noise issues. Any gain device as you know will have some noise, but again, I've found it to be minimal. As for temp sensitivity, all germanium devices have some. Using newer production transistors I've noticed a bit less of this issue as well. It's still there, but doesn't seem as drastic. If you leave it in a hot car or in direct sunlight it will need to cool back down before it sounds right again.
 

edgie

Member
Messages
1,891
Thanks for answering. I'm always expecting a bit of noise in fuzzes so no problem on that one as long as it's not excessive. I feel that if fuzzes won't have that slight noise, they are not going have that feel that distinguishes them from distortion. I mostly play indoors so I won't have problem with that too.
 

fred_

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
878
Well, I have one and like it a lot. I have had a few other FF types, and it is easily on par with those (Arcane Analog Si/Ge, Swaptronics Ge, Monsterpiece Ge and Scratchy Snatch, prob a couple others i can't think of right now. ha.). It has more adjustability (more knobs!) and can get a bit warmer, but also kind of spitty, if you want. It's pretty dang quiet; I don't even think about noise when i stomp on it: i just don't notice it. The sag/power control is nice; to me it not only affects volume but also tone. It's a great pedal, and Stephen is an underrated builder (at least, you don't see much talk about his stuff on TGP. At least i don't). I just got his Carter 'muff' and it's also killer. I had the Leona, and it was too bright and gain-y for my set-up. Also had a Green Shadow, and should not have sold that one, as i did not give myself enough time to experiment with it. Seriously thinking of picking up another one of those!

Anyway, don't know if that helps... oh yeah, fwiw, i play mostly at home: G & L guitars into Vox type amp. Let me know if you have any more questions edgie, and i can try to answer them.
 

edgie

Member
Messages
1,891
Thanks so much for your feedback. It's nice to know that it also works well with a Vox amp.

I like the Leona but I agree with you on the brightness so I set the tone to just 9 o clock.

Will be ordering the Rustic soon. :)
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,693
I recorded this Rustic a while back along with a few other ff type pedals. Skip to 2:00 if you don't want to hear them or browse my SC for more [bad] fuzz clips.


The stuff I used in this clip:
Basic Audio Solar Myth
DIY AC128 Fuzz Face (which wasn't 100%)
Zvex Fuzz Probe
Stephen Douglas Designs Rustic Fuzz
1959 Gibson Melody Maker 3/4
Adam Stark Funk Motor
1978 Marshall 4x12
Heil PR-30
Buzz Audio Elixir
Lynx Aurora AD/DA
 

Haunting Mids

Member
Messages
2,967
I have been owning one for about a month or so and I really like the Rustic.
It's no monster of gain but it sounds very full and the bass frequencies are very controlled.
It's a FF that behaves well. It's pretty silent for this kind of fuzz.
The bias control is useful, you can make it a scratchy FF.
The SAG knob is very subtle, at least with hum buckers. I have to try it with single coils.
I love chords through my Rustic.
A safe bet. Unless you need a FF that dwells more on the gainy side.
 

edgie

Member
Messages
1,891
Thanks again guys. Another question, do you use a psu or a battery clip to power it? I saw the gut shot and just found out it's like the Leona where there is no space for battery. For some reason, Leona is just fine and sounds the same(to my ears) for both methods of powering so I power it with a Cioks DC10(100mA output). Not sure with a Fuzz Face type of circuit though.
 

TAVD

Guitar Player
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,693
I use a 9v battery or a One Spot since many of my pedals aren't on a pedalboard. I soldered a 9v battery lead to a 2.1mm plug for battery use so I don't wipe out all the negative ground pedals powered by the One Spot.
 




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