Tonebender Mk1 gain amount

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by morgan918, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

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    I realized that my life was empty without a TB Mk1 so I picked up a Manlay Ronno Bender. It does that sound really well, but it seems super gainy. I've been running it with the gain at zero basically, and I still use my vol knob to really get a handle on it. Are Mk1's supposed to be that gainy?
     
  2. stonecabin

    stonecabin Member

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    Mine tend to be, especially my Faceless FX De Sade, that thing could rip your skin off!
     
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  3. coltonius

    coltonius SeƱor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    The "Gain knob" is actually a Bias on the MKI. I've noticed several builders blindly follow the schematic and drop a 50k pot in that position when a 10k or a 25k pot would accomplish the same thing in terms of max gain and give a much wider sweep of the "lower" gain range.

    The Faceless De Sade truly is the pinnacle of MKI for me. It's got plenty of high end and mids, which make it actually useful in a live situation. The Soar and Sore knobs really take it from gated velcro to smooth, and the negative ground (NPN) Germanium transistors mean it can be safely daisy chained- if you're into that kind of thing.
     
  4. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    I am also a huge Faceless FX Marquis/ De Sade proponent. I own and love both and they bring me gobs of joy. Those and my Ghost 2065 and my BA Marq Won get LOTs of rotation. Also love the BA Supa Mk.1 and Jimmy Behan Supa Mk.1 I have. A little more gain and a nice thick mid-range. The hi cut knob is Supa useful.

    I really love my De Sade and Marq Won for their hi cutability.
     
  5. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

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    I'll have to check out the De Sade. I was tempted on the BA version, I have his supa fuzz clone and love it. But I went with the Ronno Bender because it didn't have all the extra controls and seemed more faithful to the original design.

    Are you guys using the guitar volume to control it? It works so well with my 74 and the original T-Tops.
     
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  6. stonecabin

    stonecabin Member

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    To a degree, I use the De Sade as a cutting, sustaining fuzz, it really is an excellent pedal. I also have an amazing Blackstrap Electrik Red Sam. It's slightly warmer than the De Sade, with a touch less gain, but still puts out a massive, sustaining, crackly distortion. I love them both and are probably my favourite fuzz circuit.
     
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  7. 2tone

    2tone Silver Supporting Member

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    I have lowered the pot values on lots of fuzzes, MK1 and mk2, mk3,s. Also put resistors into the volume pot feed. Too many modern fuzzes are WAY too loud. The old fuzzes seem to be tamer, including FF and MK1 which used different values. I guess builders succumb to the people who like tons of output, which kills it for me. I want a wide sweep, more useable volume.
     
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  8. misa

    misa Silver Supporting Member

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    A Maestro FZ-1A derived pedal may also be worth a look. They generally have a bit less gain and less sustain than a Mk1.
     
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  9. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

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    I like the FZ-1A but IMO it has a pretty different character than a TB. Killer pedals though.
     
  10. JWLee

    JWLee Supporting Member

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    I always thought MK1's beauty comes from that gritty gain + slight overtone harmonics comes from that gain.
    If you want to tame down a bit, use guitar's volume knob.
     
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  11. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Member

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    My mk1 clone from Monsterpiece has plenty of gain just as you describe. Out of control in the best kind of way. A Mk1 calls the shots.
     
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  12. Lung plunger

    Lung plunger Member

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    Run a mkl into a fuzz face circuit and see what happens. You'd think it'd be too much, but my Marquis into a Sound Distorter is heaven and by far my favorite sound right now. It's like a full bodied bowie knife.
     
  13. kinvhs

    kinvhs Member

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    If I want to tame saturation on a mk 1 I roll the tone on guitar almost off and then find a nice bias/volume combination. In some weather it just doesn't work. Like now. My experience is limited to these:
    Ghost 2065 is warm with some cleanup, De Sade is evil with no cleanup, Williams is rocknroll with some cleanup and BA Supa is rich with little cleanup.
    By cleanup, I mean it doesn't turn to mangled cardboard and retains some polyphonic ability.
    And I never seem to like it with minimal gain (bias). I'd rather roll guitar off more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  14. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    it's a certain level of gain but it's tasty old school gain, sorta like a dimed Marshall feel. Talking about my De Sade but also many other mk1s. The gain does not reduce clarity on notes or chords. And as far as my De Sade, it is with a very guitar friendly midrange and sweet highs.

    To my ear, leaving the gain in helps you have more versatility in fuzz effects. That lets you make the most of the bias knobs, and guitar controls.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  15. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

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    Yeah, i'm definitely working the volume control with good results. Just curious if they're all that gainy.
     
  16. songtalk

    songtalk Member

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    I'd say no. They're all different. If you want one that's slightly lower gain a builder can select transistors and values for certain parts of the circuit that make it lower gain. In most Mk.1s the gain is fixed and the attack changes the gating.
     
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  17. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    You articulated the main point well here IMO.

    It's not so much that the gain is always high, as it is that the gain is always fixed.

    IMHO, by fixing the gain you free up the other functions and tones that an mk1 can deliver. So there is a reason for it.

    It's different than a fuzzface, which is all about variable gain, but then you lack some of the other things.

    I would want at least one of each kind of fuzz, to thoroughly enjoy what fuzzes do.

    When you play a good fixed gain fuzz, it's more like playing a different instrument IMO. So if you play a horn, for example, it's always gonna sound like a horn, but then you get the extra versatility intrinsic to that new instrument.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  18. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

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    Super interesting stuff. Thanks for all the detail. I like the analogy of it as a horn that does interesting extra stuff.
     
  19. jimijimmyjeffy

    jimijimmyjeffy Member

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    Speaking of fuzz combos, I've been running a bright Fuzzrite into an mk1, which strikes me as "faux Fender Blender".

    The Fuzzrite also is tremendous into lots of amp gain, akin to a treble booster -- really warms up the brash trebly thing, exactly like a treble booster does into a cranked amp. Haven't heard anyone discuss this, but it is a thing, trust me.
     
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