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tonebender MKI / MKII differences?

soul1

Member
Messages
151
can anyone tell me what the sonic differences are between MKI and MKII tonebenders? both have germanium transistors, correct? I tried listening to sounds online but couldn't really tell much of a difference.
 

imguitardan

Member
Messages
3,983
I know you want a simple answer. I've asked/researched this question many times here and I always get the same answer so I still don't really know but I'll send you where others are sent where thee is tones of info...

http://www.stompboxes.co.uk/History.html

Maybe some one will have mercy on us and give us a simple two sentence answer.:dunno
 

soul1

Member
Messages
151
I know you want a simple answer. I've asked/researched this question many times here and I always get the same answer so I still don't really know but I'll send you where others are sent where thee is tones of info...

http://www.stompboxes.co.uk/History.html

Maybe some one will have mercy on us and give us a simple two sentence answer.:dunno
thats a helpful site, but it doesn't really give an idea of the different tonal characteristics of all the different models. Hopefully someone who knows will chime in.
 

LZ_69

Member
Messages
584
Simply put they're completely different circuits, the mk1 is based off of the Mastro Fuzzone. Listen to Jeff Beck with the Yardbirds and Mick Ronson for an idea of how they sound.

Then there's the mk1.5 cct. that was used in the Vox Tonebenders, it only uses 2 transistors(opposed to 3 with the others) and is simmilar to a Fuzz face. D*a*m 1966 is a modern copy of this

Finally the mk2 is the fuzz most people think of when you mention Tonebenders. Listen to Jimmy Page, and so on...
 

JLee

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,742
The MKI.5 was a Sola Sound circuit. Brief transitional circuit used between the MKI and the MKII. The only reissue of the MKI.5 was the 90s Macari RI of the MKII, which had a MKI.5 circuit instead of an actual MKII circuit. Different from the Vox Tonebender which was made in Italy and not produced by Sola Sound. Thinner, raspier "wasp in a jar" sound, whereas the MKI.5 had more in common with the Fuzz Face. MKI is a raspier, thinner sound than the MKII, but more muscular than the Vox I believe. MKI is more forgiving of amp gain, whereas the MKII can become muddy and over-compressed over an overdriven amp. MKII has more theremin like overtones as the notes sustain and decay and more gain. Beck era Yardbirds for MKI and Page era Yardbirds for MKII.
 

Jumblefingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
856
Well if the DAM MKII and 1966 provide realitic comparisons I can give a subjective description other than the MKI and Mk1.5 use two transistors and the MKII uses three...usually.

The 1966/MK1 or 1.5 has a much more raspy, gritty, ragged around the edges sound and is a bit thinner overall. When you turn back the guitar volume you can get a ragged, thin, cheap-ish ovedive sound that is like a blast from the past and when you put it in front of a good mild OD the combination tone is wonderful...same with a nice tube amp on the verge of breakup.

When full on you can get some really great sustain but each note sounds a bit different and has a variable "bloom" to the attack portion of the notes. The fuzz-tone-per-note changes quite a bit and thus you get more of a dynamic, changing quality. It is not THAT drastic but it does respond to your playing dynamics more than the MKII...to my ears.

The MKII has a three transistors and can get signficantly more sustain when full on. It has a smoother sound charachter overall and a very slightly scooped mid range. Think of ANY lead guitar sound from the Moody Blues and THAT is the sound as well as Led Zep I and II. It has more of a constant tone and singing quality though not like a Big Muff and WAY less bass content that your average Fuzz Face.

As you roll back the volume you also loose a little bit of the bass but because the circuit has more overall gain you can get nice variations in tone. I think of the MKII as the English version of a stong germainum Fuzz Face but again, the sound tends to be more consistent note to note with less grit at high gain.

Hope this helps some...
 

soul1

Member
Messages
151
thanks for the descriptions!

it looks like the MKII is the one I should be going after.
 

allmonochrome

Member
Messages
121
Well if the DAM MKII and 1966 provide realitic comparisons I can give a subjective description other than the MKI and Mk1.5 use two transistors and the MKII uses three...usually.
the 1966 is not the same as a solasound MK1.5, it's a vox tone bender. it's similar in design to the 1.5 but has a lot more treble. the MKI is nothing like the 1.5 and does in fact use 3 transistors.
 

NewarkWilder

Member
Messages
3,674
yup. been said but the easy answer is MKI = raspy brittle and brutal, but still great in its own way. Some say it prefers single coils as opposed to humbuckers. MKII = thicker, more harmonic but still retains a wonderful bite to it. and some say it prefers humbuckers to single coils.

I've tried the D*A*M replicas and loved them both. The MKII is absolutely to die for though (and sounded just fine with my single coils AND humbuckers).
 




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