why does my fuzz sound nastier with the tone rolled off?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jumpchamp, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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    noticed this the other day. if i roll the guitar tone off all the way, my NOC3 BC108 fuzz sounds downright nasty and filthy. this is a good thing, mind you :)

    i'm just curious as to the, well, i guess physics behind it. could there be some sort of phase cancellation going on when tone is all the way up?

    even though it's nastier, it's still clear. doesn't sound 'dull' in anyway.

    thoughts, answers, theories?
     
  2. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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  3. wildschwein

    wildschwein Member

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    Good luck - I posted a technical fuzz question the other day about a diy fuzz circuit and got no response at all. Everyone seems to be able to buy pedals here and talk about them but it appears they don't seem to know how they work - which is bad 'cause I have much to learn about pedal electronics.

    I notice that you've got BC108 in the name of your fuzz box, so I assume the trasistors are BC108 - those are just plain nasty sounding, in a good saturated silicon type of way. But I'm not sure why they would sound even nastier with your guitar tone down. Just thinking aloud, but I guess it would have something to do with the way the fuzz circuit is amplifying your sound with the highs rolled off - not as much treble is getting through so the transistors are working on a more bass-heavy sound.
     
  4. sandman

    sandman Member

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    Same thing happens with my Huckleberry which iz a Ge/Si hybrid Fuzzface with Muff tonestack...I was told it's not uncommon and I love it!
     
  5. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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    yep, definitely has the bc108 si transistors in it. i know these are supposed to be nasty anyways :)

    i'm assuming the same thing, just that the way the signal is being amplified/changed that rolling off the top end reshapes the waveform as such that just makes it MEAN.

    no matter, time to go play some sludgy riffs...
     
  6. Ohzoso

    Ohzoso Member

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    Can you post a clip?
     
  7. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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  8. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    For the record, I understand and have breadboarded some fuzzes, understand the theory of operation, but I am no fuzz expert, but...
    there are PLENTY of well known and lesser known experts, pedalmakers of reknown and techies here on TGP.

    It's the luck of the draw though, sometimes a question is too vague, sometimes the post comes out, and gets shuffled down before someone notices it, etc. Best to just bump it a few times, or reword or supply more info.

    Generally, a fuzz sets up bias on transistors so they "over amplify" the signal, topping out of their normal operating range...so the signal looks flat on top and bottom (and in real life...also doesn't look anything like a sine wave even with injecting a semi-pure tone into one...it distorts the signal in several ways) which causes it to sound fuzzed. When you roll off the treble, I am guessing here, bass becomes more prominent and bass is usually a stronger signal as well as lower frequency. It probabl has more to do with resonance of the circuit, because I am guessing you are referring to the sound that almost sounds like a wah with the heel down (cocked position), which is similar to what happens here I think. Almost getting some "octave" sounding...when hitting two notes, sound.

    Sorry I can't be more clear, but I am not an expert and haven't thought or experimented on it enough to be sure of what I am writing here.
    But just theoretically, I think it has to do with the circuits resonance, the bleed of treble leaving just more powerful but also less definied notes for the fuzz to do its' thing to, and the fuzz is set up normaly for a "normal" sounding guitar input, designed to flatten out the signal of that, but is getting a completely different signal into it. Try this...get it at it's nastiest and then turn off the fuzz...most likely you will hear a huge drop in volume, but also some of what the fuzz is getting as input and I bet it sounds...in the ballpark though cleaner of what you get out of the fuzz.
     
  9. jumpchamp

    jumpchamp Member

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    SBB,

    very cool, thank you! that all makes sense to me.

    and just to interject - this NOC3 fuzz is very cool. i've gone through a few fuzzes, and this is the one that's been working out for me. it cleans up SOOO well, you could really do a whole gig with just this pedal as your dirt source if need be. roll back guitar volume to about 7-8 and you get a really nice classic rock kind of crunch going on.
     
  10. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    No problem. Thinking more, I really do also think it has to do with the harmonics that get produced, from a source (guitar rolled off treble and mid) that is less "defined" that when treble is up. This is what I meant also by resonance. But it is that "cocked wah" sound right?

    And yeah, some fuzzes more than others are really fantastic at that tone up vol down clean sound that is cleaner-than-clean that reminds me of Hendrixes clean stuff. Fantastic for rythm.

    Fuzzes are great, I love too that the guitar volume changes more gain than volume, gives you lots to work with, and even love getting the Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky" blown speaker sound.

    Fuzzes can have problems cutting through (why though I love many of them that don't have one, I do like when we get some kind of fuzz "tone" controls) exactly because of what I mentioned, that the flat part of the signal is "the top"...which means when fuzzed a lot will be compressed a lot, and that is why it is good to have a boost or OD after it that can boost it up again.

    But a fuzz and wah...into a good amp, can be heaven.
     
  11. sandman

    sandman Member

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    no,no,no...in my experience the tone on yr guitar behaves quite different than usual. somewhere between 1 and 0 you get a jump in presence and actually brighter tone. it only happens on certain setting of the pedal. fun.
     

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