Tym Violet Ram Head

​I guess this one was always coming, I just had to wait until I found the circuit I was really happy with.
The Ram Head is my favourite version of the BM, at least, the version I make is based on my favourite circuit from this varying model that ran throughout the 70's. It has a clarity I like in this circuit and while it doesn't have the mids or bottom end of some other BM's, this clarity is something I like in this classic fuzz/distortion. It's lack of mids and bottoms are partly the reason it is so clear. That and the lower gain transistors I use.



The Violet Ram Head was originally made in about '73/74 and while being considered by some to be a "separate" model to the standard RH, it actually ran simultaneously and with the same circuit as the "standard" red graphic RH as well as several others. It's basically a similar graphic to the "red",  that was printed in purple (or violet) on the standard enclosure. There are also some rarer black, blue and red (yep, red violets) versions around but the insides are the same, within the companies quality control. Because of this rarity, and some myth making over the years, the "Violet Ram Head" has become legendary amongst collectors and fuzz connoisseurs.

There are several different circuits used in these versions all based on the same RH circuit and like all their products from this period, they are very inconsistent in component values and types.
This circuit in this one is one I traced out years ago and when I decided to look into this version a little more I found some very similar circuits listed online and started to experiment with values to find a sweet one in amongst the variations.

 

This new Tym RH is very similar to my standard RH, just like the originals, but has a few key component changes, especially in the tone stack and the middle two clipping gain stages.
This gives it a very similar tone and gain structure but with more mids and tight bottom end while keeping the clarity relatively intact. The mid scoop, as present on all BM's is less pronounced giving this a slightly "fuller" sound.

 

As I was messing around with the circuit I decided to try my favourite transistors just to see how it worked. I have a good stock of these NOS "tin can" BC108's that I use in my Tym Bender and a few other special BM variant circuits and I thought I'd see how it sounded in these.
The old BC108's have a nice "crackle" or "fizzle" to the top end I really like and being a medium gain transistor, they have more gain than my usual RH, thickening up this circuit a little more.

 

Since the inspiration was taken from what's generally known as the second version of the Violet Ram Head with a few component changes and using these transistors, which technically no BM was ever offered with, I decided to make a new version of the artwork as well. I figured the "violet" artwork would work well and there's a mention of those transistors on the outside, so you know what's driving this version.



I'm a huge fan of the RH. I keep flipping between the Civil War and the RH every time I play one or the other but the RH always seem to impress me with everything from lead to chords. It has great harmonics and despite being a "lower gain" version, still has plenty of volume and gain on tap. If you already have one of my RH's, I wouldn't say you need one of these too. It's similar with the aforementioned differences and sits in between other BM's I make. Not as "big" as the Civil War but slightly "bigger" than the standard RH.

These will be available this week through the site and in the shop.

See more about my Big Muds HERE.

Jul 24 2015 Written By: Tim Brennan