Well, it's been a while in the perfecting (nothing new I hear you say) but I've finally worked out the circuit I'm happy with. You can read about the initial development of this pedal HERE and I left off there saying I needed to find a good supply of transistors that made me happy. Well, I have them, and I have LOTS of them.
I settled on old "tin can" BC108's which have a medium gain but a really nice breakup in this circuit. I've used tin cans before in my 15th Anniversary Ram Head but they were a different type and had a different gain structure and worked nicely in the Ram Head circuit. They were ....... nice in here, as were other tin cans and TO92 style transistors, but they didn't have that ......... whatever it is ?
I fitted these old BC108's and there it was. They have a great gain structure and nice harmonics and a really nice "fuzzy edge" that I really like in this pedal. There's a nice fizz, mainly around the top of the note and less so underneath but it's a really nice ...... FIZZ.
That combined with this being the only fuzz I do with germanium diodes makes for a really nice early seventies "British" fuzz tone just like the original Jumbo Tone Bender. The bottom end is clear and big and has more "flab" than your typical BM circuit but still holds chords together really nicely.
It's a great little circuit closely related to the BM but is substantially different in design and tone to be usable next to your favorite BM for other tones, and that really nice BIG clean bottom end. It reacts really nicely to pick up types and volume rolls, which some BM's don't. The germanium diodes break up differently to the silicon types typically used in BM's and give a smoother, warmer break up. There's also less of them in this circuit as one clipping stage is used as a "boost" instead of clipping so the diode distortion relies entirely on one set of clipping diodes, not two like the BM.This gives a more "open" distortion which almost sounds like the "clean" signal is being mixed in the low end with the clipped mids and upper frequencies. It's kind of like a wet/dry blend with distortion on top of cleans, much like my original Jen Jumbo Fuzzes.
The final version has slightly different artwork than the first batch (can you see it?) as the original plates had slightly out of alignment artwork, which kills Tone who does my designs and it didn't have the all important, to me, MADE IN BRISBANE.
I have enough of these transistors to make these till the end of time so these are not limited edition and will join the Tym effects range and will be available, like all my other pedals, as time permits or as demand is there.