Lately, with COVID-19 taking over the world I've been too distracted and busy to keep up my usual charity pedals and ideas so I asked Tone to design me something special so I'd be .... excited about making it.
This is my version of the great ACETONE FM3 which is of course an early Japanese BM influenced circuit. The original had a "boost" inserted into the circuit between the first and second gain stages which you could (unfortunately only) switch between boost or fuzz. I say unfortunately because I personally would have liked the boost gain stage to "add" to the BM and make it thicker, but then, Acetone made some of the greatest stuff around and eventually turned into Roland so who am I to judge?
Acetone was started in Japan in 1960 and made, well, nearly everything electronic for the music industry. Their list included pianos, synths, organs, effects and drum machines as well as both guitar and bass amps. I own and have owned many of their amps, effects and drum machines and the design and quality is always exceptional.
I've had this idea of making the fuzz/sustain side of this circuit for a while although a modified version of the full circuit is coming, maybe. I have a prototype here of the full version with the boost stage switchable into the circuit like I always wanted it, so that may become a Tym effect one day?
This Tym Fuzz Sanitizer uses NOS 2N3904 transistors that I bought many years ago and have been waiting for a special project to use them in. There's nothing particularly special bout these transistors except they're old, they test great, and they're here. And it turns out they sound great.
This Tym version follows the original distortion circuit and jumps from the switch that would normally shift to the boost so it's essentially an FM3 with the switch in the FUZZ setting. This is a 4 stage transistor gain circuit based on the original Big Muff with key components in the gain stages and tone sections removed or replaced with different values.
I don't have an FM3 here to compare it with as Stephen O'Malley bought my last one when he toured here last year but this is how I remember it sounding. I've owned a few of them over the years and they do vary slightly but more because of component drift (and previous repairs) than inconsistencies in builds. The Japanese electronics manufacturers were always much more consistent with QC than some US manufacturers so vintage Japanese effects tend to sound much the same as the others in the model range.
This circuit while still being a really nice, full fuzz is not as "thick" as a BM but lots of great harmonics and just a little bit of crackle on the edges. Very vintage Japanese sounding. Both the FM2 and 3 are great vintage Japanese fuzzes in the same way that the Shen-ei/Companion FY2 and 6 (Superfuzz) are although the later became more famous due to the Univox connection.
These will be available in batches of FIVE as long as the shop is closed (unless we don't reopen) and are $280 with $140 from each going to charity. The charities will be named for each batch. That's 50% for humans who need it and 50% to try and keep this place open.
The first 5 will be released next week on the site with no fanfare. They will continue to be put up be when they're available and hopefully people will stumble onto them and help out some people that need it.
Be safe. Be sensible. Support each other.