NOS Shin-ei Companion FY-2
This little gem fell into my lap recently and what a thing of beauty, especially for someone who loves old Japanese fuzz pedals.
A friend who I hadn't heard from in over 10 years contacted me out of the blue and said he had a guitar and pedal that a friend of his had given to him. He wanted to keep the guitar but wondered if I'd be interested in the fuzz pedal. His friend had been given the contents of a musical instrument shop that had closed down west of Brisbane years ago and been put in storage. His friend wanted the brass, woodwind, classical and percussion stuff but had no interest in the guitar and pedal. The guitar was an early 70's Japanese Les Paul Special copy, probably by Sakai or similar and still had the plastic on the scratchplate and pickups. It looks like it had never been sold.
The fuzz pedal was the same. An early 70's Shin-ei Companion Fuzz Master FY-2 in it's plastic bag, in it's original box with manual. How could I possibly say no ...
I'm a huge fan of this little circuit and have made several different versions over the years like my Fuzzilla and Duo Fuzzilla, and my current Fuzz Box FY-2, and a slightly different take on this circuit in the Spitting Cobra among others.
It's a great little nasty fuzz circuit introduced in the late 60's in Japan with the FY-2 indicating 2 transistors to drive this little box into distortion. While I own quite a few Shin-ei and Companion fuzzes, including one of these it was impossible to say no to owning a NOS one nearly 50 years after it was released into the wild to sit in a shop here in Queensland for all those years.
The original box is a little worn and the manual has discolouration and marks from sitting around for years but is all still there. I love the informative diagram of the parts of the pedal and the HOW TO PLAY section with "(3) Push button switch on top, cuts SUPER FUZZ, either in or out of the circuit" and the "Handle with care because machine is delicate"
The Japanese date stamp on the bottom is 48. 10 which would indicate Oct 1973.
I haven't even plugged the pedal in yet as I feel kinda bad being the person to defile it after all these years. Just opening the plastic bag and taking a peak into the circuit felt like sacrilege and, I know what they sound like, but, I will plug it in and compare it to my other one when I have time to sit down with a cup of tea and make some nasty compressed fuzz, maybe with something like a Tokai Hummingbird into an Acetone SA combo with an ELK tape delay? That should be fun.
Along with the pedal I was also given a box of NOS Japanese guitar knobs as used by Teisco in the late 60's/early 70's which is another wonderful thing to have here.