With the business affected by C-19 I've had to refocus some attention to things I can do and put time into. I'm always busy, and have plenty to do but with the shop essentially closed there are things that would normally take up a lot of time currently taking up very little. This has given me some time to work on some ideas I've wanted to do for a while.
While I'm still struggling to find time to do everything I want to do, there have been some pedal ideas I've had sitting on the shelf for a while waiting for the inspiration and time to do them. There's a few coming up but this was one I've wanted to do for a while.
While I tend to concentrate most of my pedal building efforts on drive pedals, Boosts, Overdrives, Distortions and Fuzzes because, well, that's what I love there have always been variations on these that I've wanted to explore a little more.
One of my favourite fuzzes is the 60's Mosrite Fuzzrite which is a GREAT simple "sausage sizzle" fuzz. It's the first fuzz I ever built back in the late 90's and it's been a constant in my range ever since. With originals getting into silly price territory and the basis of the actual circuit being well known it was time to "play with the theme"
While the original silicon version is my favourite (I actually don't really like the germanium ones I've played) and knowing what makes it tick it was fairly simple to start modding the circuit do different things.
This of course has been done before by many but no-one is really reinventing the wheel when it comes to simple 2 transistor fuzzes. We're all just putting our spin on it and like all custom effects builders around the world, just making our own favourite version of any given vintage circuit.
I made a prototype which I sent to a friend in Melbourne to use and then refined the idea from there. I actually had the Buzz Boost ready before the Murder Hornet and had asked Tone to do artwork for it. Shortly after he contacted me and said "I have an idea for the artwork for a nasty, buzzy fuzz, do you have a circuit you could use?" I figured I could cut down the boost side of the Buzz Boost and modify it slightly so I said "YES", and the Murder Hornet was born.
Then I kept refining the Buzz Boost a little until I was happy with it. I'd messed around with this idea before, essentially doing to the Fuzzrite what Zvex did to the Fuzz Face in the Fuzz Factory but it took a while to get all the settings where I wanted them.
So, the Buzz Boost is a modified Buzzrite as the main fuzz section with nearly every component changed somehow. I've always used carefully selected low hFE transistors in my Buzzrites but for this circuit I just went the other way and used high gain BC549s as I wasn't going to "subtle" in this one.
I've added a gate which moves voltages around of the 2nd transistor which in this circuit is a sort of "blend" back into the first stage, so it interacts with the 1st transistor as well. This takes the original fuzz to a starved, spluttery, nasty spitty fuzz and everywhere in between. In certain positions you get a synth style single note buzz and in others a crackly attack with no sustain. I have added a gate "shape" to this gate which changes the attack and decay of the gate.
In the main fuzz section I have also added a bass switch which takes the fuzz from nasty "tin of bees" much like the first Stooges album, to a fuller, more open fuzz with less gain and compression. It warms things up considerably on some settings.
There's also a fuzz shape which moves the tops and bottoms of the signal around and like the other 3 mini toggle switches, changes the mood of the fuzz depending on where the other 2 switches are set.
The fuzz has volume, depth and gate pots and all of this feeds into a full linear boost section that can be used separately, or after the fuzz to make it VERY loud. This is my standard single transistor boost with no bottom end scooping for maximum loudness.
Both sections can be used individually or cascaded into each other.
They're all hand made here by me in my custom made stainless steel enclosures with artwork by Tone. They all use standard BOSS style 9V input and no batteries.
The first batch here will be on the site tomorrow with more coming as I get time. Always more Tym effects coming when I get time. There's some new and old treats coming soon to stay tuned if you're interested.