As anyone who hangs around here knows the Mosrite Fuzzrite was the first pedal I ever made. Being Mosrite obsessed and thinking I'd never own a real one, I made one, which is pretty much the same story as the guitars. I have since owned a few (and more than a few guitars) originals and it's one of my favourite fuzzes, and probably my favourite 2 knob "wedge" fuzz ever.
Now I know this is controversial in the vintage fuzz world but as I've mentioned many times, give me silicon over germanium any day when it comes to fuzz. I prefer the silicon versions of most (or all) vintage fuzzes over the germanium versions for these sixties "sausage sizzle" fuzzes. To my ear, they're more consistent and have a nicer "fizz" which is what I want in this type of pedal.
The BUZZrite (or Fuzzrite) needs no introduction around here. I've written about my early versions and the 20th anniversary version I made a couple of years ago and about my personal favourite FUZZrite made by Ed Sanner himself.
With virus lockdowns I've decided to make a few pedals I've been wanting to make for a while. I made a prototype one of these last year and took it to the shop for people to try out. It had a push/pull pot for the boost switch in one of my standard portrait enclosures but I had always wanted to make a run with the original battery switch, except, I don't use batteries so it made perfect sense to make this the boost switch.
The circuit is essentially the same as my 20th anniversary version and uses carefully picked NOS "tin can" 2N3053 transistors which are lower gain than the ones used in my standard BUZZrite. These lower gain transistors give a better clean up if you roll the DEPTH or guitar volume back. The circuit itself is the same as really, there's not much you can do to this beautifully simple circuit to make it better. It's perfect as it is.
While the BUZZrite (and FUZZrite) has never lacked volume when cranked I also made these enclosures for another one of my favourite "wedge fuzzes", the wonderful Shen-ei/Companion FY2 (more on them soon) which does lack volume when engaged so I figured why not make both and make this go from a beautiful sixties fuzz to an over the top sixties fuzz, 'cause, well it's always more fun right?
The BUZZrite is a simple 2 transistor circuit and in this Deluxe version I have added a switchable single transistor gain stage after the BUZZrite circuit to kick it into more volume without really affecting the original tone.
This took a bit of messing around with values and transistors but my aim was to make the fuzz sound the same when the boost is engaged and the same volume as the original circuit and as you wind it way past the original volume it fills out just slightly, and of course gets much louder.
The boost is engaged with the original battery switch now labelled BOOST so you can leave it on and run the effect intact as an original BUZZrite or wind the volume up, or, switch it out and have a completely standard BUZZrite.
The extra volume works well with the DEPTH control wound back, which would normally mean a slight loss of volume but you can now balance this back out and run the fuzz on lower gain settings but with plenty of volume.
The enclosures are hand made stainless steel from my design and are basically the same enclosure I use for other pedals with the knobs, jacks and 9V input moved to look more like an original FUZZrite. I love the look of these 60's wedge fuzzes even though sometimes they're not that practical on a board, but then, they weren't on boards back in the 60's.
This BUZZrite deluxe also doesn't have an LED just like the original. You know when a FUZZrite is on.
I'm not reinventing the wheel here. This wheel was perfect when Ed designed it and I'm no electronics guy who can improve on perfection, but, I'm just making one of my favourite pedals and little more .... fun, because, louder is always more fun.