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In search of a great-sounding Germanium Fuzzface that won't break the bank.


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  • In search of a great-sounding Germanium Fuzzface that won't break the bank.

    I'm interested in buying a really good Germanium fuzzface type pedal, one with real decent quality transistors that cleans up with the turn of the guitar's volume knob.  Real NKT-275s would be nice but aren't too common in most manufacturers pedals due to scarcity.


    I know that Analog Man has the NKT-275 transistors in some of his Sunface pedals but wow, that pedal would run me more then $300!  Not saying it isn't worth it but maybe a bit rich for my blood right now.


    How about a Fulltone '69 Fuzz?  I know that they don't have the NKT-275s but they are Germaniums and probably are close enough in tone. 


    BTW, quite a few years back I was in full-blown DIY build your own pedals mode and bought a pair of NKT-275 transistors from Tom Hughes, the author of "Analog Man's Guide to Vintage Effects".  I figured that I would get the real deal from a guy like him and not end up with a pair of re-branded transistors trying to pass as real NKT-275s.


    He told me the gains of these transistors and they weren't very high, something like 65hfe and 79hfe or something like that.  I told him that they probably weren't high enough gain because most FF pedals had a gain of something like 85hfe for the first stage and 110hfe for the second stage.  He promissed me that despite the numbers, they will work just fine and sound great in my DIY Fuzzface.


    Well, he was right.  My pedal does sound great, fat and fuzzy and kind of has a flute-like tone when dimed.  Pretty cool.  And it does clean up just fine.  But it could be a bit more raspy, so the search continues.....


    I have a good mind to bring my pedal into my local music store and A/B'ing this pedal against the Fulltone '69.


    Any suggestions out there for good fuzzes at reasonable prices?  Maybe the Duncan Eric Johnson Fuzzface?





  • #2

    Well, the Eric Johnson Fuzz Face is Silicon, actually. Just saying. Silicon can sound awesome, too if done right.



    • Burstbucker
      Burstbucker commented
      Editing a comment

      Yeah, I forgot that the EJ was Silicon and you're right, Silicon can sound great too.  I can't argue that point but would the EJ clean up a fair bit when rolling back the volume.

  • #3

    I think the current Dunlop lineup sounds great.

    And then, there's the Minis.