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Advice on MkII Tonebender clones?

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  • Advice on MkII Tonebender clones?

    Okay - I'm long overdue to add a MkII - which MkII 'bender clone has the best bang for the bucks? What's the "best" or most authentic sounding one currently on the market? Which one do you have? Insert all the usual questions here - what pedals do you recommend I check out?

    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    i still recommend the BYOC bender, haven't looked somewhere else since, altough i haven't used it much lately, as there is somewehere a bad contact or so and i haven#t find out where to fix it...

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    • #3
      Thanks Tele - do you remember what type of transistors you're using in yours? Are they silicon or germanium?

      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #4
        if i remember correctly the kit came with "vintage" oc75 transistors, and a short google says they are PNP germanium transistors, PNP they are for sure, as the pedals does not like daisy chaining with others because of negativ polarity (if you know a bit electronics you know why PNP is the reason)

        but i never cared if they are germanium or silicon

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        • #5
          Given the number of clones made, I'm surprised by just how few MKII's are made. There are countless numbers of other drive pedals. Tube screamers which are far more complex and expensive to build can be bought as low a $25, but the cloners don't touch any of the MK versions unless they charge $100 or more for some reason. They only use 2~3 transistors and you can still buy the original germanium for $1 each. $10 in parts and you have a pedal.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by t_e_l_e View Post
            if i remember correctly the kit came with "vintage" oc75 transistors, and a short google says they are PNP germanium transistors, PNP they are for sure, as the pedals does not like daisy chaining with others because of negativ polarity (if you know a bit electronics you know why PNP is the reason)

            but i never cared if they are germanium or silicon
            You can always install a charge pump to take care of the power issues... if I build one, that's what I'm probably going to do.

            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
              Given the number of clones made, I'm surprised by just how few MKII's are made. There are countless numbers of other drive pedals. Tube screamers which are far more complex and expensive to build can be bought as low a $25, but the cloners don't touch any of the MK versions unless they charge $100 or more for some reason. They only use 2~3 transistors and you can still buy the original germanium for $1 each. $10 in parts and you have a pedal.
              The original MkII Professional used OC81D's - good luck finding those for a dollar a piece. Even OC75's and AC125's are going to cost you more than that today. And you still have to go through them (or buy pre-tested ones) to get the correct gain, leakage, etc.

              By the time you factor in knobs, case, paint / labels, perfboard (or a pre-made PCB or the materials to etch your own PCB), jacks, pots, and the various other parts (caps / resistors / trim pot), I'd say you're looking at closer to ~$50 to DIY. And that's if you value your time that it takes to make it at $0.

              But I agree - it's curious / interesting that so few clones of the MkII are made, and that the prices for them tend to be fairly high.

              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #8
                Just read an article in Distortion LTD today about the Solar Bender V3 by Magnetic Effects...I have yet to see one, but you might be able to get one for a review
                The designer, Christian Livingstone, says he has solved the inline issues [like not being 'buffer friendly'] from his original version [which had a reverse polarity circuit], and now his new version [not a clone], the V3 is coming on the market. The older versions run around 120-140 used.

                I liked the Fulltone Soul Bender [they are just recently getting to under $100 used] it does a very credible MKII dirt/fuzz, and sincerely regret selling my Sola Sound unit way back when [they are going for ~$400 now!]
                "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

                Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!'

                "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively" ~Bob Marley

                Solipsism is the new empiricism. -Alan Burdick

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                • #9
                  Check out the JDM Tonemaster - a Rangemaster and Tonebender clone in one pedal. 149 bucks. And the latest version has a pregain cut switch to reduce the fuzz - great for those like me who like to leave the guitar's vol control full up.
                   
                  Last edited by Juicy Elk Man; 09-15-2018, 07:29 PM.
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                  • #10
                    The Rangemaster (and EQ) in front of the fuzz sure give it a lot more flexibility - thanks for the suggestion Juicy Elk Man!
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment

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