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I built a Fuzzrite


Mr.Grumpy
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IMG_2298_zpsb3qdtxgn.jpg

 

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I highly recommend this as a DIY project if you're so inclined. The silicon version of the Fuzzrite is easy to build, uses common, easy to find transistors, and doesn't need biasing or trimpots or any of that nonsense. :) The other reason I recommend this is because the Fuzzrite is so very different from every other fuzz that you should experience the Fuzzrite madness for yourself. :lol: It's really an amazing circuit, and very interactive with your guitar's pickups and playing. A whole new world of weird and wacky fuzz sounds can be coaxed out of this box. With some palm muting it sounds like a blurpy synthesizer, especially with a little chorus pedal. Set the fuzz pedal around 10 o'clock, roll back the guitar's volume a bit, and I get a lovely "glassy" overdrive tone. With guitar volume up all the way, you can hear an up-octave overtone, and some notes 'bloom' - get louder - as they sustain.

 

Turning the fuzz control up to 3 o'clock yeilds the classic "treble bomb" garage fuzz sound. Lots of glitchiness too. Oh yeah, this thing is useless for playing chords, even power chords turn into a bucket of sludgy mush.

 

It's definitely a quirky pedal, I don't know how usable it will be in a band situation, but I'm going to try it out. If I ever figure out how to post a video but with an actual recording mic on the guitar amp, I may make a demo vid.

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I found the schematic and other useful info at freestompboxes.org. They have schematics for both the earlier Germanium transistor version and the later silicon transistor version. I can read schematics, so I made my own 'layout' on some radioshack perf board. When I started my intent was to sort of re-created the encapsulated fuzz module that's in some Fuzzrites, but once I got it working it just seemed silly to 'goop' it.

 

Here's a schematic I drew, this is a little easier to read (for me) and helps me understand what makes the Fuzzrite so unique. My unit has one modification from the stock circuit, I used a 0.0068 mfd capacitor for C3 the 'output cap' from the first fuzz stage. Helps fatten up the low end and boost the volume at lower settings on the fuzz control. I didn't have a 350K pot so I used a 500 K pot.

 

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A few notes on the schematic:

Vbb = + 9 volts power. This pedal is standard, negative ground. Signal flow is from left (input) to right (output).

Transistors Q1 and Q2 are any medium gain NPN silicon transistors. I used plastic case 2N2222s, I've read that 2N3904 work well too. The original Fuzzrite used all ceramic caps, my build used a mixture of film and ceramics.

 

Bypass switching and power filter cap and polarity protection aren't shown on this schematic - but are on my build. I used a 100 ohm resistor, and reversed diode for polarity protection.

Edited by Mr.Grumpy
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