Back on the case

Phew, long time since I’ve done an update as I have been incredibly busy mending stuff for the VEMIA auction and also working on a pet project for the last couple on months.

So now the prototype is out with a pro gigging musician I can spill some of the beans on what I’ve been up to…

Over the years I’ve built a number of fuzz / distortion devices so as I haven’t done one for a bit I felt it was time to do “the ultimate fuzzbox”.  However it took a bit longer than planned once I got into the history. First phase was to research the origins and development of the originals in the 1960s and to have a go at building a reasonable clone of the first one. OK so it “fuzzed” but to my ears it didn’t sound particularly musical. Early circuits used germanium transistors and as I have a bag of them that seemed a good starting place but that also was abandoned in favour of using modern silicon devices. So as you can see the brief was changing as I continued and became a circuit that I like the sound of using modern components.

Some original aspects have survived such as the use of discrete components, hand-wired onto tag-strip giving a distortion device with very low background noise. Sound is more organic.

Well you can get too close to your own creations so last week it was time to let some other guitarists have a go. Results were good as most people like the idea that the harder you play the more distortion you get. As I said earlier it’s now being tested at gig volumes and beyond.

Next step is to build a small number of pre-production examples and see how the finished article goes down.

The finished article will have more controls allowing the user to experiment with changing things like transistor bias and circuit configuration through some additional controls and switches.

Watch this space…

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