Ampl. Corp. America - Fuzz King

Discussion regarding early stompbox technology: 1960-1975 Please keep discussion focused and contribute what info you have...

Ampl. Corp. America - Fuzz King

Postby analogguru » 24 Oct 2007, 06:57

Here you can see "all about cloning in the 60´s":

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-60s-King-Fu ... dZViewItem

Not an "evil japanese".... no.... the "Amplifier Cooporation of America" produced the "Fuzz King". When you look inside, you see one 1,5V battery, 3 x Ge-transtistors 2 x 10k resistors, 2 x 100k resistors, 2 electrolytics.... seems to be a Maestro FZ-1A clone/derivate.....

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Postby The Rotagilla » 24 Oct 2007, 14:28

Well here's the deal with the seller...

I used to live about half an hour from Banko's Music. The place had been there forever. Big time Gibson, Fender and Martin dealer plus he took in trades. When I left Connecticut, old man Banko was alive and kicking but very old. Still showed up to work every day and really nice guy. His thing was making sure you were 100% happy with anything you bought. Urban legend was the second floor of the building was filled with NOS stuff and if sales were slow, some piece of vintage gear in immaculate condition would show up on the sales floor. How true this is I have no idea and if you asked them if they had any vintage stuff or about the second floor you got the brush off, but I did witness two instances that might lend credibilty to the myth. I once purchased a NOS Maestro Mini-Phase in the orginal box with warranty card for $90. Another time I saw him sell a NOS 60's P-Bass with hang tags and case candy which he removed fom the original shipping carton.

:shock:

There's a younger guy who started working there. A bit of a pr*ck but he would keep an eye out if there's something you're looking for. I remember stopping in a eyeing some no-name vintage jazz box. The old man got it down for me and I noodled for a bit. Really big, warm tone. I asked the old man what he wanted for it and he said...

"You really sound good on that. If you like it, how's $200 sound?"

I said okay and as we were about to wrap things up, the young guy steps in and asks how much the old man was selling it to me for. When he heard the price he politely flipped out and then tripled it. The old man wanted you happy. The young guy wanted your wallet.

I suspect that fuzz was in the back someplace long forgotten about until someone stumbled on it.
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Postby DougH » 25 Oct 2007, 14:42

The young guy wanted your wallet.


And he was laughing all the way to the Banko...


:lol:

Sorry, couldn't resist... :lol:
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Postby tcobretti » 28 Oct 2007, 21:45

I used to work at a music store like the one you mention. Our boss was a old kind of strange guy who had a stockroom full of Gibson custom shop guitars (including what he claimed was an original Gibson Moderne) and tons of old gear. He wouldn't even let us in the room unsupervised, and he wouldn't consider selling any of it.

I have a friend who works at a huge metropolitan music store, and the owner has a building next door full of vintage gear. When some sweet piece comes in the shop, he buys it for nothing and put it in the storage building. The owner sees all this stuff as his retirement, so he's not selling either.

It reminds me of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark - the mind boggles at what kind of stuff is sitting unused in these rooms.
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Postby scottywompas » 28 Oct 2007, 21:52

tcobretti wrote:
It reminds me of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark - the mind boggles at what kind of stuff is sitting unused in these rooms.


It's sad isn't it. The guys who play can't get get their hands on it, meanwhile it's sitting in glass cases or warehouses rotting away.

My buddy has a bunch of vintage amps. Fenders, Gibsons, hoarmony,kalamazoo, magnatone. He uses them all the time. He records with them, He gigs with them. It's cool to see such great old gear being used for a change. Unfortunatly he's the exception not the rule.

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Postby frank.clarke » 03 Nov 2007, 04:33

The 100k to the Fuzz pot looks like the Ace Tone, adjusting the bias from the -ve rail instead of the +ve. So some a_s covering :).
I don't mind people hoarding Modernes, we have 10 time as much gear nowadays compared to the '60s and '70s.
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Postby analogguru » 12 Nov 2007, 08:14

Here are guts from another one:
http://cgi.ebay.com/FUZZ-TONE_W0QQitemZ ... dZViewItem

The schematic is a derivate of the Gibson/Maestro Fuzztone but equals more the Mica Wailer/Fuzzder (+ brothers and sisters).

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Postby analogguru » 18 Nov 2007, 23:06

Here I found an principle schematic by frank clarke:

http://members.shaw.ca/fclarke/FuzzKing.gif

Both guts show TO-1 transistors, in the schematic is written "2N 3244" which would be a Si-PNP in a TO-5 or TO-39 case. So my question would be to frank (who seems to own one) from where the type of transistors come in his schematic ?

concerning the 3k3 transistor at Q3: both guts show 3k3 there.... The Mica Wailer uses 4k7 there and in later versions uses an additional 100k "pullup" from base to -1,5 V

I would assume R11 as 100k and the Fuzz poti 1M (instead of 33k).
Input cap is 10n (0,01µ) instead of 1n (0,001µ).
The output cap is in both units not connected to the slider....

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Postby modman » 19 Nov 2007, 03:08

analogguru wrote:Here I found an principle schematic by frank clarke:

http://members.shaw.ca/fclarke/FuzzKing.gif

Both guts show TO-1 transistors, in the schematic is written "2N 3244" which would be a Si-PNP in a TO-5 or TO-39 case. So my question would be to frank (who seems to own one) from where the type of transistors come in his schematic ?



If the datasheet says hfe 50 - 150, I tend to conclude that this is a attempt to get good 'germanium' fuzz from low gain silicons. If this isn't mojo, then the idea that fuzz has to be PNP and positive ground, certainly is.
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Postby frank.clarke » 19 Nov 2007, 03:43

OK, I just posted what I had on the simulator, since there was severe noise gating. OK, trannies RCA 2N2613. The 3K3 pulls Q3 in non-operation most of the time. I took the liberty of disconnecting one end it when I replaced the coupling caps (had to be done). A pullup resistor would work too, easier to undo when you sell it.
I measured 1 meg from the not-connected lug of the fuzz pot to ground, 600k at about halfway. I must have put something else into the simulator. '65 pot markings.
The input cap is tropical fishy, the output cap ceramic, the 1uF 25V "Japan 6550" electro (I think). Year/week?
Resistors are carbon comp, I'd be happy with a metal film 1M though.
So, without the 3K3, it is a little tube screamer which gives you a reasonably clean boost and then a pleasing fizzy kind of fuzz. This is something useable for the working guitarist.
With the 3K3, it is a piece of junk that only amplifies when you hit the strings hard. If you want to build one of these, a 100K pot would give you a good "Bias" control.
I'm Confused about the Tonebender MkI for much the same reasons as this cousin. Do we want a gated fuzz for playing a trebely version of the Satisfaction riff, or a fuzzstain/booster?
(Edit: The fact that the fuzz is a gain control rather than a make-the-bias worse knob, would suggest the latter. Maybe the production version had different transistors from the prototype, hence demise of fuzzbox)
The other distressed one just went on EBay, should be easy to fix. Mine spent 40 years on a shelf (thanks to 3K3).
I'll fix the schem now.
http://www.guitar-pedals-effects.com/FuzzKing.gif
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Postby royaltoots » 26 Nov 2007, 18:55

according to the seller of this one, it ran on 4.5V - has the dead battery with it:

ebay item 180184114361
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Postby analogguru » 26 Nov 2007, 19:23

Thanks for the info, link is here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 0184114361

I will draw a schematic from the pictures I have.
Input cap is brown-black-orange = 103 = 10.000pF = 10n = 0,01µF

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Postby frank.clarke » 26 Nov 2007, 21:36

OK, that makes sense, it worked much better with an old 9V (~7V) battery. I didn't know they made 4.5v that size in the '60s, thanks.
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Postby analogguru » 26 Nov 2007, 22:07

frank.clarke wrote:OK, that makes sense, it worked much better with an old 9V (~7V) battery. I didn't know they made 4.5v that size in the '60s, thanks.


I don´t really believe the 4,5V-story.

The Mica Wailer/Fuzzder (and brothers) who came later run also with 1,5 V like the Maestro FZ-1A (1,5 V) after the FZ-1 running at 3V.

The only difference between the Fuzzking and the Mica Wailer/Fuzzder (and brothers) is that the last one omitted the 100k input resistor and changed the 3k3 at the base of Q3 to 4k7. In some units there was added a 100k from the base of Q3 to the supply voltage.

The first stompbox schematic I ever traced (in 1975) was a Mastro FZ-1A which sounded terrible and which I should repair - I gave up that time. :roll: I think there were a lot souding terrible...

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Postby royaltoots » 27 Nov 2007, 00:23

analogguru wrote:I don´t really believe the 4,5V-story.

The Mica Wailer/Fuzzder (and brothers) who came later run also with 1,5 V like the Maestro FZ-1A (1,5 V) after the FZ-1 running at 3V.


The 4.5V thing does seem weird, but there were 4.5V batteries for cameras in the 60s, it could be one of those. Not sure about the size though.

I tried to look at the Mica Wailer schem on your site - do I need to register and log in to see them now?
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Postby frank.clarke » 27 Nov 2007, 16:35

It could be that people put in 4.5V batteries when the 1.5V biasing didn't work wellwith the transistors supplied. Maybe that was Gary Hurst's mod :).
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Postby analogguru » 27 Nov 2007, 16:48

I tried to look at the Mica Wailer schem on your site - do I need to register and log in to see them now?


:?: :?: ....Ooops.... :oops: During the stress concerning IP (and my former ISP) I must have forgotten to upload it... I will upload an updated (together with the Fuzz-King schema) in the next couple of days - stay tuned I will keep you informed.

Maybe that was Gary Hurst's mod :lol:


So Gary Hurst was in reality the first bootweaker ? :lol:

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Postby royaltoots » 28 Nov 2007, 11:02

analogguru wrote: ....Ooops.... :oops: During the stress concerning IP (and my former ISP) I must have forgotten to upload it... I will upload an updated (together with the Fuzz-King schema) in the next couple of days - stay tuned I will keep you informed.


thanks!
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Re: Ampl. Corp. America - Fuzz King

Postby prehistoric » 06 Apr 2010, 09:53

interesting. franke's schematic mentions (note at top) that the actual transistors are RCA 2n2613. that is a germanium pnp part. would probably sound a lot different with the si trans listed on the schematic at the trans symbols.

there are so many weird rare 60s fuzzes, i wish i had a lot of them just for fun.
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Re: Ampl. Corp. America - Fuzz King

Postby prehistoric » 06 Apr 2010, 09:58

from discofreq's site, the guts clearly show rca 2n2613s
Image
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