Maestro - FZ-1  [schematic]

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

Maestro - FZ-1

Postby analogguru » 26 Jun 2007, 17:11

Here is the first patent for a stompbox, the:

Maestro Fuzztone patent

A patent expires after 20 years.

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Last edited by analogguru on 14 Feb 2008, 09:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ed G. » 28 Sep 2007, 02:17

Isn't that the 'Satisfaction' fuzz? So wonderfully crappy sounding. Iconic.
Funny how sounds become legendary.
I was listening to "Sympathy for the Devil" today. The solo is possibly one of the worst, nastiest, harshest, biting tones ever recorded. And Keef makes it work.
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Postby 96ecss » 28 Sep 2007, 06:26

Ed G. wrote:Isn't that the 'Satisfaction' fuzz? So wonderfully crappy sounding. Iconic.
Funny how sounds become legendary.
I was listening to "Sympathy for the Devil" today. The solo is possibly one of the worst, nastiest, harshest, biting tones ever recorded. And Keef makes it work.


I thought Jimmy Page played the solo in Sympathy For The Devil. "Get down Jimmy"

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Postby Meanderthal » 03 Oct 2007, 01:28

Yep. Those old FZ-1s(and the Sekova, etc. clones) were indeed 1.5 volt! Think of it like a 'dying battery' thing- really nasty farty fuzz. Nasty in a really good psycadelic solo type of way...

I believe there has been a schematic floating around for years and years called the "Olson new sound" fuzz that also uses 1.5 volts.

I had heard that this was not the 'satisfaction' fuzz, that it was an urban myth, but it'll certainly get you in the neighborhood.
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Postby MoreCowbell » 03 Oct 2007, 01:42

The Tonebender MKI is quite similar to the Maestro....
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Postby Meanderthal » 11 Oct 2007, 00:08

But it's not really a 'fuzz' as we know the term.


Yeah, it was trying to sound like a fried speaker(AFAIK)... there was nothing smooth about it (like a FF or BMP can get) at all, it was intended to be raspy as hell... and succeeded.

Personally, the term "fuzz" for me brings to mind exactly this kinda sound(especially with lotsa sproingy cheezy reverb), if it gets sweet and buttery sounding I start thinking overdrive, and if it can do the palm-mute mullet sound, I call it distortion...
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Postby analogguru » 14 Feb 2008, 09:19

"Photo essay" of a "real thing" here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/1962-GIBSON-MAESTRO ... dZViewItem

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Postby Professor SourTone » 14 Feb 2008, 15:32

This is my early FZ1. Someone butchered it quite badly and it is now being returned to stock using correct transistors.

Image

Image

Image
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Postby analogguru » 14 Feb 2008, 15:44

looks like si-trannies.... and the orange capacitor isn´t original too...

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Postby Professor SourTone » 14 Feb 2008, 16:25

Correct!
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Postby royaltoots » 15 Feb 2008, 12:18

analogguru wrote:looks like si-trannies.... and the orange capacitor isn´t original too...


but the enclosure is clean!
what's the serial number?
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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby modman » 11 Dec 2008, 11:40

Can anybody confirm the correctness of these schemo's for the FZ-1 and FZ-1A

http://www.schematicheaven.com/effects/ ... a_fuzz.pdf
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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby analogguru » 11 Dec 2008, 12:31

The FZ-1 schematic is wrong - missing a 470k on the base of the second transistor.
The FZ-1A schematic appears to be right.

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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby modman » 14 Dec 2008, 18:54

There is indeed one resistor missing when you compare with some gutshot pictures. thanks for setting this straight. Same problem with RG's schemo which seemt to be based on Orman's.

I'm really interested where this 'original' stompbox circuit came from, because I know there is no real 'original' anything. Nevertheless, the patent give some objective information and the name of Glen SNODDY, who was an engineer in the Quonset Hut

It happened in the summer of 1960, when Grady was hired to work on a Marty Robbins recording session in Nashville. While recording the tune Don't Worry, a malfunctioning channel on the mixing board caused Martin's six string bass to be recorded with an insane amount of distortion, a sound that would come to be called fuzztone. (...)
Glen Snoddy, the session engineer, saved the malfunctioning channel on the mixing board and brought it out upon request. Grady used the effect on several other records including one of his own, The Fuzz by Grady Martin & The Slew Foot Five. Soon enough, Snoddy saw the commercial potential for a device that would produce the fuzztone effect on command and sold the idea to the Gibson Guitar Corporation, who marketed the Maestro Fuzz Tone in 1962, the first commercially available fuzz-type unit.
http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/11/c ... zz-sp.html


No sources mentioned, but I found the possible source here:
http://books.google.be/books?id=DL6gHNX ... #PPA159,M1

Mind you this is the fuzz story third hand: the author Kossner says that Lou Bradley said that Jimmy Lockhart said that Glen Snoddy told him that this fuzz sound (which really is on the mentioned record, check out the Wfmu.org link above to hear it) was created "by the transformer in the Langevin amp short(ing) out from the high input." If it even is possible to short out a preamp module, would you get sound at all? They apparently kept it and used it on other recorded, until the effect allegedly 'went away'. So either the whole unit died, or fixed itself :hmmm: and they couldn't get the effect back no matter how hard they tried? They couldn't when the cause is clearly mentioned: 'input overload'?

My hypothesis: of course there was nothing wrong with either the mixing desk or the preamp, it's very easy to create a feedback loop on a mixing desk, but Snoddy was smart and never let anybody look into his cards. He even made up a little mojo story to cover it up. Why? That first fuzz record became a hit, and he alone knew how to create the sound (or so everybody thought), so this would make him stand out among other engineers. No doubt the effect originated by accident, but not by a faulty desk.

Everywhere I read that he sold the idea to Gibson, which is clearly not true, the patent is in his name. But maybe he did take some clues from Langevin preamp circuit?

Always open to critique, feel free... :D
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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby analogguru » 14 Dec 2008, 19:10

I read this "story" several years ago, but I highly doubt that in they early 60´s they recorded in a professional studio environment with a transistor-console.

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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby modman » 14 Dec 2008, 19:15

No, nobody said that, Snoddy set about creating the sound with transistors. Then it became the fuzztone. Or are you saying the Langevin module was transistors only?

EDIT: here he is quoted saying work on adapting it for transistors. Don't tell me you believe that he invented that circuit out of nothing?

Here he is, Glen Snoddy
Image
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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby JiM » 15 Dec 2008, 00:28

I don't know what is truth and what is legend, but i belive one can overload a mic input with a guitar ...

Here are some Langevin schematics, these are mostly from the 40's so maybe it has nothing in common with the console used in the 60's. On most models there is indeed an input transformer, with hi- and low-impedance inputs.
http://www.butterylicious.com/Schematics/Langevin.htm
How could these fail in such way to produce fuzz ?

On the first one there is an interesting table about input impedance ratings and gain, and the absence of volume control on the high gain setting ...
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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby PurplePeopleEater » 15 Dec 2008, 16:27

The Langevin AM-16 was one of their most popular console / modules. Transistor based with no caps in the signal path. Really wonderful sounding. http://www.geocities.com/ciminosound/AM ... -small.jpg
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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby RnFR » 15 Dec 2008, 17:03

PurplePeopleEater wrote:The Langevin AM-16 was one of their most popular console / modules. Transistor based with no caps in the signal path. Really wonderful sounding. http://www.geocities.com/ciminosound/AM ... -small.jpg


hmmm...

would it be possible to adapt this for stompbox use?
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Re: Maestro - FZ-1 ( Fuzztone ) (patent inside)

Postby modman » 16 Dec 2008, 14:20

RnFR wrote:
PurplePeopleEater wrote:The Langevin AM-16 was one of their most popular console / modules. Transistor based with no caps in the signal path. Really wonderful sounding. http://www.geocities.com/ciminosound/AM ... -small.jpg


hmmm...

would it be possible to adapt this for stompbox use?


Spent so much time googling trying to date the AM-16, while it was in that link
http://www.geocities.com/ciminosound/la ... am-16.html

If you click pdf page 4 of the manual and scroll all the way down you see the manual is dated April 1964 (4/64) we should be looking at Langevin 5116
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