Sola Sound - Tone Bender Mark I (1965)  [schematic]

Discussion regarding early stompbox technology: 1960-1975 Please keep discussion focused and contribute what info you have...
Taller76
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Post by Taller76 »

beedotman wrote:
agoldoor wrote:FYI: I have one of these coming my way... I finally will own a DAM! I'll answer any questions if you still are unclear on any values...
Lucky Bastard! :thumbsup
You have other Pigdog MKI to compare, right?
Agreed, nice score!
I had a Jerms MKI and a Pigdog Electric Eye....sold them both....HUGE mistake.
Should have at least kept the Jerms MKI....lost track of it though...C'est la vie.
This thread has inspired me to build an MKI...havent built anything in almost 2 years...thanks for all your contributions and thanks for the inspiration guys.

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Post by agoldoor »

I never had a Pigdog, but I have a Jerms MKI that I cherish... I've built a couple MKIs myself, and it's hard to make an MKI using those traditional methods with part selection that makes them sound exactly right. The Jerms is as raucous and raw as an MKI can be without completely being a noisy useless misbiased hunk of metal. He really pushes it right to the edge but no further... it's a keeper for sure. From the description of the DAM, I think they will both cover different bases... and will be handed down to my grandkids one day ;-)

Also, from my experience, the OC82DM is a really really great transistor. I have a couple handfuls of them in my stash, and they are just very reliable, good specs, and make for a really full range fuzz.

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Post by LucifersTrip »

agoldoor wrote:FYI: I have one of these coming my way... I finally will own a DAM! I'll answer any questions if you still are unclear on any values...
great...I'd be really curious to know Q2C voltage when attack is maxed.

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Post by beedotman »

Taller76 wrote:I had a Jerms MKI and a Pigdog Electric Eye....sold them both....HUGE mistake.
Same story here dude... I had three Loonys, Electric Eye and Jerms MKI and I miss them A LOT! :(

Anyway... I still have Mr. Morphine MKI 8) which kicked ass few other MKI easily. A M A Z I N G sounding dirt box! :twisted:
Angry, bright, noisless MKI. Here's few pic of this beauty - sexy big Piher resistors and mustard caps. Thrid knob is output filter, great feature for MKI circuit :)

Highly recommended for everyone who wants awesome and beautiful MKI! :thumbsup
Attachments
morph1.jpg
morph2.jpg
morph3.jpg

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Post by agoldoor »

Beedotman! Trace that shit! I want to see a vero or tagboard/turretboard version of your Mr. Morphine!!! (specifically curious as to how he biases it -- any resistor changes), and also, what the exact values of his filter circuit are!

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Post by bluesbreaker62 »

Stock Mk-I circuit. Tone controll is a 100K lin pot that blends in a 22uf in parallel with the 10nf output cap.
Biassing consists of about 10 hours of transistor swapping and a box of OC75's :D

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Post by jrod »

Beedotman, any way you could measure the voltages on your Mr. Morphine?

I breadboarded this circuit over the weekend and I'm confused about what the voltages are supposed to be.

It would be nice to get a collection of voltages from some good sounding units!

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Post by beedotman »

jrod wrote:Beedotman, any way you could measure the voltages on your Mr. Morphine?

I breadboarded this circuit over the weekend and I'm confused about what the voltages are supposed to be.

It would be nice to get a collection of voltages from some good sounding units!
Done already here:
https://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19594

Attack position..7.....9.....12....3.....5
Q1C...............9,17 9,17 9,17 9,17 9,17
Q1B...............1,04 1,04 1,04 1,04 1,04
Q1E...............1,31 1,31 1,31 1,31 1,31
Q2C...............8,10 2,96 1,54 1,27 1,23
Q2B...............0,09 0,14 0,16 0,16 0,16
Q2E...............0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00
Q3C...............8,66 8,59 8,58 8,58 8,58
Q3B...............0,03 0,03 0,03 0,03 0,03
Q3E...............0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00 0,00

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Post by jrod »

Thanks!!! :thumbsup

I completely missed that thread! :slap:

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Post by LucifersTrip »

beedotman wrote:
[Stock circuit with 180K bias on Q2B]

Attack position..7.....9.....12....3.....5

Q2C...............8,10 2,96 1,54 1,27 1,23
See, I think this is what screws alot of people up....and changes the nature of the attack, compression & gating.

With a 470K on Q2, you'll usually wind up much closer to 4 - 5V at 5 O 'clock.

As is common, you should get a "hot" sound around 1/2 the supply voltage and "weaker" when you're closer to the rails.
So, in the case above, you'll probably get some nice attack already at 8 - 9 O 'clock. As the voltage drops lower, below 4 - 5V, the sound gets thinner and more compressed, and then will start gating ~ 1V and lower, then cut off if too low.

So, do you want an attack sweep with a 470K, from low (a little below 9V) to "hot" around 4 - 5V, or do you want a sweep closer to the above example?

And of course, it's how much leakage you have in Q2 that sets that sweep. The higher leakage, the lower Q2C voltage starts at.

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Post by jrod »

Hey LT, I honestly can't tell much of a difference in the sweep on the Attack with 180K or 470K. What I get either way is a quick jump from lighter fuzz to full on fuzz with just a small turn of the Attack knob. I am expecting more of a gradual variation in tone. Also, it doesn't seem to matter how much leakage or gain or what type of transistor I use (regarding the sweep range). The sweep is pretty much the same. The only difference is the amount of gating I can get with the Attack knob. My voltages are around 5 - 5.5V full attack.

Also, on the breadboard this circuit is noisy as hell. Note decay is like frying bacon and!

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Post by LucifersTrip »

jrod wrote:Hey LT, I honestly can't tell much of a difference in the sweep on the Attack with 180K or 470K. What I get either way is a quick jump from lighter fuzz to full on fuzz with just a small turn of the Attack knob.
right, I think most of the fuzz will be in the first 25% or so. you can see that in the voltages posted above. then, a slow increase to your max....

so the sweep is similar with 470K or 180K, but you should be able to hear a difference at the beginning and end of that sweep (low & max)

with the 470K, the min will not be as hot as a 180K (since the voltage will be close to 9V) and the 180K will giver a thinner, more compressed tone at max...That's if you don't alter the pot, which I usually do. My preference is usually to have max fuzz in the 4-5V range and min closer to 9V than the above 8.10V, so I simply adjust the fuzz (attack) pot accordingly. For instance, looking at the voltages above, you probably only need a 7 - 10K pot to go from 8.10V to 5V.

Also, I like the min to be closer to 9V, which also gives you more sweep on the lower range, of course. To do that, simply reduce the 1.8K limiter or choose Q2 with less leakage.
Also, on the breadboard this circuit is noisy as hell. Note decay is like frying bacon and!
Did you try reducing the hfe of Q1 or increasing the voltage of Q3C?

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Post by jrod »

Thanks for the info regarding the Attack function, LT. I'll experiment more resistors and voltages.
LucifersTrip wrote:Did you try reducing the hfe of Q1 or increasing the voltage of Q3C?
I have not tried this, but I will! :thumbsup

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Post by fuzzymuff »

I built a Tone Bender MK1. I don't have an actual Sola Sounds TB MK1 to use as reference, but I made a demo. Did it come close?


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Post by DonDougie »

Regarding transistor kits - I took the plunge and bought an OC75 MKI set from Smallbear recently for my MKI that I've been trying forever to bias properly. I don't know for sure, but it seems that these are only being selected with the hfe in mind, not the leakage. On the supplied schematic, they list gain ranges for Q1-Q3, which are 60-70, 70-80, and 110-140, respectively (I don't know where they got those values). While these transistors make for a good MKII set, they don't work at all in my MKI, even after thoroughly adjusting the bias. In addition to that, I tried it in a total of four MKI and Zonk-variations, but to no avail.

Fortunately, I had some OC75s lying around which, as a result of swapping them around for an afternoon, sound just perfect (I settled for a FZ-676 clone in the end, easily the best sounding fuzz that I built :)) I went through a lot of Tungsram AC128 too, but they didn't work as well as the OC75.

So for anyone hoping to be able to buy a drop-in transistor set for a MKI: From my experience, this is not it.

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Post by beedotman »

fuzzymuff wrote:I built a Tone Bender MK1. I don't have an actual Sola Sounds TB MK1 to use as reference, but I made a demo. Did it come close?

Sounds nice!

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Post by jalmonsalmon »

fuzzymuff wrote:I built a Tone Bender MK1. I don't have an actual Sola Sounds TB MK1 to use as reference, but I made a demo. Did it come close?
Sounds great! :applause:
Tone Bender MK1 is the only one I have not made yet so that is next on my list 8)

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Post by Fred_Garvin »

fuzzymuff wrote:I built a Tone Bender MK1. I don't have an actual Sola Sounds TB MK1 to use as reference, but I made a demo. Did it come close?
They call me the working man...I guess that's what I am.

Heavy dude...right on, man.
Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute.

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Post by sickman82 »

This circuit is like the holy grail, or a right of passage. I'm glad the thread is still active. I recently opened mine back up for more experimenting after last year's attempts. With the help of Dr Nomis last November, I got it to behave.. in other words, the bacon thing was no more. I put a small resistor on the emitter of Q3. It seemed to tame the gain a bit too much as a result though, in hindsight it doesn't sound all that great. More like an overdrive.

This time round, I decided to pull the trim pots and use stock 8k2 resistors instead.. then begin to audition transistors. So far, so good. It still has the sizzle, but far less than my first attempt and only in the decay as opposed to constant. Certain transistors are worse than others. The sizzle seems to originate at Q1, and then I assume the remaining 2 stages amplify it. I am going to use an audio probe to try get rid of the sizzle by auditioning transistors. I'll post voltages as I go. Q1 voltage is too high at the moment, the emitter is sitting around -4v, base at about -2.7v. Q3 collector is around -7.5v. But Q2 is way off.. starting at around -6v at 7 o'clock and by 8-9 o'clock it's at -0.12v. This is evident in the sweep of the pot as well, between 7-8 o'clock it's really noisy (loadsa bacon) but not gated at all.. then after that it is just a gated fuzz with a slight sizzle decay, the pot makes no difference in tone past 8-9 o'clock. I'll do some more investigating and see what I find. :thumbsup
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Post by lowbrow »

Try more leakage in Q2. Don't be afraid of A LOT of leakage there.

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