Colorsound- One Knob Fuzz  [schematic]

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

Renegadrian wrote:Hi there, I took the time to redraw EW layout, hope it doesn't bother you (hope all credits due are there...)
Here it is...
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No, the layout is by Dick Denny. I only documented it :mrgreen:

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Post by Renegadrian »

ok I only try to give the due credits

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Post by Electric Warrior »

actually I don't see why you need to credit me at all. It's only a vero layout and you made your own version...

here's the latest and hopefully last revision:

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This should be exactly like Denny did it, but keep in mind that he used a wider spaced vero board than usually available.

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Post by azrael »

Hey guys, I have one BC109C.
What can I sub for the BC108 and still get a similar sound?

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Post by johnnyg »

azrael wrote:Hey guys, I have one BC109C.
What can I sub for the BC108 and still get a similar sound?
I imagine you can try out any CBE npn transistor that has hfe in the region of 150-300hfe... the BC108s I have measure in that range according to my multimeter... I'm guessing from the transistors used in the original that Q2 was perhaps intended to be lower in value than Q1 - the BC109c I have measure c.300-500hfe if I remember right.

Maybe just fit sockets and experiment with what you've got man... these simple yaff-type fuzzes are not too fussy about what transistor you use I don't think - more the gain. Too high and you can get problems with oscillation i think.

Edit - I see from looking at the original schematic that a 'BC109' was used in the original - just possibly the 'C' designation puts the transistor you have (and I have) at higher gain than what might have been used originally (you should still be able to get them with a 'B' designation and therefore slightly lower gain I gather from the datasheets out there).

Anyway, I'm putting one together with the 109c I have... find out how it sounds soon enough!
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Post by Electric Warrior »

johnnyg wrote:
azrael wrote:Hey guys, I have one BC109C.
What can I sub for the BC108 and still get a similar sound?
Edit - I see from looking at the original schematic that a 'BC109' was used in the original - just possibly the 'C' designation puts the transistor you have (and I have) at higher gain than what might have been used originally (you should still be able to get them with a 'B' designation and therefore slightly lower gain I gather from the datasheets out there).
Q1 is a BC109C. I'm not quite sure if Q2 has a suffix indicating its gain.

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Post by johnnyg »

I just tried mine out today - and it sounds freakin awful! :whappen:

I used a bc109c Q1 and BC108 q2 - got a raspy misbiased fuzz. Tried a BC108 with gain of c300 and one with gain of c180 - no good. So tried out various other of npns in q2 - bc107a, 2n222a etc... all sounded crap.

I'm thinking it might it be necessary to lose the 2k2 resistor and fit a bias pot... but I also can't help feeling that the BC109c is just too much for this circuit - the gain on those I have are something like 400 or 500hfe according to my multimeter... surely that's too much for a fuzz face type circuit? :scratch:

I think I've found the magic numbers for the meathead fuzz - that really is a great fuzz... king of the one knobbers! :blackeye Maybe save yourself some hassle and just build that instead! :block:

Edit - Meathead hfe: https://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic ... 253#p89253
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Post by johnnyg »

Azrael - very cute! Something you could carry in your pocket! Think I would lose a pedal that small though :thumbsup
Electric Warrior wrote: Q1 is a BC109C. I'm not quite sure if Q2 has a suffix indicating its gain.
Got hold of a couple of BC108Cs - and with them I'm getting close to a decent sound out of this thing. It's still misbiased and kind of 'spits' - but now in an interesting, musical way. It's sustaining long enough before it fizzles out to be useable... a sort of garage-band fuzz... not far from the early Stooges kind of thing is the best way to describe it!

From the way mine sounds at the moment, and from what I've read about the pot-luck chance of buying a decent fuzz back in the day, I'm guessing you could have sold this thing the way mine is back in the 60s or 70s - whenever it was being produced. Most people wouldn't have known any better.

Anyways, with such a high gain transistor in Q1 it seems to need a high - likely higher - gain transistor in Q2. And it could probably do with a bias pot - whether on the collector of Q2 or the collector of Q1 I don't know.

With such high-gain transistors it's not a 'natural' sounding fuzz... more towards that Fu Manchu kind of thing I suppose.
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Post by bootle »

Just finished this today, using the Andrew Carrell's vero diagram form Dragonfly's gallery on Aron Nelson's site:

https://www.aronnelson.com/gallery/main. ... 1.jpg.html

Added an led and used tantalum caps for the 0.1uf and 0.22ufs.
It was my first vero build (ended up doing it reversed/mirrored by mistake) and used a BC109B and a BC108A from Banzai.
I didn't even measure the trannys and was just hoping the thing worked, but goddamn.., it sounds great!! :P

I've built a tonebender mk2 and a fuzz factory ( :roll: ) recently too, but the colorsound is my fave so far.
Lovely, smooth, fat fuzz that's quite easy on the ears even at high volume.

Gonna build another soon with maybe a blend knob and some cap switches.
Well chuffed right now... :lol:

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Post by johnnyg »

Hmmmm - BC109b and BC108a... I wish you had measured them Bootle so I know what I should aim for with mine :blackeye

I see the AC layout you used has the 820r resistor instead of 82r... I gather this should only affect the apparent volume, but wonder... very interesting you didn't need a trimpot after all :hmmm:

Great to hear you got a good fuzz... will have to go back to mine and try and get it to work. Maybe I'll just try different transistors in Q1 instead of adding a trimpot to Q2 after your success.

BTW - your username isn't your location is it?
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Post by snyder80 »

Hey there,
I couldnt resist to build such a simple Fuzzbox. Compared to the fuzzcentral axis-face its a little more on the bright/slight raspy side. Not as mellow.

BUT: When i roll back the Guitar Volume (even on my LP) i can get some nice and not that buzzy sounding crunch-distortion with a slight fuzzy attitude. The axis face gets more into a Treble Booster sound when the guitar is rolled back.

I read the whole thrad an chose BC457B (284 hfe) as Q1 and a BC337 (186 hfe) as Q2. I also changed the 82r into 820r and the 2k2 in 4k and added a 100pf across Q2´s C-B. I also added a 100uF filter cap, because in my tiny enclosure there is no room left for the 9V Battery.

I did those mods, because first the fuzz was gating in the notes decay. EMH´s FF calculator gave me about 4k7 and 220r for the Q2 (was bc547B hfe 290) and so i tried those values. It was much better. At least - as in the original 1-knobber - i chose a lower hfe Q2 and put in that bc337.

Soundwise its in between the EHX (double)muff-fuzz (harder/more sqiushy) and my fuzzcentral axis-face build (warm and mellow oldschool).

THX for those layouts,

snyder80

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Post by allesz »

Hallo everybody, I recently started some new adventures on the breadboard and I tryed out this effect as first project, I had all the right parts (exept the 220pf cap, I used a 300pf instead) and it sounded good at the first try. The schematic I used is the one linked onthe first page of the tread (from fuzzcentral).

The effect is a good fuzz, I am not much o fuzz guy but I like it. I have a tecnical question about the schematic: the output cap is connected in a strange way since it is put before the second tranny collector's resistor (2,2 K), Why?

Connecting the output cap after the resistor yelds much much more volume and the sound seems the same to me (but I did not tested it at high volume). I can't understand that project choice.

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Post by jrod »

allesz wrote:I have a tecnical question about the schematic: the output cap is connected in a strange way since it is put before the second tranny collector's resistor (2,2 K), Why?
The output cap is connected after the 2K2 resistor. It's the last component before the signal hits the volume pot.

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Post by allesz »

Ok, maybe I explained bad: I usually see the output cap connected between the tranny collector and his resistor; in the one knob fuzz that cap is connect in a different way than, say a LPB1.

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Post by jrod »

allesz wrote:Ok, maybe I explained bad: I usually see the output cap connected between the tranny collector and his resistor; in the one knob fuzz that cap is connect in a different way than, say a LPB1.
Ok, I understand what you mean now! :thumbsup

It looks like that section is set up like a voltage divider.

I referred to the GEOFX article "Technology of the Fuzz Face" and found this:

"The split collector load resistor of the second transistor acts like a volume pot permanently set to a low value. This is because the power supply is effectively at AC ground because of the low AC impedance of the battery."

I am assuming this means that the signal would be very, very loud if the output were taken directly from Q2's collector like, as you pointed out, the LPB-1.

Aside from this, I am sorry, I can not help any further. Maybe someone with some technical knowledge will chime in.

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Post by allesz »

Thank you jrod, now I understand better that choice.
I ask myself if the sound changes (except for volume, of course).
If you connect the output cap as in the lpb1 the volume is very loud, I had good results lowering the output using a 100k volume (but this should change the frequency response).

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Post by monkeyxx »

I saw this "FUZZ BOX" on two pedalboards at an amazing show in Richmond, VA, as a part of some epic tonez, so I had to throw one together. I decided to make my own layout (verified, below) so I could fit it in a mini pedal if desired, and use certain components I wanted to use. Since I'm going to end up with three knobs it's going to go in a larger enclosure anyway, but I'm happy with my layout.

this is a great sounding fuzz. I would not recommend settling on the 82R resistor, that sound is very very dark sounding without much definition. I liked adding a 2K pot in series with it for a range of EQ, gain level, and fuzz characteristics. before I box it up I will probably replace the 1K for a Gain control, since this pedal does not clean up well with the guitar volume control (neither does the Meathead), and with a high output guitar I'll probably want to tame the gain just a tiny bit. The sound quality is similar to the Meathead (who would have guessed, right) but the EQ profile is very different. The meathead is all about the midrange, like a MK II tonebender or something, good for bluesy riffing and stuff, but it's at the expense of the bass end. The One Knob Fuzz is this huge raging fuzz tone more like a Wooly Mammoth or something, big fat hairy bass. It's better, for me, than the meathead for playing power riffs and stuff like that. The clipping sounds asymmetrical to me so it's got a nice aggressive characteristic. anything past 2K on the "82R" resistor sounded kind of choked and bad so I decided on that value for my "character" pot.

It's so cool to me how many different sounds you can get out of the same basic circuit architecture (all the fuzz faces, one knob fuzz, meathead, vox tonebender) just by varying part values

my layout

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my build

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Post by monkeyxx »

here's the same layout I just flipped Q1 and C2 around for more room for the transistors to sit, now it's "perfecto"

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Post by bigmufffuzzwizz »

Great circuit! It was my first vero a fun way to get into it. I didn't have to bias mine or anything special, but I did use an 820R instead of the 82R. Glad I read through this and found a good couple mods, even though it adds more knobs..
Those layouts are so compact Renegadrian, I'm gonna have to build myself another one. Especially w/ a gain knob and bias knob and possibly a BMP tone stack!! [smilie=a_goodjobson.gif]
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