Rhythm & Detonation

Spirit of ’68

I built this pedal for Shaun Aguilar from california, he plays in the band Archetypes. This is a 1 knob silicon fuzz face. Most people run their fuzz face style circuits with the gain knob turned all the way up so this pedal does away with the gain knob and leaves it fixed all the way up. The one knob is a post circuit volume control to tame the beast. I used madbean's Snack Shack circuit board to build the circuit. I etched the board myself and it came out pretty great. I colored it in with a black sharpie because I hate the bandaid look of pcb's. I used lots of mojo parts in this build. Lelon "sweet" tea axial electrolytic capacitors. Giant panasonic ecq capacitors for the input and output caps. I used sockets for the transistors and tried a bunch and ended up just using 2n3904's for q1 and q2. I accidentally bought a bunch of 500kb potentiometers in the 24mm size that is more commonly used in guitars and amplifiers but usually are a little oversized for pedals, but because this was a one knob pedal I was able to fit them in this enclosure.

I painted the enclosure brown (very popular color lately) and for the graphic Shaun wanted a cool image from a political poster. It reads "sois jeune et tais toi" which translates to "Be young and shut up," with silhouette caricature of General de Gaulle. This poster image is from the May 1968 strike in France. Shaun wanted a BLUE led, and I outfited the pedal with the large mxr style knob with a dunlop rubber stopper over the knob so the pedal can be adjusted by foot. It also helps adjusting the knob because of the 24mm pot is a little stiffer than the typical 16mm pot used in effects pedals.

I was very impressed with the sound of this pedal typically silicon fuzz is very nasty with a spitty decay but this circuit sounds really balanced. There is great harmonic content when you play complex chords and a nice smooth decay. It is certainly brutal when your guitar is cranked but rolling back the volume it cleans up nicely. I was very surprised by this because usually that is an attribute of Germanium fuzz but it translates nicely in this setup.