BSM FuzzBender Fuzz Machine


  • Vol
  • Fuzz
  • (switch)
  • (footswitch)



Around 1960 the British Gary Hurst developed the first known distortion unit for electric guitar, which was available only as a custom order. So only a few were built and sold. Later, in 1965, Gary Hurst joined the team of Sola Sound, which was based in London. As an OEM-product, Sola Sound built Hurst´s circuit, slightly modified and in a big production number, as Tone Bender MKI for the fellow British company Vox. Once developed and done, Sola Sound offered a minor number of the Tone Bender circuit under their own flag and brand. In the fall of 1966 the giant in the British music business, Arbiter, introduced an own Fuzz under the name Fuzz Face, which looked unique, but actually was just a modification of the Vox/Sola Sound MKI. The Arbiter Fuzz Face generated a similar distortion sound like both the Tone Bender MK1, but with more bass.

The BSM FuzzBender has beside the usual volume control an additional Fuzz control pot, which enables sounds in the range from hardly notable up to extremely distorted. With the help of the little lever switch the user is able to move between the classic Fuzz Face and - if you see the history - the even more classic Tone Bender-circuits. In the left position you get the sound of a Fuzz Face, including the warm and fat bass frequencies. Turn up the Fuzz control to its almost maximum position, and turn slightly down the volume pot on your (single coil) guitar, and there you are with a sound, that reminds on Jimi Hendrix´! In the right postion of the lever switch you activate the Vox/Sola Sound Tone Bender MKI - with a thinner, almost hard sounding bass and aggressive highs. This sound charakterises many British recordings of the Mid-Sixties, e. g. early "The Who"- and "Spencer Davis Group"-songs, and also early "Yardbirds"-LPs, when Jeff Beck still was in the group. Also Neil Young used - as one of the first musicians in the USA - a Tone Bender MKI for his wellknown feedback orgies.

The FuzzBender should be connected directly after the guitar in the signal path, because its magical tone is best achieved by the interaction between guitar player, guitar pickup and Fuzz unit. The FuzzBender is powered by a 9V battery with a current consumption of approx. 600 uA. The average output level is -3dBm, the maximum output voltage is 1V max, when the strings are struck really hard. Note: The positive pole of the battery is ground.

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