Endangered Audio TransTone

Various

Smashing Guitars

The Transtone was Todd's first attempt at cottage industry manufacturing. Originally built in early 1998, his goal was to create a fuzz that had a character like some of the best germanium fuzzboxes, but designed using silicon transistors.

At the time, it was very difficult to find high quality germanium transistors, and because of this, it did not seem reasonable to develop a product using them. The inspiration and comparison for this circuit are the Maestro Fuzz-Tone and the Vox Tonebender. The result: The Transtone.

Todd only made 19 of them, and the circuits were all hand-wired on perfboard (very tedious) and hand painted then screened. Since these have now sat around for years they look to be used (some were as demos) with scratches and chips. The few originals that remain from the 1998 batch are offered here. The fuzz is tonally neutral and really takes on a different sound with each guitar by letting the guitar's character become a part of the fuzz. It pumps a nice subtle overdrive at low settings up to total squelchy square wave at more intense settings. When both controls are turned all the way up you get the wonderful unstable and sometimes sputtery tail on a long sustain.

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