Inspired by "A nice Rock n' Roll band from Shepherd's Bush London", and the overdriven HiWatt amplifiers heard during the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival.
It's a combination of several different circuits I had been testing and trying by themselves, that for some reason didn't quite make the cut as singular circuits. Until finally, I decided "hey, why not put this stage here, this one there, combine these two..." and POW!! There it was!
Many, many hours have been spent with this circuit on the breadboard, swapping parts, trying different diodes, tone controls, listening to and playing through.
Originally I was going to add a switchable germanium distortion section to have the choice of over the edge fuzz, or a smoother, more controlled fuzz. I liked the germanium circuit so much that I decided to just incorporate it into the base design and leave it alone.
The "Fuzz" is generated by two BC109 transistors that have an added "Hair" control that sets the bias. From there the signal is sent through the tone stack. Immediately following, just before the output stage are the two 1N34a Germanium diodes. Germanium were chosen due to the warmer qualities they give the sound. When adding germanium as a clipping circuit, they soak up a lot of the volume. The output stage had to be biased hotter than it normally would be to make up for the loss. This boosts the signal back up, and to my ears, gives it more punch.
When setting both "Hair" and "Gain" to maximum, it has an amazing amount of sustain that slowly creeps into this crazily controllable feedback, but it's not overpowering. The most awesome part about it is the way it reacts to the players attack and volume of the guitar. It has a natural way of killing noise, almost like a noise gate. The "Gain" and "Hair" controllers can be set to full-on and if you aren't playing, it's absolutely silent. The slightest touch of the strings activates the circuit.
Separate Bass and Treble controls the passive Baxandall tone circuit.
The "Gain" control allows you to set the amount of output from the first transistor stage.
"Hair" controls the amount of fuzz produced from the two BC109 transistors by increasing the bias of the fuzz circuit.
And the "Volume" is the overall output level of the effect to your amplifier.
I've tested the Wight Noise '70 through both Solid State and Tube amplifiers. The effect sounds great when used by itself, and takes on a hotter, more over-driven sound if used behind another device such as a booster/overdrive, while still maintaining that special noise gate quality it possesses.
Using a Wah in front also increases the harmonics it produces. Setting the Wah as a notched filter creates a bell-like tone and further increases the sustain.