Manlay Sound Ronno Bender


Roman Gil (Manlay Sound)

The Ronno Bender is a fine replica of the legendary Sola Sound Tone Bender MK1, the long lost Holly Grail of the british fuzzes. The MK1 was seen at the feet of Jeff Beck in the "Yardbirds" era, it was also used by Pete Townshend back in the sixties. But the most notable and dedicated user of the MK1 and with greater effect was Mick Ronson in the good old days of “The Spiders from Mars” with David Bowie.

I tried to nail the sound that Mick Ronson had with the Spiders from Mars. The Ronno Bender uses the same MK1 circuit, not the same trio of transistors (the 2G381 are unavailable nowadays). The three N.O.S transistors used are carefully selected and tuned to get a great sound, sustain and minimum noise. For this circuit, it's needed to hand tune each unit because of the variability of the germanium transistors. For this reason some resistors may differ from the original pedal values.

Some of its most remarkable characteristics are:

  • It produces a thick and long sustain, specially with double coil pickup equiped guitars.
  • It is unique in getting an extremely overdriven tone without sacrificing the clarity of the individual notes, even in harmonically complex chords.
  • It retains the sonic characteristics of the guitar (and pickup selected) even when adjusted for maximum distortion (full attack).
  • Unlike other fuzz-boxes, it works extremely well when hooked next to “wah wah” pedals.
  • It cleans up well with the guitar's volume control. Unlike the Fuzz Face, the Tone Bender cleans up with a longer guitar volume travel.

Technical characteristics:

  • Carefully selected N.O.S Germanium Transistors.
  • Point to point soldered.
  • Level adjustment.
  • Attack adjustment.
  • Metal film resistors for low noise and better low end definition.
  • High quality Capacitors.
  • 9 volt battery.
  • True bypass switch.
  • Compact pedal design.
  • 2 year limited warranty.

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