Plan-9 66 Bender Ge

Various

Plan-9

The Plan-9 66 Bender Ge recreates the 1966 Vox Tone Bender fuzz pedal, as used by The Beatles, The Yardbirds, Cream and Bowie´s guitarist Mick Ronson from The Spiders from Mars.

Mods:

    As with all Plan-9 recreations, in the 66 Bender project we compromised to make only mods that doesn´t impede the obtaining of the original tones: an input impedance mod improve the 66 Bender interaction with wah pedals when these are situated before the fuzz (an old Vox problem). We also inserted an stabilization system to block germanium transistor gain variation when temperature is too hot or too cold. The 66 Bender circuit also has a an inverted polarity protection to save the rare transistors in the case of wrong power supply connection.

Transistors:

    The excellence of our germanium pedals is indebted both to the use of the best transistors available and to intensive testing. We select each transistor considering leakage and gain parameters. Then we discard the bad transistors (70% to 40% of the batch). Before being soldered on the definitive pedal circuit, the selected transistors are also tested in a prototype board especially designed for real playing tests - only if they sound good they go to the real 66 Bender Ge board.

    The original Vox Tone Bender in the 1966 version had two germanium transistors, a SFT363E and a Mullard OC76, both very rare nowadays. Researching, we realized that the original Vox TB tones could be recreated with just the OC76 (as it sits in the circuit position that is responsible for the main tones) together with another high quality transistor.

    The results were remarkably good. The Plan-9 66 Bender Ge has an excellent response to picking dynamics, the fuzz cleanses up when the guitar volume control is reduced, and it is harmonically rich and complex. It generates wonderful feedbacks in high volumes, and the single notes have a very sweet decay when abandoned in sustain.

Controls:

  • Fuzz: as the original Tone Bender Attack control it limits the fuzz intensity.
  • Volume: limits the output signal intensity.
  • Gain: this mod controls the amount of input gain, allowing lighter shades of fuzz or overdrive-fuzz tones.
  • Bass Boost: increases bass response and give a moderate output boost.
  • Bias trimmer: this internal control allows you to fine tune the pedal and reach different fuzz tones.

Features:

  • True bypass 3PDT footswitch.
  • External power supply jack and internal 9V battery snap.
  • Hand wired circuit with off board mounting of jacks, switches and pots.
  • Two selected and matched germanium transistors, being one a NOS Mullard OC76.
  • Main germanium transistor is stabilized against temperature variation.
  • Circuit protection against battery polarity inversion, and on/off noise
  • Two Constanta potentiometers, big and tough, vintage style made in Brazil (eventually we can use CTS or Alpha).
  • Heavy duty metal box with electrostatic painting.
  • Detailed Operation Manual.

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