Rastop 60's Fuzz



They say that "Beatles" tune "Revolution" with nasty fuzz sound was actually recorded straight into the console, heavily overloading the input…

Anyway, there's a plenty of great recordings from the past, utilizing that buzzing FUZZ sound , which was achieved first by using Germanium transistors (cause Silicon was still in development stage). Later on similar sounds were derived from preamp tubes, integrated circuits, blown speakers and a zillion of studio and stage tricks. (My favorite story is about Mark Farner from "Grand Funk Railroad" getting his wild sounds by brutally mismatching output and speakers impedance, causing tubes to blow every 15 minutes and roadies in kitchen gloves changing them in the middle of the show, still red hot :-)

For this particular fuzz design I was inspired by "The Doors" tune "Hello, I love you" from "Waiting for the sun" album. You can try to fake that sound with most of basic distortion boxes, but something will be definitely missing. In addition to plenty of distortion, sustain and wide frequency range (lots of bottom and high end ), it needs some farty stuttering qualities and specific attack and decay . By testing many different circuits, I ended up with the simplest (in terms of parts count and straight signal flow) design, similar to those " Heathkits", with one tone control and FET buffer. From modern features - only True By-Pass switching, DC jack and LED indicator included, no noise reduction, etc.

Basic model has Volume and Tone controls, gain set to maximum. It cleans up good enough with guitar volume control, but additional Gain control is available too, for those who prefer footswitchable presets to on-board volume knob.

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