Rocket Surgeon Codename: Black Hat - Hybrid Fuzz


Nordstrand Audio

A germanium and silicon hybrid 3 transistor fuzz, designed to achieve a vintage fuzz tone with the modern player in mind. Codename: Black Hat straddles the line between a Fuzz Face and a Tonebender. 

Black Hat features audio grade electrolytic capacitors, high tolerance film capacitors, and 600mW metal film resistors. The circuit is also designed to reduce the effects of temperature on the germanium transistor, no need to bias the transistor, store it in the fridge, or hold it up to the AC vent in your car when driving to a gig. Codename: Black Hat is hand built in right here at Rocket Surgeon Labs in Redlands, California. 

The mojo comes from a hard to find NPN germanium transistor that looks like your classic spy hat. Each transistor is hand tested for proper leakage and hfe. Since these transistors are so hard to find, when we run out... well, we run out. So get it while you can! Because itÂ’s NPN you donÂ’t have to worry about plugging this guy in with the rest of your pedal board. Though as always we recommend an isolated power supply when powering Black Hat. 


Codename: Black Hat was created initially by Dr. Von Fuzzbrauer to achieve a certain famous Fuzz Face based sound. He happened across some cool looking germanium transistors that looked somewhat like a spy hat, which ultimately inspired the name. But as the circuit evolved from the breadboard to the prototype on his live rig it took on some Tonebender like qualities resulting in a versatile fuzz that incorporated a bit of both sounds and ideas. He knew he was finished when after his band played a local show, a member of the audience came up to him and said "What was that? That was the sound!"

The controls are simple, you've got a Volume and Fuzz. Dial back the Fuzz knob and you get into almost overdrive territory. Or, as the Doctor likes it, turn the Fuzz knob to almost max and use your volume control on your guitar to dial it back. Oh how sweet it is to use a guitar with independent volume controls for each pickup and then rock the neck pickup, volume down for rhythm, and then switch to the bridge full volume for leads.

Inside youÂ’ll find a trim pot that you can adjust the LED brightness to taste so you donÂ’t blind yourself on that dark stage or make it brighter for those daytime outdoor gigs.

  • Volume and Fuzz 
  • True Bypass 
  • Internal LED Trimmer to control brightness 
  • 9 volt DC 2.1mm negative center - higher voltages or incorrect power will damage the pedal 
  • Current Draw: 3mA

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