Keeping it sweet n’ simple with this one. The 97 is the result of an afternoon I spent playing around with the old Vox V8161 Distortion Booster circuit. I tried it out, just to see how it sounded, and I really wasn’t happy with it. Very boring, in my opinion. So, I started messing with it a bit to see if I could get it to sound better. My efforts met with resounding success after I tried changing the circuit to a Silicon/Germanium hybrid (the original Vox V8161 is Silicon only) with a funky Eastern European transistor manufactured by Tesla. This is what I now call the “97″ in honor of its Vox roots.
The best way to describe the sound is a very mild fuzz, what you might imagine a very low gain Fuzz Face might be like. The tone has a nice fuzzy fatness, but not a ton of added sustain. Very dynamic. It cleans up incredibly, becoming more of a light overdrive by just barely rolling back the guitar’s volume control. And it tightens up alot when rolled back as well – it becomes very clear and almost chimey.
The single control is just volume… and there’s plenty of volume on tap, so start with it low, because it can give you a huge volume boost if you need it. Tweak the rest of the sound with your guitar’s controls. As already mentioned, it is incredibly responsive to volume, tone, and pickup changes.
The finish is bare aluminum with permanent ink rubber stamp lettering. The box is the tiny Hammond 1590A to allow it to easily squeeze onto tight pedalboards. Sorry, no room for a battery in there, but it is happy being powered by any standard 9vDC stompbox supply and will have no trouble with your existing daisy chain.