I built this a while ago. I recently built a couple more Fuzz Factory clones. I used sockets for the transistors so this made a good place to audition transistors for the new pedals.
It got me thinking about the transistors I used in this pedal. I used germanium transistors in the new pedals but silicon in this one. The transistors here sound different not better or worse but definitely different. There is a lot of overlap in sound.
The germanium transistors fall in a gain range of 70 to 120 hfe. This is pretty low. It’s hard to find silicon transistors this low. I used 2N3906 types. These are pretty common, I had a bag them on hand. I measured the bag and chose the lowest gains I could find.
I used colored knobs with the idea that the color would remind me what each of the knobs did. Violet: Volume, Green: Gain, Chocolate (brown): Comp, Scarlet: Stability. It wasn’t working too well. The Sharpie worked better, with no ambiguity.
I may change these knobs for some with knurled grip. It’s hard to turn these smooth plastic knobs that are packed together so tightly.
the AionFX aboard was way to assemble. It uses 9mm PCB mounted pots for all 8 of the pots. The LED is also mounted to the PCB. This saves time and cuts down on the amount of off board wiring. This is older version of the Flare, they have a newer version which looks to have a few small updates. Definitely use sockets for Q2 and Q3. This will give a chance to experiment with transistors.
What’s it sound like?
Sounds like the Fuzz Factory. Like I said earlier it sounds different from the Germanium box but similar with it’s own character. There is something about the Comp control with the higher gain transistors where it goes very gated zippers fuzz at the very end of it’s range which the germanium doesn’t go if I recall correctly.