Build a Fuzz Face

This is a guide to building a Fuzz Face. It’s a step by step set of instructions. The build uses perfboard and mounts the pots on the board which makes a for a clean build with little board wiring. This is a great sounding project the parts are pretty easy to get.

Fuzz Face Build

Big thanks to my pal Joe who proof read and edited. He writes a really good blog you should check it out:

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Catalinbread Anticthon

I love the hype and description of the Anticthon. I’m a big fan of the of beat, and less popular effects. I’ll take the oddball every time over the tried and true. I got this and couldn’t get into it.

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Royal Jelly Buzz

Really just a Woolly Mammoth clone. I used some rubber stamps and Stazon ink to decorate the box. It’s sporting an obnoxiously bright green LED. The LED is probably the only thing I don’t like about this box.

This is a mastodon fuzz pcb from music pcb. It’s a small pcb that mounts on the stomp switch. While the idea good and the layout of the pcb is good, it just doesn’t live up to its promise.

Let me explain, for me the promise is simple easy wiring and compact space. While the board is compact its dimensions make it very difficult to build it in a 1590B with a battery. Without a battery things are easier. I managed to make it work by pushing the pots up as far as they could go, which places the knobs awkwardly close together.

This was the first I tried using ribbon cable for wiring. I like it and will use this again.

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Ampeg Scrambler

Wired up this ampeg scrambler board I’ve had for a while. I’ve been trying to finish up all of the unfinished projects from the last few years.

Fired up first test. I used MPSA13 transistors. I got the PCB from John Lyons on DIYStompboxes. It’s the tone pad layout. The layout is set up for different transistor pin arrangements. The MPSA13s were working well, I was thinking to try some others before boxing this up.



Some Fuzz Faces

Finally getting back to building some Fuzz Face’s I started a while back. Here’s a picture, you can see the sockets for the transistors, two sets of three in a row, in the center. The input socket is two small socket pins on the right center, and the output cap is on the bottom center.

Fuzz Face with sockets

Fuzz Face with sockets

Octave Fuzz Take 2

Here’s an updated version of the octave fuzz. Q1 and Q2 set up a basic NPN Fuzz Face type circuit. While Q3 acts as a phase splitter. Q4 and Q5 act as a frequency doubler each side being fed an inverted signal from Q3.

So far the Fuzz section is working on the breadboard. The octave section is not working at the moment. I suspect the bias is off. Note the voltage around Q3. The collector and emitter voltages should be close to 4.5V. So far they are pretty far off.

Taco Fry Fuzz

Everyone’s favorite 5 knob fuzz, with custom hand drawn Sharpie design.

Hirsute Pachyderm

A four knob Si Fuzz clone. With custom Sharpie design.

Eyeball Fuzz

Here’s a Fuzz Face with custom 60s eyeball design in sharpie. This is a Si/Ge hybrid Fuzz face with a blend cap on the input.

Fuzzy Elephant

Here’s a clone of the Zvex Wooly Mammoth. Came out pretty good, sounds good too. I used strip board layout here: It’s about halfway down the page. I modified it to move the parts closer together. My layout ended up being 17 holes wide which fit in the box a little better. I used a small hex bolt and a standoff to secure the PCB in the box.

Note the “mojo” ceramic disk capacitors. I housed everything in a box from 4Site electronics. These are great boxes the finish is very nice and the screws are much higher quality than the Taiwanese boxes.

I made a mistake and couldn’t fit the DC jack in the center at the top, where I had drilled the hole. So I drilled second hole and used a piece of brass to cover the first hole. I’m trying to think of some way to stamp something into the brass plate so it will serve some purpose beyond covering the error.

I have a few spools of hook up wire from Radio Shack. This stuff is terrible. The insulation melts. I would not recommend it.

Fuzz Face for Joe part 2

Here’s Fuzz Face wired up and stuffed in a “B” sized box. This box is from 4Site electronics. Great finish and excellent screws much better than the Taiwanese boxes that are commonly available.

Fuzz Face For Joe

A few pictures of a Fuzz Face I made for a Joe. Turns out Joe hadn’t heard of the Fuzz Face. So I thought I make one for him. This one uses a Silicon 2n3906 for Q1 and a Germanium transistor for Q2. The Germanium transistor is a Chinese model not sure what the number is, that I got from Small Bear Electronics.

This has the typical Fuzz and Volume controls. The third pot is a variable input cap. That pans between an .01µ and 3.3µ cap. The tone change is not extreme but is noticeable and seems like it would be good for adjusting between different instruments.

I used some right angle PCB mount pots. These seem like a good idea.They provide a great way to mount the board and cut down on wiring. After building a few projects with these I have come to the conclusion that these would be great with fabricated PCB with through plated holes. For projects created with perf board or strip board you end up having to solder under the pot, it’s almost like building a ship in a bottle. Projects created with perf board or strip board are more prone to errors. Fixing these would either require removing the pots or bending them out the way to reach soldered connection underneath. With a through hole PCB you could solder the pots from the top of the board, and the board would be far less likely to need debugging.

Here’s a few pictures.

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