The Sultan

The Sultan is my first entry to the End of Days Fuzz Challenge. Based on the fuzz Face with a Bass and Treble tone control similar to tone controls used on Orange and Matamp amps.

The Fuzz Face is a classic circuit. There are many Fuzz Face variants out there that sound great. The classic circuit doesn’t have a tone control. A few have a simple tone control that rolls off the highs. Some, like the Woolly Mammoth, have a single knob tone stack similar to the Big Muff tone stack. Few have an active tone stack or a tone stack with more than a single control.

I tried two versions of this circuit. The first used the tone circuit from the Distort-o-matic XI, the second used the James Tone Stack. Both of these tone controls have a Treble and Bass control and can cut or boost the treble or bass.

I started with a NPN Silicon Fuzz Face.

The Next step was to add a tone stack.

Active Transistor Bass/Treble

This active tone control came from the Stompboxology newsletter: Going Discreet issue. Described as an ”aggressive” tone control, it provides 30db of boost or cut. The circuit has only a few parts. The downside is it requires a wah inductor. I tried replacing the inductor with a simulated inductance using a gyrator. I couldn’t get this to work. It should work in theory, but it didn’t work for me.

This version uses a gyrator to replace the inductor. Everything after C10 replaces L1 in the schematic above.

This didn’t work for me. The bass control had no affect.

James Tone Stack

The James Tone stack is similar to controls on Orange Amps. It has two controls: Bass and Treble.

A few more parts but the parts are all standard and easy to source. I added a transistor buffer on the end to bring the volume back up after the tone stack.

The Sultan Version 1

The first version used the “aggressive tone control” from Stompboxology. I replaced the inductor with the simulated inductor.

Q4 provides 30db of treble/bass cut/boost. Q3 and the attendant parts is a gyrator used to simulate an inductor. It should work in theory, but it didn’t work for me. The treble control worked but, the bass control did nothing. 

The Sultan Version 2

This second version used the “aggressive tone control” from Stompboxology, this time using the inductor.

This version worked well. I used an inductor from an old Cry baby.

The Sultan Version 3

This version uses the Jame tonestack. More parts than the previous version but, the parts are all standard and easy to get. This version worked well.

I went with version 3. It sounded pretty good and without having to deal with the Wah inductor, which is hard to get and awkward to fit on the board.

Here is an audio demo. This sounds best with guitar directly into the effect. The controls are Gain, Squinch, Bass, Treble, Volume. I recorded into GarageBand using the “Clean Studio Stack”.


3 responses to “The Sultan”

  1. BreakfastAudio Avatar

    I always use “Clean Studio Stack” too, good to know I’m not the only one 😀 Sounds great.

    1. admin Avatar

      Clean Studio Stack FTW!

  2. […] wrote about this circuit in this post: The Sultan. I was pretty happy with the sounds on the breadboard so I decided to create a prototype PCB. I […]

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