I fucking love this pedal. How it sounds, how it looks, shit, even how it smells. This is my pedal. Sure, I have a bunch of other cool pedals I'm keen on. Favourites come and go, I get some pretty far out rare loaners that kinda stop me dead in my tracks but this crusty bitch will always be the Queen of the castle.
I paid no money for this pedal. Ha, I actually traded it for a Tone Bender MKI...I heard that. Hey, I did get a very minty JHS Shatterbox in the dealio. That was before I'd actually heard a Shatterbox with my own ears. The words dog and shit spring to mind when describing the sonic delights of the Shatterbox. Any ways, so I scored this filthy lady in December of 2007 via a trade. Since that time this faithful fuzzer has been the solid corner stone of any D*A*M made MKII. Each and every MKII I make goes up against this pedal. Even the Sola Sound models I make to this day have to stand side by side with this MKII. I've probably had my grubby mitts on 30 or so original Sola Sound made MKII's over the years, I'm including the Supa Fuzz's and other such variations on that too. I check em all out against the misses and hot damn! She stands proud with the best of em.
The pot codes place her being born in around 1966 but I go out on a limb and say 1967 is more accurate. The grey grounding wire I've only seen on the later injection moulded MKII, like this one, and same goes with the red/brown Irka caps on the input and output, the ones either side of the board. The Transistors appear to be Mullards but are not stamped as such, only with the device number and the words 'GREAT BRITAIN'. Spooky ghost Mullard non-Mullards. There is a fair bit of drift on the go in the circuit. She kicks out a fair bit more bottom end and volume than average. The 15000pf (0.015uf) caps on the in and output help this along some, more commonly you'll see 10000pf's there, but I wouldn't be surprised if the input cap had drifted well over double. The transistors aren't massively gainy but the leakage is pretty high, almost at the point they should sound like crap but no, they sound awesome, like a greased up leather clad angel driving a chainsaw into a 300 pound burlap sack of rusty nails to theme tune of Airwolf.
I guess you could say its at a tipping point. Enough leakage to make the tone fluid and dynamic but not so much that it craps out. It doesn't have the gated sound that some of these old OC75 bastards have, which is way cool within itself. Again it sits on a crossroads. Enough rasp and choppiness so its very much a fuzz tone but not too soupy or smooth. I do like a little grit in there ya see.
Would I ever sell this pedal? Trade it on for something more rare? You want that MKI back? Fuck no. Like I said at the beginning, this is my pedal. I'm not really a guy who likes lots of stuff. I like making stuff for other folk. That's my buzz. Everyone needs a little stuff, right? But the way the pedal has character, the heavy 'patina' to the enclosure, the way the tone its just right on the money, even the gaffer tape I can't get of the base plate. I love it all. If I had to take all my other pedals and burn em just to keep this one, I would.