When asked by Mr. Macari "what pedal would you like to make next" the overly excited words that tumbled out of my mouth were "FUZZ BOX!" So presenting amigos, da-didi-da-da-daa, The Colorsound Fuzz Box, thee Fuzz Box. Brain child of non other that the late great Dick Denney. These fresh faced brightly coloured wonders are based upon the original pedals Dick handmade for Colorsound in the 1990's and have been put together with the help of his actual hand drawn circuit diagrams dating from the 1960's. Coolness and then some.
Non-harsh-oscillating-processing. For a relatively high gain silicon fuzz circuit this thing is smooth, like real smooth, a soft smooth you could say. Make no mistake this blue cyclops will fart-out a chewy smoke laden fuzz cloud you can really get your teeth into but will do so with a degree of etiquette. Bourbon as mouthwash holes punched through corrugated cardboard kinda tones but delivered to your ears with an air of refinement. No mad spazzed out oscillation and no frying eggs soundtracks going on in the background. In other words, it's a smartly designed circuit. Very simple, but thoroughly thought out. As cliched as it will sound it is a very germanium sounding silicon pedal. Not that silicon can't or doesn't sound warm or smooth but, to me at any rate, this degree of refinement adds much greatness to the whole idea of having a circuit so simple in design and function that sounds so well balanced. It'll easily trip on freaked out garage riffage all day long but happily chow down on the heavier 70's vibes.
One knob, many flavours. The Fuzz Box's refinement also makes this a very interactive tool. It stacks well with other noise makers and gels beautifully with a heavily overdriven amplifier, no sag no control loss in the low end. Clean up, you are not going to get clean up from the volume control on your guitar but what you do get is tonal variation. What is there is musical and most definably usable.
I tend to rate a pedal I enjoy on how much too and fro I get from it. It will give me something back, if that makes sense. I like for the tones I hear make me creative, something I can get lost or journey into, not just a blanket of this or that. To my ears at least, this is such a pedal.
As you can see the construction style is that of the 90's pedals that Dick made. Simple and effective. I didn't see any need to screw around with anything here so it is as it would and should be. I did opt for the carbon composition resistors over the carbon film types, cos I think they look pretty. I ain't gonna feed you any mojo tone bullshit there. I also opted for a BC109 is the first stage over the BC109C as newer parts are a little more fiery here than the parts Dick used. The modern BC109's we have fall into the right pocket we require for good bias and circuit set-up and the modern BC109C's would have way too much fart and sputter going on. The second stage has a BC108C as you'd expect to see. Everything else is as Dick selected. Solid core wire, the funky and very cute little circuit board, the nature of the wiring etc. Note that the input and output sockets are reversed, as with the originals, but you still have the battery switching on the input socket, marked 'instrument' Just thought that was worth a mention.
This project is also a little more extra special in the sense that this is Linzi's first project with Sola Sound. The ground work, general research, transistor selection and other such nerd things were done by me but the actually brass tacks of love and assembly are in the hands of Miss Haynes. To say she is excited about the project is an understatement. I think its a radical thing for any pedal builder to build in a enclosure style of such magical awesomeness.
There are 60 pieces in this first batch. The story is the same with pricing info and acquiring said pedal should you be interested in said fuzziness. You need to contact the lovely people at Macaris.
Colorsound Fuzz Box page sound clips written and performed by Philip James Johnston. Copyright 2012 Pinstripedclips