Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Univox Super Fuzz

Note the pin layout required for the transistors.  This will accommodate many modern NPN silicon transistors, but you will need to either alter the layout or twist over pins if using transistors with a different pin layout like the 2SC828s used in the original.  One for a 1590BB, but I'll do a 1590B friendly version at some point.


78 comments:

  1. Anyone had any joy with this one

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    1. Are you getting anything out of it Brett or is it silent? I'm away for a few days but I'll look over everything when I get back if you can hold off for a few days

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  2. I've got all the parts for it, was just wondering if anyone's had a go at it yet. I've heard it's a similar layout to the ibanez std fuzz. Such a classic fuzz I thought someone might have attempted it. Might have to be the guinea pig I think

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    1. Hi Brett, This is deffo on my 'to do' list but If you attempt it please come back with updates ;o)

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  3. I'll have a crack tonight and tell ya how I go mate

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  4. Replies
    1. I don't think so, certainly no one has told me they've had a successful (or unsuccessful) build yet.

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  5. I have built this one, it works good. I tried with both 2sc828 and 2n222a, but I stick with 2n222a cause slightly better sound. It's a good size on this design. I'll try to build the other vero versions (Livesley's and so on) when I have time.

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    1. Excellent ;o).. It's creeping up my 'to do' list so it's good know it works ;o)

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    2. Thanks for letting us know

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  6. what other kinds of diodes will work here?

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    1. The OA90's are germanium, so try something like the 1N34A's which are pretty easy to find on eBay.

      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261024858440

      Or alternatively you could just try the more common silicon diodes like 1N4148's or 1N4001's and see what you think, or even LEDs. If you socket the positions you can swap and change and keep your favourites in there.

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  7. umm...this is verified?

    built a pair of them, making one for me, one for a friend..no dice here, can't get any sound thru it yet. used 5088's, paid attention to the pinout, no dice at all whatsoever.

    took voltage readings, they appear to be on acid...i installed the trannys as shown, with e on the bottom, c on top..but the voltages are looking to my less experienced eye like the pinout may have been opposite of what's on the layout?

    mark, do you have the schematic for this that you went by?

    the voltages with a 9.47 output from a wart

    q1
    e 1.95
    b 0
    c 0

    q2
    e 8.72
    b 9.30
    c 9.48 (this looks completely backwards to me)

    q3
    e 1.95
    b 2.57
    c 2.03

    q4
    e 1.08
    b 1.67
    c 3.49

    q5
    e 1.08
    b 1.67
    c 3.50

    q6
    e 1.27
    b 1.95
    c 1.28

    i'll try audio probing thru it tomorrow, but the specific schematic for this would be wicked useful bro. cuz something isn't right here methinks, tho it could be operator error here, it's happened before.
    ;)

    thanks mark

    jimi

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  8. hi mark,
    built this up, but i can't get a sound thru it.
    any chance you could point me at the specific schematic used?
    i'll try audio probing thru it tomorrow, but no dice as of yet...
    used 5088's, checked the pinout and made sure was right to the vero layout..

    voltages are on acid:

    q1:
    e 1.95
    b 0
    c o

    q2
    e 8.78
    b 9.30
    c 9.48

    q3
    e 1.95
    b 2.57
    c 2.03

    q4
    e 1.08
    b 1.67
    c 3.49

    q5
    e 1.08
    b 1.67
    c 3.50

    q6
    e 1.27
    b 1.95
    c 1.28

    any ideas? gotta gig tonite (yay, on a tuesday!) so can't mess with it till tomorrow...

    thanks

    jimi

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  9. I haven't built it Jimi, but Henri above reported a successful build. Did you turn the transistors 180 degrees? I think by the voltages we can see that whatever the problem is, it occurs at the beginning of the circuit because the collector of Q1 is showing 0 volts. The only thing separating that from 9V is a 47K resistor so that reading makes no sense. The voltage of Q2 collector (which is directly connected to the 9V rail) proves that you're getting the correct voltage from the supply (so there is no problem with the power connections), so my suspicion would be around that 47K resistor between 9V and Q1 collector. Maybe an incorrect part or an unwanted bridge somewhere around there.

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  10. I have with 2n2222, 8.94v

    q1
    e 0.12 b 0.67 c 5.55

    q2
    e 4.95 b 5.51 c 8.94

    q3
    e 0.99 b 1.55 c 3.38

    q4
    e 2.81 b 3.23 c 6.08

    q5
    e 1 b 1.55 c 3.37

    q6
    e 0.52 b 1.11 c 3.61




    And this I found on freestompboxes forum. In reverse order.

    C B E
    Q1 6.01 .66 .117
    Q2 8.88 6.01 5.41
    Q3 6.23 3.27 2.72
    Q4 3.1 1.7 1.11
    Q5 3.1 1.67 1.11
    Q6: 3.71 1.21 0.59

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    1. Thanks for the voltages Henri, good for future reference

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  11. Maybe, have in mind that I use the cheapest resistors you can find :)

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    1. No no no no! I use the cheapest resistors you can find, I paid £65 for 250,000 resistors! :o)

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  12. thanks guys,..i DID check to make sure i put the transistors in right...i think the problem is the gain is too high, according to lucifer's trip on the forums...gonna revisit tonite, and see what happens.
    rg said most of the voltages seemed off...i'll look at it more and post back.
    thanks guys!

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    1. HI Jimi. The gain could always be too high, but that shouldn't make the voltage on Q1 collector 0V.

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  13. hi mark,
    yah, i found a little problem...my brain dead self had q1 down one row from where it should have been.

    and the 2nd one had a different but similar problem...still debugging, but #2 is working, we have achieved superfuzzage!! will post more deets tomorrow, i'm beat. thanks for the support!
    ;)
    jimi

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    1. Great stuff, glad you got it sorted Jimi. I've no doubt you'll sort #1 too

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    2. Hey Pinkster, Whats it like? what would you compare it too? I keep looking at it but I'm not keen on real nasty, nasal fuzzes..

      And it's big and I'm lazy ;)

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  14. if you look at my youtube, 666pinkster, and check the video for gus smalley's octave up sick box, that's about the closest thing to it.. at least the octave up part.
    the regular fuzz?
    it is THE SOUND of tony iomi's on the song black sabbath on black sabbath's first album.
    well worth the build, imho...kinda like 3 fuzzfaces cascaded with an octave up, too... or maybe a tonebender into a bigmuff pi. hard to describe, but if you're a fuzzaholic, you'll like it. if you like overdrive or distortion, it's gonna be way to fuzzy/fizzy/sick, but if you're a sick f*ck like me, you'll love it...it's a way of life... ;)
    for good info, google up lucifer's trip 's posts on freestompboxes.org on the univox super fuzz...he posts voltage readings and suggested gains for the transistors there, and his advice and ear are solid. the 88's i used are a lot brighter than the original, and about double the gain. there's a distinct sweet spot i think...i have an original shin-ei 8tr fuzz wah ("kent" branded) and it is way warmer and darker with the lower gain trannys...more black sabbath sounding, less trabantland kay fuzz (which sounds alot like these in a lot of ways).
    shoot for hfe of around 259 on q1, 160 or so on q2-5, and LOW, around 55 on q6 and you can nail the original tone. mrdigi2t is bringing me some of the original trannys tomorrow, those will go in MY pedal, i'll probably stick with the 5088's in the one i built for my friend. he plays gibsons, so the extra briteness should work out well for him.
    i'll post updated voltages and what the f-up was later on when i sort it out.
    thanks again for the support, mark...
    rock on brothers...

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  15. Ok You mention Tony Iommi and I'm building it!

    Great info, thanks. I'll put this up near the top of the list now.

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  16. i think you'll dig it, but for best results, use low-gain transistors if you want that black sabbath: black sabbath sound. i believe my original may be germanium...not sure tho. have to open it up and look at it! ;)

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  17. hey Mark,
    dumb newb question here, but i'm still trying to debug...pretty sure the trannys are just way too high gain, i discovered that i could get a similar octave fuzz happening with a fuzzface if the bias is way off...

    which resistors on this layout would be best to replace with trimmers to bias each transistor?

    sorry to ask for the help, but i'm really stuck on this one bro...thanks!!

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    1. Hi Jimi

      Are the voltages same as the above or is this another one? What transistors are you using? The voltages would likely give you a better idea of what if anything is badly biased.

      But you'd normally bias the collector resistors and so:

      Q1 collector - 47K to 9V
      Q2 collector is directly connected to the supply
      Q3 collector - 10K to 9V
      Q4 and Q5 collectors - 10K to 9V
      Q6 collector - 10K to 9V

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  18. hi mark
    still the same one...i've been gigging a lot lately, and haven't had time to finish.
    all transistors are 5088's, but mrdigit2t brought me some of the originals. i just figured better to add some trimmers...
    i think one of the builds is working, but not right...all i get is octave fuzz, that's pretty intense...discovered i was getting the same kind of vicious fuzz in a modded fuzzface, so it's gotta be a bias problem i think...seems like everything is *right* as it were...and i'm just a trifle stupid. ;)
    thanks bro!!
    peace
    jimi

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  19. Hi guys!
    Now I have built another vero type (by Mike Livesley) with 2sc828. It sounds exactly the same as this one. I daisy chained them and compared. So I'll stick to this one, cause it's smaller and more convenient to build.
    Great work lvlark!

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  20. Hey Lads!

    Put this one together. Triple checked every part, connection, solder joint etc. All I get is crazy, screaming (oscillation?). I can hear guitar through the madness but it's not Live at Leeds. More like laser gun shooting gallery. Added a filter cap - 47u from 9v to ground - no effect. I'm a neophyte so I haven't a clue about what to check next. Any ideas?
    Thanks!

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    1. What voltages are you getting at all the transistor pins?

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    2. Looks like someone nicked my meter. I'll post numbers as soon as I locate the bleedin' thing. Cheers!

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    3. Ok -Voltages are as follows

      Q1
      C 5.48
      B .69
      E .12

      Q2
      C 8.99
      B 5.5
      E 4.86

      Q3
      C 8.92
      B .95
      E .54

      Q4
      C 3.28
      B 1.59
      E .99

      Q5
      C 3.26
      B 1.59
      E .98

      Q6
      C .56
      B 1.59
      E .02

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  21. what transistors, too? i built two, one with the original trannys, (still debugging) and one with 5088's...the 5088's are too much gain, it sounds like an octave fuzz it's so shrieky and loud.

    tranny voltages are a must....you may need to "trim it back" some to get the trannys to respond right.

    if it's right, it should sound like black sabbath's first album

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    1. I've tried both the 828s and the 222As that Henri used. Same results with both. I'm going to take the shop apart tonight to find my meter and get some numbers. I'd be well pleased with Sabbath's first album. I built the thing in the first place to emulate Townshend on Live at Leeds. I teach a class in The Who and we're studying the live performances of the early 70s right now. It would be a great tool for that.

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  22. THIS VERO SCHEMA HAS TRANSISTOR PINOUT MISTAKE! (2SC828 transistors has ECB pinout see here: http://www.ic-on-line.cn/view_images.php?id=1496449 ) You can only use CBE pinout (for example 2N2222, 2N5088 with this schematic). Please fix schematic or inform about that.(I found it after 30% of building pcb :/ )

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    1. Well you should have read the notes above better then: "Note the pin layout required for the transistors. This will accommodate many modern NPN silicon transistors, but you will need to either alter the layout or twist over pins if using transistors with a different pin layout."

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    2. I look only on picture and I mean, that if you note that transistors are 2sc828, also pinout is done for 2sc828. I have bad experiences with twisting transistor pinouts (they broke)

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  23. i had zero luck with this one, i built two, both identical, with 5088's, finally got one working...sorta. but had to sacrifice the tone switch.
    used the older layout, by mike livesly, worked out of the gate...that one i used 828's.
    i believe this layout was designed for more modern transistors, but i tried 5088's, 3904's and 828's, had no luck.. finally gave up. i DID notice, none of the vero layouts i've looked at seem to match the schematic...but then, none of the schematics match, either! ;)

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. No, if I was doing the layout expecting people to use the 2SC828's then I would have made the layout BCE like the transistor. Those transistors are discontinued and hard to get hold of and so although I noted the type of the original transistor on the layout, I made sure I pointed out in the post that this layout was done with the modern transistor in mind which has a CBE pinout and to check the datasheet for what you intend to use if necessary. So if you're using 2N5088, 2N5089, MPSA18 etc they can slot right in. If you do manage to get hold of the 2SC828 and want to use them, then you'll need to twist the pins. Or use Mike's layout if you prefer, he's done some great layouts.

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    3. I always follow pin layout not pictures. I twisted 2sc828. 2n2222 I dint twist. Easy peasy.

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    4. And thats why i like this one more than livesley, smaller lay out.

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    5. Cool, I don't bother with anything less common like this now because they're always expensive and in all honesty there are enough cheap modern transistors, and I've got lots of different types to swap and change until I get one type I like.

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    6. Yeah, I buy from ebay, stacks of different types for no money. I tried a few different types in superfuzz. Almost no difference unless You are Beethoven of fuzz. But in my ears 2n2222's are the most Fu manchu....

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  25. so I've bypassed the balance knob, but the Expander (gain right?) seems to do absolutely nothing.. :(

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    1. If the gain isn't doing anything then there is definitely a problem with either a placement or soldering around the Expander pot. That's a voltage divider and so in the extreme counter clockwise position all the signal should be dumped to ground and it would be silent. Check your soldering on lug 1 and wherever you are making the connection to ground.

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  26. Do you have a link to the schem you used? I've tested the pot and that's all good. I'm thinking the issue is wiring or the placement of a component in that part of the circuit.

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  27. Got it figured out, works great. I must have been sleepy soldering again. lol..
    In the second position it's REALLY dark and the bass notes almost have a bloom to them, is this standard? Or should I make a few cap changes to input/output/coupling

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    1. Glad you got it sorted, here's the schematic if you want to check over things: http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j6/IvIark_2006/Layouts/Schematics/UnivoxSuperfuzz.gif

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  28. hey mark, whats your email? i have a layout i did (crummy one using photoshop) of an ibanez standard fuzz based off this layout.

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    1. guitarfx at hotmail dot co dot uk. Cheers

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    2. Built this last night and it sounds fantastic I used 2n3904 trannies and it fired up first time I plugged it in :)
      I had to flip the 3904's 180 degrees which is opposite of the layout. Just a heads up for anyone else pinout is EBC top to bottom.
      Thanks for the wonderful blog I can't wait to build the other 400+ layouts here

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    3. Glad it fired right up for you, but it's still CBE top to bottom. With the 2N3904 (and 2N5088, 5089 amongst others) the flat side needs to go to the right to maintain the same pinout.

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  29. I tried to build this one from another site's layout a few months back and failed and so I gave up. I then found this layout and decided to give it another go, I just had to have this fuzz. I failed at first and then ended up debugging and realized a) I forgot the 47u cap and b) I had one of the 10u caps one row higher. Fired it up and it worked! I used 2n2222As for this and it sounds good. I have the 828s but didn't wanna go through the trouble of bending pins. Probably going to leave as is. There's a great variety of tones here. Even getting some interesting octave effects at certain settings. This one is pretty unique! Thanks again Mark!

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  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  31. just built this one and it works perfect. I first tried it with 2N3904's and it was pretty good, but then installed 2SC828's (which have a lower hfe) and it sounds awesome. I also modded it with a variable scoop pot as opposed to the two way scooped/non scooped switch. BTW, i'm using 1N60's with a forward voltage of .219V for the diodes.

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    1. Hi John,
      Can you specify which cap you used for the mid scoop pot? the schematic I saw says 56nF but the layout I found shows 560nF.
      Seems like 56nF would make more sense, but I haven't built this one yet.
      Thanks.

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  32. I just built this one and mine works perfectly as well. It sounds super nasty!

    My only complaint is that it doesn't get loud enough. Anyone have any ideas on increasing the output?

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  33. take out that last 100k resistor on the right and replace it with a pot and experiment. when ya get a good volume level, put a fixed resistor in.

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  34. Thanks that was the resistor I was looking at. Just wasn't sure

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  35. A little update.. I forgot to mention that I modified this layout slightly by putting a 10k trimmer between the diodes and ground. If I increase this trimmer I get a volume boost and I have it dialed in to be loud and super fuzzy now!

    Really amazing fuzz

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    1. Do you have to use all three legs of the trimmer?

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    2. If you're asking me, no, I used the trimmer as a variable resistor with only two legs. I added an extra row to the bottom to make it fit.

      Are other people's builds sounding gated? Mine is and I love the sound but want a little more sustain.

      I used BC337

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  36. This layout works great but PAY ATTENTION to the transistor pins! 2SC828 is BCE!

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  37. Hi IvIark, I'm trying to recreate an original one with the non-true bypass wiring. By looking at the schematic would you be able to tell if it was the input, or the output that was not bypassed?

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  38. As I said, layer works great but pay attention to the transistors pins.
    I made this video to test my amp and this pedal (the superfuzz is at minute 3).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WILSs1_TRzY

    Cheers

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  39. Would be awesome to see this layout with the added mods of:
    1. Octave control 10k trimmer
    2. Diode clipping control 10k trimmer to ground
    3. Mid scoop Tone control 10k pot

    Thanks

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  40. OK. Layout works great. Used the original 2SC828 trans with reversed pinout and twisted Base-Collector and OA-90 diodes. Made a few mods which were easy with this layout:
    1. Added the 10k Q4-Q5 octave biasing.
    2. Added a 10k trimmer for saturation control of the diode pair.
    3. Added a SPST switch to bypass the saturation trimmer.
    4. Added 300pF cap on Q6 B-C.
    5. Added 10k pot for scoop control when TONE switch is in scoop mode.

    Collector voltages:
    Q1: 5.8V
    Q2: 9.1V (power supply), 5.14 (E)
    Q3: 6.23V (C), 2.9V (E)
    Q4: 2.1V
    Q5: 2.1V
    Q6: 3.8V

    Seems pretty close to the demos. Seems like the biasing of the transistors is OK.
    My impressions:
    Very saturated velcro-like fuzz. A lot of options with the tone mods. Great for soloing and strange sounds. Fantastic character. Does NOT clean up well with guitar volume roll off or with the EXPANDER at lower settings. Gets smooth only when EXPANDER is increased around half way. Any chance someone can recommend a way to get a smoother sound at lower settings?

    Anyway, great layout and great tone. Been waiting so long for this one to come through. worked on the first try. Made me very happy.

    Catharsis!!!

    Will post on the FuzzQuest blog with added audio clips soon.

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    1. I'll look forward to reading your write up on it

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  41. Don't know why but the Q4 Q5 issue really got on my "internal strings".
    The pedal sounds amazing without Q5 and when I insert it back in it starts giving that octave sound. The problem is that the pedal actually sounds better without the octave thing.
    The octave makes it a bit gated and chords are too squashed and the overtones are so strong that you really get all sorts of harmonics that are a bit annoying.

    I'm thinking of adding a switch for Q5 (or Q4 it doesn't matter).
    I also added the 10k pot betweeen Q4 and Q5 and matching them didn't help.

    Any suggestions?

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  42. FINALLY!!!

    http://fuzzquest.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-super-groundhogs-fuzz.html

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    1. Great write up buddy, and demo, sounds excellent

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    2. Thanks, man. It's all thanks to you guys at GFX layouts.

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