Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Maestro MFZ-1




37 comments:

  1. I built one of these and the drive control is working backwards and I don't seem to be getting as much gain as I here in demos/black keys songs.

    Is it because I used a TL022CP instead of TL022? I already triple checked my wiring and made sure I used the right pots

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    1. TL022CP is just the manufacturers designation for their TL022 so it should be the same, I can't see that being the issue. This one is definitely verified though so I'm confused. Did you wire the pots as shown in the layout, as if you were looking at the back or front of the pot in the layout? And did you use 1N4148s?

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  2. I wired the pots as if I was looking at the back (non shaft side) as shown in the layout. The only difference is that I swapped them around so that when you're using the pedal the volume is on the left. But I've checked my wiring and made sure the drive pot is 100k and it all seems to be just like the layout.

    I did use 1N4148s

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  3. I had the same problems that Travis did. While it works, the one control works backwards and it doesnt seem quite as fuzzy as the "Thickfreakness" tone would have you believe. Fair enough, I'm not playing through an old Teisco either.

    I do have some questions though:

    On the original layout there are these following items, were they omitted or changed on purpose?

    - 1N4004 Diode (missing entirely on this layout)
    - A third 2.2uF Elec Capacitor (replaced with 100uF in this layout)
    - Another 10nF ceramic capacitor (missing entirely on this layout)

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    1. None of them will have an audible effect on the circuit and they have been removed or replaced for different reasons.

      The 2u2 is a fairly useless value for its purpose in the circuit. It's the supply filter capacitor and the higher the value, the more DC ripple is smoothed and noise removed. The 10n cap is a second filter cap in parallel with the first and is there because the lower value caps deal better with noise at higher frequencies. It's usefulness in a low voltage circuit is debatable, and unless you're getting high frequency noise then it isn't going to offer any assistance anyway. I always omit parallel polarity protection diodes because under reverse polarity it will explode if you don't have a fuse in series with the supply. It can easily be added by anyone by placing a 1N400x between 9V and ground, but I'd prefer not to have it in my builds, especially as I use a daisy chain exclusively and so there's no chance of reverse polarity.

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    2. Thanks for the quick response! I'll have to keep troubleshooting/debugging I guess.

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  4. Please post your findings if you figure out what's wrong Jacob. I'm about to just rip the guts out and use the enclosure for something else. I hate this thing!

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  5. I'm not sure where the Thickfreakness rumor started. This pedal may have been used a little on that album but the tour manager (and friend) for the Black Keys told me personally that the Maestro MFZ was used on The Big Come Up, and actually belongs to Patrick (not Dan). He also mentioned that Thickfreakness has a lot of Fulltone Soul Bender on it. If you're looking for Thickfreakness tones you'd be better off with a Soul Bender. This Maestro MFZ is going to give you more of the fuzztones off of The Big Come Up (more harsh and fizzy, whereas Thickfreakness is more thick and wooly). Wish I knew where the misconception came from because the majority of fuzz on Thickfreakness is not the Maestro MFZ. And as I said, this is from a very reliable source.

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  6. If you want to try a different layout which includes all of the original parts, compliments of a very fine gentleman who goes by the handle "Torchy", try this. Verified by me and sounds fantastic.
    http://i473.photobucket.com/albums/rr100/jvande7/vero26pcb.png

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  7. Thanks Jason, I did see Torchy's layout and was considering it when I went this one. For what its worth I believe it was due to a Guitar Player magazine interview with Dan about the recording of Thickfreakness that started this rumor. Here (Thickfreakness era) he mentions using "a Maestro" as his main fuzz pedal (http://web.archive.org/web/20031006155300/http://www.guitarplayer.com/archive/1103/1103_Features1.htm)

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    1. The papers don't always get everything right. Go listen to sound clips. A Soul Bender (or other tone bender variant) will get you better Thickfreakness tones than the Maestro will.

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    2. He may have meant live Thickfreakness era. Not necessarily the studio album.

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  8. Everyone is welcome to try Torchy's layout, he has done some great work and definitely inspired me. But the layout isn't the problem. If you want to make it verbatim then swap the 100u for a 2u2, add an extra couple of columns and put a 1N4004 and 10n cap between the supply and ground and you've got it exactly as per Torchy's layout and the original scheme. In fact if anyone wants it verbatim then let me know and I'll add an extra layout to the thread.

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  9. Apologies IvIark, I didn't mean to suggest that your layout was a problem. I love your layouts and hope you continue putting them up. I just wanted to offer an alternative for those sticklers who wanted it to be closer to the original circuit. You definitely know what you're doing and I would never doubt you.

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    1. It's ok Jason, I didn't think you were being critical. Just that the only real difference between the scheme and the layout is the size of the power supply filter cap and the inclusion of a reverse polarity protection diode (which I always remove when they're in parallel because they will explode under reverse polarity). So I just can't see any audible difference these could make on the effect. But Torchy's layouts are great, I'd never dissuade anyone from using them if they want.

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  10. The gain pot is indeed backwards, I also wired it looking at the back of the pot! Freakin nice fuzz!

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    1. Thanks for the second prod, I somehow missed Travis's original note about the gain pot

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  11. Just thought I'd mention that I rewired the fuzz pot a couple weeks ago and it made the pedal sound great. Still not as fuzzy as demos or Black Keys songs, but very cool with an insane amount of clarity on chords.

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  12. the fuzz for black keys style sounds is the kay f1 fuzz wah

    try that one

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  13. Hi Guys!
    Have built a fuzzrong and a shin-ie companion in its original wrapper! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5JRht4lqhU&list=HL1352754391&feature=mh_lolz
    Really happy with them and the friendly advice, was wondering if anyone would put up a version of the maestro fz1? I ve seen a vero for it, and it asks for 2 x 20uf electrolytic caps, would 22uf do instead? Cant seem to find 20s? Thanks again, Pete

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    1. Cool box!

      You probably mean FZ1B with 9V supply instead of FZ1 that uses 3V.

      You could definitely use 22µs there. They are in the 10% range. You could measure them to get the lowest 22s :)
      +m

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    2. I just drew up and built a vero of the FZ1 (3V version). I made a daughterboard that converts +9V to -3.2V to power it. it sounds great. I used AC128 Ge transistors since I have a lot of them on hand and don't have any 2N270's.

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  14. Hi Mirosol,
    thanks for the advice, cant seem to find fz1b on vero layouts, not quite ready for schemetic only builds quite yet, will stick to the 3 volt version for now. Going to build it with ac128s from Musikding in Germany, do you think they will be ok?

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    1. Those should work fine. You could check forum threads for the best hFE values...

      Anyway. I did draw it:
      http://mirosol.kapsi.fi/varasto/layouts/Maestro-Fuzz-Tone-FZ1B.png
      And build it. Sounds really good, but i'm only getting near unity. That may be because the board went through a few "revisions" before it started to work. :)
      I did it from this schem: http://www.luciferstrip.com/fuzz/maestro-fz1b-schematic.jpg

      If you use my layout, please use sockets for the transistors until you are completely sure it'll work.:)
      +m

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    2. Hey Pete. Here's the two transistor/9V version of the FZ1B:
      http://mirosol.kapsi.fi/varasto/layouts/Maestro-FZ-1B.png

      I just built it, and the layout is fine. You might want to use 100n instead of 4n7, because it's thin and just bad with that 4,7 :)
      +m

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  15. Hi Mirosol, now I'am really confused! was gonna try this vero:

    http://www.aronnelson.com/gallery/main.php/v/DRAGONFLY-LAYOUTS_0/album18/album144/MAESTRO_FZ_1_001.gif.html

    which has 3 transistors and no diodes, then you show me one with four trannies and some diodes, and now one with 2 transistors and diode? I guess my question would be which one would come closest to that 'satisfaction tone', which is what I'm looking for? Thanks for all the options though I'm just not sure which one, the one I have certainly looks the easiest build, but perhaps not verified? Thanks again, Pete

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  16. There are at least 5 different schematics of FZ-1B found through google.. From those two that i built, i'd rather go back to that MFZ1 on this post.

    Or.. If you're just after that satisfaction tone, then i could point you to the direction of Catalinbread Merkin..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMe2Sfe8c9A
    +m

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  17. Merry Christmas all. Built this sucker up as a morning project. It's good, but not amazing. It doesn't gate or sputter at all, which is good for a bass fuzz. It's more of a heavy distortion that thinks it's a fuzz, however for those type of sounds, I prefer the Meathead.
    This one probably won't get boxed.

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  18. Probably a silly question, but would another dual op amp work in place of the TL022, ie TL072, 4558, 741 etc...? Or is the TL022 a different kind of beast?
    Thanks!

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  19. Hi, Mark! What can be replaced TL022? These op-amps can not be found in Russia:( Maybe TL072 or other?

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    1. You could try any dual opamp, like TL062, TL072, TL082, JRC4558, JRC4580, NE5532, LM358, LM833, TLC2262, TLC2272, LF353, LF442, or maybe even AD712. :)
      +m

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Hi. I’m thinking about building either the MFZ-1 or the Hotcake for my second Vero build. One thing I am not sure of is biasing components. How do I determine whether a circuit will require biasing? Will this be necessary on either of these circuits? I just completed a boost, and I would prefer find another easy build and avoid biasing at this point if possible. Thanks.

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  22. I built the MFZ-1 a while ago and while I like it, at low drive settings it gets very muddy. so, I modded mine to switch between the stock pedal and added a 'soft mode switch. the cool thing is that you can use Mark's vero and just move one 2u2 cap, add 1 link, 2 cuts, a resistor and a DPDT on/on switch. here's my modded layout:

    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/Maestro/02-MFZ-1with-mod.png

    now, in the lower gain setting it's able to have more highs and clarity.

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  23. I built one. Sounds AMAZING when dialed just right but I thin there's something weird with mine. First of all it's incredibly noisy. Many would claim it unusable 'cause the noise floor is very much audible right from the beginning and after 50% gain it's just ridiculous. I was expecting for audible hiss but not this much. Also the amount of gain is ridiculous. The taper is very sensitive and after 50% it just goes into a one inarticulate flubby mess. Almost like a big muff into a distorted amp - just unusable. I bet there's something wrong with my board. I might try some resistor swapping for lower gain and better opamps when I get the chance. I checked some of the youtube videos and it sounds AMAZING in some of them. And it seems that it's not supposed to go all nintendo on my ass if working properly.

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  24. Blaah, it was the crappy amp at home. Tried it with a proper one and there's nothing wrong with the sound, amount of gain or taper. Maybe a little more gain on tap than in the demos but yeah, all the sounds I've heard are achievable so who cares. The noise floor is overwhelming though. I'm not sure I can use this when the gain is over 9 o'clock :D
    I swapped opamps and the difference in sound was quite obvious but it didn't affect the hiss in any way. Might try modding it later. Here's a shot: http://s13.postimg.org/sds83b8o5/IMG_20141114_011652.jpg

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