I am the fuzz box system demon ~ FZ-673
The beginning. I’ve been brewing this thought for a while and a few favours owed made it finally manifest. In fuzz box terms I guess this is an embodiment of old school and new school, or at least an attempt there of. Basically, the FZ-673 circuit is the Zonk Machine/Tone Bender MKI circuit with a few subtle tweaks to try and make what is a pair of clown sized dinosaur shoes into some kind of laser beam driven UFO controlled fuzz device.
The simple new happenings are, the addition of a tone filter, a boost in output volume and gain plus your handy modern day fixtures of an status LED, battery drawer and DC tap.
The one grander thing I’d been messing around with since I was doing the Holy Roller (the D*A*M MKI style fuzz box circa 2004) was to get that particular circuit to yield not only a lot of gain at full-bore but also to be able to deal out some elements of clean-up and ability to lay down a tone that one would almost describe as an overdrive tone. In essence I was scrubbing out all the heavy decay and choppy gated artefacts that generally occur with this circuit type leaving the user with a purer fuzz tone. I would like to boldly declare this is what you get in the FZ-673. The best of everything, High gain, instant clean-up, but, this fucker needs to be stable, as in, warm. Feeling hot hot hot? Its not like you’d need to keep it on a heat mat or have a hot water bottle permanently gaffer taped to the enclosure but you will hear a significant move in gain in colder climates. It’s nothing that would cause any major headaches but it is a common theme with original MKI circuit types, to hear shifts in the output due to heat, and I do need to mention this point.
I’m basically saying, this pedal will give you op-amp quality overdrive like smoothness but with all the complex glory and freaky exhaled responsiveness of a primitive germanium fuzz circuit…but, only when its been let to adjust to its environment. I’m over emphasizing this point I know and I’m mainly talking about when the pedal is either first unpacked or say moved between different climates or environments.
The controls are pretty straight forward but there are a few things that need to be understood. The Swell is basically your volume control but its nature is different to a regular your volume adjuster. At around the noon mark it tames a lot of the high end content you’ll hear when you have the filter set to full treble (fully dialled to the left) Inching past noon, and more obviously in the last quarter of the turn, the Swell will really push the gain and overall saturation levels and deliver you a pretty fierce fuzz tone, once the Fuzz control set wide open. The Fuzz control is a lot more ‘normal’ in its delivery of tones and the amount of sustain it lays down than a stock Zonk Machine Fuzz control would offer you. You have a pretty decent gradual increase from chunkiness to full-on fuzziness and little in the way of dead spots. Zonk’s can be either all on nothing at times in this regard. Temperature extremes will affect this dial usage too. A cold winter’s day and the Fuzz dial will need maximising for the full-on fuzz experience. Baking in a sunnier environment and set at full Fuzz the FZ-673 will be stripping paint.
Filter is just that. Nothing overblown just a very crude, but at times pretty damn effective dial for tuning your guitar and/or amp the FZ-673’s circuit. Pick-up type seems to really come into play here and more obviously so cabinet size. P-90’s respond really well and lay down a healthy jumbo sized thick tone with the Filter pushed open. An open sounding mid gain single coil (P-90’s get my vote) seems to do the do and with spare change.
Made from Stars
The construction style you’ll find somewhat familiar. I dig it so I dug it. Only the second time I’ve used a two layer graphic and I’m pretty stoked with the results. It’s pretty new in that regard. The theme? I was aiming to manifest a sci-fi kinda thing, got pretty close I think. FZ = Fuzz. 67 = 1967, the (guestimated year) of the main study Zonk. 73 = Year of Enter the Dragon…and Black Mama, White Mama…irrelevant shit to finish of the name to be honest. I actually wanted to make the finished item to appear almost toy like, kinda like it was made from Lego or something along those lines. The original plan was to use red chicken heads but I think the boundaries of good taste with a dose of humour had been exceeded in that case.
Transistors. Military shit all the way. The Motorola OC75’s I was told were ex-military stock so I combined those with CV7004’s (the military version of the OC45). The little fat UFO style cans of the Motor 75’s had the tone and looks and I thought it made cool and some what geeky change to the usual suspects. I threw in some old school flavours with the capacitors too as to top that whole vibe off…and of course makes it all tastes betterer.