Sunday, 3 January 2016

Colorsound Supa ToneBender

From kitrae

THE COLORSOUND SUPA TONEBENDER - By 1973 Sola was using the Colorsound brand on its pedals, now built in wider "jumbo" sized enclosures. The Tone Bender was upgraded and moved into this new enclosure. The Colorsound Supa Tonebender (pronounced Super) featured a new Silicon transistor circuit that had no relationship to the previous Germanium transistor Tone Bender circuit at all. This new circuit was essentially a knockoff of the Electro-Harmonix four-transistor Big Muff circuit, specifically a 1973 era Big Muff, now known as the violet Ram's Head. Sonically these sound very different to a typical Big Muff due to one minor change - the removal of the coupling caps and clipping diodes in the first clipping stage. This made for a very loud, in your face Big Muff sound. I have an early circuit board in my Supa that actually includes through holes in the first clipping stage for the missing cap and diodes, indicating Sola intended to originally make a straight clone of a violet Big Muff, or possibly had plans to do so later, but it does not appear any were made with the complete components. There is also an extra .1µF cap in the tone section and an extra capacitor added to the 9v for power filtering, not found on the original violet BMP circuits.





I'm sure you can use pretty much any common Si transistor in this one, so you don't really need to hunt down BC184's. Verified using 2N5088 transistors

13 comments:

  1. Hey zach. Is this circuit similar to the silicon mk3? I have a 90's reissue one of those!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hey man, it's not. the supa tonebender is essentially a modified big muff. it's got a few changes to components values, and the removal of the first set of clipping diodes. there's actually another version of the supa tonebender, which has the recovery stage removed from the end, i may need to make a layout for that one too.

      Delete
    2. The version without the recovery stage at the end was the Colorsound Jumbo Tonebender. The same circuit with larger coupling caps was the Colorsound Bass Fuzz.

      Colorsound made a 3-knob reissue in the 90's that used an IC with clipping diodes in the feedback path, sort of a stripped down Tube Screamer.

      This site already has layouts for all of these versions.

      Delete
    3. Hey Eddie. There was also a version of the Supa Tomebender that removed the gain recovery stage, in addition to the jumbo tonebender. They were very similar, but again, slight differences.

      The Jumbo Tonebender came later then the second version of the Supa Tonebender. Keep in mind many circuits are basically the same as another, but different value components.

      Delete
  2. Interesting diagram. Is there a logic circuit diagram for this? Like a one drawn from creately

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anyone get one of these working yet? I built one that kind of worked until I removed a solder bridge I found, now nothing

    ReplyDelete
  4. Can this circuit me modified to work with PNP germaniums?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been trying to build a dba fuzz war for a friend, my first layout from scratch. I was using the fuzz dog schematic and a big muff layout as a template to work off, since the schematic looked similar; 4 stage.. I'm not getting what I expected, distortion wise; not much dirt at all. So I found out that the Fuzz War is simply this with a few component differences and also a modified violet ram's head. My layout is a but different than this but I swapped the input resistor of Q2 with the coupling cap before it. Gonna change that, I'm using 4X 5088s , 2X 1n34a a couple of old carbon comps and polarity protection. The transistors all seem to be working..

    ReplyDelete
  6. Has anyone got this working?

    ReplyDelete
  7. You can tag this one as verified, it works great with 2N5088. I will test other to see if the sound will be better again. Only thing, tone pot is reversed, I just reverse lug 1 and 3 and it works in the usual way.

    http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9520625/20161109_233615.jpg

    http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/9520625/20161109_233743.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. awesome. needed something good today. swapped the tone pot wires, and tagged it.

      Delete
  8. Thank you. Finally after some tests I like it best with BC549 with HFE between 600/650. I don't have BC184 to test and my 2N5088 have not enough HFE.

    ReplyDelete