Let's talk the truth about pedals. Are they all really the same ??

Discussion in 'Pedal Pushers Forum' started by thunder58, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Butch Ammon

    Butch Ammon Gretschie

    Age:
    58
    313
    Jan 3, 2016
    Richmond, VA
    Most of the pedals out there are not the same inside. They might have 95% of the same circuitry as the original, well known, famous, pedal. But some of the components will be different as well. The pedal will do what is expected of it, but the sound will be a little different too.

    Now, you all remember my BYOC Classic Overdrive pedal that I built, right? I talked the guys at BYOC and they assured me, absolutely guaranteed me, that the Classic Overdrive is virtually identical the famous Ibanez Tube Screamer, with exactly the same components - even the same IC chip, JRC4558D!! :cool:

    The only thing is, YOU have to solder it all together, piece by piece, using all the capacitors, resistors, diodes, etc... and pray you don't mess it up! :eek:

    Do I own an Ibanez Tube Screamer? Uh... Well... Technically, yes and no. I have the authentic components of one, all custom built by me, but just housed in a generic, rectangle stomp box enclosure. AND IT WORKS GREAT!! Put my BYOC Classic Overdrive up against a real Ibanez Tube Screamer from a music store, and they are virtually identical tone wise.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Merc, Frank_NH and thunder58 like this.
  2. larryr

    larryr Gretschie

    292
    Mar 6, 2012
    Camarillo, Ca.
    You got that from me. Great fuzz. Mahoney was building the boards for the Keeley fuzzrites sold for $249. He sells them under his name for under 100
     
    thunder58 and wildeman like this.
  3. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    Just to set the scene, I'm a degree qualified engineer, have spent 30 years working in the electronics industry and fifteen years designing and building pedals as a geeky hobby in my spare time.

    OK, specifically about fuzz....

    Most fuzz pedals work in pretty much the same way. The simplest fuzz is comprised of two comoonents effectively connected end to end. Component 1 (usually a transistor) amplifies your guitar signal several fold, to the point at which the signal becomes too large for Component 2 to handle. That leads to Component 2 (usually a transistor or diode) "clipping" the signal which produces the distorted sound we know and love.

    POINT OF DIFFERENCE 1: different types of transistors and diodes have different signature sounds. Those made using germanium (as most old transistors were) sound a little different to more modern silicon ones. Different types of silicon devices can also sound different to each other.

    Moving on, the "art" in designing fuzzes comes in selecting other components before or after the simple circuit above. Resistors and capacitors are used in a similar way to fixed volume and tone controls to cut or boost particular frequency ranges to "sculpt" the sound. You might use multiple fuzz circuits chained together, or side by side in parallel, all working in their own way to coalesce in fuzzy nirvana.

    POINT OF DIFFERENCE 2: sub circuits are used to shape the tone

    And finally. The first fuzzers used transistors the size of Gummi Bears, nowadays you can fit a hundred of them in a grain of rice. Old skool fuzzes were wired by hand, individually, on a circuit card as thick as book, now they're placed by robots on a playing card and swooshed with solder in one go. The list of differences between construction methods in 1965 and 2020 is long, and some of these may impact on the tonal characteristic of the circuit.

    POINT OF DIFFERENCE 3: old is old, new is new.


    Final point: in all the above, different just means different, not necessarily better or worse.
     
    Waxhead, blueruins, Robbie and 2 others like this.
  4. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Well said stevo , thanks
     
    stevo likes this.
  5. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Good point
     
  6. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    ....and my teachers said I would never amount to anything :p
     
  7. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    yes ... that seems to me a decent product that won't break the bank
     
    Ricochet likes this.
  8. DennisC

    DennisC Synchromatic

    Age:
    37
    606
    May 11, 2017
    Germany
    I don't see Behringer is that bad. The delay he shows in the video is pretty cool. I bought it because it has seperate jacks for delayed and original signal, so one can do different things to them, which is pretty funny - clean on orignal, overdrive on delay and the like ... really cool. It also was cheap, to a then-student that counts a lot pretty often.

    I bought a TS-clone from Behringer, too, which worked flawless but got replaced recently, by a Sparkledrive ... which is a TS-clone also, but offers a few commen/known mods by a rotary switch and, most important, allows mixing original and overdriven signal - which makes it a two-dimensional overdrive, worth a lot to me.

    I have the Behringer Fuzz, too, and it doesn't sound any good. I had 2 or 3 fuzz pedals before, which all sounded crappy ... one of those grey Ibanez where you can pull/push the knobs so they're safe from being stepped on or something ... which sounded kind of good, but I broke a pot, gave it to a now-former friend who offered to repair it, but he only took it apart and did a few other things making me not even consider going after him to retrieve my pedal ... I'd probably hurt him and I, kind of, like having a blank record regarding crime, haha ...

    The other ... I don't remember what they were aside from not-that-expensive.

    So ... I see it like ... some of them are good (the TS-clone is spot on, the delay is flawless), some suck. And they all look cheap. The fuzz could really be called a fart pedal, as that's how it sounds ... someone taking a dump in your ears ... useless crap. Although it is cheap, it is money spent on something that won't do anything for you - it just sucks.

    However, if one's goal is impressing someone with expensive stuff, Behringer is totally out. If one's after a decent device, it's not that easy, they sometimes are highly recommendable.

    +

    I'm also still looking for a fuzz that satisfies me, but not in a hurry.
     
  9. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    AND ANOTHER THING.......

    None of it matters that much.

    When I'm playing in a band, there's maybe 1 in every 1000 punters who thinks "Whoa, good fuzz sound". You can bet your banana, though, that he's not the one down at the front, punching the air and bawling along with the chorus. He's too busy rolling his eyes at all the dropped notes and fluffed chords. So I'm not playing for him, I'm playing for his girlfriend. Except he clearly doesn't have one :p

    If you're just playing at home, it's nice to get new toys, but you can sound really good with a 20 quid Joyo fuzz. You might sound 0.1% better with a 400 quid boutique jobby. You might, though, sound 20% better if you stopped worrying about nuance and just played with a bit more vim. If you can afford it, great. If you can't, just enjoy what you've got.

    [/rant]
     
    Rckt-Brew, Waxhead, blueruins and 6 others like this.
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    Great info. I work mostly on networks and network based telephony. Basically, I rely on IEEE standards to handle the nuts and bolts (metaphorically speaking) but know that I can rely upon devices designed to meet those standards and have a reasonable expectation of how they will perform. I wouldn’t be able to do my job if it weren’t for people like you.

    One thing I’ve learned is that there are few, if any surprises in all of this. Signals behave predictably and manipulating their behavior is something that can be done using proven methods. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that they can outsmart the engineers: such people are almost always mistaken.

    What I find most troubling is the amount of misinformation which circulates. One of the most troubling, is this notion that everything was better in the past. It wasn’t. Many of the early products were poorly designed. More than a few were absolute junk. However, if you want the clipping characteristics of a ‘60s Fuzz, you are more likely to find it in components of the era, for example, Germanium diodes.

    To my sensibilities, the question comes down to exactly what it is that you are looking for. More time, money and effort have been expended on “tone chasing” than I care to think about. Frankly, I don’t see it. For a fraction of the effort and cost that goes into tone chasing, it’s possible to assemble a good solid rig which preserves signal quality and sounds good. It doesn’t matter if the sound is exactly the same as that of some artist, it it does matter that you start out with good signal quality.

    Well, at least you haven’t disappointed them. :)
     
  11. This one needs to be mass produced
     

    Attached Files:

    blueruins and new6659 like this.
  12. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Always remember that some pedals are designed to work at stage volume and they will sound not so great at "Oh gawd my wife stole my bawlz again and I cant find her purse so I have to play through my AM radio sized solid state amp in the bassment" rigs. :) And others will. Components dont matter too much w the latter scenario.
     
    Tele295, TSims1 and Robbie like this.
  13. EarleG

    EarleG Electromatic

    17
    Dec 19, 2013
    Hendersonville TN
    Not all the same but do share primary components, For inexpensive this one is very good for a
    more vintage type.
    [​IMG]
    The Behringer one is highly rated and despite the negs on the plastic it has high strength. Beside that how many klutzes are going to jump on it? However all the music places have it on hold now for over a year indicating it is actually out of production and will probably reappear eventually as a higher priced TC product.

    For versatility and not having to use multiple pedals, The Visual Sound - 66 V2 can do many great fuzz sounds just by 1. turn the main volume down low, turn the tone control down from low to all the way, turn the rocker switch to more bass, turn the gain way up to all the way. In addition you can use the built in compressor with if you want.
     
    thunder58 likes this.
  14. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I actually have a Biyang phase pedal ( it's in the closet right now ) and it's actually a really good pedal , I was actually looking at that one . Like I said I just play at home and I'm really not a tremendous fuzz user , just something to have on the board . I also like your first sentence you used .... " not all he same but do share primary components "
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    EarleG likes this.
  15. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I'm going to assume you are a pragmatic and practical type person :) Your post drained all the romance from the pool of the very hobby many of us pursue. Tone chasing IS the end game, not actually playing a guitar. That what acoustic instruments are for :)
     
    JeffreyLeePierre and blueruins like this.
  16. EarleG

    EarleG Electromatic

    17
    Dec 19, 2013
    Hendersonville TN
    I got back into the occasional fuzz a lot from Steve Stills "Questions" and "Uno Mundo" on the Buffalo Springfield Last Time Around album. There are some other classics of course but thought he may have been using a Gretsch on these. It might have been a Gibson though.

     
    G5422T and thunder58 like this.
  17. blueruins

    blueruins Country Gent

    May 28, 2013
    Savannah, GA
    That’s what acoustic instruments are for!!!??
     
  18. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    All these years later, the work of these "kids" is still refreshing and brilliant.

    Timeless.
     
    EarleG and new6659 like this.
  19. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Not a bad newer "Questions" either.

     
    EarleG likes this.
  20. EarleG

    EarleG Electromatic

    17
    Dec 19, 2013
    Hendersonville TN
    Along those lines .......
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice