Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

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kimson
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Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by kimson » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:03 am

It seems I can't get this idea out of my head and I'm hoping you guys could tell me how good/bad/crazy it is. I tried googling it, but the search terms were so generic the results were useless.

So I'd like to get some small cheapo amp and mod it into a crazy fuzz box. Can't be that hard, right? If the amp's already got gain and master volume controls, the hardest it can get is swapping ICs and changing some component values, right?

I'm aware of the dangers involved with opening and modifying a device that runs on mains voltage so I'd prefer something that uses 9V.

Any opinions, tips, suggestions, links?

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Re: Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by Trout » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:01 am

You mean like the EHX Cal 44?
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Re: Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by kimson » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:11 am

Ahh yes, not a pedal, just a small amp with built-in fuzz.

And just to be clear, the only point of building it would be the build itself, just to see how it'd turn out.

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MatthewK
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Re: Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by MatthewK » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:05 pm

My favourite "that's not right" fuzz experiment was plugging a guitar into a room-to-room intercom, like this:
Image
Sounded pretty amazing - I must dig it out.

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Re: Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by kimson » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:48 pm

MatthewK wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:05 pm
My favourite "that's not right" fuzz experiment was plugging a guitar into a room-to-room intercom, like this:
Image
Sounded pretty amazing - I must dig it out.
I even looks like it'd spit out Nintendo sounds all day long!

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Re: Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by fuzzjunkie » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:31 am

I can’t help with your quest, but can offer two other options.

1) my favorite SS fuzz tone is taking a 4-track cassette recorder and pushing the gain fader all the way up. Super saturated and fizzy.
2) Craig Anderton wrote a book about building effects decades ago. There is one for a little SS headphone amplifier, I think it just has a 741 Op Amp, but it’s got a nice fuzzy overdrive. Not quite a full on fuzz although you could probably raise the gain.

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Re: Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by kimson » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:40 am

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:31 am
I can’t help with your quest, but can offer two other options.

1) my favorite SS fuzz tone is taking a 4-track cassette recorder and pushing the gain fader all the way up. Super saturated and fizzy.
2) Craig Anderton wrote a book about building effects decades ago. There is one for a little SS headphone amplifier, I think it just has a 741 Op Amp, but it’s got a nice fuzzy overdrive. Not quite a full on fuzz although you could probably raise the gain.
Thanks for these! The tape thing sounds pretty sweet actually, I think I'll have to give it a try some time.

But to be honest, I was half expecting fuzzed-out SS amps to be a thing and hoping it was just me sucking at finding them, but I guess not. I mean, who wouldn't want a Pignose-sized amp equipped with apocalypic fuzz?

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Re: Modding a small SS amp into a fuzz box?

Post by fuzzjunkie » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:29 am

There might be some small 70s era SS amps with built in fuzz. Full sized SS amps were made with built in fuzz tones. I know that Vox had one that the Beatles and Jimmy Page used on some famous tracks.

Medicine and Ravonettes both used the 4 track trick. I’ve used it a couple of times because you just can’t get that sound from a pedal.

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=96qQ6y_QpIc

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