Making Starboard Fuzz Louder?...

music6000

Well-known member
I’ll think about it...but this thing was pretty difficult to cram in there. I had a few 1590B’s laying around, and wanted to make use of them. I didn’t consider the depth, and getting the pots and the jacks in were rough...
Do you have a MPSA18 handy for Q1, curious if that makes it jump out of the Mix
 

Coda

Well-known member
Do you have a MPSA18 handy for Q1, curious if that makes it jump out of the Mix

I do not. It seems I have every other Si available, except that one. I did pop some 2n2222A’s in, and it still sounds the same, mostly. Maybe a bit creamier. It’s all in my head, though. I’ll try it out through my big boy amp at big boy volumes tomorrow. Right know it’s my couch rig (headphones)...
 

giovanni

Well-known member
I just built this today and honestly I haven’t had much time to play it but I did notice that I have to crank it to get barely close to unity gain. Maybe it’s just the nature of the beast? I used 3904 from Tayda.
 

music6000

Well-known member
I just built this today and honestly I haven’t had much time to play it but I did notice that I have to crank it to get barely close to unity gain. Maybe it’s just the nature of the beast? I used 3904 from Tayda.
See what happens if you lift R4- 22k from going to Ground ????
 

Coda

Well-known member
Do you have a MPSA18 handy for Q1, curious if that makes it jump out of the Mix

Well, 1.5 years later, and now I do have an MPSA18 handy. Just popped it in. Not too sure of the difference. It doesn’t seem any louder. Sounds good though. I’m not entirely sure that the pedal is quiet…maybe it’s the thinness of the tone making it seem quieter, less-meaty…
 

giovanni

Well-known member
I wonder if a feedback resistor, say 100-200K from emitter to ground would increase the gain (it should provide 13dB at 100K)?
 

music6000

Well-known member
Well, 1.5 years later, and now I do have an MPSA18 handy. Just popped it in. Not too sure of the difference. It doesn’t seem any louder. Sounds good though. I’m not entirely sure that the pedal is quiet…maybe it’s the thinness of the tone making it seem quieter, less-meaty…
You could try increasing the Input cap C1 from 47nF to 68nf or 82nF ???
 

giovanni

Well-known member
I'm curious what lifting R4- 22K to Ground will do, I'm suspecting a Volume increase????
Ah right I forgot about that. I doubt it would change the volume because it’s just in parallel with Q2’s collector, which is the output voltage. I think it would just affect the frequency response?
 

ICTRock

Active member
I recently revisited my fuzzrite and agree that the transistors (short of using something extremely low in hfe) sound more or less the same regardless of value and that even blending differing hfe values is a fairly spurious mojo claim. The only strange mojo claim I haven't investigated yet is whether the collector resistors are too large, but that's an easy test by just tacking in something like 22K in parallel.
 

andare

Well-known member
Ah right I forgot about that. I doubt it would change the volume because it’s just in parallel with Q2’s collector, which is the output voltage. I think it would just affect the frequency response?
I just finished a Fuzzrite (on tagboard) and I put the 22k resistor on a switch. If I turn it off I get a ton more bass, presence and volume and the fuzz loses its trademark splatty character. Definitely happy to have the option.

My pedal is super loud but the volume depends on where the Depth knob is. As I blend in the second gain stage it gets much louder (BTW I flipped the pot so the gain increases clockwise).

I'll post a build report with some sound clips soon, hopefully.
 

giovanni

Well-known member
I just finished a Fuzzrite (on tagboard) and I put the 22k resistor on a switch. If I turn it off I get a ton more bass, presence and volume and the fuzz loses its trademark splatty character. Definitely happy to have the option.

My pedal is super loud but the volume depends on where the Depth knob is. As I blend in the second gain stage it gets much louder (BTW I flipped the pot so the gain increases clockwise).

I'll post a build report with some sound clips soon, hopefully.
I think the gain increases cw in the stock build?
Edit: oh wait, mine is a PPCB build so that’s probably why.
 

andare

Well-known member
I think the gain increases cw in the stock build?
Edit: oh wait, mine is a PPCB build so that’s probably why.
In the schematics, lug 3 of the Depth knob goes to Q1 and lug 1 to Q2, so gain increases CCW. Several users have noticed this counterintuitive behavior. I don't know if the PCB has been revised.
 

giovanni

Well-known member
In the schematics, lug 3 of the Depth knob goes to Q1 and lug 1 to Q2, so gain increases CCW. Several users have noticed this counterintuitive behavior. I don't know if the PCB has been revised.
Now you’re making me doubt myself :) I’ll have to test it again. All my stuff is packed after our move at the moment.
 

Coda

Well-known member
The original (and the PPCB version) have more gain CCW. In that setting you have both transistors at 100%. As you go CW you are essentially blending Q2 out of the signal…

I think I may breadboard the 22k mod thing tomorrow morning (Summer semester prep can wait). If I like it it would be easy to mod…even with my build being in a 1590B. Thanks for the tip.
 

andare

Well-known member
The original (and the PPCB version) have more gain CCW. In that setting you have both transistors at 100%. As you go CW you are essentially blending Q2 out of the signal…

I think I may breadboard the 22k mod thing tomorrow morning (Summer semester prep can wait). If I like it it would be easy to mod…even with my build being in a 1590B. Thanks for the tip.
BTW my build was ridiculously noisy until I boxed it up. Now, with all the grounds in place, it's only as noisy as your average Fuzz Face when everything is maxed out, with a bit of radio when the guitar is rolled off to zero. I read somewhere that a 2n2 cap from input to ground kills that noise but I just let my Strat on 2, it's still off but silent.
 

Coda

Well-known member
So the resurrection of this thread got me to dig my FuzzRite out. I plugged it in, and was kinda blown away. I haven't modified the pedal in anyway (yet)...but I have never played it through this particular amp before. On my Blues Jr, the FR is a bit too quiet, thin and bright, and a bit harsh. Through my 1972 Acoustic 134, its...still thin and bright (big time treble, man), but is a bit more smooth, and a bit more tame. In short, its super good. It nails that super thin and buzzy 1960's tone.
 
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