Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cloning a Sam Ash Fuzz Boxxx


  I was finally able to get ahold of an original Sam Ash Fuzz Boxxx courtesy of Jason Soda from the band Everest. There are a couple schematics floating around for the Sam Ash. This one while being consistent with the well known one lacks the series diode coming off the positive power supply. A schematic and pics are posted here
  The pedal has a pleasant midrange crunch to it. Although a little underwhelming fuzzwise it grows on you fast. It sounds great on chords and has a sweet fuzzy edge when playing leads. The pedal also responds well to rolling off the guitar volume control.
  Parallel to the low value 10k volume pot is the oddly implemented tone control. A 1k8 resistor in series with another 10k pot. Instead of bleeding highs like a low pass filter is alters the shelf of the high pass filter formed by the output cap. Turned clockwise frequencies below 2.2 khz are bled to ground. This thing can get very trebly! A mod request of Jasons was to increase the range of the tone control to "roll off more treble". Some methods of doing that would involve upping the value of both the tone control and the output volume control. Doing this though does change the sound of the original circuit and you can lose some of that unique crunch.
  After testing various transistors I went with some 2n2222's. Although not quite nailing the juicyness of the original the sound was very similar. I also added a .22uf cap that can be switched in parallel with the output cap producing a much more saturated and bass heavy tone if desired. I used Mallory caps. 1/2 watt carbon composition resistors were used in order to stay consistent to the original. 

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