Building A Silicon Fuzz Face Clone
I found this kit on eBay, and bought it for $50. The circuit board is a piece of stripboard, which has copper strips for the circuit traces on one side. You can see that in the “Parts” photo. One very cool feature of this kit is the inclusion of trimpots for adjusting the bias voltage to the transistors. The sound will vary according to that voltage setting. The kit maker provides target voltages, and that’s what I’m using so far.
The BC108 silicon transistors are fuzzier, brighter, and generally more aggressive-sounding than the older germanium types. Fuzz Face fans like the way the germaniums clean up when you turn the guitar down. The silicons don’t do that as well, but I tend to run this thing flat out when I use it, so that’s not much of an issue.
So, it turns out strip board is not that much fun to solder to. The circuit is only a few parts though, as you can see, so that went fairly quickly. Plenty of room for the tiny completed board in the box. It’s nice not to need as much pedalboard space as my old ’71 takes, and the transistors (and the sound) are similar.
No LED or power jack here, just the 9 volt battery. I added a few pieces of weather stripping foam to secure the board and isolate the battery from the switch. The sound is AMAZING, and has a great upper octave overtone. Lots of gain and focus; it’s more controlled than my old pedal, in a good way. I LIKE IT!