The Stompbox Gallery
Musical widgets, gadgets and other assorted gizmotrons I have built
fuzz!
-- Graffiti seen on a gravel container
last update: Feb. 16, 2020

Copyright 2010-2020 by H. Gragger. All Rights Reserved. All information provided herein is destined for educational and D.I.Y. purposes only. Commercial re-sale, distribution or usage of artwork without explicit written permission of the author is strictly prohibited.The original units  with their associated  trade-names are subject to the copyright of the individual copyright owner. The Author is by no means affiliated with any of those companies. References to trade names are made for educational purposes only. By reading the information provided here you agree to the Terms of Use.
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Index


 

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Index
of diverse undocumented builds

NVN Tarpit Meltdown
NVN Brontoboost
NVN GZ fuzz
Boston Myhoney
Eight Legged Spyder (stompbox psu)
Sound Samples


 

tarpit
                                  meltdown
NVN Tarpit Meltdown (click to enlarge).

This is a silicon/germanium hybrid fuzz face at its heart with extensive tone manipulation possibilities, like pre-distortion tone control and post distortion. It uses a reverse biased GE diode to eliminate bias problems caused by temperature variations.

Everything from classic, bass heavy fuzz tones to smooth overdriven screaming lead plus some madness. Slightly noisy due to GE. Darn fat + smooth sound.

Built on an original design by Nine Volt Nirvana (NVN) / Joe Gagan. Nothing has been changed technically, documentation is available on the web.
Note: this is a clone, not built by NVN. It is a hommage to Joe Gagan´s work. Used with permission.
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brontoboost
NVN Brontoboost (click to enlarge).

This is a silicon/germanium hybrid built on a Rangemaster basis. Very different to fuzz faces, does not have that heavy bass overload and fizzyness.
It uses a reverse biased GE diode to eliminate bias problems caused by temperature variations.

Has a boost stage in front, while both have their own pre-distortion tone filtering and gain settings. Master volume sets overall loudness. A very useful unit, albeit somewhat noisier than silicon counterparts.

Built on an original design by Nine Volt Nirvana (NVN) / Joe Gagan. Nothing has been changed technically, documentation is available on the web.
Note: this is a clone, not built by NVN. It is a hommage to Joe Gagan´s work. Used with permission.
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gt fuzz
NVN GT fuzz (click to enlarge).

This is a silicon/germanium hybrid fuzz face at its heart, similar to the Tarpit Meltdown. It has less features for crazy tones, but a very effective tone control.

It was originally designed by
Nine Volt Nirvana (NVN) / Joe Gagan with simplicity in mind, hence the abbreviation GT, meaning great tone. And it truly has.

This was a straight build technically, so documentation is available on the web.
Note: this is a clone, not built by NVN. It is a hommage to Joe Gagan´s work. Used with permission.
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The
                          Boston Myhoney
The Boston Myhoney (click to enlarge).

A Bosstone clone with Nashville circuit. This sports a voltage sag control for even crazier tones and a diode ground lift switch as in the recently marketed versions of the Buzztone, but with volume compensation to eliminate volume steps when switching. Can be jumpered to the bias feed known from the Boss T-Bone by Alexis Frias for a different result.

Thinks 60ies Rare Earth recordings and Pete Cosey on Electric Mud.


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the Spyder
                              crawls Spyder still crawls
Entangled in the web of the Eight Legged Spyder (click to enlarge).

The swan song for the block battery: a power supply for effects devices, delivers 8x 9Vdc@100mA (galvanically isolated). Built to the specs of R.G. Keen at geofex.com.

Not exactly as compact and lightweight, but de-luxe and
service-friendly electronics (1x 2VA fused transformer and IC regulator per unit, short-circuit and thermally protected, with indicator-LED), at a fraction of the price of commmercial counterparts: 50 Euros.

Comes in a sturdy, totally insulated case that is environmentally unobjectionable ;-)
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Sound Samples

With all those goodies standing in front of me, the question arises how they compare sound-wise.
I have tried to adjust the settings in a way that they are semi-comparable (fuzz, tone, volume) if this is at all possible. I have dialled in the more saturated tones with full volume and guitar volume taken back. Funnily, at some point they all sound very similar. but make your own decision. I just did a few quick tracks with a little comping.

Like with all recordings, I hope you can hear the difference between the devices. They turned out to sound more authentic over the Hi-Fi than headphones. This teaches me again that sound samples do never reveal a pedal´s true potential.

The subsequent recordings have been done using the following setup:
  • Strat modified according to specs
  • J-FET buffer directly after the guitar except where noted
  • 59´ Bassman emulation (slightly turned up gain) with 4x10 Bassman Speaker emulation (Digitech RP-500), with EMT Plate reverb
  • PC hard disk recording over a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card.
(Names may be copyrighted by the associated copyright holder)



Settings:

Guitar: neck + niddle, full bass, slight treble cut, buffer
Great Cheddar: wicked bias setting, fuzz = 5 o´clock, tone = 8 o´clock, volume= 1 o´clock
Poker Face: fuzz = 5 o´clock, smooth = 2 o´clock, volume= 11 o´clock, no sag (stock)
Fuzz Ride: fuzz = 5 o´clock, shape = 4 o´clock, volume= 11 o´clock, no sag (stock)
Boston: attack = 4 o´clock, sag = 11 o´clock, volume= 11 o´clock, diodes engaged (stock)
Access: drive = 4 o´clock, fatness = 3 o´clock, volume= 10 o´clock


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Update history
  • Feb. 16, 2020: added several further undocumented units and removed others. Update to caroussel
  • July 11, 2013: added umble and 110 detuned cab
  • Sept 08, 2011: error correction
  • May 11, 2011: added detuned cabinet
  • Mar. 3, 2011: added caroussel
  • Jan. 3, 2011: added tone queen
  • Nov. 28, 2010: added spyder power supply
  • Nov. 21, 2010: added expedience fuzz
  • Nov. 3, 2010: added sound files
  • Nov. 1, 2010: added some cheese
  • 20 Oct 2010: first release
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