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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  Tonebender Mk 3 report 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Tonebender Mk 3 report  (Read 4785 times)
Ge_Whiz
Posts: 1937

Phil MillerTime


Tonebender Mk 3 report
« on: October 06, 2005, 06:15:12 PM »

Boy, have I been having some fun playing with a TB3 clone. This fuzz box does everything from heavy rock to wasp-in-a-jar, an incredible range of sounds.

This build followed my summer search for a 'traditional', 'ripped-speaker' tone. A friend of mine was fed up with poor digital emulations from the like of Digitech and Zoom, and was conned into buying the excrable Ibanez 'Tonelok' FS-7, thinking it to be analogue. Real limited sounds, truly digital fuzz, awful. He quite liked my silicon Fuzz Face (more than my germanium FF), but it was not quite what he was after, so I have been trying to find an alternative. Not Bazz Fuss, not Big Muff. Eventually, it occurred to me to try the Tonebender, but which one?

Well, the Mk I is still a bit of a mystery, but too much related to the FF. The Mk II looks like a FF with a booster/buffer in front of it, and I know what this combination sounds like - a FF with no control over the sound. The Jumbo TB is somewhere between a Fuss and a Muff, and much as I like 'em - no. The Mk III, however, is different...

Anyway, I built the Mk III using two MPSA56 low-gain PNP silicons in the Darlington stage, and a 2N2048 PNP germanium in the fuzz stage. Sounds great. It's not cased yet - just in the 'breadbox' with the build on stripboard. Now, I want to try all kinds of mods, including an all-silicon version... but I'm still playing with this one. However, the band rehearses next Friday, and I suspect that I might not get it back for a while!
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B Tremblay
Posts: 1545

runoffgroove.com


WWW
Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2005, 09:15:09 AM »

For me, the 3-knob Tonemender always trumped its 2-knob predecessor.  Its versatility and decreased dependency on "magic number" transistors made it a very satisfying build.

Here are my mod notes, as well as a link to sound clips: http://home-wrecker.com/fuzz.html
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B Tremblay
runoffgroove.com
nightingale
Posts: 617

RyanS - Denver, Co


WWW
Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2005, 03:30:39 PM »

the 3 knobber sounds great recorded on tape also!
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jmusser
Posts: 1484

Jeff is my first name


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2005, 03:38:58 PM »

I'm guessing you mean 3 knob, and not Mark III? I don't believe there is a Mark III, but I'll gladly be wrong! I want to build this one too with some wooly germs, and see what happens.
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Homer: "Mr. Burns, you're the richest man I know"            Mr. Burns: Yes Homer It's true... but I'd give it all up today, for a little more".
Herr Masel
Posts: 464

Yaniv M, israel


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2005, 04:45:37 AM »

Hmm I built the two-knob tonebender, I don't know if it sounds the way it is supposed to but I am going to mod it, adding a tone pot - until I found your tonebender has three transistors, mine only has two........ Huh... There seem to be almost as many versions of this as there are of the fuzz face, I don't even know which one I've built... and I can't load the schematic. Something is wrong with my connection damndamnit.
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petemoore
Posts: 18772


As Yet Unrated


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2005, 06:30:27 AM »

Hmm I built the two-knob tonebender, I don't know if it sounds the way it is supposed to but I am going to mod it, adding a tone pot - until I found your tonebender has three transistors, mine only has two........ Huh... There seem to be almost as many versions of this as there are of the fuzz face, I don't even know which one I've built... and I can't load the schematic. Something is wrong with my connection damndamnit.
  Your is a FF. These TB's are just a modified FF.
  A small low pass filter [cap 'n pot at output] is as good a FF tone knob as Iv'e gotten, with tuned switched caps in circuit the Q is lovely, however, adding resistances to the signal path kind of ruins the FF-ey ness of the circuit, quirky lack of drive being 'required' for it to sound Fuzz Face.

  The three transistor ones have the boosted front end, added 1 transistor.
  The Colorsound Overdriver...OT here, is also quite a nice sound to have.
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Convention creates following, following creates convention.
jmusser
Posts: 1484

Jeff is my first name


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2005, 07:02:42 AM »

If you're wanting a ripped speaker cone sort of tone, that really isn't the Tone Bender. It gives you (at least my SI does) the "Satisfaction" type tone, and the types of tones used by The Yardbirds, Paul Revere and the Raiders, etc. If you go to the "layouts " gallery, go to Dragonfly's stuff and build his "Dirty Sanchez". It's a nasty, gatey sounding, trasher fuzz, and should be more what you're looking for.
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Homer: "Mr. Burns, you're the richest man I know"            Mr. Burns: Yes Homer It's true... but I'd give it all up today, for a little more".
Herr Masel
Posts: 464

Yaniv M, israel


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2005, 01:50:20 PM »

Actually I do want the more "tame" sixties tone, hearing the clips for the 3 knob tonebender I was going thinking that's exactly what I want. Could I convert my circuit or would it be too much of a hassle? I guess I'll just build a new one.
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Yun
Posts: 680


Yun-Jinn Pequesso'


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2005, 01:59:57 PM »

i've built em, don't care for em.  HOWEVER;  Mr.Craig of www.Awendamusic.com makes a dern good (THE BEST IMO) 3 knobber. 

As allways- i just had to replace the volume control from 100K to 1Meg, man. 

But i constantly use the awenda music's SSF (3 knob tonebender) for everything, man.  Just wish i could use a negative ground 9V wall-wart....

Youse guys should try his stuff out, VERY good stuff.  And the 3-knob TB only costed me $55.00!!!!  american currency, that is....
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"It's Better to live a lie, and forget the past, then to Forget a lie, and live the past"
nightingale
Posts: 617

RyanS - Denver, Co


WWW
Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2005, 02:18:37 PM »

just getting confused?

vox tonebender = brighter fuzz face type circuit, possibly built before arbiter?

mkII tonebender =  colorsound version.. Page, Beck, etc.

Sola Sound 3 knob tonebender =  germanium original simliar to the "park fuzz"..

Vox tonebender mkIII = the one Ge_Whiz is described in the 1st post of this thread.. almost the same as Sola sound 3 knob tonebender.. right?


am i on the same page as everyone else here?
curious,


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brian wenz
Posts: 1050


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2005, 09:34:24 PM »

Hello Hello--
         Quite a few people confuse the  Colorsound 3-knob Tonebender [with the diode in the circuit]  with a MK III.   There actually are MK III Tonebenders, but they came later and were released under the Vox or Jen brand.   [There may be a Colorsound MK III ..... I'll have to check....]
    The Solasound Tonebender [MK I] came way before the Fuzz Face and is a two-transistor circuit that Beck used on the Yardbirds stuff.
    The Solasound MK II is the three-tranny circuit with two knobs that Page used on the last Yardbirds album [more FUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ]
  When Solasound changed  to Colorsound they came out with the 3-knob,  3-tranny, 1 diode model [same as the Park Fuzz, also made by Colorsound.]
 I'm too tired to think of more stuff but Vox and Jen [both made in the same Italian factory] had all kinds of Tonebenders.
Brian.
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Ge_Whiz
Posts: 1937

Phil MillerTime


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2005, 03:21:08 PM »

Yes, guilty as charged, I meant the three-knob Colorsound circuit. Boxed it up yesterday and it is sooooooo much fun.

Thanks for the tip-off on the 'Dirty Sanchez'. I asked the question about the 'ripped-speaker' sound back in the summer, and nobody answered...

Has anybody else had this problem? I tweaked the knobs on the TB this afternoon, plucked a note and immediately recognized the tone. This led me to play a well-known short solo from an old popular song, straight off, just inspired by the sound. However, trying to remember the song title is driving me nuts...
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Ge_Whiz
Posts: 1937

Phil MillerTime


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2005, 04:42:43 PM »

 icon_redface Ooops, I lie. You did n fact mention the 'Sanchez' back after my original post. Sorry.  icon_redface
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brian wenz
Posts: 1050


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2005, 08:19:39 PM »

Hello Hello--
        O.k., I looked through my pictures and I DID find a Solasound Tonebender MK III.   [NOT a Colorsound.....]  This thing was made BEFORE they changed the name to Colorsound, so it's earlier then I thought.  I bet it's the "3-Knob" circuit we've been talking about .
How can I take a picture from my files and post it on the forum???   I'd really like to have everybody see this pedal!
Brian.
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jmusser
Posts: 1484

Jeff is my first name


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2005, 08:35:18 PM »

I believe aron had a post on this new forum on how to post. I haven't done it yet, so I haven't read it. Ok, so what came first with the Tone Benders. Were Vox and Jen manufaturing at about the same time, and then got bought out by Solo Sound, then Color Sound? Then Vow sold the Crybaby Name to Dunlop? It seems like I read a little bit about it somewhere, but it was a litte sketchy on what came first, the chicken or the egg. Are 3 knobbers alway Solo Sound, and not Vox? All I know, is I love my 2 knob Mark II Si, and I'm going to have to build a germ version 3 knobber sometime to see if it's better.
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Homer: "Mr. Burns, you're the richest man I know"            Mr. Burns: Yes Homer It's true... but I'd give it all up today, for a little more".
brian wenz
Posts: 1050


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2005, 11:09:32 PM »

Hello Hello--
      Let's see.......
1]  Gary Hurst made the first TB in '59 - '60
2] Solasound marketed Hurst's TB somewhere around '64  [some people say earlier...] as the Solasound Tonebender.
3] In '66 Solasound also made the Vox Tonebender [ same 2 transistor circuit].
4] Arbiter ripped the design for the Fuzz Face.
5] 1966 [or '67]  Solasound came out with the Tonebender MKII Pro [3 tranny circuit]  They also made the Marshall Supa Fuzz.
6] I forgot which year that Solasound  changed to Colorsound ['69 maybe??] but they also started making everything in Italy.
7]  Everything gets real wacky 'cuz Vox, Colorsound, and Jen all had similar pedals and were made at the Jen factory in Italy.
Brian.
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jmusser
Posts: 1484

Jeff is my first name


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2005, 09:27:16 AM »

Thanks Brian. That's the thing right there, the "everything gets wacky" statement. There must have not been to good of record keeping at the time, because there are always conflicting stories depending on which one you read. It seems like even when you get some information from the horses mouth, you still have conflict. I guess thes vintage pedals have taken on a life all there own, like the stories that come out of Roswell. icon_rolleyes
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Homer: "Mr. Burns, you're the richest man I know"            Mr. Burns: Yes Homer It's true... but I'd give it all up today, for a little more".
nightingale
Posts: 617

RyanS - Denver, Co


WWW
Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2005, 12:10:07 PM »


How can I take a picture from my files and post it on the forum???   I'd really like to have everybody see this pedal!
Brian.

Brian,
You can take a "screen shot" while holding down:  function + Print Screen     
 Then if you hold down:   control + V    it will paste the screen shot that you just took..  then you have to upload the picture on a sever and link to it. [at least thats what you had to do on the old forum]
hope this helps,

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Stuart
Posts: 59


WWW
Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2005, 02:34:42 PM »

AFAIK, it goes like this:

Hurst/Sola Sound Tonebender MkI - 1965-66 (folded steel housing, gold/dark grey, three transistors)
Sola Sound Tone Bender - 1966 (cast housing, silver, two OC75 transistors)
Sola Sound MkII Pro 1966-68 (cast housing, silver, three OC75 or OC81D transistors)
Vox MkII Pro 1967-68
Sola Sound MkIII 1968-69? (stamped housing, very rare)
Vox MkIII 1969-74 (Ge), 1975 (Si Jumbo TB circuit, reversed input & output)
Sola Sound MkIV 1970-71 (first to have the stamped Colorsound housing, in silver, orange or yellow)
Sola Sound Tone Bender 1971 (yellow, first to have the "Batman" graphics)
Sola Sound Tone Bender 1972-74 (silver, Ge), 1975 (Si, Jumbo TB circuit, reversed input & output)

There were also versions of the MkII made for Marshall (Supa Fuzz) and Rotosound (Fuzz), as well as some Vox MkIII/Rotosound/Marshall oddballs, with various silicon and germanium Veroboard circuits which didn't make it into volume production.

Up to '68/'69, these all have Veroboard circuits.  The first 3-knob pedals,from '69/'70, had an "upside down" PCB, with the earliest examples having four transistors - one used as the diode.

All the above were made in England by Sola Sound.  Sola Sound was registered as a company in November 1964 and Colorsound was not a separate company, it was a brand name used by Sola Sound and wasn't applied to Tone Benders until 1974 (Supa Tonebender).

The two transistor Vox Tone Bender sold in the USA was made in Italy by EME (who made the Vox wahs), and later Jen, but these were sourced independently by Thomas Organ and had nothing to do with Sola Sound, other than lifting the name and case design.  The only Vox Tone Benders sold in England at this time were the MkII Pros made by Sola Sound.

Here's a line up of three knobbers, from left: '70 Vox MkIII, '70 Park, '70 MkIV, '71 yellow TB, '74 silver TB.  All these were dated from the pots.






« Last Edit: October 10, 2005, 02:36:24 PM by Stuart » Logged
jmusser
Posts: 1484

Jeff is my first name


Re: Tonebender Mk 3 report
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2005, 03:30:15 PM »

Thanks Stuart for the in depth run down! Where does the "Park" name come from? I thought it was it's own name too, but I also thought ColorSound was a separate name until now. icon_confused So, you have a Sola Sound, Color Sound, Supa Tone Bender, Like you would have a Chevrolet, Buick, Regal? Is that the idea? that's a nic bunch of pedals! Are those yours?
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Homer: "Mr. Burns, you're the richest man I know"            Mr. Burns: Yes Homer It's true... but I'd give it all up today, for a little more".
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