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DIY Stompboxes => Building your own stompbox => Topic started by: j_flanders on August 08, 2019, 06:43:03 PM

Title: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on August 08, 2019, 06:43:03 PM
Does it matter which type I order or is anything with the right hfe (Q1:70 (-85), Q2:120 (-140)) and low leakage ok?
Or are some types unsuitable for a Fuzz face?
 
As far as I know these are my options in Europe.

https://www.musikding.de/Germanium-Transistors

https://www.banzaimusic.com/Germanium-Transistors/
https://www.banzaimusic.com/Transistors-matched-selected/

http://www.newtone-online.nl/catalog/index.php?cPath=31_35

Any recommendations? Maybe more importantly on what definitely not to get (if any)
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: mac on August 08, 2019, 10:30:28 PM
All ACxxx I bought from different sources are too leaky for FF.
But good for Maestro FZ1.

I like japs like Matsushita 2sb17x family, 2sd352, or Hitachi 2sb77, or Toshiba 2sb54/56.

Toshiba 2sa49/52/53 have the right gain and low leakage, but their internal capacitance is low. ACxxx have higher capacitance.

mac
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on August 09, 2019, 06:33:43 AM
Thanks Mac.
Excluding all AC's from the shops above it leaves me with only one choice for Q2:
https://www.musikding.de/2SB178-hFE120-130_1

And these for Q1:
https://www.musikding.de/GT2307-hFE70-80_1
https://www.musikding.de/GT308-hFE70-80_1
https://www.musikding.de/MP16-hFE70-80_1
https://www.musikding.de/2SB178-hFE70-80_1

Are there other reputable, trustworthy shops in Europe that sell 'selected' ge transistors for a Fuzz face?
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Steben on August 09, 2019, 07:08:54 AM
Thanks Mac.
Excluding all AC's from the shops above it leaves me with only one choice for Q2:
https://www.musikding.de/2SB178-hFE120-130_1

And these for Q1:
https://www.musikding.de/GT2307-hFE70-80_1
https://www.musikding.de/GT308-hFE70-80_1
https://www.musikding.de/MP16-hFE70-80_1
https://www.musikding.de/2SB178-hFE70-80_1

Are there other reputable, trustworthy shops in Europe that sell 'selected' ge transistors for a Fuzz face?

banzai?

https://www.banzaimusic.com/Transistors-matched-selected/
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: diydave on August 09, 2019, 07:10:45 AM
Build a few ff's with ge-transistors from you're list of sources.
All sounded quite good in my ear  ???

I would not exclude them totally.
Trail & error + mix & match.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on August 09, 2019, 08:54:32 AM
banzai?

https://www.banzaimusic.com/Transistors-matched-selected/

first post:
https://www.banzaimusic.com/Transistors-matched-selected/
;)

Those were my first choice originally but then I started reading about them and read AnalogMike's post over here, saying that no original Fuzz Face ever used AC128's and not ever did he come across AC128's that sounded any good, so I discarded them.

Where does the ac128 myth actually originate?
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: italianguy63 on August 09, 2019, 09:07:56 AM
I've had great success with Russian GE's.  Search the forum for "Russian trannies" from a couple years ago... some great data and discussion in there.

MC
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on August 09, 2019, 09:40:31 AM
I've had great success with Russian GE's. 
Where in Europe can I order them (and be sure the seller correctly checks for hfe and leakage?)
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: italianguy63 on August 09, 2019, 09:48:53 AM
I've had great success with Russian GE's. 
Where in Europe can I order them (and be sure the seller correctly checks for hfe and leakage?)

They won't do HFE and leakage.  Find the article I wrote and there is a chart in there of the typical values.

I have always gotten mine on FleaBay... always out of E. Europe.  Usually Bulgaria, Romania, or USSR.  I've had great success with them.

Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: italianguy63 on August 09, 2019, 10:19:57 AM
Here.. look at this:

https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=117061.0
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Steben on August 09, 2019, 10:33:05 AM
Where does the ac128 myth actually originate?

Well ...
They simply were used...
 
Quote from: fuzzcentral
The original versions of the Fuzz Face were equipped with PNP Germanium transistors. There were at least three types used: NKT275, AC128, and SFT363E. These three transistors are quite hard to come by these days.

Today we "choose our materials" and want a very good fuzz.
Original fuzz faces sounded different. There is this story that Hendrix tried some pedals and choose the good one. Probably that one had good trannies.

And sometimes you see Silicon fuzzes popping up that soudn fantastic. Silicon is reliable, gain selected, low leakage.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on August 09, 2019, 10:56:40 AM
These are the posts I was referring to:

Quote
AC128

No :(

(imho)

The only fuzzface to ever use an AC128 is the terrible grey UK made reissue, and of those about 30% had at least one transistor installed upside down. Including the one pictured in the manual/sales flyer! But the sound was so bad it made little difference which way the trans were installed so they were not caught by the builder.

You will get much better tone with the small bear generics than any AC128 that I have ever tested.

Have fun!
maybe I was a little tough on AC128s for 2 reasons:

1) the misunderstanding that they were often used in the original pedals in the 60s (so far zero out of a few hundred germanium fuzzfaces I and my friends have seen have had AC128s)

2) all the AC128s I bought from several ebay and non ebay sources, and all the ones I pulled from over one hundred reissue UK made arbiter england fuzzfaces sound terrible and have poor specs. I lost a lot of money buying these. And I thought IF there were any good ones available in the UK, then the company making the the reissue fuzzfaces in the UK would be using the good ones.

have fun and be fuzzy!!!
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: duck_arse on August 09, 2019, 11:22:49 AM
Ivan, at diy-tubes.com, in russia. if you ask him nicely, tell him what you want, and he might select some trannies for you. he has some goood stuff.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on August 09, 2019, 12:41:56 PM
Ivan, at diy-tubes.com, in russia. if you ask him nicely, tell him what you want, and he might select some trannies for you. he has some goood stuff.
Thanks! It's not in Europe but the shipping cost is very reasonable and his transistors are cheap and he has a nice selection. And he seems to test for hfe and leakage. Definitely going to order from him when the shop reopens next week.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Electric Warrior on August 09, 2019, 01:12:21 PM
These should bias in the right ballpark in a stock circuit:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/AC122-grun-Germanium-Transistor-PNP-SI/312587513598?hash=item48c7aaeefe:g:Fv0AAOSwf69cXHj1

Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Steben on August 09, 2019, 02:51:27 PM
Ivan, at diy-tubes.com, in russia. if you ask him nicely, tell him what you want, and he might select some trannies for you. he has some goood stuff.

J201 for 0.5$ !!!!!!
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: mac on August 09, 2019, 04:21:31 PM
Quote
Thanks Mac.
Excluding all AC's from the shops above it leaves me with only one choice for Q2:
https://www.musikding.de/2SB178-hFE120-130_1

I don't know if those 178 are part of the 172-175-176 family.
I found this Matsushita 2sb178 (n)

https://m.donberg.ie/descript/2/2sb_178.htm

mac
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on August 09, 2019, 04:34:49 PM
I don't know if those 178 are part of the 172-175-176 family.
I found this Matsushita 2sb178 (n)

https://m.donberg.ie/descript/2/2sb_178.htm

mac
I have/had my doubts as well. When I come accross ge transistors I look them up over here. I get many hits for the 172-175's for FF's and only a few for 178's... So, they didn't seem like typical FF transistors. Although, I don't know if there such a thing as 'typical FF transistors"
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Electric Warrior on August 09, 2019, 04:55:56 PM
Well.. Arbiter only used NKT275s back in the day from what we know. I'd say they must be fairly typical.  :icon_mrgreen:

Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: mac on August 11, 2019, 06:33:52 PM
I'd like to get some nkt275 to compare with japs, but I've never seen one of those here.
Lots of Matsushitas, Toshiba, Sanyo and Hitachi, ACxxx, AFxxx and ADxxx in my country.

I forgot to mention Sanyo 2sd72.

mac
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Electric Warrior on August 12, 2019, 02:20:15 PM
Even if you manage to get some they may be different from the ones that Arbiter used.

I once scored 4 of them. They were actual Newmarket made ones, but later production.
The gain range was pretty much as expected i.e. pretty low. Mine measure between 40 and 72, but as the datasheet gives a range between 30 and 90, this came as no surprise.
The real problem was that they leak too little (between 10 and 50 mA), so they wouldn't bias right with stock values. It took a 100k on Q1C to fix this.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: tubegeek on November 05, 2019, 03:49:40 PM
I just today finished my first Fuzz Face, I used Jack Orman's positive power supply scheme and a pair of GE 2n525 germaniums I happened to have a few of, gains tested using the RG Keen circuit at about 45 on each one.

I used all stock values except the Q1 collector which needed 68K, replacing 33K. With the stock 33K value, it was gate-y and yucky.

I think 68K may have overshot - my trimpot was set to 61K and it sounded better - rougher! - than this standard-value substitution. So I may parallel a couple of resistors and see what that does - or maybe the temperature in my workroom changed and that's why. Does anybody have a reference for a temperature compensation diode scheme? I'll google a bit.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: j_flanders on November 05, 2019, 04:20:30 PM
Ivan, at diy-tubes.com, in russia. if you ask him nicely, tell him what you want, and he might select some trannies for you. he has some goood stuff.
I e-mailed him twice in august after his holiday, asking nicely as instructed. Never got a reply... I can only assume it arrived in his spam folder.
So, I was looking for ge's again today, right when someone bumps 'my' thread. :)
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: tubegeek on November 07, 2019, 02:28:22 AM
GE Ge. 2 Fuzz Faces. I had so much fun building the first one Manhattan-style, I built a 2nd one right away, that one got a 100K trimmer for the Q1 collector resistor.
(https://i.postimg.cc/k2VFTBRM/20191107-015434.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/k2VFTBRM)

(https://i.postimg.cc/LhRDm9wv/20191107-015511.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/LhRDm9wv)

(https://i.postimg.cc/yDWn2LtH/20191107-015620.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/yDWn2LtH)
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: duck_arse on November 07, 2019, 07:58:00 AM
looks like you've killed those box caps. manhatten is a style I'm yet to try. I've seen Jaycar has bags of "lands", two sizes, but knowing them I'd need to spend days sanding the bloody things before I could use them.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: tubegeek on November 07, 2019, 09:35:06 AM
looks like you've killed those box caps.
'Cause I melted a corner or 'cause they are lying dead coffin-style?
Quote
manhatten is a style I'm yet to try. I've seen Jaycar has bags of "lands", two sizes, but knowing them I'd need to spend days sanding the bloody things before I could use them.
Just use strips you offcut from a board, and you can cut the strips for islands - an xacto saw blade is very handy. I made the 2nd one right away because I wanted to tweak the layout a little and because it's kinda fun. Super glue gel is good as is FRESH thin super glue. Old stale thin super glue is a no go.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Roland on November 07, 2019, 09:56:09 AM
There was a Craig Anderton "guitar player"magazine article from the early 80's about original fuzz faces and the transistors used. If I remember correctly NKT 275's were used and mostly AC128's ...as a matter of fact the  techs from Europe and the US that were used for info on the article stated  that most fuzz faces repaired used ac128's...with some saying ALL had ac128's. 

There was also a poster showing Hendrix gear and the fuzzface with the bottom cover removed and you could clearly see the nkt275's were used in his.

 
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: Electric Warrior on November 07, 2019, 12:41:28 PM
There was a Craig Anderton "guitar player"magazine article from the early 80's about original fuzz faces and the transistors used. If I remember correctly NKT 275's were used and mostly AC128's ...as a matter of fact the  techs from Europe and the US that were used for info on the article stated  that most fuzz faces repaired used ac128's...with some saying ALL had ac128's. 


I've collected some data over the last couple of years. In over 500 Fuzz Faces I haven't seen one with confirmed original AC128s. I was able to confirm a couple of rare silicon variants noone had ever written about, though.

Edit: I just remembered: I've got a copy of that article.  ;D
It doesn't say that AC128s were ever used. It merely suggests the AC128 as a european equivalent for NKT275s.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: duck_arse on November 08, 2019, 08:05:15 AM
tubegeek > cause they laying down, tired.

Electric Warrior > I was given a photocopied single page of anderton-on-fuzzface, back in the 80's [still have it], and it has a connection error in the circuit diagram.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: tubegeek on November 08, 2019, 09:31:33 AM
tubegeek > cause they laying down, tired.

<insert not dead yet, just resting, Monty Python parrot joke>

BTW if ever there was a circuit suitable for Manhattan style, it's this one.
•very few components/connections
•highish gain, so happy to be groundplaned
•retro as f*ck.
Title: Re: Which ge transistors (not) to get for a great sounding Fuzz face ?
Post by: tubegeek on December 12, 2019, 06:57:04 PM
I got some enclosures on the most recent Tayda discount code, and so one of the Manhattan-style Fuzz Faces got a home today.

I can't really recommend these pre-painted Tayda boxes that highly: the heat generated by a step drill is enough to make the surface get a weird texture. Too cheap/good to be true.
(https://i.postimg.cc/hhYMzYpx/fuzz-face-paint-job.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/hhYMzYpx)