#1
Hey All,

My search for the ideal Fuzz pedal continues. I'm interested in the splatty character of a Fuzz Face and everyone tells me that Analogman is the was to go. The thing is this: I'd like to power everything off my power supply, but I've read on the internet that a Fuzz Face needs a non-alkaline battery to sound as it should. I E-Mailed Analog Alex and he said this is only really an issue for Germanium Fuzz Faces, and that Silicon Fuzz Faces will work just fine if powered from an isolated and filtered supply like the Voodoo Labs PP2+. (which I have)

Anyone have the BC 108 that can shed light on this?

Also, would it compromise the tone to have an LED installed? And what about radio interference? Fuzz Faces are notorious for this, I know.

-Major Bludd
#2
Quote by Major Bludd
Hey All,

My search for the ideal Fuzz pedal continues. I'm interested in the splatty character of a Fuzz Face and everyone tells me that Analogman is the was to go. The thing is this: I'd like to power everything off my power supply, but I've read on the internet that a Fuzz Face needs a non-alkaline battery to sound as it should. I E-Mailed Analog Alex and he said this is only really an issue for Germanium Fuzz Faces, and that Silicon Fuzz Faces will work just fine if powered from an isolated and filtered supply like the Voodoo Labs PP2+. (which I have)

Anyone have the BC 108 that can shed light on this?

Also, would it compromise the tone to have an LED installed? And what about radio interference? Fuzz Faces are notorious for this, I know.

-Major Bludd



Who the hell is Analog Alex?

If you mean Analogman (Mike), then well, he knows his pedals better than anyone.
And he knows his shit.
And you can hook it up to the Sag section and mess with the voltage until you find a sound you like on your PP2 and you will be fine.

You can email him again if you have any concerns. He's a really nice guy and very helpful.
Last edited by CodeMonk at Sep 25, 2013,
#3
Analog Alex? Hehe I E-Mailed Analogman directly and he's the guy who E-Mailed me back. I guess he's an employee of Analog Mike, who is probably very busy...
#4
Quote by Major Bludd
Analog Alex? Hehe I E-Mailed Analogman directly and he's the guy who E-Mailed me back. I guess he's an employee of Analog Mike, who is probably very busy...



Yeah he is, but he does take the time to reply himself now and then.
#5
What about radio interference? I hooked up my buddy's FF and I was picking up radio signals with and without a battery. The signal seems stronger if I was playing closer to the effect, actually.
#6
i did read a post that seemed to think that batteries have a variable sag, and don't just put out a constant voltage even as they're draining, and that's why using a sag from a power supply won't give the same effect. anyone care to chime in on that?
#7
Quote by NakedInTheRain
i did read a post that seemed to think that batteries have a variable sag, and don't just put out a constant voltage even as they're draining, and that's why using a sag from a power supply won't give the same effect. anyone care to chime in on that?


I believe as the battery drains, its resistance also increases.
Or something like that. I forget exactly.
I may be wrong here though.
#8
Quote by CodeMonk
I believe as the battery drains, its resistance also increases.
Or something like that. I forget exactly.
I may be wrong here though.

i think with a fuzz face i read it had something to do with the input signal too. The internal battery impedence changes changes with the input signal apparently which makes it sound different.

I highly doubt it is a percievable difference in sound but more like something TGP loves to talk about.

It will sound fine with a power supply.

Pretty sure analogueman knows how to build his pedals with the right caps and grounding to eliminate a bunch of RF interference.
#9
Interesting. I've searched on the net, and many say that one doesn't get true FF tone without a non-alkaline battery. You guys say different, and so does Analogman! I think I'll go with you guys.

So can anyone tell me what the noticeable difference is in tone? Or is this all just 'Tone Snob' rubbish?
#10
Quote by Major Bludd
Interesting. I've searched on the net, and many say that one doesn't get true FF tone without a non-alkaline battery. You guys say different, and so does Analogman! I think I'll go with you guys.

So can anyone tell me what the noticeable difference is in tone? Or is this all just 'Tone Snob' rubbish?



There ya go.
The same people believe in directional cables, gold tipped leads give better tone, the newest $600 gooped Overdrive is all original, etc.
#11
I'll take your word for it. BTW Why does an LED kill the tone of a FF if running off a battery? I take it an LED is fine if it's running off a power supply, right?
#12
I don't think it's tone snob rubbish. It's pretty basic stuff: non-alkaline batteries just put out a different voltage. You can try it with a Pedal Power 2+ with the voltage control, if you've got one. Fuzz pedals are simple voltage-starved devices so it makes some sense that they should be sensitive to input voltage. It's not some arcane corksniffing. If you starved your amp's input voltage you'd notice a difference too. Same principle. Try it, it's like $1 worth of experiment, and everyone I know who's tried it could tell a difference. People like to make fun of Eric Johnson for doing stuff like this but some of it's actually fairly obviously real if you try it yourself.
#13
Its more the voltage level than it is the voltage source.
And some batteries types drain faster than others.
And all that really does is change the bias of Q2 in a fuzz face.
And sometimes that's a good thing.
#14
Sure, but it does change the tone. It's not really fair to call it tone snob rubbish.
#16
So if I powered it off my VL PP2+, any idea how I should set the power sag input? Or is the difference so small that I shouldn't even bother?
#17
Quote by Major Bludd
So if I powered it off my VL PP2+, any idea how I should set the power sag input? Or is the difference so small that I shouldn't even bother?


Use your ear.
#18
Quote by CodeMonk
Who the hell is Analog Alex?


maybe it's his son. i have to say, it's a hell of a coincidence that mike's surname is "analog". That's some forethought right there.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
Quote by Dave_Mc
maybe it's his son. i have to say, it's a hell of a coincidence that mike's surname is "analog". That's some forethought right there.


LOL Maybe they're a family. Like the Waltons. Maybe there is an Analog John Boy in there somewhere!
#20
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
Quote by Roc8995
I don't think it's tone snob rubbish. It's pretty basic stuff: non-alkaline batteries just put out a different voltage. You can try it with a Pedal Power 2+ with the voltage control, if you've got one. Fuzz pedals are simple voltage-starved devices so it makes some sense that they should be sensitive to input voltage. It's not some arcane corksniffing. If you starved your amp's input voltage you'd notice a difference too. Same principle. Try it, it's like $1 worth of experiment, and everyone I know who's tried it could tell a difference. People like to make fun of Eric Johnson for doing stuff like this but some of it's actually fairly obviously real if you try it yourself.

It isn't just the voltage though. it is easy to change the voltage of a power supply (simple voltage divider). Batteries have internal impedence which is charateristic to certain batteries. Normally battery makers will try and limit this because it makes the battery less efficient but apparently with the FF circuit and non alkaline batteries, the circuit actually changes the internal impedence of the batteries as you play or something along those liones which makes it sound different.

It won't make it sound any less like a fuzz face though so it is pretty much tone snobbery.
#22
There were two different questions. The explicitly asked question was if there was a difference, the implicit one was whether you had to use that kind of battery to get the "right" tone.

I had a problem with dismissing both questions as snobbery, because that doesn't answer properly; it implies that there's no difference. There is a difference, but it's absurd to say that the only correct FF tone comes from a non-alkaline.
#23
The fewer components you have (With any electronic device, not just a Fuzz Face), that bigger the change when you change a single component.
I think every FF should have an external bias knob myself.

And sorry if I was a prick.
Had a headache for 4 days straight.
And other issues at home.
Blah.
#24
I seem to have started some trouble. Perhaps it was a poor choice of words on my part. When I said 'tone Snobbery' I didn't mean those who noted even a slight difference, I meant the whole 'unless you have this amp/pedal/guitar setup then your tone is crap' crowd. I truly appreciate everyone's input on this topic.

The general consensus seems to be that running it off my VL PP2+ would work fine. Would the sundial option also be a good idea? Or simply not necessary?
#25
Well, if you put it that way, do you really think there's any legitimate situation where you can say you have to have a particular setup or else your tone is crap? The fact that you're starting out by calling it snobbery and then asking if it's true makes me think that you already knew the answer.

I don't think the sundial is worth $25. The standard one has an internal trimpot, and you really shouldn't have to adjsut bias so often that you need an external pot for it. On the other hand, as Robb says, an external bias pot is really nice to have, so if you don't mind that it's a bit expensive for what you're getting, go for it. If you're sticking to a budget, you lose nothing but a little convenience by getting the standard version.
#26
I didn't know the answer, actually. When I first started playing, I wasted a lot of $ on gear that didn't work for me. Now I always ask on UG, just in case I missed something. And I almost always miss something...