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Thread: pussy fuzz! jon spencer blue explosion pedal

  1. #1
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    pussy fuzz! jon spencer blue explosion pedal

    If you've followed the Harmonic Percolator/Steve Albini thing, here it is!!

    Supposedly this blogger was given one of those pedals by Jon Spencer.

    I'm fairly certain this is different from the various builds out there..

    I'm not great with electronics, so I'm hoping this can be discussed & sussed.

    BTW, still the new guy, so if some how I'm breaking any rules
    please forgive me!

    I've attempted to post the pictures in this message but, here's the link:

    Minneapolis Bike Blog
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pussy1.jpg   pussy2.jpg   pussy3.jpg  

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    Ooh. I have a friend who is interested in these. I'll have to pass along the info.

  3. #3
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    That is one of the original ones made back in the day.
    I recognize the case and the pots and the board.

    The case was from Radio Shack, the pots were CTS and the board was hand etched using Datek dry transfer resist materials. The case was marked with Kroy lettering machine labels. The knobs were just like Fender amp knobs in size and shape, but were marked 0-9 in smaller sized numbers.

    The circuit was based on the Harmonic Percolator but was modified to sound more like Steve Albini's personal pedal, which really sounds like no other. Steve still has one of these versions in his collection.

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    whoa! nice info! good to know that the blogger was honest. that's what he stated on his blog.

    I really want to build one but, don't know where to start. I'm just awful with this stuff but, love it.

    can you or anyone tell what value's are used?

    thanks again!!

  5. #5
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    Somewhere on the web there was a discussion regarding the HP schematics that were making the rounds. Some guy had created a schematic based upon the existing ones (Hermida, etc.) and his own builds. I believe that that schematic will get you close if not exactly where you want to be. If I can find a link to that discussion, I'll post it here.

    Steve Ablini's personal HP has one germanium and one silicon transistor and all of the clones that were made (maybe a total of 8-10) were made using the same circuit as his, but each one was tweaked to sound as close to his original one as possible. As I noted before, his personal one sounds like no other normal Percolator that I've ever heard.

    A few years ago (after the video interview/review) a couple of P-Fuzz prototypes were created and delivered to Steve. These new versions were made in small rectangular "MXR" style boxes. One had no controls and was preset to full on as this is Steve's normal setting.

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    thanks again Bill!

    I think I can locate the other versions/schematics of the pedal but, to my ears
    the pussy fuzz sounds a little different to the creations of perculator.

    I'm basing this off of Jon Spencer Blues CD's & I very much realize the
    different equipment, pickups, gear etc used.

    I'm a little sad if that's true. I kind of wanted "both" versions. I guess
    the good news is I can get/build some other kind of pedal.

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    I'd need to see the other sides of the 'lytic caps and the sole xistor to really
    make any kind of guesstimate. I do see 2 diodes that may or may not be Ge.
    That Green resistor doo-dad could be an inductor as that style was common
    a decade or two ago. Seems useless for them to have used a flame proof resistor in this kind of circuit.
    Thanks for the heads up though,

    Noel Grassy.

  8. #8
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    There are two transistors, one germanium PNP and one silicon NPN.

    The two diodes are germaniums. The green doo-dad is a mylar cap.

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    Noel & Bill thanks again!

    Noel, here's a direct link to the pics:

    Minneapolis Bike Blog

    If anyone can provide me w/all the values etc for the novice that would
    be awesome.

    Bill, any chance you can tell me what the germanium PNP values or part numbers are and for the for silicon NPN as well? I mean, can you tell just by looking? Not expecting you to research anything.

    Basically this will be my first build and hope to learn..

  10. #10
    Junior Member Alex Frias's Avatar
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    Thanks for all those info and the kindness, Mr Bill.

    May i ask if you remember how did you put an Electrolytic and not a tantalum on that 47uF emiters-to-ground cap? Is that what you had on hand or it was deliberately done to aproximate the specific sounds on the Mr Albini's unit?

    The two resistors going from collector-to-base of each transistor have different values too. One I figured out is a 3M9, what seems very high!!! The other one is close to impossible to see the color code...

    Another difference, but more on the arrangement of components is about how the resistor + diodes clipping stage at the output appears on this version, we never saw it that way...

    We are getting a discussion here and I think anybody will be welcome to join us:

    freestompboxes.org • View topic - Interfax - Harmonic Percolator

    I think there's a lot of different versions of HP-1 and the Mr Albini's one is very apreciated by all of us. Anyway, the circuit we agree on that discussion is a really great device with very interesting sound and musical capabilities. With some transistor combinations we may achieve a broad range of desired features, like very musical acoustic feedback and some sort of octave down effect.
    The HP-1 simple architecture and its derivatives became an obsession for some, including myself, for its behaviour!

    Noel, nice to meet you here, pal! RnFR too!!!
    Last edited by Alex Frias; 03-11-2010 at 12:10 PM.

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    good stuff, very interesting! i gotta ask- are they the "magic" 1n695 Ge diodes in the Pussy Fuzz?

    and as a big fan of the fuzzed out blooze, i also gotta say- thanks for the sleaze, Bill!

  12. #12
    Junior Member Alex Frias's Avatar
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    values confirmed and updated:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pussyfuzzclone.jpg  
    Last edited by Alex Frias; 03-11-2010 at 08:56 PM. Reason: updating the schematic

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    An excellent job Alex. The very strange journey from '90 or '91 and receiving this pedal and now with it's internals bare to the world and it's place in the history of the first four Pussy Fuzzes was a very odd but exciting journey. Thanks to all who posted. Jon Senum

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    You guys know far more about these than I do.

    The sub for the 47uF cap was only due to what was available.
    The original HP used a tantalum.

    The diodes have color coded bands indicating that they are 1N34A.
    The original ones were 1N695 (IIRC).

    The resistor values that Alex has on the schematic are correct.
    These are the same values as the original.

    The blog photos show an original unmodified version of the original builds, as ugly as they are.

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    The value of the fixed resistor in series with one of the diodes is different in these pictures than in a lot of the posted schematics. I've seen it as low as 1k and as high as 10k, but generally not the 4k7 shown here.

    While some of the other resistor values shown may be those used to extract the same behaviour out of comparable but slightly different transistors, the 4k7 value shown extracts a certain degre of asymmetrical clipping largely independent of what semiconductors are used earlier in the signal path.

    Worth noting.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Alex Frias's Avatar
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    Good point mr hammer!

    But I would like to add that I have seen some HP-1 guts pics with this 4K7 value, what I didn't see until I knew this unit is the way it is arranged in relation to the diodes. anyway theres a lot of clones being shot as originals, so who knows...

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    good call, mark. this could possibly be (part of) a good workaround for those that don't have any of the 1n695's on hand.

  18. #18
    Supporting Member Dave Kerr's Avatar
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    Does this look correct? I'm a bit of rube when it comes to mapping schematics out on stripboard. And I know, there's no R5 or C5, thought I'd keep it consistent with Alex's work.
    Last edited by Dave Kerr; 03-13-2010 at 09:19 PM. Reason: removed layout, should have read last night's updates in a different forum!

  19. #19
    Junior Member Alex Frias's Avatar
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    My gess about Albini's unit joining every new info about it:

    saralbin.jpg

    Just built it and it sounds more close to the Albinis's HP-1 unit than the Pussy Fuzz circuit shown here, IMHO.
    Anyway, the guitar, amp and Albini's playng do make a real difference, as I tested with different guitars and tried several playing styles and found different behaviours...

  20. #20
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    The initial pictures show what appears to be a 10uf electrolytic cap to ground from the two emitters, rather than the 47uf tantalum that Alex shows.

    It's a fairly simple matter to insert a toggle to switch between the two and see if it makes a useful difference in tone.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Alex Frias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    The initial pictures show what appears to be a 10uf electrolytic cap to ground from the two emitters, rather than the 47uf tantalum that Alex shows.

    It's a fairly simple matter to insert a toggle to switch between the two and see if it makes a useful difference in tone.
    Right, but the pictures here show the Pussy Fuzz unit, not the original one owned by Mr Albini. I did coincidently the test you suggested and there's a real difference in overall sound. I've tried a suggestion a friend gave me about to put a 1nF poly cap in parallel with the lytic but it didn't have much effect. I used the same parameters and component materials Mr Bill posted on another forum from his own measures and notations. The cap in question is 47uF.
    Last edited by Alex Frias; 03-15-2010 at 03:20 AM.

  22. #22
    Junior Member Alex Frias's Avatar
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    The Albinati - supposed clone

    My boxed HP-1 clone based upon Mr bill annotations:
    img_0159.jpg

    img_0162.jpg

  23. #23
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    cool! got any sound samples or youtubes for this sucker yet?

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