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Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face (germanium)

Posted on 21/11/2011 by ozzy in Effects

Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face Roger Waters often used a Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face (germanium model) in the early days, notably on Echoes during the build up from the mid section. The Fuzz Face is an effect pedal that was designed to produce a distorted sound that reminds a sound of a damaged speaker. The Fuzz Face was used mainly by electric guitarists (Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend), and by some bass players (Roger Waters).

The pedal circuit only uses eleven electronic components, one battery, plus two knobs that control volume and the amount of "fuzz" the pedal produces. The earliest units used germanium transistors, which were capable of producing a wide range of tones. Later on silicon transistors were used to provide a more stable operation, but have a different, harsher sound. At the time the box was first made, the tolerances of electric components were not as tight as they are today. As a result, two circuits utilizing the same components might sound quite different. In addition, germanium transistors tend to be sensitive to temperature, so the sound produced using the box would change as the equipment heated up. According to some sources, professional musicians would try different units from a batch in order to find one which sounded the best to their ears.

Arbiter first issued the Fuzz Face in 1966, later units bear the Dallas-Arbiter name. The original Fuzz Face was discontinued in 1974, in 1993 Jim Dunlop took over production and still makes the pedal. Germanium and silicon transistor versions are available.

Source: Wikipedia

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