There comes a point in a guitarist’s exploration of gear, that eternal hunt for elusive tone, where you may think,
“What if I were to risk my own safety and sanity, the sanctity of my eardrums, to wield the searing power of the soldering iron and meld wires to transistors and cables to circuit boards? Would I dare to connect this perilous amalgam of components to my amp, crank it, and soar higher than ever before? Will I pass prudent Icarus on my path to the stars, shrieking with ecstasy as my guitar ignites, riding oh so high on the cosmic fuzztone of my own creation!?”
Yeah, D.I.Y. will do that for ya. Many years ago I started my pedal building obsession with a D.I.Y. kit, making loads of mistakes along the way, but eventually bringing it to life. Despite my solder burns and a rather messily built fuzz box, my curiosity was sparked. I wanted to know what each part did to make this sound, if it is possible to make it sound more like I imagined it could sound.
As rewarding as soldering together your first kit can be (at least when it fires up without too much hassle!) most D.I.Y. kits take a “paint by numbers” approach. Organize the parts, follow the bill of materials and the key to the PCB, solder, wire it up, and done. Perfect for a first project, but everyone who builds the kit is going to exactly get the same result.
What our kit provides is a way to customize your project, to dig deeper and learn how the sound happens and how you can tweak it to suit your taste. By doing this you not only create a customized design you can be proud of, you also start to understand how the parts really work and interact. By doing this you’re going beyond paint-by-numbers and dipping your toes in the same waters that inventors and innovators like Glenn Snoddy (the inventor of the first fuzz!), Les Paul, Leo Fender, Jim Marshall, and many others have traversed in their quest for a signature sound.
So what makes this kit unique?
All the basics are there, so if you want to start off by building a straightforward fuzz that you know will function as you would expect and sound great right off the bat, that’s covered:
– JDM “FuzzX” PCB, a range of transistors, resistors, capacitors to adjust the tone to your personal taste. The correct (and high quality) potentiometers, input and output jacks, power jack, 9v battery clip, footswitch, LED & bezel, and wiring. You will need an enclosure to house it in, or add that to your cart and specify how you want it drilled, based on your controls selection.
– Transistors can be socketed on the PCB for easy swapping & comparison. The 6-pin socket is part of the kit, and will hold the transistors securely for testing, you can secure them with electrical tape when gigging, or solder them in when you find your favorite set. The basic kit includes 8 NPN silicon transistors, so you can adjust your fuzz flavor. Mix and match between (2x each) BC108, BC109, BC183, and 2N2369 (the 2N2369 is a lower gain NPN Silicon, great for emulating the smooth response of a Germanium-style build, but with that Silicon clarity and temperature stability.).
– Expand the kit, and explore the range of possible sounds with a wide array of silicon and germanium transistors, tone controls, gain controls, and unusual mods that will take your fuzz to out-of-the-ordinary places. Check below for options such as the rare “mushroom head” 2N3565 silicon transistors. You can also opt for an NPN Germanium build, or mix and match for a Silicon/Germanium hybrid.
– MOST IMPORTANTLY – Full documentation for each step in customizing your pedal is clearly explained, providing a sort of à la carte menu… and you’re the chef! Want a bright, buzzy silicon fuzz with selectable, radical tone cuts for fuzz-megaphone outbursts? How about a dynamic, moderate gain fuzz that cleans up like a dream, with extra output to drive a tube amp over the edge when you crank your guitar’s volume knob? Oh, but you want it to have a high gain mode that screams bloody murder even at lower volumes? No problem, it’s all explained, and all the parts are provided.
D.I.Y. Kit Add-On: Undrilled 1590B enclosure 112 x 60 x 35 mm. Polished aluminum finish.
D.I.Y. Kit Add-On: *CUSTOM DRILLED* 1590B enclosure 112 x 60 x 35 mm. Polished aluminum finish.
For custom drilled orders, please tell us how you prefer the enclosure to be drilled. If you don’t have precise measurements, we can create the drill pattern based on your specs. Please indicate:
– Top jacks or Side jacks
– Power supply connector top or side
– Number of potentiometer controls
– Number of switches
– We can then figure out internal spacing to accommodate the circuit board, footswitch, battery, LED bezel and all potentiometer & switch controls. Please note that if you go for a fully tricked-out, feature laden pedal *including internal battery* there may not be enough space! We can upgrade you to a 125B size enclosure. Just contact us!