VINTAGE FUZZ TONE
DEMO VIDEO: **click here**
The Maestro FZ-1 started the Great British Fuzz Pedal Boom by inspiring Gary Hurst to modify Vic Flick’s (the James Bond Riff guitarist) personal pedal into the Tone Bender, which was later taken by John Hornby Skewes and further tweaked into the Zonk Machine: the third-times-a-charmer of the era. Known for its spitting / slightly gated sound, the Zonk is brighter than a Tone Bender mki but has more sustain and bite than the FZ-1 making it well suited for cutting through a dark mix. So what does a pedal builder do with a sound that’s already pretty much perfect? Well, not much, but adding a bit of flexibility and functionality is always a good idea, so we did that.
Basically, the Skronk Machine is a modernized version of the Zonk.
We updated the footswitch to a no-click relay bypass system that is either momentary or latching, depending on whether you tap or hold it down. It also remembers the last state (on/off position) before powering down which can be helpful for people with large effect racks. The NOS germanium transistors we chose are NPN rather than PNP to make powering and daisy chaining power supplies a bit more convenient. Each set of tested transistors are specifically biased for each build and tested through two voltage check points on the PCB to help ensure the sound stays consistent. The standard circuit can be a bit bright through certain setups, so we added a finely tuned passive tone control that cuts some of the high frequency harshness without losing much volume. Dialed to the far right the filter has no effect and offers the stock Zonk voicing while counter clockwise will cut highs and get you into Tone Bender mki territory. Both extremes of the dial sound totally usable. We also slimmed down the enclosure to the industry standard and hooked up top mounted jacks to make it more pedalboard friendly, but that’s it, so the heart of the Skronk remains true! The upgrades just help keep the blood pumping more efficiently.
- True Bypass
- Momentary or Regular Switching
- NOS Germanium MP38a Transistors
- NOS Tropical Fish ouput capacitor
- Top mounted jacks
- Blue LED
- Teflon coated wiring
- Uses the standard 2.1mm center negative 9 volt power supply (Boss style)
- Current Draw: 35-55ma
Handmade with love in Portland, Oregon
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