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Question for Mr.Vex on Fuzz Factory.

3/11/2004 4:05 PM
Humbucker Question for Mr.Vex on Fuzz Factory.
I know that there's a pair of Germanium transistors in Q2 and Q3 in this pedal but what is the gain on each of these transistors? Would a pair of matched Germanium transistors(for a FuzzFace) from Small Bear Electronics do the trick? And Mr.Vex, if you're out there reading this, do you mind if I build myself a clone of the Fuzz Factory for my own useage?
3/11/2004 4:39 PM
Think about it.
3/11/2004 4:57 PM
What's that supposed to mean?!  
I saw a schematic of the Fuzz Factory on Pedals4Proels and it looked to me that ZVEX had given his permission to post it.  
I don't get to check in here very often to keep up with what's going on, so please forgive my innocence if I've asked a stupid question.  
3/11/2004 5:34 PM
A couple things...  
Think about Q2 and Q3 in relation to things you already know.  
Think about building a Zvex pedal. If you need to ask permission, what does this mean?  
Also, you don't have to check in here very often to scroll down and see old threads..  
Just food for thought really.
3/11/2004 6:18 PM
Mark Hammer
Not a stupid question, but one which some get weary of answering, so you'll forgive the aggravation in my own comments. No such permission was, or has ever been granted. ZV is very generous with his technical advice, and is as happy to see people come up with useful mods and other clever ideas as anyone.  
There is a difference, however, between "what goes around comes around" (as in I give you a schematic and you give me feedback and a great idea for a new product) and "what goes out the door never comes back". The FF is, for the moment, a flagship product of a small business (and I stress business, not hobby) and is vigorously protected as the linchpin of what helps that business to survive and grow, in much the same way that even an indie company would rally against downloading of music from their dependable sellers if that meant less operating capital to record up and comers. Anything that leans in the direction of making protected information in the public domain is seriously frowned upon. Sharing of information amongst professionals, with respect for the business end of things and not stepping on each others' toes, is probably another matter.  
At some point, 10 years from now, the FF may well turn into a ho-hum "legacy" product, the way that Dunlop/MXR, DOD and Boss *have* to keep certain things in their product stable even though the profit margin is noncritical, simply because people *expect* them to be there. Knowledge of how it works may become so obvious that there is nothing to be lost by posting a schematic publically, or for that matter the components necessary to its construction may be unobtainable so there is no sales volume to be lost (e.g., as in the case of the A/DA flanger). For the moment, though, it is important to the viability and vitality of the designer/manufacturer, and should be respected as such.  
I hope that is a fair and persuasive answer, and provides some sense of the ground rules of such matters. I also hope people understand this applies to more than one manufacturer.
3/11/2004 7:14 PM
A Colman

I'm going to try to anwer more than one post here.  
Humbucker,I've seen you enough times around here to know that you are not a casual visitor and I know you know what's been going on with the Vex subject.  
That said it doesn't preclude your question from being answered.  
I would put sockets in the damn board and experiment with various transistors untill you are satisfied with the sound.Matching might be desireable.I would refer you to any of Joe Gagan's fuzzes but I went looking for a link and found that they are all MIA,possibly because he is selling them now.Nothing persional I believe,this is business as Mickey blue-eyes would say.  
MArk,dear cyber-friend fellow canuck/fellow southern we all know the alleged Fuzzy Fabrication schem was posted and lasted on line long enough for everybody and their granny to have copied it.  
We ALL know how Zach feels about that,and how it is possible to be sympathetic/empathetic with him and at the same time be curious and want to know/build a one-off  
for personal use.I'm sure Zach has no problem with  
that at all.  
Also,forgive me here,why do you feel you have to go on at lenght explaining to everyone that dares mention the FF name that it's a sin to even talk about it?.  
As you advised Zach himself,why don't you ignore it and let it die.  
I hope this post doesn't reflect bad on me the next time you are in a position to help me with one of my projects,I don't mean any harm or ofense to you or anybody else but you can take the pulpit only so far.  
3/11/2004 9:40 PM
Mark Hammer
No offense taken...ever, brother. I could never do that to a fellow Ontarian. We are binded by solder (well, that and Timbits)! :)  
Maybe I'm the only one who *hasn't* surfed over to grab anything that remotely purports to be this obscure object of desire.  
The length of my response was actually intended to let the matter die. I know certain matters have diverted too much of ZV's energy away from his true calling the past week and just stepped in to try and prevent another irritating thread by laying out the arguments.  
Like so many issues where there are debates about whether certain types of information should be public or on display, it is often the framing of the information that provokes concerns:  
1) Scenario 1: Yeah, I downloaded a schem and built one. S'okay. Saved myself $xxx. I'll build you one for $50.  
2) Scenario 2: Yeah, I came across a schem and made one. Didn't sound too bad but I tried a real one in a store last week and no contest. One day, I'm gonna get me one of those.....that is unless you get one first and loan it to me, hint hint.  
Different outcomes for the manufacturer. Of course the question is which of those two scenarios will prevail. If you run the level of business where you notice every 5 sold (as opposed to PPT charts of how many thousands of units sold), you tend not to place your hopes on scenario 2.  
Years ago, in another Canadian city I lived in, the mayor went ballistic about a local bookseller who had "Mein Kampf" on her street vendor bookcart, and lifted her vendor's license. Of course, if she had placed the book in a section of the cart labelled "Idiotic hate literature", the way she had sections on "Travel", "Hobbies", "Sports", etc., I don't think anyone, mayor included, would have minded her selling the book. Simply offering it up to customers without any comment, however, gives it a different slant, one which appears to view the content as "just another read" and a legitimate point of view (and indeed, she tended to be, uh, "partial" to the content). Obviously, most folks are grown up and well-informed enough to not need such "guidance", but the apprehension that many feel is because you can never bet the farm on that guidance being completely unnecessary for everyone.  
ZV has a website and an e-mail address. People can always write to him and ask him stuff, and receive the sort of info that meets their needs and his halfway. As noted, he always shares...but he and his employees need to have a working business at the end of the week whether folks like it or not, and if a little courtesy and lecturing are needed to accomplish what miniaturization and proprietary chips cannot (i.e., turning out a product you can not copy for operational reasons, even WITH a schem), so be it.  
Having said all of that, I don't think it is at all unreasonable for *anyone* to ask "How do you or people do/control X, like you find on the XYZ pedal?". Such questions are about curiosity regarding principles, and support continued learning by everyone. The way that X works could be better suited to your needs in one pedal than another, and covering the broader theoretical aspects of how it works may well give someone a better idea that we can all share. That is entirely different from asking "How do I make an exact duplicate of X?".  
I hope my reply does not offend, and it is certainly not meant as a smack upside the head for anyone. I'll let it go now, although I'm sure it WILL come back in some form eventually.
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