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tonebender


 
4/5/1999 10:57 AM
Gus tonebender
R.G.  
 
That tonebender schematic at your sit is cool. does one use a leaky transistor for the 2nd gain stage? The first stage "looks" like one could use a silicon dar or am I missing a "design tweek"?  
 
Gus
 
4/5/1999 4:01 PM
R.G.
Website
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quote:
"does one use a leaky transistor for the 2nd  
gain stage?"
 
Probably not. Germanium transistors are actually slightly "on" if the base-emitter voltage is zero. I think you can just stick in a not-especially-leaky one and have it work.  
Most of the distortion comes from this base-emitter and the diode attached to it, of course, unless the input darlington is driven too hard, not what the designer had in mind, I think.  
 
quote:
"The first stage "looks" like one could use a silicon dar or am I missing a "design tweek"?"
 
It's worth trying. This is one of the few examples I've ever seen where a commmercial non-switching circuit used a germanium darlington. Germanium darlingtons were used, but mostly in logic circuits where the bases could be returned to a slightly negative voltage to turn them off.  
 
I think that as long as the darlington does not distort itself, you'd have equal function. I'm not sure about how the tone would change if you used a silicon darlington and then overdrove it. The second stage might not be able to make up for the silicon sins.  
 
There is some question about whether the "Fuzz" control should be 2M or 250K - I'm still trying to verify that.
 
 
  Monday
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4/6/1999 3:44 PM
Preben Hansen
email

Hi R.G.  
The tonebender schematic at your site states the transistors to be: OA75 ! To my knowledge OA75 is a Ge-Diode. Should it have been OC70, OC71 or OC72, in black painted glass housings or OC77 in metal cans ??  
By the way: Which one of the tonebenders are THE ORIGINAL ?  
VOX, ColorSound or SolaSound.  
Long time ago i sent you the schematic of a VOX ToneBender Professional MKII. This pedal i bought in that period, when Jeff Beck and Clapton was well known. I used it in my band, and together with my old Hoffner guitar i was able to get almost the same sound as Beck and Clapton, (early Cream). I used a Dynacord Eminenent II and a homemade 4x12" speaker cab. The speakers were PHILIPS AD5200 7 ohms each full-tone 25W.  
 
I have always heard, that VOX made the first tonebender, is that wrong ??  
 
Regards Preben.
 
4/7/1999 9:39 AM
R.G.
Website
email

I wish I could learn to type...  
 
They're OC-75's, of course.  
 
To the best of my knowledge, the Sola Sound unit was the first, and Color Sound adopted it, or renamed it, and the schematic was the one on GEO now, with the typos corrected. My knowledge of the early history is sketchy, but I was under the impression that the Sola/Color variant was the first to wear the "Tone Bender" name.  
 
The term "original" has to be used carefully. The circuits are so dissimilar that you have to consider that the makers were using it only because it sounded neat, not because it implied anything about the innards of the pedal. The Sola/Color, Vox (many variants) and later Super and Jumbo Color Sound Tone Benders are very different. I understood that the Sola/Color Sound one is the one from the Yardbirds era, which is what most people think of when they talk about the "original" tone bender.  
 
I believe that Vox used the name, but the circuit is of course not similar. The TBP MKII is a variant of the fuzz face, with an input buffer. It's part of the FF family, not the Tone Benders. Vox has named many things "Tone Bender", including some recent ones. They're all variants of the Fuzz Face circuit as far as I have been able to see.
 
4/7/1999 3:44 PM
Preben Hansen
email

Thank's for clearing up my misunderstanding about the VOX Tone Bender.  
I know that the schematic i sent you was almost the same as the FF, exept for th input buffer.  
So next we have to find out who came first:  
Dallas Arbiter FF or Sola/color sound Tone Bender ?  
 
Regards Preben.
 
4/8/1999 9:18 AM
Wyatt
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From the "Kiss My Amp" website. The site is a dealer's site and stresses the models that have been RI'd, but there is some great history in it. Also, the "Stompbox" book goes into some info as to which models were similar and which were different between Sola/Vox/Marshall.  
 
 
<<<  
THE COLORSOUND TONEBENDER  
 
THE TONEBENDER Electronic Fuzz Unit.  
 
The Year was 1965. The place - Macaris Musical Exchange, 22 Denmark Street in the heart of  
London where the new music scene was blossoming.  
 
Guitarists were demanding a new sound from their amplifiers - a sound with more distortion and sustain. After listening to the views of regular customers Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend and a host of others the TONEBENDER MK I was designed and a few months later went into commercial production.  
 
THE FUZZBOX WAS BORN.  
 
MUSIC WAS NEVER TO BE THE SAME AGAIN.  
 
Indeed Larry and Joe Macari along with their designer Gary Hurst had created something that  
would revolutionize music. The MK I TONEBENDER was a simple affair made in a pressed  
steel case with two Vox style knobs - one controlling volume and the other the intensity of the fuzz. It sold for 14 guineas - £12.32 in today’s money  
 
THE TONEBENER MK II  
 
As the word spread, more and more groups began to want the new sound, and so production  
had to be modified and increased. A die cast metal case was produced and a more modem  
looking pedal made. By the beginning of 1967 THE PROFESSIONAL MK II was selling well  
and the tonebender's list of endorsees was growing longer.  
 
Also, other companies were becoming interested In the product and soon Sola Sound were  
making THE VOX TONEBENDER for Tom Jennings' company and THE MARSHALL FUZZ UNIT for Jim Marshall .  
 
THE COLORSOUND TONEBENDER  
 
Such was the success of the MK II that by the end of 1967, it was decided that a full  
manufacturing facility should be set up to accommodate ever increasing demands.  
 
On one fateful day in '67, in 'The Golden Egg' Restaurant (now a Deep Pan pizzeria) in  
Charing Cross Road, Larry and Joe sat down and decided to produce a range of effects pedals  
that would be called COLORSOUND. All the pedals would be different colours (an idea later mimicked by every fx co. world-wide), the range would be vast and they would be the top effects company in the world!  
 
By 1972 the range had grown to include the famous COLORSOUND WAH-WAH (another  
story) plus other previously unheard of effects such as the DOPPLATONE, RING  
MODULATOR, OCTIVIDER and such classics as the WAH-FUZZ-SWELL,  
 
OVERDRIVES, SUSTAlN and of course the new-look and now infamous TONEBENDER.  
 
The COLORSOUND TONEBENDER was perhaps the most successful and certainly the most  
recognizable of all the tonebenders made . It now boasted a tone control as well as the level and fuzz controls of the old MK II and the words HIT IT underneath the on/off switch. The HIT IT idea was soon to be dropped!  
 
The Colorsound user list had now grown from its original five names to a huge inventory of  
bands and artists including JEFF BECK, JETHRO TULL, LED ZEPPELIN, SUPERTRAMP, ERIC CLAPTON, 10 C.C., GROUNDHOGS, ROLLING STON ES, STATUS QUO, MOODY BLUES, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, STEVIE WONDER, THE BEATLES, SANTANA, WISHBONE ASH, PINK FLOYD, HAWKWIND, ROXY MUSIC, THE WHO,  
ALICE COOPER, ELTON JOHN, QUEEN, GRATEFUL DEAD, GENESIS and MARC BOLAN. Sola Sound had now grown from their humble beginnings, supplying custom built pedals to musicians, into a large company exporting to 48 different countries.  
 
THE, SUPA TONEBENDER and JUMBO TONEBENDER  
 
In 1974 Sola Sound moved to bigger premises in Edgeware, the move coincided in the  
TONEBENDER becoming THE JUMBO TONEBENDER - this may sound exciting but it was  
basically a cosmetic change - the case was widened and the lettering changed from the old  
bright orange to a pale blue. This case was later to house THE SUPA TONEBENDER which  
did have a newly designed circuit giving it a richer sound with more sustain. These appeared  
around 1977 as the colorsound range reached its peak in diversity. The company now produced a larger array of pedals than any other manufacturer as well as a range of brightly coloured microphones pick-ups, guitar amplifiers, p.a. systems, mixers, electric pianos, their famous curly guitar leads and other accessories.  
 
The effects range now included TREMOLO, OVERDRIVER, OCTIVIDER, VOCALIZER, WAH-WAH, SUPA TONEBENDER, FLANGER, CHUCK-AWAH,  
V.C.F.,WAH-FUZZ, WAH-FUZZ-SWELL, WAH-WAH SUPREMO, JUMBO TONEBENDER, SUPA SUSTAIN,  
DIPTHONIZER, RING MODULATOR, WAH-SWELL,  
ORGAN WAH-SWELL, PHAZEX, ELECTRO ECHO and  
FUZZ PHAZE .  
 
THE CLOSURE OF THE EDGEWARE FACTORY  
 
Colorsound have always been hand built: perhaps this factor, plus the over diversification, that led to the closing of the factory in the early eighties . Due to the changing trends in music and taste, the demand for the original 'get with it sound' began to decline and with it the production  
of the Colorsound Tonebender ceased.  
 
The other side of the Macari business, however, was thriving. Their retail outlet, now at 122 Charing Cross Road, was breaking ground in the vintage guitar market and due to the great history behind the family had long since established itself as London's  
 
most famous Music Shop . And so, along with their friend Dick Denny (the designer of the  
VOX A(30)) The Macaris now joined by their sons Anthony and Steve continued production of  
their most saleable pedal THE COLORSOUND WAH-WAH . Still totally hand sprayed, wired  
and assembled, the pedal sold steadily throughout the eighties and kept the Colorsound flag flying.  
 
NOBODY EVEN DREAMED OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT  
 
THE 1990s  
 
1989 saw another relocation of the Macan store. 92/94 Charing Cross Road became the  
seventh Macaris Musical Instrument shop, opposite what used to be 'The Golden Egg' where the Colorsound dream was hatched.  
 
Being the sole agents for the COLORSOUND WAH WAH Ant and Steve could not help noticing the demand for the pedal once again growing, not slowly but in leaps and bounds. Production was stepped up and a WAH FUZZ was added to the new range and then . .........  
 
THE COLOR.SOUND TONEBENDER 1994  
 
In August of 1994 the first '94 COLORSOUND TONEBENDER arrived at Macaris. The new  
pedal looked and sounded exactly like the 1972 'orange print' pedal, but in the Jumbo case for ease of use. Since then, the demand for this pedal has been nothing less than phenomenal; once again Colorsound are in the export business as well as doing their best to satisfy the home market . Pedals are being used by the big names once again with pedals going to PAUL WELLER, PRINCE, ZZ TOP, LENNY KRAVITZ and SUEDE to name but a few.  
 
THE TONEBENDER MK II 1995  
 
Plans are afoot for the production of the old die cast TONEBENDER built for Jimmy Page and  
Jeff Beck . This should be ready by January 1995, will be a strictly limited issue and will carry a certificate of authenticity. In England, it will only be available from the Macari's shop .  
 
THE FUTURE  
Ant and Steve are busy collecting all the old Colorsound products together and going over them with a fine tooth comb. Anything Colorsound produce will always be handmade to give the original British 'get with it'  
sound. There are several projects on the drawing board which, at the time of writing, they are reluctant to unveil but lets look forward to once again hearing some  
of those 'supersounds of the sixties and seventies.’  
 
Back to Top  
 
>>>>
 
4/8/1999 2:58 PM
Preben Hansen
email

Thank's for this wonderfull info Wyatt.  
I will go "Kiss My Amp" for some more info.  
 
Regards Preben
 
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