$ 159.99 USD – Sold Out
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The Benson Germanium Fuzz pedal, featuring a striking Solar White finish, is an essential addition to any guitarist's pedalboard. As a fuzz pedal, it offers a diverse range of tonal possibilities, allowing you to shift from clean and sparkly tones to aggressive and fuzzy sounds with ease. Before we dive into the pedal's features, it's essential to note that it requires a 9VDC power supply (center negative). Additionally, it takes approximately 2-3 minutes to warm up for optimal performance, providing you with an excellent opportunity to fine-tune your guitar and enjoy a refreshing beverage. Keep an eye on the LED indicator light, as its color may change during the warm-up period. Lastly, refrain from adjusting the internal trimmer to avoid voiding the warranty. Now, let's delve into the exciting characteristics of this fuzz pedal.
At the core of the Benson Germanium Fuzz pedal, you'll find two meticulously selected germanium 2N527 or 2N404 transistors. These transistors have undergone rigorous grading for gain and leakage, ensuring that they perform at their absolute best. The pedal's design is centered around the classic 1960s circular fuzz topology, renowned for its iconic tone. However, this pedal takes it a step further by addressing common challenges associated with germanium devices, resulting in a unique and refined fuzz experience.
Distinguishing itself as the pioneer in its field, the Germanium Fuzz introduces Automatic Thermal Bias Technology. This groundbreaking feature autonomously regulates the bias of the transistors. The circuit gently warms the transistors to a preset operating point using analog components, guaranteeing consistent sound quality regardless of external temperature variations. When the LED indicator emits an orange hue, it signifies that the transistors are in the warming process, increasing their hFE (transistor gain) and adjusting the bias point. Once the LED switches to green, the warmer deactivates, indicating that the ideal bias and hFE levels have been achieved. This innovative technology ensures reliable performance, allowing the pedal to function flawlessly in temperatures ranging from freezing to 100˚F. The Snow White finish is suitable for sunny stages, maintaining a temperature conducive to optimal transistor performance. However, if you prefer the Studio Black variant, be aware that it is not designed for direct sunlight, as it can exhibit a 20˚F temperature difference compared to the Solar White version.
The classic two-transistor germanium fuzz circuit possesses a unique characteristic: its low input impedance. This feature can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it can produce a tight and sparkly clean tone when you roll down your guitar's volume. On the other hand, it may sound unpleasant if used with buffers or pedals preceding it in the signal chain. To address this challenge, the Germanium Fuzz incorporates a class A buffer at the very input. This buffer feeds into a Jack Orman style passive pickup simulator circuit, which includes an audio transformer configured as an inductor, a resistor, and a capacitor. These additions ensure compatibility with other pedals without compromising the desired fuzz sound. Furthermore, the pedal features an "Impedance" control that simulates rolling down your guitar's volume, achieving a tight and sparkly sound without the need to adjust your guitar itself.
The Germanium Fuzz boasts exceptional versatility, capable of delivering a rich, clean boost, a warm overdrive, and even an aggressive fuzz with octave overtones. Its circuit has been meticulously tuned to offer a wide array of tonal colors through the interactive gain and impedance controls. Unlike some harsh and spitty fuzz pedals, this one maintains a "pretty" fuzz character reminiscent of the classic rock and psychedelic rock tones from the 1960s and 1970s. It truly shines when you max out the gain and dial down the impedance, delivering a unique and satisfying fuzz experience.
It is crucial to refrain from adjusting the internal trimmer, as it comes precisely set from the factory, and any modifications will void the warranty. The correct trimmer position is conveniently marked for reference. As for power supply requirements, this pedal exclusively operates with a 9VDC Boss-style center-negative power supply, without support for batteries. Ensure that the power supply voltage remains at or below 9VDC, as exceeding this voltage threshold can result in damage to both the pedal and the power supply. The pedal draws less than 100mA when the heater is engaged and even less when it is off.
This pedal works nicely as intended and is in excellent condition, exhibiting only very gentle external wear and has had rubber feet applied to the bottom as can be seen in photos. Original box is included.
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