THE FIRST FUZZ PEDAL WITH AUTOMATIC THERMAL BIAS TECHNOLOGY The bias of the transistors in this pedal is automatically regulated by a circuit that GENTLY warms the transistors to a preset operating point using analog components, and ensures a consistent sound, no matter the external temperature. When the LED is orange, the transistors are warming up to increase their hFE (transistor gain) and to shift the bias point to the correct voltage. When the LED turns green, the warmer is off because the correct bias and hFE have been set. Expect the LED to toggle back and forth every so often while the pedal is on…that is how you know its working. The heaters will warm the transistors enough to still be effective on a sunny stage, but far cooler than anything that would harm the transistors. This pedal is designed to operate between freezing and 100˚F but might still sound nice outside this range. There are two colors: Studio Black is not meant for direct sunlight, Solar White is new with it. Benson has found there is a 20˚F difference between a black pedal and a white pedal in direct sunlight.
INPUT IMPEDANCE The low input impedance of the classic two transistor germanium fuzz circuit is both a blessing and a curse….a blessing because it can yield a tight sparkly clean tone when guitar volume is rolled down, and a curse because it sounds nasty (in a bad way) if there are buffers or pedals before it in a signal chain. Benson went to some extremes to keep the blessing and lose the curse. We installed a class A buffer in the very input of the Germanium Fuzz. This buffer feeds a pickup simulator circuit (an audio transformer set up as an inductor, a resistor, and a capacitor). These two additions make compatibility with other pedals possible without losing the desired sound. After the pickup simulator circuit, we have added an “Impedance” control, which simulates rolling down the guitar volume to get that tight sparkly sound…without adjusting your guitar volume….which you can still do and still sounds great.
GAIN RANGE The circuit has been tuned to be used as a rich sounding clean boost, an overdrive, all the way up to an aggressive fuzz with some octave overtones. There are many colors of tone available with the impedance and gain controls…they are very interactive. This is meant as a “pretty” fuzz a la 60’s-70’s classic rock/psychedelic rock. It is not a spitty, harsh experimental fuzz and more often sounds like an overdrive or distortion (unless it’s turned all the way up). Benson calls it a fuzz because it has a fuzzy character but it is so much more.
INTERNAL TRIMMER Don’t turn the internal trimmer. It is precisely set at our factory. Turning the trimmer voids the warranty. The correct trimmer position is marked in case you get one used where someone turned it.