BLACKCAT OD (Freddie Fuzz)

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Re: BLACKCAT OD (Freddie Fuzz)

Postby rhandy gaye » 29 Jun 2010, 06:39

a point being too that by making a black cat modded clone, a company like e.w.s. has seemed to go by the internet schematics, which i still believe are wrong.
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Re: BLACKCAT OD (Freddie Fuzz)

Postby rhandy gaye » 29 Jun 2010, 07:11

here's a bad pic of one of the few i've built, sold the others.
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Re: BLACKCAT OD (Freddie Fuzz)

Postby pinkjimiphoton » 04 Sep 2017, 00:04

zombie bumpin' here

funny shit. i now work - part time/as needed - for BCP.
the freddie fuzz/od1 are slightly different i think... next time i'm working for tom i'll take a look and see what's what.
i've been building these too on the side for myself and a couple friends, and found some mods i think are pretty crucial to making this thing sound ok.
tom is a tele guy, so its rather dark sound is very hip for him, for me being more of a humbucker guy its too dark/murky and i don't like the note decay, which to me is a little unnatural for my personal style.

what i do is a couple mods to the circuit, and it restores the lost brilliance, gives better sustain (imho) and has a lot more balls...

first off, replace the 220p snubbers with 100p. suddenly the sparkle comes back some, and the decay is smoother and more natural.
next, replace the gain pot... change it from the stock 50ka (both pots in this circuit HAVE to be audio, or all the tone is bunched up on one end of the pot, and the volume pot is basically off/too loud/wayyyyyyy too loud

go with 100k audio or reverse (c) taper pot for the gain and volume. the volume you can get away with 50ka, i ran out so went to 100. not much different. but the bigger gain pot lets ya go all the way from clean to stock od-1, and take it right into almost superfuzzish territory.

i tried a couple tone pots but didn't like how they interacted with tthe circuit at all. thinking the best bet, if you NEED a tone control, is to replace the second stage snubber with a faked variable cap. i've been doing this a LOT lately, its a great way to add treble cut in an ACTIVE way, without the 6db or more signal loss of standard tone pots.

do it like this...put a 10p cap on lug 3 of a 250k-ish linear pot, and a 2.2n cap on lug 1. tie the free ends of the two caps together, and replace the snubber with this assembly. now ya can sweep from no treble reduction to a lot of it if ya need it. all the way up is more treble than stock, too, so it gives ya some range to play with. if ya really wanna go fo the overkill, use a stacked pot and do both stages at once. kidding. one stage should be plenty. i have not tried this on this circuit as i got too fuckin lazy.

next up, this pedal is imho way too loud. i found a treble peaker consisting of a 100k metal film and a 2.2n poly or monolithic ceramic or whatever they call 'em works well here. stick it in line with the output, just before the volume control. that will make it so the volume pot actually works, with a useable sweep.

its very dynamic.. when dialed in right, you can control the distortion level with just your pick attack.

but sometimes i thought it needed just a cunt hair of compression... i found adding a diode clipper between the RC network i just mentioned made up of waterclear superbrite led's (i use pink ones, of course, for most everything now) and 1n60 or 1n34 in series works great... ya get a little more compression and volume with the led's, and the ge softens it nicely. adding the clipper eats less gain this way.

in the end, i didn't add the clipper. i almost put it on a switch, but i'm not a huge diode clipping fan.

the op275 is the key to the freddie fuzz/od1's whole mojo. no other chip i've tried works the same in this circuit. it remains really musical even when its slamming the rails, most of the other chips i tried in this circuit clipped hard and harshly and didn't sound that great... the 275 is what keeps this outta toob skreemer territory.

i'm gonna bring the mocked up one i built with me for tom to try. his pedals are good... the black cat vibe is THE BEST i've ever used, in fact... but some of the designs i think i would tweak if it were up to me to be a little more user friendly and versatile.

i respect tom's desire to keep the classic bad cat designs classic.. that's hip. but ya gotta innovate too. he will. dude... you should hear some of the shit that will be being released in the future!!

but anyways, if ya decide to fuck with the circuit, that's the deal in my opinion. BTW, the resistor being "wrong{" is right in this circuit.

and final thought... the 430r ressistor from b+? use whatever sounds good to ya. its only real job is as a "choke" for the power supply. i used 100r on mine, which upped the voltage slightly and seemed to make the thing come to life.

remember, when fred bonte worked this up, it was for strat guys playing bluesrock. the couple mods i suggest will make it much more versatile.

peace out
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

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Re: BLACKCAT OD (Freddie Fuzz)

Postby Goldsoundz » 11 Jan 2018, 12:22

Wow, thanks Jimi.

I Just bought the OD-Fuzz for the second time. Bought one years ago because I loved the sound of the fuzz slamming the od, but the controls were so twitchy it was barley usable live. Sold it.

I bought the N-fuzz thinking I would get a similar effect by slamming an od with it but no luck. Sold it.

I email blank cat about getting a custom od-fuzz built with only one footswitch to turn them both on the same time but never heard back.

Anyway when I saw an od-fuzz for cheap on ebay the other day I hit it. The OD is a bit rough by itself, but again, with the fuzz up full hitting it it has this amazing controllable saturation which I cant really describe.

The pots are still too sensitive though!

Cheers,
Geoff
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Re: BLACKCAT OD (Freddie Fuzz)

Postby pinkjimiphoton » 11 Jan 2018, 17:00

haha its funny, cuz i never saw tom again after posting the above.
a couple things.

the od fuzz is a mess. the design is poor, and they oscillate cuz of the construction method. a fuzz into an od or od into a fuzz shouldn't squeal. to me, that would be a deal breaker. when i offered suggestions to fix it i was shot down that it was "supposed to be like that". its not.

the freddie fuzz is the black cat od1. sorta. with some fancy switching to put it before or after the fuzz. the fuzz is just a simple one transistor (ge) fuzz. its not really a fuzz and an od 1. its similar, but..

to me the best black cat pedal was the vibe. the freddie fuzz as presented by itself is ok, but not great. tom plays a tele with the volume up all the way. to me, that's useless, but hey, what ev. to me its gotta react thru the entire range of the guitar knobs. he always insisted on trying everything with the guitar pegged, fine, but very hard to actually hear what the pedals were capable of.

i built i think 4 of the od fuzz combos in total. he'd give me poppulated boards and then want me to wire them and box them. every single one i was presented with had issues, i was repeatedly blamed for it (like the bridged output cap on the last one that he built... the final straw was me asking if he wanted the truth ot to blow smoke up his ass.... he chose the truth, and then couldn't handle it). like... he'd give me shit to debug, but no schematics, as apparently he was afraid i was gonna rip off his ideas or some such trite shit. he didn't HAVE any ideas to rip off that i saw in the first place, just rehashings of old circuits. nothing new, nothing exciting, and hardly anything "flying off the shelves". when i left the last time it took months to even be able to get my own shit back that had been left on the bench.

i think dirk hendrix said it best about the guy on another thread a long time ago. i won't revisit it, but...

personally, i would never work for someone like that again. i never even got paid what i was promised, and basically got used and ass fucked and blamed for his failing business. unreal.
to blame me for the BOXES of failed boards n shit?
i DID scratch the top of one pedal. but i got blamed for taking a day to debug a customer return, the black cat vibe, with no schematic. his tech wouldn't do it, he either couldn't or wouldn't, but apparently i took too much time. also blamed me for a power supply failing. i'm like,... really>??
then he sent me home for a month with one of them fuzz od pedals, no schematic. i finally come back, get him to give me a schematic, and instantly discover that when HE built the damn board, HE bridged the output cap with a solder blob. unreal.

the entire experience was fairly lame, all i really learned was how NOT to do things, lol... i totally understand why his main tech only works when he ain't there. its impossible to get anything done when you're being pulled off a job in the middle of it to do something else and then sent home for 2-3 weeks or longer.
total fucking joke. and the final check was months late and less than half what it shoulda been.

if ya wanna get that splatty compressed tone, build a freddie fuzz with the mods i listed a couple posts ago, and slam that into one of them kustom harmonic clipper circuits. not the suzy q (mine) but one of the simpler variants. you'll find the tone you're looking for i think. for a lot less. and a lot more dependable.

and no squeals or supporting some douche who treats folks like shit.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

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