Analogman Sunface Fuzz NKT-275 Red Dot ( Low Gain ) 2019 Small Box, Side Jacks, LED, On/Off Fuzz Pot

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Analogman Sunface NKT-275 Red Dot 2019 handmade in USA in near mint condition with box, manual, pouch with Analogman logo, sticker and business card. Shiny smallest gold box version. Thoroughly tested and in perfect working order. Why is it sought after ? Similar NKT-275 Red Dot germanium transistors were used by Jimi Hendrix in his 1966, 1967 Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face, but didn't have a bias control to compensate for matching inaccuracies.

You may ask yourself why this pedal was made in 2019 because production stopped around 2014. Correct, but Mike made 50 or so more of these in 2019 with some older correctly matched transistors. In case of doubt, please mail Mike yourself and he will confirm the provenance.

This Sunface has all the bells and whistles including On/Off Fuzz Pot, Side Jacks and a LED which indicates if the effect is engaged in case your hearing aid falls out                   .....  during a concert.

Personally I prefer the gritty wildness of the Red Dot NKT-275 versus the more subtile White Dot NKT-275. The youtube video enclosed let you hear the huge difference of the White vs Red Dot NKT germanium transistors.

On/Off Fuzz Pot
When using batteries, you need to unplug the guitar cable from input jack when you are done playing for the day, to disconnect the battery. This can be a pain when using a pedalboard. Our optional ON/OFF FUZZ POT makes it easy to disconnect the battery. Just turn the fuzz knob all the way down and it will CLICK as it disconnects the battery. Then you can leave your pedal hooked up to other pedals all the time. The optional on/off fuzz pot does not have quite as nice of a taper as the normal fuzz pot, a lot of fuzz happens in the last quarter turn on the knob. But if you run it up full (most people do) there is no difference.

Small Box size
Starting in late August 2007 Analogman is using the smaller box for most Sunface pedals. These are 2.25" wide, 4.25" tall, and about 1.25" high, the same size as the small MXR pedals. Analogman likes these better as they are lower profile and leave more room on the pedalboards for more pedals. Amen.

All text below is quoted from Mike Analogman website ;

" Analog Man Sun Face
We are now making these in our own cases, as the Analog Man Sun Face . They are hand-built in the USA in small gold boxes, with our own USA made SUNFACE circuit board, which was made small enough to fit in almost any enclosure. As you can see in the picture down below a bit, this is a VERY high quality board of the same type used on our other pedals. It is better quality than almost any other fuzzface clone you will find, with shielding, plated through-holes, etc to meet military specs. It also has an internal CLEAN trim pot (white knob). This trim pot acts just like turning down the VOLUME knob on your guitar, to clean up the fuzz. It can be used to preset the sound as with the volume knob rolled back a bit. It also allows easier control of the volume knob on your guitar when the white CLEAN trim pot is turned a bit. It can also be used to kill Radio Frequency Interference, which may be a problem on high gain pedals in some areas, by turning it down a hair. like all our handmade pedals, the Sunface has true bypass, so when off they do not alter your sound at all. The CLEAN trimpot will also allow the sunface to work better after a vintage style wah pedal, without having to use a foxrox wah retrofit.

2012 Sun Face : in 2012 we started using a brighter, shinier gold box for the smaller Sunface pedals. I like the gold color better. The Z VEX power plate will fit these cases well too.

In July, 2002 we started offering a NOS NKT-275 version of the Sun Face, using New Old Stock British Newmarket 1960s NKT-275 transistors. These were the actual transistors used in the original $expensive germanium fuzzfaces, not the skinny US made copies used in the new fuzzfaces since the 1990s (which look and sound totally different). You can take a peek into one of our NKT-loaded pedals on the left. It also includes an additional BIAS trim pot inside to set the exact bias on these transistors, for the ultimate sound. The Blue trim pot is for Bias, which should not need adjustment often, while the big White one is the CLEAN (input adjustment) knob. The BIAS pot really helps if you play at different temperatures. You can turn it down a bit at higher temperatures, and up a bit at lower temperatures, to keep the transistors happy and sounding best at their SWEET SPOT which is about 5 volts. The Sunface manual has more information on adjusting this. The bias control is more often found on the outside of our Sunface pedals as the SUN DIAL knob.

The sound of these NKT275 transistors is quite similar to the other types of germanium transistors that we use. But the NKT275s have less fuzz, and less high end fizziness. They have a deeper tone and clean up better than any other transistor. If you turn down the volume on your guitar, the NKT275 sound will be totally, sparkly clean without any fuzz remnants. Normally, NKT275 transistors are not high gain, that is why they clean up so well and are so smooth sounding. However we did have some high gain NKTs we have sorted out over the years, out of the same batch. If you don't need a fuzz that can get TOTALLY clean when you back the guitar down just a few numbers, the NKT275 is probably not for you. They are also tough to use with humbuckers, easily get lost in the mix in a band situation unless you play REALLY loud.

We sold out our first batch of NKT-275 transistors with red dots (totally authentic, came in little "cigarette packs" as seen above) in just a few months, but found more. Those early 1970s "white dot" NKT275s are the same size but don't look exactly the same. They have less (almost no!) leakage, and sound a little less dark, with better high end definition. They are from a military supplier in the UK and were tested to a NATO spec. These have white dots instead of red dots, signifying the military spec. They are not the skinny USA reproduction NKTs used in the new fuzzfaces or in some other fuzzface clones. When I retested them here, 95% of them worked perfectly unlike the last batch which was about 25% dead. The SUNFACE reviewed by Guitar Player magazine had the older red dot NKTs, while the one reviewed by TONEQUEST magazine had the newer ones. We ran out of the white dot NKTs in 2011 and are saving some just for repairs. We doubt we will be able to get more in, as all the ones we have gotten in the last decade were fakes parts that others already tested and rejected so we never used them.

Sun Dial
We now put the SUN DIAL on the Sunface to make a 3 knob small gold pedal. The middle knob is on the center of the Sun Face Graphics. It is the exact same function and circuit as the internal BIAS trim pot on the 2 knob model. It is used for keeping the fuzz happy at different temperatures, and with different or worn batteries. We call it the SUN DIAL and the knob is painted to match the pedal. It is a $25 option. We factory set the SUNDIAL so the face is vertical at our shop temperature (70 degrees or so depending on if it's Winter or Summer!). You can set it by ear, just turn it up until the buzziness goes away as much as you like. Jim Weider has an NKT Sunface with the SUN DIAL and likes to run the sundial higher than our normal setting, he turns it almost all the way up for less fuzz and a purer tone. You can turn it down all the way for a buzzy sound like "spirit in the sky", where the fuzz fizzes out.

Red Dot NKT transistors
We also had gotten more of the older-style red dot NKTs. These are not quite as clean or clear sounding as the white dot. The red dot do not get as sparkly clean when you back down the volume, but they have a longer, smoother range when backing down the volume knob so it's easier to find just the right amount of fuzz. They have a cool smoky, bluesy tone, a little softer and darker. They definately have some MOJO in the sound. They are a little more finicky and tougher to dial in, especially at various temperatures, so the sundial has a WIDE range on these. We ran out of these again in late 2015."

Marcus at BEP has been a professional guitar player since the 80's in Holland and has done some research for you while you are walking his footsteps .... ;)
So why is every Jimi Hendrix sound hunter looking for this pedal ?

When Jimi Hendrix released his first album, 1967’s Are You Experienced, he launched a new level of guitar heroics as well as a sartorial fad for ruffled shirts and band jackets. He also fed a fashion for fuzz.

One of Jimi’s main weapons was the Arbiter Fuzz Face, a cheap, crude fuzz box that would become famous – and infamous – forever more.

Fuzz was nothing new. In fact, the search for good fuzz was long and proud. Early electric guitarists may have been inspired by saxophonists who created “fuzz” by honking their instruments to make them quaver and spit. Ike Turner got a righteous fuzz tone from his combo amp after it fell off his car roof en route to a session; that fuzzed-out sound graced arguably the first rock and roll record – 1951’s “Rocket 88.” Grady Martin lucked on a malfunctioning channel in a mixing board to produce his rough-hewn Nashville sound. Paul Burlison of the Rock and Roll Trio claimed he found his fuzz when a tube was knocked loose in his Fender Deluxe. But these were crude solutions, not always repeatable on demand or controllable under fire.

Electronics manufacturer Maestro understood, and in 1962 launched what was possibly the first fuzz effect, the Fuzz-Tone, which was soon heard on the Ventures’ “The 2,000 Pound Bee.” The most famous application was the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” And a young Jimi is believed to have sported a Maestro during his journeyman days with Curtis Knight.

When he relocated to London in 1966, the Maestro was an expensive rarity. But there was a new, low-budget, homegrown option – the Fuzz Face. Jimi plugged in, twisted on the fuzz, and recorded his second single, “Purple Haze.”

The Fuzz Face debuted in 1966, made by sax repairman and amateur drummer Ivor Arbiter, who ran the Drum City shop on Shaftesbury Avenue in London’s West End. Arbiter was famous for selling Ringo Starr a Black Oyster Pearl Ludwig kit in ’62, which he hastily inscribed with “The Beatles” across the front to make the sale, complete with the dropped “T” logo that became part of rock history.

Arbiter’s Fuzz Face mimicked the Maestro Fuzz-Tone, but in a simple – even simplistic – design aimed at the low-budget market. Based on a Schmitt Trigger squaring circuit, it used as few parts as possible; just two transistors, three capacitors, two potentiometers, and a double-pole/double-throw true-bypass switch.

Arbiter claimed he was inspired in creating the Fuzz Face’s sand-cast casing by the round microphone-stand base. With its two knobs – Volume and Fuzz – its DPDT switch, and semi-circular “Arbiter England” or later “Dallas-Arbiter England” logo, the effect looked like a face smiling up at you.

But the friendly Fuzz Face had several problems. First, as Roger Mayer, a 21-year-old electronics wiz who soon became Jimi’s mad-scientist effects man, explained, “It was such a basic circuit that most people in electronics would never have used it because it was fraught with many, many problems. By making the circuit with a minimal number of parts, it made the circuit virtually unrepeatable.”

The Fuzz Face circuit used as few parts as possible; just two transistors, three capacitors, two potentiometers, and a double-pole/double-throw true-bypass switch.
The Fuzz Face circuit used as few parts as possible; just two transistors, three capacitors, two potentiometers, and a double-pole/double-throw true-bypass switch.
Second, the germanium transistors of the day had such broad permissible manufacturing tolerances that getting a matched pair in one Fuzz Face was pure serendipity. “The circuit was so crude and so interdependent that if one transistor was a bit higher-gain than the next stage, you couldn’t use it,” Mayer said. “You had to get a balanced pair for the thing to sound right.” And because the Fuzz Face was built cheap, Arbiter wasn’t testing components to match them up.

Finally, the design of the circuit was temperature-sensitive. “It varied from day to day because the biasing of the circuit was rarely stabilized,” Mayer recalled. “It was crudely biased. It would work, but it rarely worked the same way twice.”

Jimi used the Fuzz Face for gigs because it was the cheapest available. While a Maestro cost £30, Arbiter’s was just £6. And that was a good thing. “The down side was that you needed a lot of them,” Mayer pointed out. “The problem Jimi and I had with the Arbiter was that you had to buy 20 to find a decent one. So I told him, ‘Let me take one Fuzz Face that works back to the lab and we’ll measure each component to see what’s doing what.’”

Mayer’s secret modification was simply to “blueprint” them – mix the components until he had matched sets.

Those first Fuzz Faces used PNP germanium NKT275, or sometimes AC128, transistors, which many players came to love for their fat, full sound. But when less-expensive silicon transistors became available, Arbiter quickly switched over. Some players found these too harsh and hairy, but others embraced the early effects using BC108C or BC183L transistors – and their increased reliability.

Jimi, too, used these silicon-transistor Fuzz Faces, but they brought a new issue. “Arbiter had taken no precautions at all in the design against radio,” said Mayer. “The silicon had much higher gain and frequencies than the germanium ones. This caused the actual device to become a radio receiver. When you connected the Fuzz Face to a guitar cable, the cable acted like a bloody antenna!”

Jimi toured the United States in ’68 and brought along Mayer simply to keep his gear alive. He remembers concerts where he had to run onstage to yank the Fuzz Face out because it was picking up (and re-broadcasting) AM radio pop songs through Jimi’s amps. “It was a nightmare,” he laughs. “The Fuzz Faces were very noisy, very temperamental. Many times in the States, we’d be swapping them out as he was playing. We’d have six of them onstage. It was frustrating for Jimi and totally out of control most of the time. Playing live, we were unsure of what was going to happen!”

Arbiter halted production of the original Fuzz Face in 1975. The design was reissued by Crest Audio, of New Jersey, in the late ’70s, then with a second version in the late ’80s. In ’93, Dunlop bought the name and today offers several versions with modern reliability.

Plugging a ’64 Rickenbacker 360 into a ’70s Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face with BC109C silicon transistors and then into a ’64 Vox AC30, you realize just how peaky the effect’s Fuzz control can be. You need to carefully balance the Volume with the Fuzz to get a warm sound. Otherwise, the fuzz can be all-consuming – unless, of course that’s the tone you want. But when you get it right with a good unit, the fuzz is glorious.

Mayer says Hendrix rarely used a Fuzz Face by itself.

“In the studio, we’d have some other circuits to put in front of the Fuzz Face to drive the unit differently. Of course, in the studio you can vary the voltage you’re running the Fuzz Face on, so we had much more control. I’d put different buffers with different equalization in front of them to drive the actual Fuzz Face from a low-impedance source rather than the high impedance of the guitar. Then we’d add the distortion after that with pre-EQ. Then we could also fuzz the device with post-EQ.

“You’re not going to get the tone that Jimi Hendrix got on a record with one simple device – that’s not going to happen, mate!”

Product Specs

Listed7 months ago
ConditionExcellent (Used)
Excellent items are almost entirely free from blemishes and other visual defects and have been played or used with the utmost care.learn more
Made In
  • United States

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