This is a library of perfboard and single-sided PCB effect layouts for guitar and bass. I'm not an electrical engineer by any stretch of the imagination, just a DIY'er who likes drawing layouts. It is meant for the hobbyist (so commercial use of any of these layout is not allowed without permission) and as a way to give back to the online DIY community.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

ZVex Fuzz Factory

Here's my take on the ZVex Fuzz Factory. The originals have the pots mounted to the board as well, but ZVex uses the little square pots which are more expensive. I wanted a layout that used regular 16mm pots, which are easier to come by and what you probably already have in your parts stash. Q2-3 originally were AC128s, but any PNP germaniums should work fine. I believe ZVex has used a variety of different germaniums over the years. Hfe ranges should be around 70-100 and 100-150 respectively (much like a Fuzz Face).



For what it's worth, most of my layouts with onboard pots are meant to be mounted from the solder side of the board, like this:


You can do the same for this layout, but it's designed for the pots to be on the same side as the rest of the components, like this:


This way, the board will be vertical inside the enclosure, and the controls will be aligned like the original: 


45 comments:

  1. the gate and comp knob dont work really great at min position

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  2. see my FF on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb_49t0Sn2k

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  3. Mine works!
    I once had the Vexter series and it seems very similar.
    Thanks!

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  4. Wait, there's a diference between the layout and the PCB. The bridge between COMP and STAB doesn't touch the DRIVE in the layouts, but it does in the PCB. How is it?

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    1. The perf was wrong. It's been updated. Thanks for catching that.

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  5. It can add a led the project? How make?

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    1. See the General Layout Notes tab at the top of the page. It has a diagram for off board wiring, including LED.

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  6. Great work,Thank you man.Works like a charm.

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  7. Hello!
    I gathered yesterday, very cool work. But it seems to me that the handle "comp", works in the opposite direction is not like all the knobs. Perhaps such a problem???

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  8. is there any replace for the acl128

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. HFE ranges should be around 70-100 and 100-150, respectively corresponding to each value transistor, ie 70-100 is for Q2 or Q3,
    Pardon my ignorance, thanks in advance

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    1. No worries. Yes, 70-100 for Q2, 100-150 for Q3

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  11. I'll try with 2N3906 or BC557

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  12. What is the "CBE" and "EBC"? This is my first pedal and I'm having a hard time reading all of this.

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    1. Transistor pinout: Emitter, Collector, Base.
      You have to be very careful with that.

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    2. Those are the correct position on which need to work the transistor in the circuit.
      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Transistors+pinout
      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=How+transistors+work

      :-D

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    3. Lol thanks!

      One last question; what size enclosure are you using?

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    4. For the traditional FF, 125B or 1590B can fits.
      I prefer 1590BB with upper jacks.

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  13. Any Silicon equivalent for ac128?

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    1. You could experiment with some low gain PNPs, but really you want germanium PNPs in Q2-3. Doesn't have to be AC128s.

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    2. Great! Thanks for the advise.
      I'll search one of those for Q3.
      I've already build it: tried with 2n3906 and bc557, but the knobs didn't worked correctly.
      They mute the signal in some point, and it's hard not to oscillate or get "velcro" fuzz.

      What can be the problem? Maybe the transistors voltage?

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    3. The problem is probably still your transistors. Q2 and Q3 need to be germanium.

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    4. Thanks!
      I'll change for the germanium ones.

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    5. Update!
      Used a 2sb54 pair, and the things going better.
      But I have a lot o questions about Gate, Comp and Stab pots.
      I have the strange feeling that I soldered them backwards, or at least if I listen the demos on yt
      Comp knob all the way up (CW) is connecting, and CCW is 10k in between?

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  14. really thanks for the project! just a stupid question maybe. but the pots are seen from above or below? for example volume pot ground is 3? as you write on the general notes?

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    1. All layouts on the blog with pot visible in the layout are if you're looking at them from below. Lug 1 of the Volume pot is going to ground.

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    2. perfect, I put all of them in the wrong way! :) thanks a lot for quick answer!!

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  15. hey i make this ff and it works fine but i have a massive drop volume the guitar sounds higher when is on by pass, what could it be ?
    do i need to change any pot or something?
    i am using pnp germanium transistors
    thanks.... I love your site

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    1. Sounds like something's wrong with your bypass switching. What method of bypass are you using?

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    2. the one on this site, but i have tested without the bypass switch and i tested on a protoboard and still a have the massive drop volume
      what colud it be?

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    3. Do you get the same volume drop with a different effect on your protoboard?

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  16. Hi,

    First of all I have to say that your blog is really impressive. Lots of infos thank you very much!

    I am currently working on a FF circuit board. Everything was going smooth and then I discovered your blog. I am a bit confused now. Your layout is different from the one I use. http://frankyfuzzfire.free.fr/DIY/Fuzz%20Factory/Tutorial%20de%20la%20Fuzz%20Fire%20Factory.pdf Despite that it is in French, I realized that the connections for the pots are different on this layout and there is no "1N 4001 Diode" neither the "47uF capacitor" between the 9v and the ground.
    Because this is my first build and I don't know much about electronics I would like your opinion if you don't mind.
    Sorry to bother you with this.
    Regards,
    Mathieu.

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    1. The diode and cap you're referring to are for polarity protection and power filtering respectively. They're not always present in some originals, but a good practice for pretty much all builds (unless you're going to be powering the pedal only with a battery). As for the pot connections, some may be backwards, but with a noise maker fuzz like this one, that's not going to be that significant.

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    2. Thank you very much for your answer. Yes I am going to use only batteries. The reason is, the effect will be inside of the guitar. I will use my layout first to see how it goes and change to yours if there is problems on the way.
      Once again thank you!

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  17. In the Zvex Factory image transfer documentation the width is stated as 1.3".... Should that be 3.3" ?

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    1. Oh yeah. That's funny. I updated the file. It should be 3.8"

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  18. Hi :). I'm planning to build this pedale because I'm looking for a classic Matt Bellamy sound. There is a point that isn't so much clear for me: it's about capacitors. I see that you have used only one ceramic capacitor (100 nf) and the others all are electrolitic. What about the polarization which is not specified?
    And, more generally, which are the differences in performances between electrolitic and ceramic capacitors? It's just a question of dimension (ceramics are smaller in terms of capacitance than electrolitic)? Thank you so much for your time :)..

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    1. Polarization is specified by a minus sign on the electrolytics. You have to look more carefully on the pcb layout, but you should be able to easily tell the negative side on the perf layout. The 100n cap is actually film, though you can use a ceramic as well. Ceramic and film caps are generally used for lower values (1µ and lower) and electrolytics for higher values.

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    2. Ok, thank you very much for your complete response. I will simply plug the minus sign on the low voltage available, it's correct? And, in general, I can use a ceramic or electrolitic capacitor at the same capacitance value without any change of result? Thank you for your patience.. :)

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    3. Correct, though ceramics seem to have wider tolerances than electros. I had a few 4.7µ ceramic caps that I measured that were actually a lot lower in value (closer to 3µ), whereas electros seem to be more consistent. YMMV

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    4. Thank you so much, all clear. I'll put in practice your advices as soon as I can for build this awesome pedal :)..

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