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.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Maestro FZ-1S Super Fuzz-Tone

The Maestro Super Fuzz-Tone was introduced in the early 70s.  It uses 6 transistors, 2 of which are used as clipping diodes. Original transistors were 2N5133s, but 2N5088s or BC109Cs can be good subs. I've built 2 clones of this pedal in the past (though not with this layout) and used 2N5088s with good results. The original Balance control was a 30k dual gang pot, which you would probably have a very hard time sourcing. In both my clones I used a 50k with no problems, but if you want you can put 82k resistors between lugs 1 and 3 to get the dual gang pot to around 31k, though it will mess with the taper some. Said Balance control acts almost like a clean blend, and the switch offers 2 different tones. If you're tired of Big Muffs, give this one a try. Works great on bass too.

Here's a couple really short demos I did on guitar and bass on one of the clones I built a few years ago (pardon my butchering of a couple Black Keys songs).


  1. Verified.

    The Balance control works pretty well. The in-between positions sound like two guitar tracks, one fuzzy and one clean, playing simultaneously.

    The thin position on the tone switch is louder than the full-range position. Someone on the vero site suggested lowering the 470k resistor off the switch to a 180k to even out the volume levels.

    The Sustain pot controls how fast the fuzz side decays, rather than working as a normal gain control as I'd assumed. The decay always sounds a bit glitchy at the end, though.

  2. Anyone have an idea what would cause the balance knob to effect both signals identically instead of inversely?

  3. I just built the PCB version of this and the balance knob isn't working. Turned one way (down/to the left) it turns the volume almost all the way down but a tiny bit a fuzz. The other way almost sounds like clean and fuzz together (may be normal at that position, not sure?). Is it the balance A's that are the cleans? I did the basics as far as checking for solder blobs and reheating joints.. Nothing's changed yet. I will come back to it later with fresh eyes. If anyone has ideas for me I would love some advice!