|The Blackout Effectors Twosome playing a bit of Table Football|
Blackout Effectors make some really cool looking and sounding boxes. With their introduction into the ProGuitarShop product line I decided to take a look at a few of the nifty fuzz boxes they offer, in particular the Twosome Dual Fuzz and the two circuits which make up the Twosome - the Fix'd Fuzz and the Musket Fuzz.
Before we get started looking at schematics let's check out how the Twosome sounds;
Pretty cool. The sheer number of combinations available with the Fix'd make it one hell of an effect that you could play with for hours and still not find all the tones the Twosome is capable of producing (the red eyes of the owl and rabbit just make it extra special). The one criticism I would have is that you can only run one of the circuits at a time and not run the effects into one another and "stack" them up for even more versatility (although there is a special edition available which does enable you to run both circuits at once).
Here's the description of the Twosome from the Blackout Effectors site;
|This is a gutshot from an early twosome pedal|
Here's the description of the Fix'd Fuzz from the Blackout website;
|Fix'd Fuzz schematic (note the 3k9 resistor on the boost transistors emitter is actually 390R)|
So, looking the the Fix'd Fuzz schematic there are 4 distinct stages - a standard boost transistor stage - as is seen in the first stage of the Big Muff or in the old Electro Harmonix LPB-1. The second stage "Fuzz 1" is the old DIY classic Hemmo's Bazz Fuss. The third stage "Fuzz 2" is a strangely mis-biased fuzz face circuit. The final stage is a tone control comprised of a Big Muff Pi filter and gain recovery stage.
The regular Fix'd fuzz only has controls for the Boost, Tone and Volume, the rest of the pots are inside as trim pots, the newer Fix'd Fuzz Deluxe has all the controls on the outside of the enclosure.
"The logical progression from then to now, the MUSKET is based on one of the raunchiest, best selling fuzz circuits of all time - taken three giant muffy steps further. With the addition of the PRE, FOCUS & MIDS controls, the MUSKET is able to traverse the decades, the continents and the many iterations of the classic 4-stage fuzz circuit - from emulation to beyond. If you need fuzz and you need it to be massive...
And bass players, look no further. The Musket brings the thunder to perfectly compliment your lightning. You'll find the Musket on pro bass player boards the world over."
NOTE - You must take into account these corrections to the Musket schematic;
R17 10k -> 56k
C6, C9 47n -> 100n
C11 100n ->47n"
So yeah, as Blackout says it's a modified Big Muff - an essential weapon in any Guitarists armoury. The "Focus" control is basically a bass blend type control which allows you to dial in the level of bass that hits the front end of the clipping stages - I like this approach, I think removing bass before clipping greatly improves the clarity of the effect.
So if you're into fuzz there are two interesting options for you to look at, although the circuits are pretty standard the manner in which they are combined, especially in the Fix'd Fuzz, makes for some really interesting sounds.