Effects Projects

SmallBazz – Germanium Bazz Fuss for DIY

I can promise that you haven’t seen this exact circuit configuration in some over-priced boutique pedal. What we have here is my wacko take on the classic Bazz Fuss, a mainstay DIY favorite owing to its low parts count and surprisingly amazing fuzz tone. The original uses a darlington integrated circuit in a transistor-sized package (MPSA13), so I thought I’d spice things up with a discrete darlington arrangement but with germanium transistors instead of silicon. More mojo, amirite? Germanium Bazz Fuss is the coolest.

And to add to the quirkiness of this particular circuit, I decided to go with an oddball transistor: the NPN Germanium 2N1101, which is readily available from Small Bear Electronics. Why this particular part number? Two main reasons: 1) it’s NPN and much easier to deal with in terms of biasing and power supply setup, and 2) I’ve never seen it used in any circuit, and that’s enough for me. Also, it’s cheap and easy to source (at least for now as of 2023). The drawback? It’s not at all a standard package, doesn’t readily fit any existing PCB layouts, and doesn’t exist as a part in any of the common PCB creation applications.

So I created my own part for the 2N1101 in Eagle CAD and set off to create a fun new version of the Bazz Fuss. I added a few extra features: a switch to toggle between two feedback clipping diodes, a gain control, and a bias trimmer to dial in those finicky Germanium transistors. Here’s the schematic:

Germanium Bazz Fuss

Once more for the SEO: Germanium Bazz Fuss.

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