After the wonderful success of
Crucible Fuzz, I decided to
expand the line to include a model
based on germanium transistors. As with the original, I wasn't as
interested in exactly duplicating the sound of vintage devices as I was
in coming up with something that would go beyond the old stuff.
I wasn't trying to come up with
“my take on a germanium Fuzz Face,” I
was set on building a germanium version of the Crucible Fuzz. The very
high gain of the NPN transistors in the Crucible Fuzz is a big part of
its magic, so I went in search of some more good-sounding high gain
transistors. Did some research, and the AC187 seemed to have what I was
looking for: germanium, NPN, and HIGH GAIN. I took a leap and acquired
a lot of 600 NOS AC187/01's. When these are used up, there will be no
more Crucible GE's unless I find another good batch of transistors!
After weeks of gain testing,
listening, resistor value adjusting, and
more listening, I came up with a recipe that sounded incredible.
The Crucible Fuzz GE has a
germanium sound to it, but it is not
designed to give you the sound of those who have gone before. It is
designed to lay waste to the sonic landscape with gobs of gain and
fuzz. As with its older sibling, you may use it to produce controlled
feedback at conversational volume levels.
For the techies, it uses a pair
of hand-selected NOS AC187/01 high gain
NPN transistors. The bias and volume resistors are tuned (by selection,
not trimpots) for optimum performance in each unit. I set them up at 70
degrees Fahrenheit, and like all germanium devices, their gain will
increase with warmer temperatures and decrease with lower ones. This is
an inherent behavior of germanium-based fuzzes, and all I have done to
accommodate it is make sure that all units are set up at a uniform
ambient temperature. If you want a great sounding fuzz that is also
temperature solid, the original
Crucible Fuzz is for you.