The perfect face
Supreme sounding 1960s germanium 'face' fuzz built with rare NPN germanium transistors for modern, pedalboard friendly power polarity
The sound is 100% vintage authentic, and the NPN properties of the transistors makes it possible to power the circuit with modern, negative ground polarity, without the need for additional charge pump circuitry. This is a big advantage over vintage original PNP germanium pedals, which can be tricky to integrate in a modern pedalboard because of their reverse power polarity (positive ground). No need for an isolated power supply for the Purple Faze!
The new, revised version, coming in March 2022, adds a few modern improvements to the output section of the vintage circuit. First, we have added a recovery gain stage to make the pedal LOUD, and second, we have added an output buffer to ensure a consistent, high-quality output signal from the pedal. In the original vintage pedal, the level control was wired directly to the output jack, making the output impedance change with the level setting. Not good, really, so we fixed that. This addition to the vintage circuit in no way changes or degrades the sound and response of the fuzz effect, it just takes care that you are passing on a healthy signal to the next pedal in your signal chain, without loss of tone.
The extra loudness provided by the recovery gain stage makes it possible to push the input stage of a tube amp into natural overdrive, making some super smooth fuzz sounds possible - somthing that can not be done with the relatively weak vintage fuzz face pedal.
The Purple Faze is mechanical true bypass, so the output buffer is only on, when the effect is on (no buffered bypass).
I personally match the germanium transistors for the Purple Faze, and pick them for high hfe (amplification factor) and low leakage. A great thing about the OC140 transistors is that they are not very leaky, and this is great for the fuzz face because it is by design a dark and mellow sounding circuit. Leakyness means loss of high frequencies, so picking transistors with low leakage makes for a brighter sounding pedal. Which is desirable for a fuzz face. If you ever tried one, and found it lifeless and boring sounding, chances are you played one with some super leaky PNP germaniums - which are the norm. The Purple Face is far more lively, exciting and inspiring than the average fuzz face based pedal. So don't be scared off by previous bad experiences with the fuzz face circuit. Done right, it's a magical thing (which I guess a certain mr. Hendrix proved very convincingly).
Reuss Purple Faze specifications:
- Vintage 1960s fuzz face schematic built with ultra-rare vintage new old stock 1960s OC140 germanium transistors. Each set of two transistors are carefully matched personally by Anders Marcuslund-Reuss
- The transistors are ‘NPN’ which makes the pedal run on modern, pedalboard friendly ‘negative ground’ power polarity (contrary to vintage original pedals, and most modern PNP recreations, which features positive ground / reverse polarity). No need for an isolated power supply.
- Recovery gain stage and output buffer added to the vintage circuit’s original output. This makes the pedal much louder than a vintage pedal and it ensures a uniform, strong and healthy output signal to pass on in your chain, with no loss of tone and no unwanted interferences.
- Advanced power supply noise filtering circuit at the DC jack. This makes the pedal very tolerant with modern, switch mode power supplies, which are otherwise known to induce noise in vintage circuits, originally designed to run on batteries exclusively.
- Extremely high build quality. Completely handmade in the European Union
- Vintage-style ’through hole’ construction (SMD parts in the power supply noise filtering mini-circuit board)
- Compact aluminium enclosure with a 'disco purple' metallic sparkle powder coat finish and real silk screen printed graphics
- High quality Neutrik jacks
- Upgrade quality footswitches (good for at least 30000 stomps)
- Runs on a standard ’Boss-style’ 9V DC ‘negative centre’ guitar pedal power supply or a 9V battery.