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Thread: Foxey Lady

  1. #11
    As I recall, germanium was abandoned in transistors with the advent of silicon because SI transistors provided more gain and were more consistent.

    In order to pick up a radio signal you just need a rectifier (detector) and something to act as an antenna which is why a crystal radio works. It can actually be more difficult to not pick up radio signals. That's why I perform in a faraday cage suit:





    I love me GE fuzz. Look at those germanium beauties:

    1970s: [ S70 | S300ADs ]
    1980s: [ X79-3 | X80s | X82 | X100 | X175 | S281 | BHM1 ]
    1980s: [ Detonator | Liberator + Elite | SF4 | AA ]
    1990s: [ S100 | X160 | X170 | X170T | SF3,5 | BB | NB | NB DX ]
    1990s: [ X2000 | X3000 | X4000s | DV72 | BHM1 | JF30-12 | Songbird ]
    2000s: [ SF3 | SF4 | B-90 | BB-90 | X160R | X500T | D55 ]
    2010s:
    [ Jetstar | R30 | D55 ]

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  2. #12
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    As I recall, germanium was abandoned in transistors with the advent of silicon because SI transistors provided more gain and were more consistent.
    Yeah especially the consistency.
    I for sure remember Roger Mayer mentioning the RF issue in an interview somewhere, and confirmed on his own site for the "Axis":
    "Electronically the Axis uses a discrete circuit configuration that is completely unlike the simple and crude Fuzz Face configuration. Both PNP and NPN silicon low noise transistors are used in an unique configuration that is temperature stable, free from radio interference and producing more output level and sustain than the Classic Fuzz"
    He still offers germanium, though, in the Page 1 Classic:
    "OUR GERMANIUM FUZZ FROM THE 60'S
    In 1964 I designed my first fuzz guitar effects pedal that was used by Jimmy Page and Big Jim Sullivan and featured on many early hit records.
    I am pleased to announce that after over 40 years this early ground breaking fuzz will be available again. It uses carefully selected germanium transistors and has the same distortion section as the original 1964 version."
    I found another interview where he mentions the inconsistency and especially the heat instability of early germaniums (in Arbiter Fuzz Faces he started modding):
    https://www.premierguitar.com/articl...yer_Talks_Fuzz
    "Especially with germanium, it was not quite as tightly controlled as silicon. Itís nothing to have a transistor selected for low noise, and then have the gain vary anywhere from 100 [hFE] up to 800 [hFE]....
    Well, Jimi would buy half a dozen of these pedals, find one that sounded great, and then weíd mark it, right? One day it would work and another day it wouldnít work so well in a different environment. Jimi would say, "Whatís going on?" and Iíd say, "Well, itís got to be temperature, Jimi. Thatís the only thing thatís changing." So thatís what got me to look inside the box. We got a good sounding one at a certain temperature, but as the temperature changed you could see the biasing completely shift. I started analyzing them a bit more carefully to find the combinations that work well."
    Hmmm...he also says this in that interview:
    "Then they (Arbiter) went on to the silicon ones, which had a bit more gain and high end, but they were terribly prone to pick up radio and start oscillating and were bloody unstable."
    I think that is the RF comment I was remembering, but it is about silicons, in the Arbiter circuit, to be fair.
    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    In order to pick up a radio signal you just need a rectifier (detector) and something to act as an antenna which is why a crystal radio works.


    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post

    It can actually be more difficult to not pick up radio signals. That's why I perform in a faraday cage suit:



    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    I love me GE fuzz. Look at those germanium beauties:
    Probably due to my early years handling mil spec components, I have Motorola TO-18 cans indelibly etched in my memory:
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  3. #13
    The thing I really like about simple germanium-driven fuzzes is their low input impedance. This makes such pedals very interactive with your guitar. At full guitar volume you're loading down the signal a lot, cutting treble and keeping your tone away from harsh & shrill territory. But as you roll down the vol your sound not only gets cleaner but also brighter due to reduced signal loading. You can get fab sparkly clean sounds this way. The downside is you've gotta plug your guitar directly into the fuzz, else the impedance relationship will likely get messed up.

    Some silicon transistor fuzz & distortion pedals work this way too, but most don't as modern designs are made to play nice in effects chains.

    -Dave-
    1962 F-20 Troubadour
    1970 M-75 Bluesbird
    1971 S-100 "Black Cherry"
    1973 S-100 "Nature Boy"
    1990 Nightbird Custom
    1999 X-170T
    2013 NS M-75 Aristocrat
    2016 NS S-200 T-bird

    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

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