Foxey Lady

richardp69

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Is there any significant difference between a Foxey Lady 2 and a Foxey Lady 3???
 

walrus

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I hope you are talking about guitar pedals...

walrus
 

Default

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There's a two knob and a three knob. The three knob is a big muff, that I know.
 

adorshki

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I thought they were all variants of a big muff.
According to the Effects Database:
"Guild asked Mosrite to build Fuzzrites for them under the Foxey Lady name and in a different housing. According to Eddie Sanner, the designer of the Fuzzrite, the circuit was exactly the same, but Guild said they didn't sound the same, so after 2-3 runs (around 1000 pedals in total) they started looking for a new partner who could build pedals for them.
They found Mike Matthews, who didn't start the Electro-Harmonix brand yet, but he had a circuit and let Aul Instruments build the pedals. One of the techs at Aul, Norman Schwartzman, would become the first Electro-Harmonix employee.
When Mike started the Electro-Harmonix company, the Foxey Lady became a version of the Axis Fuzz, later of the triangle knob and ram's head versions of the Big Muff Pi"
And confirmed here (Except that the switch to the Matthews circuit is probably correctly blamed on Mosrite going under):
https://electroharmonix.vintageusaguitars.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10&Itemid=25
That one's probably the definitive source.
 
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GAD

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Really, it depends on how critical your ear is for fuzz, but there is a lot of difference between the various Foxey Lady pedals. Another good resource: http://www.kitrae.net/music/History_of_OEM_Big_Muffs.html

And they're all WAY overpriced IMO. You can build one for about $10 in parts, though for some the germanium transistors are the magic that's hard to come by, so figure $50.

I built a Germanium fuzz from BYOC and it's a freaking monster. $1000 for a fuzz is abject lunacy.
 

Quantum Strummer

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The 2-knob Foxey Lady is more in Maestro Fuzz-Tone territory whereas the 3-knobber is a v1 Big Muff. More angry attack from the former, more smooth sustain from the latter. Both sound great IMO, but GAD is right that they're way overpriced nowadays. I bought my 3-knobber ~5 years ago in a rare fit of "that's gonna look so cool in my music room!" excess. :)

-Dave-
 

GAD

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What kills me is that I had one of those rare Big Muffs when I was a kid. Took it apart and was floored that such a big pedal could house so few parts. A couple of years later I dismantled it for parts and threw most of the rest of it in the trash.

This was decades before the "It's worth $1000" vintage pedal craze.
 

adorshki

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What kills me is that I had one of those rare Big Muffs when I was a kid. Took it apart and was floored that such a big pedal could house so few parts. A couple of years later I dismantled it for parts and threw most of the rest of it in the trash.

This was decades before the "It's worth $1000" vintage pedal craze.
And were not the afore-mentioned germanium transistors replaced at least in part because they were susceptible to picking up local AM broadcasts?
Might be an example of it in Hendrix's set at Isle of Wight, "All Along the Watchtower", IIRC, although for many years I just thought it was the amp itself picking it up through the power cord.
(And it still may be, but it's kinda unique in all the live material I've ever heard, that I can recall).
These days that could be shielded out easily enough, but that was a largely unknown subject (in rock'n'roll, at least) at the time.
 
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GAD

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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:

 

adorshki

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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/articles/Roger_Mayer_Talks_Fuzz
"Especially with germanium, it was not quite as tightly controlled as silicon. It’s 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 we’d mark it, right? One day it would work and another day it wouldn’t work so well in a different environment. Jimi would say, "What’s going on?" and I’d say, "Well, it’s got to be temperature, Jimi. That’s the only thing that’s changing." So that’s 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.
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:
Probably due to my early years handling mil spec components, I have Motorola TO-18 cans indelibly etched in my memory:
 

Quantum Strummer

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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-
 
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