Building A Fuzz Factory Clone

Last Updated 12/15/04
By Paul J. Marossy


I built this circuit more for fun than for trying to save money or anything like that. A do-it-yourselfer in Italy wrote to me in regards to my website. In the course of our conversations, he told me that he built the Fuzz Factory. He referred me to a French website that details how to build a Fuzz Factory clone. So, mostly out of curiousity, I built the circuit just to see how it compares the real thing. Built per the PCB layout at the French website, it sounds very close to the real thing with the transistors and other components that I used. Below is a few details of this project.

Here is the assembled PCB. I haven't verified this, but I believe that it is an exact copy of the real Z. Vex Fuzz Factory PCB due to its clever design and general layout.

Here is the component side of the PCB. I used a pair of NOS Raytheon PNP germanium transistors with an Hfe of about 290 each. The silicon transistor is a 2N3904. I used sockets for all of the transistors in case I want to experiment with different transistors at a later date. I used log (audio) pots for all pots required.

Here is the enclosure after drilling and prepping for paint. It took a little while to figure out how the layout should be in the enclosure, but after a bit of study I figured it out.

Here is the inside of the finished pedal. It is somewhat of a challenge to fit all these parts into a small enclosure such as a Hammond 1590B. Since this pedal can oscillate (squeal) at many various settings, I decided to do a grounded circuit input true bypass switch wiring scheme just to be safe. The bypass switch is a Carling DPDT switch.
And here is the finished product. I decided to keep the original name and to mimic the graphics to a point by using a similar paint scheme to the real Fuzz Factory, but I didn't try to create an exact replica of it. Intead, I personalized it to my own taste using my usual method for the graphics. The colored letters were painted by hand with acrylic paint and then the whole enclosure was coated with clear gloss polyurethane in a spray can. The green paint is the same exact paint that I used for my very first stompbox project, with a light overspray of black to make it look a little darker that it really is. Not quite the same overall color as the original, but that wasn't my objective. Actually, the green is a little darker than the picture makes it appear to be. I like the results because it bears some resemblance to the real thing, but its "personality" is totally me.


As for its performance, as I stated at the beginning of this page, it sounds very close to the sound clips on the Z. Vex website. And it functions the same as well. Zachary Vex is a genious when it comes to electronics and designing things that make your electric guitar create strange noises!

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