After my last post about the Dunlop JH-F1 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face, I wanted get a little more detailed about the differences, and I wanted to focus on two brands (Dunlop and Fulltone). They both have/had different fuzzes using the different transistors. I said ‘had’, because Fulltone no longer produces the ’69 Fuzz which uses the Germanium transistors. You can either get the JH-F1 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face (silicon) or the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (Germanium).
Prior to 1970 transistors were Germanium which was a big deal in the semiconductor world, it had/has a few problems though. They varied between transistors, and consistency is a big deal (that is why some of the vintage Fuzzes are really sought after). They’re also sensitive to heat. Around 1970, transistors made the switch to silicon which were cheaper, more consistent and could handle higher temperatures.
So, now we know a little about transistors (really.. just a little), but is there a difference in tone between the two? The answer is yes. One doesn’t sound better than the other, they’re different. There are definitely people that are more into the silicon sound vs. Germanium, etc. I, myself, prefer the Germanium. I feel it’s rougher and seems a bit more ‘out of control’, which I like in a fuzz.
Of course, I have gearmandude to lay it out very nicely with both styles of fuzzes, love it! The first demo is between the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (Germanium) and the JH-F1 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face (Silicon).
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