Buzz Balls In Action

It pleases the fuzz-gods when I get recorded clips of Balls pedals in action.  This one just came in from Justin from the band Honeysmoke out of Charleston, SC.  He’s using his Buzz Balls unit on their recording for “Gypsy Girl”.  Its an awesome usage and a perfect reminder that there’s plenty of room for fuzz-tones outside of the heavy/psyche/stoner box.  He’s told me that the track isnt finished yet, but it sounds absolutely killer to me.  The Buzz Balls solo is great and happens at about the 1:50 mark in the track.  Thanks, Justin!

 

As a reminder the Buzz Balls is currently on sale for $145.  Get em direct through this site or at Main Drag Music in Brooklyn, NY!

 

Clearance Time

Hey all, got some stuff on the shelves that needs to get on its way to make room for other new stuff, so i’ll be periodically posting some special deals.  In this case its a deal on the last Uni-Balls units.

I’ve got two of these available; one normal and one misprint with a slightly crooked label. These are absolutely KILLER one knob germanium fuzzes built with a batch of Mullard OC59s. Compare to the Colorsound One-Knob Fuzz, Vox Distortion Booster, or DAM Meathead but with germanium transistor goodness and tuned special to my taste. The tuning is just slightly darker than what you get with the Colorsound box. The OC59s sound stellar. Nice, big and round, with a minimal amount of rasp. These guys are total stoner riff machines. Sprague/Vishay caps, IRC Carbon comps, Carling footswitch. One knob controlling output volume.  $150 USD for the normal one, and $120 for the misprint. $10 domestic shipping, and if you want international shipping ill have to quote you.

Email me direct for either of these at thedoctor@ballseffects.com

And here’s the misprint unit:

Such Powerful

Introducing the Balls Powerful Booster!  What we have here is a recreation of the famous Colorsound Power Boost of the late sixties. The circuit provides a huge volume boost to push your amp into lush, smooth distortion. Coupled with the boost is a tone control circuit that allows for big booming bass, and bright, glassy highs. The tone control is a boost/cut type and leaving the controls in their middle positions results in a basically flat response. Turning each one down or up results in a respective cut or boost of that frequency. The Powerful Booster also uses the original 18V power supply using two 9V batteries to provide increased boost capability. There is also a normal external power jack to accept standard, center-negative pedal power. Using this jack, the Powerful Booster can be run off of a normal 9 volts, as one would with a standard pedal, and the only affect is a little bit less boost. One can also supply 18 volts using the jack, if a suitable 18 volt,center negative power supply is available.

Balls Powerful Boosters were built as part of a custom order for Tommy’s Guitar Shop in Everett, WA, where they will be in stock shortly.

Black style.

When it rains it pours.  Here’s a new, more official name to an old idea:  the Balls BF-40.  The concept here is a distilled down version of several Fender amps from the 60s, commonly known as the “blackface” amps because of their black control panels.  This is a similar circuit to the bones of a Super or Twin reverb, but just one normal channel.  Its clean and pretty through most of the control range but if you really jack it it’ll crunch up nicely.  Essentially its a perfect clean amp to be used as is, or as a platform for pedalboard fanatics.  It features normal high and low inputs, a volume control, and a full treble/middle/bass tone stack.

40W. 1x12AX7, 1x12AT7, 2x6L6GC.  Fixed Bias with external test and control.

Tweed Style.

Introducing the Balls TF-40.  This is my take on a classic “tweed” style circuit in the 40W range.  The attempt here was to incorporate all the things that are definitive and characterizing of several tweed Fender amps like the Super, the Pro, and the Bandmaster.  There is clean tone to be found here, but what most people want in a tweed is some of that classic crunchy grit a la Neil Young, Pete Townshend, and so many others.  This guy has that grit in spades.  It features normal high and low inputs, as well as a normal and bright channel that can be jumpered if you like.  The tone stack is a characteristic 50’s style Fender one with Bass and Treble controls, as well as a Presence control.  A master volume was added per the customer’s request, which is accessible from the rear of the amp.

40W. 1x12AY7, 2x12AX7, 2x6L6GC, 1x5U4GB.  Fixed Bias with external test and control.

Orange you glad.

Amp catch-up posting continues!  This one comes in the form of a custom build in a gutted chassis and cabinet.  The husk in question was an old Ampeg V50H from the 90s, and the goal was vintage-style Orange.  Lovely idea.

First a few words about Orange amps and the vintage vs. the modern company.  The original Orange and Matamp amps of the late sixties and seventies were quite unique beasts when compared to the offerings of Marshall/Fender/Hiwatt/etc.  They featured a different tone stack and phase inversion and all-in-all made for a different sounding amp with unique sounding distortion characteristics. Add to that the snappy design and bright orange tolex made them look absolutely phenomenal.  Well that company came and went, and Orange has re-launched several times over the years, most notably the very successful re-launch in the 2000s to present day.  The sad thing, however, is that the modern day Orange company retained nothing of their former self other than the bright tolex.  The newer Orange offerings have more in common with a Marshall than they do the original units.  This isnt to say that they sound bad or anything, but in my opinion it is criminal to skip out on the unique features of the originals.  If you’ve only had experience with the newer Oranges, i highly recommend you check out the older ones and hear the difference.

So this build was pretty straight vintage with a few tweaks.  First, Orange amps varied their phase inverters very slightly in about 1972, but sonically the difference is huge in my opinion.  Per the customers request, this amp has a switchable option to toggle between either the pre or post 1972 option, but my hunch is that it gets left on the pre-72 setting, as its much more articulate and dynamic sounding.  Additionally this one includes a master volume control like what was used in the late 70s on the Orange OD series of amps.  The amp is a 50W (Orange cited these as 80W but those definitions are largely subjective) with controls laid out in accordance with the customer’s requests.  To match the theme of Orange, an amp named after its color, we went with a black theme on this one and a big “NOIR” badge on the front. The end result was simply mind blowing.  The sound on these is really rich and the tone control capabilities are extremely wide with this tone stack.  Add to that the distortion is different than what you normally hear.  A bit more grit to it, and it goes smoothly from full-bodied clean and huge sounding to this thick creamy distortion.  I go back and forth between my favorite pieces in amp design and the completion of this custom job definitely tipped me back in the direction of the classic Orange elements.

 

 

 

 

 

Tweed Brownies

Ahh the next in a series of catch-up posts on amp building.  This build was a custom request for a pretty standard build: a clone of the venerable old Fender 5E3 Deluxe.  This style amp is one of a few Fender tweed amps that are known for making up Neil Young’s signature sound, as well as the sounds on countless other classic recordings.  No real tweaks here, just the standard issue 15 watt 5E3 is all its beautiful, crunchy glory.  The amp has very simple bright and normal inputs, bright and normal volume controls and a master control.  Sprague caps and Kamaya carbon composition resistors were used throughout.  The speaker is a Weber 12A125A Alnico 12″.