welcome to Apocalypse Audio, your haven for DIY guitar effects in the end times. so, start prayin to the fuzz gods, savin up those parts, and remember, when the big one goes off- keep your transistors shielded from those pesky electromagnetic pulses!



click on the title and you will be treated to a great clip of the GREEN BOMB FUZZ made by FSB regular ibodog. many, many thanks to Sir Dog for his excellent contribution.  it shows off many of the middle range tones of the GREEN BOMB.  hopefully, i will soon make some clips of the more extreme end of the palate as well for you all to enjoy.

thanks ibo!  you rock.  i am in your debt.



recently there was a request for a Toecutter pcb, so i made up this version of V1 because i still think that it is probably the best sounding version. it isn't verified, but it is checked in eagle, so it should be good. i hope you guys enjoy it, and be sure to let me know if you get it built!

just a little tip- for a wider variation in the gain control use a larger pot- say 500K.  personally, i like to keep it up around the upper end of the gain range, so 100-250K is usually what i like to go with.  also,  a 100K volume pot will brighten up the sound a bit, and changing the 4K7 resistor to 10K will add more gain, but i think it loses some of it's crunchy magic.


spencerpedals made this great post about The Toecutter over at FSB, i thought i should share it-

"Re: RnFR- The Toecutter
Postby SpencerPedals » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:42 pm
Finally got around to breadboarding this with some low-leakage pirated germaniums, house numbered so I have no idea exactly what, and it will rattle your fucking skull. I've liked the clip since I heard it, but didn't have a closet full of parts. If anyone's ever heard the stuff from Slow Burn, the tones you get are almost identical. I always test pedals through an old school solid-state Crate and then if nothing explodes, I run them into my Ampeg V4. This thing definitely comes alive in the later (as most do) and with tuning dropped to C, is probably even lethal to small animals. I don't have any pets, so I can't say for sure. Actually I do have a snake and I didn't check, but she may very well have perished. I have V1.1 on the breadboard but with a 500K gain pot from V3 and used Q1 and Q2 in the 80's hFE and Q3 in the 120's. I'll be seasoning to taste over the next few days/weeks and report what I settle with. And if you're not a fan of growly loudness, it actually sounds very sixties fuzz when you turn the gain down and screw with the bias. Not my territory with this one, but versatility is there. More to come."
great stuff! glad to hear he's diggin it!



hey you slags! if anybody is actually reading this thing and getting any enjoyment, please let me know! i mean, even if nobody read it, i'd still do it for my own sake, but it sure would be nice to know that someone is getting something worth while out of this. if there is anything you'd like to see more of, bring forth your brainiac-size ideas, and i'll take them into consideration. you can also sign up to become an official follower on the lower right as well.

or maybe i'm the only one left on the planet...... just me and my robot.


my buddy jrod over at FSB turned me on to this killer vintage Russian guitar and effects site.  click on the title, and you get a babelfish translated version of the site.  i've barely gotten into it, but it looks like it's filled with some freaky psychedelic machines and cold war rock and roll ingenuity.  check it out!

he also found on the same site, a different version of the KAZAN BOOSTER that was featured in one of the first posts on APOCALYPSE AUDIO.  the difference with this one is that there are diodes sprinkled around in the signal path, which is a rather odd design technique.  the only other place i've seen something similar is in Joe Gagan's Vulcan distortion.  this can be found in the ANALOG ALCHEMY LINK on the right of the page.  he described it as a sort of limiter to prevent hard saturation of the transistors.  it sounds like a neat little trick- i might have to give it a shot sometime.


if you look over to the lower right, you'll see apocalypse audio's new freestomp rss feed.  now you can keep up with the coolest stompbox forum on  the planet at a glance.  you'll never have an excuse again to not know what's inside that new, totally original, totally awesome electra copy that yer favorite solder jockey has been working on nonstop for years before it's release. or why not get in a heated debate about the "sound" of capacitors?  it's all there.  and i mean "all"!  i'd be surprised to see a production stomp by a major manufacturer that hasn't had it's schematic and inner workings fully analyzed.  join in the fun! we don't have much time before we are all turned back into dust anyway.


click on the title and get sent to a bevy of the highest quality audio electronics books for download.  now you can use your original 75 dollar copies for kindling!  just hurry and get 'em before they decide to get their electrilives cut short by the evil horde of junkpile robots from greedtown.  



here's a tagboard layout for the GREEN BOMB that i built up today.  it's got a great deal of variation due to the wide range of gain and the phase cancellation.  lots if tones, but it always has that great FuzzRite buzz.  it's going to be a fun fuzz when i get it fully built.



here's something i was working on the other night.  it's a revved up mosrite fuzzrite based off of gus's gusrite circuit.  i basically juiced up the gain even more, did some stabilization and frequency response adjustments and added a nfb based tone control to add even more weird phase shaping possibilities than what was had in the original.  it's basically like a fuzzrite on steroids.  i'd suggest a mid gain transistor for Q1 and a high gain for Q2.  different transistors do different things, so it's worth trying out some different ones.  oh, and it can totally do that spirit in the sky thing perfect!  when you turn the gain all the way up you get that ratty almost misbiased thing that greenbaum had going on in his onboard fuzz.  back the gain off and rattyness goes away.  this thing is my new go to for crazy psych madness.  if you want more of a honky sound, lower the transistor gain a bit.  i'll probably try and do some more tweaks in the future, and i'll post them when i get a chance.

also-  i've got a tagboard layout that i'll post when i get it verified. ;]

here are the schematics from Gus's rite fuzz and the mosrite Fuzzrite for reference.  if the owners have a problem with my posting them here, i will gladly take them down.

also, i was asked on FSB to describe the added tone control.  i tried to explain it to the best of my ability.  if anyone has anything to add, please, feel free.

the fuzz control on the fuzzrite works by adding the output of the first stage, an out of phase signal, with the output of the second stage, in phase signal.  this is what produces some of the thin, hollowed out, phase cancelled sounds that the fuzzrite is known for.  the shape control takes the non-inverted output of the first stage, with the output of the second stage, which also gets mixed in with the output of the first stage with the fuzz control.  the shape control has a low pass filter due to the .01 cap to ground, so when when it's negative feedback takes place, it only cancels out the lower frequencies and leaves the highs.  with this control you are still able to get the brite, zippy sounds of the original fuzzrite, but are now also able to get the thicker sounds of gus's ritefuzz- all through the same negative feedback techniques similar to what was used in the original fuzzrite!  



click on the title of this post, and you'll get directed to part of the excellent Fun With Transistors Page on amplifier feedback. feedback can be used to increase linearity of the output, curing oscillation, reducing gain, and tonal shaping among other things when used in amplifier stages. usually when we speak about feedback, we are talking about negative feedback in amplifiers. this is accomplished by adding an out of phase signal to the input of a gain stage, often by taking the output of an inverting amplifier. the webpage takes an in depth look at different types of feedback complete with diagrams and equations for those that are so inclined. check out the rest of the site as well as the Fun With Tubes page which has some great info, too.


if you click on the title of this post, you'll get directed to the instructions page of a cool little circuit simulator program. while i doubt that this this is nearly as in depth or accurate as something like the SPICE-based programs out there, it's a fun little program that runs on JAVA, and it can definitely help the learning process along. not too mention, it is much easier to learn. there are a number of circuits that have already been put together that you can easily adjust and add to as much as you like, or of course you can start from scratch. i had a lot of fun messing around with a gain stage that i have been trying out as of late, seeing how the output changes with component values. it's a lot of fun, and is a great learning experience as well.


HERE is a page from Paul Marossy's website with a number of downloadable chapters from this great book by Jack Darr. there is lots of info, including tube and early solid state, that is guaranteed to be helpful for anyone out there looking to get into this of thing. check it out, it's an excellent book!


i recently decided to start monkeying around with some tube amps that i have aquired over the years, namely a couple of bogens, a bell pa head, a couple of small voice of music phono amps, and my big ol traynor yba-3.  a great gadget that is a must have for beginning tube amp tweakers is the Lamp Limiter.  it allows you to power up the amp while being able to tell if the amplifier is drawing too much current off of the mains.  if there is a short in the amp, the lamp will light up brightly.  here is a nice article from a UK radio sight about the lamp limiter, and a cool thread about "reading" the action of the bulb.


these UK articles recommend a 100w bulb, where as this article from R.G Keen says that a 25w or larger bulb will do.

a lamp limiter is a great way to help the learning process when working on tube gear, and hopefully can keep you from needlessly blowing anything up!