Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Face?

Some like 'em and some don't, but I bet everyone has at least a couple — Analog Delay, Digital Delay, Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tube Overdrive, Transistor Overdrive, Fuzz, Octave Fuzz, Tremolo, Vibrato, Compressor and the list goes on!

Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Face?

Postby steveokla on Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:52 pm

As I understand it, among the chips used in the Dallas Arbiter silicone Fuzz Face were the BC 108, the BC183 and the BC130. I'm given to understand the 108 has the most gain and, to the ears of some, at least, the 'harshest' or brightest. It is my further understanding the that the 183 (favored, I believe, by Eric J.) is warmer, etc. I can't say I've seen many (actually none, that I recall) FF's on ebay, etc., with the BC130--can't find any youtube demos or commentary on that chip. Was wondering if anyone out there is familiar with the BC130--maybe having played a FF with it, compared it to the 108 and/or 183. If so, I'd very much appreciate your sharing your impressions. Thanks, Steveokla
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby yladrd61 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:35 am

I have not tried the BC130. However I have found just the opposite of what you stated when comparing he BC108 to the BC 183. I have found the BC108 to be warmer and the BC183 to be higher gain.
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby steveokla on Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:04 pm

yladrd61 wrote:I have not tried the BC130. However I have found just the opposite of what you stated when comparing he BC108 to the BC 183. I have found the BC108 to be warmer and the BC183 to be higher gain.


Interesting. I've never played either--indeed, the only vintage FF I've played through is the one I've got, but it's a '66 with the germanium chip. I decided I'd like to have one of the silicone's and started searching to find folks' reactions to the different chips. Most of the posts I've read seemed to suggest the 108 was the brighter of the two, but it does seem that players have different takes on these. Thanks much for the input. Steveokla
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby torg on Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:34 pm

BC130C (and BC183KA) FF's ware short lived issues in around of 1969. BC183KA often comes with mustard type output cap. This silicone transistors have similar pinout to earlier used BC183L transistors (CBE), and predates BC108C & BC109C trannies (around of early 1970). Other silicon transistor used are BC209C - that's middle of the 70's just before Dallas Arbiter stopped producing Fuzz Faces
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby steveokla on Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:25 pm

torg wrote:BC130C (and BC183KA) FF's ware short lived issues in around of 1969. BC183KA often comes with mustard type output cap. This silicone transistors have similar pinout to earlier used BC183L transistors (CBE), and predates BC108C & BC109C trannies (around of early 1970). Other silicon transistor used are BC209C - that's middle of the 70's just before Dallas Arbiter stopped producing Fuzz Faces


Thanks! That's very helpful. I've been on the look for a silicone 'compliment' to my '66 Arbiter, and there's one on ebay that looks pretty good (to my untrained eye). It's got the 130 chip-didn't know whether this is more/less desirable than the more common 108 or not so quite common 183. I gather from your response that this 130 would have similar tonal characteristics to the 183? Thanks again for sharing your knowledge
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby torg on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:57 am

Hi steveokla,

It's hard to talk about vintage FF tonal characteristic buckets these days. Arbiter/Dallas-Arbiter units are 45-50 years old right now, most of the components are far off the spec. Carbon resistors ware in 10% tolerance back in the 60's, they go bad in time and they lose the spec even further, electrolytic caps are critical tonewise as well - today they're dry like a dessert, uF goes down and specially input cap (2u5) makes huge unpredictable tonal impact. Ironically the only component (apart of transistors) that should hold the spec pretty well is the output cap (molded, chicklet yellow cap, sometimes mustard type, as well as tropical fish in some units), the irony is - it have not as much impact on Fuzz Face tone

What I'm trying to say is - there is no really transistor issue what makes bad sounding FF IMO, but the spec of the rest of the parts and the parts drift. You can find splendidly sounding FF with all of the silicon transistors I've mentioned or buzzy piece of shit. Buying online is a question of luck

If you're after collector item get one in collector condition (without parts changed) and pray. If you're after awesome sounding Fuzz Face clone, with correct, or at least vintage parts choice build into Fuzz Face enclosure (stock or repainted) try a dude named Pigdog (Englishman). He does great job with his rebuilds. I don't know him personally, but I'm always on my knees when I see his job. He can be tracked at DAM Forum.

If you have any other questions, I will try to answer them the best I can

Cheers
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby steveokla on Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:40 pm

Very helpful info indeed. As you say, the vintage ones are a crap shoot in terms of what they sound like. According to what I've read (that JH would go through a box of FF's to find one he liked), the new ones weren't much more consistent. A few of those i've considered on ebay have had return/approval periods. I gravitate to those for the reason you mention--no telling now they'll sound. I've been on the hunt for a silicone version for quite a while and hope something turns with an approval period and a price I can live with. Thanks so much for your help. Regards, Steve
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby torg on Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:27 pm

Good luck Steve. If/when you end up with one, could you take transistor voltages for me? I will guide you how to do it without removing the board, or without lifting isolations on transistor lugs.
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby steveokla on Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:00 am

torg wrote:Good luck Steve. If/when you end up with one, could you take transistor voltages for me? I will guide you how to do it without removing the board, or without lifting isolations on transistor lugs.


Certainly. In exchange, perhaps you might: (a) keep your eye peeled for a good one, and (b) if I come up with something on, say, ebay, perhaps you might take a look at it for me? I have no confidence in my ability to confirm originality, etc.

Again, thanks so much for sharing your expertise. Best, Steve
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby torg on Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:44 pm

Sure Steve,

I'm happy to help. I'm not as much fuzz face freak myself newdays, now I'm more into amps, so I forgot a lot, but I will help out as much as I can

Join DAM forum, there is a guy out there called Electric Warrior, he's Fuzz Face brainiac, he knows everything about them, down to enclosure shapes (yes, there was quite a few FF slightly different enclosures). Try to talk with him. I don't know him personally but I do respect his research a lot. I'm sure he will help you out. Otherwise, I'm here
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Re: Anyone familiar with the BC130 version of the DA Fuzz Fa

Postby steveokla on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:44 am

torg wrote:Sure Steve,

I'm happy to help. I'm not as much fuzz face freak myself newdays, now I'm more into amps, so I forgot a lot, but I will help out as much as I can

Join DAM forum, there is a guy out there called Electric Warrior, he's Fuzz Face brainiac, he knows everything about them, down to enclosure shapes (yes, there was quite a few FF slightly different enclosures). Try to talk with him. I don't know him personally but I do respect his research a lot. I'm sure he will help you out. Otherwise, I'm here

Thanks so much! Will do.
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