Instructables
Picture of Fuzz Pedal


Once you have your guitar and learned how to play in time with a metronome, the only thing left to do is rock out. However, as you might have noticed, no matter how hard you rock, it just does not sound right. That is because you are missing something. As many guitarists will tell you, the secret to rocking out is actually fuzz. Before you can do any serious rocking out, you are going to need to build a fuzz pedal. Fortunately, making your own fuzz pedal is a lot easier than it may sound.
 
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Step 1: Go get stuff

Picture of Go get stuff
You will need:

- (x2) 2N3904 NPN Small Signal Transistor (Model: 2N3904 | Catalog #: 276-2016)
- (x2) 100K Ohm 1/4-Watt Carbon Film Resistor (Model: 271-1347 | Catalog #: 271-1347)
- (x2) 10K Ohm 1/4-Watt Carbon Film Resistor (Model: 271-1335 | Catalog #: 271-1335)
- 22 uF Electrolytic Capacitor (Model: 272-1026 | Catalog #: 272-1026)
- 0.1µF 50V Hi-Q Ceramic Disc Capacitor (Model: 272-135 | Catalog #: 272-135)
- 0.01µF 50V 20% Hi-Q Ceramic Disc Capacitor (Model: 272-131 | Catalog #: 272-131)
- 10K-Ohm Horizontal-Style Trimmer (Model: 271-282 | Catalog #: 271-282)
- 5K-Ohm Linear Taper Potentiometers (Model: 271-1714 | Catalog #: 271-1714)
- 100K-Ohm Audio-Taper Potentiometer (Model: 271-1722 | Catalog #: 271-1722)
- Multipurpose PC Board with 417 Holes (Model: 276-150 | Catalog #: 276-150)
- SPST Flatted Metal Lever Toggle Switch (Model: 275-634 | Catalog #: 275-634)
- 1/4" Mono Panel-Mount Audio Jack (Model: 274-255 | Catalog #: 274-255)
- Hexagonal Control Knob (Model: 274-407 | Catalog #: 274-407)
- Fully Insulated 9V Battery Snap Connectors (Model: 270-325 | Catalog #: 270-325)
- Enercell® Alkaline 9 Volt Battery (Model: 23-853 | Catalog #: 23-853)
- DPDT specialty stomp switch
- Sturdy metal project box

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pedrovai10 months ago
Could you post the straight fuzz circuit path. I want to build a simpler circuit with fixed volume and gain?, absolute beginner soldering here.
jlaframboise11 months ago
Ok, the model numbers provided and description of the components are not what you receive if you go into a radio shack OR order from radio shack online for the following components:

0.1µF 50V Hi-Q Ceramic Disc Capacitor (Model: 272-135 | Catalog #: 272-135)1/4" Mono Panel-Mount Audio Jack (Model: 274-255 | Catalog #: 274-255)

for some reason no matter what you do, you will receive Model Numbers 272-0135 and 272-0255.

You will receive a 500WV Hi-K Dielectric Capacitor and a Stereo Phone Jack instead of the components in the schematic and in the "go get stuff" list. I have tried to get the correct parts through radio shack for over a month now.

And I agree with Antonye, there aren't very clear instructions provided with how to put this thing together, especially for a beginner. An instructable should do just that, instruct. There is nothing mentioned about wiring in the components or what guage wiring to get. Board placement would also be helpful for someone with no experience and this is the first project they want to build.
Antonye11 months ago
Very unclear instructions to follow if you aren't more advanced in electronics. Are the PDF instructions more step by step for what connects where and is soldered in connection to what? Looks great, my boy went out and bought all of the components and now he is asking me to help him put it together. Building the circuit board as per the schematic is ok if you can read that ok, but I can't. I realise my boy should have researched this more before he bought all of the components, but I think he believed there would be more step by step instructions. Can anyone help please as he is really keen to build this, has spent all of the money and now we are unclear of how to put the circuitry together without more clear step by step component connection instructions.
Do you have a model # for the 0.01µF 50V 20% Hi-Q Ceramic Disc Capacitor. I was able to find a 500V that matches the model # listed in the above "you will need" section. I have model #272-0131, is this the correct capacitor?
marshy6641 year ago
my project is putting out a lot of buzz when i turn on my amp. Is this supposed to happen? P.S this is the first pedal i've built.

randofo (author)  marshy6641 year ago
Yes and/or no. It depends what type of "buzz."

Does it do this with the clean signal? If so, then you have a problem.

Try adjusting the knobs and trim pots. Does that get you a more pleasing sound?
Would it be okay to use a breadboard so that I could avoid soldering as much as possible, as I am a beginner in electronics..?
randofo (author)  kimjames2291 year ago
Yes. You run the risk of components or wires falling out and maybe there being a little static, but otherwise I see no reason why you could not.
hi all. i've begun to build the fuzz! but alas i have hit a brick wall already. this is my first project besides a theremin kit. i don't know much about electronics. i was wondering if someone would post some good picks of their finished project, as pics are about all i'm going on. learning to read schematics as i go, so hopefully something will click during the process. cheers!
brocowski1 year ago
oh and the dimensions for the box are 120 x 95 x 35mm i believe
brocowski1 year ago
hey if your trying to find the project enclosure he uses and the stomp switch he uses you can order bother from sparkfun.com. just go their website and type in the seach box "stomp" and hit enter and you see two metal project enclosures and the stomp switch
Mr.Pockets1 year ago
what are the dimensions on the box?
Tylerowicz1 year ago
Hey sick pedal! I want to make one myself but I was just wondering, if I use a 33uF 16V capacitor does it matter?
Thanks nice info really informative.
pemc1 year ago
hey i'm from ecuador and the only foot switches i can find are similar to these http://www.radioshackecuador.com.ec/index.php/electronica-circuitos/componentes-electronicos/switches/miniinterruptor-moment-neo-spdt-con-bot-n-pulsador-3-a-detail
i don't know if it would work since they look like plastic.
Also, how can i make this effect sound dirtier?
Awesome instructable!!
I'm very interested in creating my own guitar pedal.
Thanks a lot for posting this in such great detail!
I built this pedal
I used a different set of transistors from an old broken Oscilloscope
but the sound keeps cutting off, like the fuzz will blast like it should but it cuts out after about 2 seconds and comes back on and cuts out again
and every high gain transistor set (even the ones recommended here) that I have used does the same thing
any ideas as to what can be the problem here?
randofo (author)  THELAZERVIKING!1 year ago
Yeah. Probably the transistors you decided to use.
pemc1 year ago
would this work with 1/2-watt resistors?
randofo (author)  pemc1 year ago
It should
Tim771 year ago
Thanks for the reply, sorry for replying late. I have another question. My potentiometers legs are about 3 inches long (they look exactly like the one in the link and they dont look like the ones in the video) so im wondering if I can cut them shorter? Is that possible? If so how? What do you recommend I do?
Thanks so much. :)

P.S. I've put a picture of how the one i have looks like here.
Photo on 2013-01-27 at 20.19.jpg
randofo (author)  Tim771 year ago
Yeah. With a Dremel or hacksaw. Be careful.
Hi,
Something wrong happened, It didn't work and I tried to figure out what happened; I found this, even with the effect on bypass the signal isn't going through; when I unplug the DC power, signal goes through bypassed-effect. This have never happened to me before, can someone explain me what just happened?
Thanks :D
Tim771 year ago
Hey, the picture of the toggle switch in the link looks different than the one in the video? If it was a typo, could you please link me the correct one? Thanks :)
randofo (author)  Tim771 year ago
The linked one is fine. I just used the DPDT switch because I had it on hand. The SPST switch will do the job. You only need two terminals.
Thanks for this great instructable. I'm new to electronics and really excited about building this fuzz.

One question, why do you use a 0,01 µF 500V capacitor if you're working with a 9V battery? Wouldn't 50V be enough? I'm asking because I couldn't find any 500V capacitors in my local electronics store
randofo (author)  mayihavecookie1 year ago
That should read 50. Thanks for pointing that out. Will correct.
hey randofo are there any other tansistors that can be usd instead of 2n3904?
randofo (author)  MadGuitarist1 year ago
Yes. Just about any other general purpose NPN transistor will work and create a slightly different sound. Check out this project for some ideas:
http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Fuzz-of-1000-Faces/

Just be aware of the transistor pint-outs.
enoguera11 year ago
which measures have the box?
what would be the effect on the pedal if the 10k trim pot were adjusted from its original position?
I couldn't really get it to work. My trimmer and 5K pot seem to do absolutely nothing and volume is pretty low. You don't have any suggestions on at least getting the levels up, do you? I'm not studied in electronics at all.
randofo (author)  VaughnTheSheep1 year ago
Are you sure you have the right transistors and they are wired correctly. Look at the datasheet and examine the pin-out diagram. The schematic does not show which pin is which, only how they should be wired in relation to other parts. Also, double-check all of your connections. Make sure each part is connected to the appropriate amount of other parts. And resistor values is another thing you could double-check.
Alright thanks, I'll mess around with the soldering iron later. Seems like the signal strength is quiet unless i hammer on the strings but then it comes out loud and crunchy. Pretty satisfactory for first project. Thanks again.
This is so inconsistant, firstly the schematic says the second and third terminals on the pot are connected together. Secondly, the first page says it's a 5K ohm, not a 10k
randofo (author)  VaughnTheSheep1 year ago
The 2nd and 3rd can be wired together if you want them to be. It is not necessary.

A 10k trim is fine. Just replace the 5K trim pot and tune was you would the 5K. The extra resolution won't hurt.
randofo (author)  randofo1 year ago
Okay. I see. The potentiometer should be 5K. Yes. That was a typo.
Alright thank you. In the middle of soldering, first electronic project I've taken on and the frustration and anxiety is piling on. Thanks a lot for the instructable though I'm really interested to do more of these if I can successfully complete this one.
freeza361 year ago
Did you ad an AC converter?
Also where do the ends of the diagonal 100 kohm resistor go?
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