loading
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.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

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

Step 2: Mark

Picture of Mark
2B.jpg
2C.jpg
2D.jpg
2E.jpg
On the top surface of your project box, measure in one inch from one of the shorter edges. Next, make two marks that are 1/3 and 2/3 of the way between the edges of the shorter distance. These will be for the potentiometers

Measure in one inch from the opposite side of the front of the case. Make another mark that is 1/2 way between the two edges. This hole is for the stomp switch.

On the side of the case make two marks for audio jacks where you would like, so long as they won't interfere with any of the other parts that will be installed.

Following the same logic as the audio jack marks, make one last mark for a toggle power switch.

Step 3: Drill

Drill the two holes for the potentiometers with a 9/32" drill bit.

Drill a 1/8" pilot hole for the stomp switch and then widen it to 1/2".

Drill two 3/8" holes for the audio jack.

Finally, drill a 1/4" hole for the power switch.

Step 4: Solder

Picture of Solder
4B.jpg
4C.jpg
4D.jpg
4E.jpg
schematic.jpg
Build the circuit as specified in the schematic.

For now, don't worry about attaching the potentiometers, stomp switch, audio jack or power switch to the circuit. These will be wired in later, after they have been installed in the case.

Step 5: Wires

Picture of Wires
Attach a black wire to the center pin of the 5K potentiometer and a red wire to the pin on the right.

Attach a black wire to the left pin on the 100K potentiometer and red wires to the two other pins.

Step 6: Audio wires

Picture of Audio wires
Attach a black wire to the ground lug on each of the audio jacks. Attach red wires to the signal lugs on each of the jacks.

Step 7: Install

Picture of Install
7B.jpg
7C.jpg
7D.jpg
7E.jpg
Install the audio jacks and the DPDT stomp switch into the metal case.

Step 8: Wire

Picture of Wire
Solder each of the red audio wires to one of the center lugs on the DPDT switch.

While you're at it, solder together one set of outer pins.

Step 9: Attach

Picture of Attach
9B.jpg
Attach the potentiometers to the circuit board as specified in the schematic. Keep in mind that one of the potentiometer wires will be later attached to the DPDT switch.

Step 10: Cut brackets

Picture of Cut brackets
Cut out two brackets using the template file attached to this step. They both should be cut out of non-conductive material.

I cut out the larger base bracket out of a thin cork mat and the smaller potentiometer bracket out of 1/8" rubber.

Step 11: Put in the pots

Picture of Put in the pots
11B.jpg
11C.jpg
Line up the rubber bracket with the holes in the case and install the potentiometers into the case.

Step 12: More wiring

Picture of More wiring
Wire the remaining potentiometer wire in line with the audio-out jack's wire on the DPDT switch.

Connect a wire from the remaining DPDT terminal lug to the audio-in point on the circuit board.

Step 13: Power switch

Picture of Power switch
Connect the red wire from the 9V battery connector to the center terminal of the power switch. Connect another red wire to either of the switch's outer terminals.

Step 14: Switch

Picture of Switch
14B.jpg
Install the power switch into the case.

Wire the black wire from the 9V clip to ground on the circuit board and the free red wire from the switch to +9V on the circuit board.

Step 15: Power

Picture of Power
15B.jpg
Plug in the 9V battery.

Step 16: Case closed

Picture of Case closed
16B.jpg
16C.jpg
16D.jpg
Install the large insulator panel between the circuit board and the bottom plate of the casing.

Screw the case shut.

Step 17: Knobs

Picture of Knobs
Attach your knobs onto the potentiometers.

Step 18: Plug and play

Picture of Plug and play
Plug your guitar to audio-in and your amp to audio-out. Then, rock out.
1-40 of 157Next »
ikw15 days ago
Is there a different capacitor I can use instead of the 0.1 uF? I can't seem to locate one locally?
LeanneL11 month ago

Just a tip regarding the battery, you can get jack sockets with two terminal that link when the jack plug is inserted. They can be used to power the circuit only when a jack is plugged in.

I_HATE_LOSERS made it!2 months ago

this is what I got, thx for the tutorial

Iphone 11_3_14 261.JPG
stanford.todd6 months ago

This is the best I can do to understand what's what but even then I don't exactly understand how this applies to the circuit board etc.

10384301_10152619319996592_7170739480696249296_n.jpg

The three lines you marked with a question mark are the ground or negative pole on the battery.

What you marked as battery leads is actually the positive port of the battery.

drewb37394 months ago
Which capacitor controls the tone?
nefcat drewb37394 months ago

I think you mean potentiometer. The 5k is for gain. The 100k is for volume.

drewb3739 nefcat4 months ago
I mean bass cutoff
Anargopunk4 months ago

hey, one question, what happens w/ the black audio jack cables??

nefcat Anargopunk4 months ago

you plug them to the ground

apawar84 months ago
Do any one did this project on breadboard??
I need your help pals !!
ranjam made it!5 months ago

If you look at the schematic, it's a Fuzz Face. Now, in a few minutes with Google you'll find a million web sites showing how to build it, mods to tailor it to your tastes, parts substitution, etc. Even some sound clips.

stanford.todd; Yes, what would have been nice is a 'lesson' on how to have every part 'line up' so you don't have a plate of spaghetti, with wires everywhere, or parts 'criss-crossing', adding RF interference. In other words, a little tip or two on laying out the parts and wiring so everything is super compact, with minimal leads. Even just a close up photo of how 'randofo' made his build line up on the perfboard. My own build has RF interference, but apparently many commercial Fuzz Faces had the same problem. Of course there mods to try and eliminate this.

Still a fun build. Mine has NO perfboard; all the parts are just 'flying' in mid air, soldered and tacked together, with the leads cut as short as possible. Still works like a charm after a few mods.

zizzbox3.jpg
stanford.todd6 months ago
Who can give a better explanation of how to make the circuit. I'm so confused.
Wait, the video shows it being played and there is virtually no fuzz?????
EricS310 months ago

Could I please see how to actually MAKE the circuit? It's not "nice" to show everything except what we actually need to know. Totally useless demo. Really. I went out and bought the components--this list being very helpful,thanks--only to find the instructions part TOTALLY USELESS. Are you working for Radio Shack? IF so, I will never go there again.(Radio Shack, if you're reading, don't let this as#&*(%le represent you)

ClarkM1 EricS310 months ago

I agree, everything is great but a vid on building the circuit would be great.

ClarkM110 months ago

Your schematic isn't drawn correctly. You should have dots on the connections which makes it slightly confusing to build. But nice instructable!

kaleb.mayhew.710 months ago

how much wiring do you need and what type

pedrovai1 year 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.
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.
Antonye1 year 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?
marshy6642 years 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)  marshy6642 years 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?
kimjames2292 years ago
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)  kimjames2292 years 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.
poplar tree2 years ago
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!
brocowski2 years ago
oh and the dimensions for the box are 120 x 95 x 35mm i believe
brocowski2 years 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.Pockets2 years ago
what are the dimensions on the box?
tykal1232 years 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.
pemc2 years 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!2 years ago
Yeah. Probably the transistors you decided to use.
pemc2 years ago
would this work with 1/2-watt resistors?
randofo (author)  pemc2 years ago
It should
Tim772 years 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)  Tim772 years ago
Yeah. With a Dremel or hacksaw. Be careful.
1-40 of 157Next »