The Fuzz of 1000 Faces




Introduction: The Fuzz of 1000 Faces

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of …

For a long time I have been a fan of the Multi-Face Pedal and have been having fun exploring the different nuances of fuzz by swapping around parts on a breadboard. However, I wanted to make a more permanent fuzz pedal that I could use to toggle through different capacitors and transistors very quickly. I came up with this design, which involves 4 rotary switches. In this way, I am able to quickly achieve 1,296 rockin' combinations. Hence, being a fuzz pedal with lots of combination, it was thus aptly named "The Fuzz of 1000 Faces."

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

(x1) PCB
(x1) Hacked Radioshack Illuminated Switch
(x1) potentiometers (5K, 10K, 100K)
(x2) 100K resistor
(x1) 10K resistor
(x2) ceramic disk capacitors (0.01uF, 0.047uF, 0.1uF)
(x2) electrolytic capacitors (1uF, 4.7uF, 10uF)
(x2) BC337
(x2) BC547
(x2) 2N5088
(x2) 2N2222
(x2) 2N3904
(x2) 2N2102
(x1) DPDT relay
(x4) 2P6P rotary switch
(x4) Gray knobs
(x3) White knobs
(x1) Hammond size-DD enclosure
(x1) Metal spray primer
(x1) Pink spray paint
(x1) Brushes
(x1) Testor enamel paint and thinner
(x1) Fine point paint pens
(x1) 18" x 12" cork
(x1) 18" x 12" rubber
(x1) Soldering setup
(x1) Drill press
(x1) Bench vise
(x1) Painter's tape
(x1) Multicolored wire
(x1) misc tools and cleaning supplies

(Some of the links on this page contain Amazon affiliate links. This does not change the cost of the item to you, but I do earn a small commission if you click on any of those links and buy anything. I reinvest this money into materials and tools for future projects.)

Step 2: Prepare the Top for Drilling

If you don't have a laser cutter, download the attached file called multiFuzzPrint. Print it out and tape it down centered upon your DD-sized enclosure.

If you happen to have access to a laser cutter, download the file named MultiFuzz. Cover your enclosure in painter's tape. Etch the design upon the enclosure such that it is perfectly centered.

Step 3: Drill the Top

Clamp the enclosure into a bench vise and clamp the vise down to the bed of your drill press.

Drill the four holes for the rotary switches with a 3/8" drill bit.

Drill the 3 holes for the potentiometers with a 9/32" drill bit. Also use the 9/32" bit to drill a pilot hole for the stomp switch.

Finally, drill out the stomp switch hole to the proper diameter with a 1/2" bit.

Step 4: Drill the Sides

Again, if you don't have a laser cutter, download and print out MultiFuzzSidePrint. Cut out these templates and tape it to the sides of the enclosure such that there is an audio jack on each short side and a power switch on the long back side.

If you have a laser cutter, then download MultiFuzzSide. Etch these files onto painters tape and then vector cut around the edges. Peel up the template and stick them to the enclosure such that they are centered on each side appropriately.

Drill the audio jack holes with a 3/8" drill bit. Drill the hole for the power switch with a 1/4" drill bit.

Step 5: Rubber Bracket

For those of you with a laser cutter, simply download MultiFuzzRubberBracket and cut it out of 1/16" santoprene rubber.

The following settings with my Epilog 75W laser cutter:

Power: 20
Speed: 80
Frequency: 1000

If you don't have a laser cutter, you can download MultiFuzzRubberPrint and try to use it as a template to cut out the rubber. However, I highly recommend that you find a manufacturing service that will cut out the file for you.

Step 6: Prepare the Case

Prepare the case for painting by sanding and scratching the outer surface with sandpaper and a hard-wire brush.

Finally, wipe it down with a cloth covered in acetone to remove all of the unwanted coating from the enclosure.

Step 7: Prime the Case

Evenly spray the outside of the case with a primer coat to prevent rusting.

Step 8: Spray Paint

Once the primer is dry, spray the outside of the case with a number of coats of pink spray paint until it is even and pretty-like.

Step 9: Start Detailing

Draw your design onto the case very lightly with pencil.

Step 10: Enamel Painting

When you are happy with your design, paint it on using Testors enamel paint that is normally used for model cars. For fine detailing, like thin black lines, I highly recommend using paint pens.

Considering this is the Fuzz of 1,000 Faces, I thought it might be appropriate to cover it in faces.

Step 11: Prep the Circuit Board

Cut the circuit board in half as you will only need half of it. A paper cutter works well for cutting circuit boards. If you don't have a paper cutter, regular old scissors work pretty well too.

Step 12: Build the Circuit

The circuit is basically a fuzz face clone based on the Multi-Face. However, rather than have sockets to swap out transistors and capacitors, I have just wired in 6 presets for each (where the socket would have been) and made it so that I can toggle through with rotary switches.

Basically, at this point, build the circuit minus the rotary switches and the potentiometers. You can wire those in later and it will save you confusion and headaches.

The one thing that I forgot to draw into schematic was that I used a DPDT relay and a SPST lighted switch as opposed to the standard DPDT true bypass stomp switch that is normally used in guitar pedals.

Step 13: Wire the Switches

Attach wires to the rotary switches.

The switches have 2 pairs of six outer terminals and those six terminals connect to one of the two center terminals. Basically, when you turn the shaft, one of the six outer terminals make electrical contact to one of the center terminals.

That said, on two of the switches, connect 6 wires to a one of the sets of outer switches and one wire to the corresponding center switch. Install these into the two outer positions of the case as pictured (don't forget to install the rubber bracket between the switch and the case).

Then, for the two center switches, connect wires to all of the terminals. It helps if you color code it so you can tell the grouping of wires apart.

Step 14: Wire It All Together

Connect wires to the potentiometers as shown and then install them in the case.

Also connect wires to the jack and stomp switch and install those as well.

Finally, connect everything to the circuit board as appropriate (as per the schematic below).

Step 15: Cork Insulation

If you have a laser cutter, download fuzzcorkcut and cut that shape out of a piece of cork.

If you don't have a laser cutter, download fuzzcorkprint and print it out and use it as a template to cut the cork.

Place and/or glue the cork in the center of the lid. This will prevent the circuit board from shorting out on the metal casing.

Step 16: Finishing Touches

Plug in your battery. Jam everything inside and fasten the case shut.

Put some gaffers or masking tape on a pair of pliers and user that to tighten the nuts for the switches, potentiometers and audio jacks. This will prevent the case from getting scratched.

Securely fasten the knobs onto the shafts for the potentiometers and rotary switches. Label the rotary switches as appropriate with a paint pen.

Finally, I recommend placing adhesive rubber pads on the bottom to keep the bottom of the case from getting scuffed up.

Plug in and enjoy.

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7 years ago on Introduction

I like your switch and your design. I would recommend you to leave out the rubber and the cork. I've never done this with any of my pedals. I use simply spacer for the board which holds it in a fixed position. It looks a bit messy inside your pedal and too long wires.


Reply 5 years ago

wires have to be long to attach everyting and move the board


8 years ago on Introduction

I have a few questions? How are the transistors wired to the Rotary? Are the C and B terminals connected to the matching lugs on the switch? (e.g. C connected to lug 1 and B connected to lug 7)

Then which parts are connected to the centre poles?

another question, How is the DPDT relay wired in? How could I remove it and replace it with a standard DPDT footswitch?


9 years ago on Introduction

Awesome Instructible. Can you please tell me how the SPST lighted switch is wired to the DPDT relay?


9 years ago on Step 14

wow this wiring looks really jumbled, any word on an organized diagram?


9 years ago on Step 16

Ahh! I love having a variety of modification potions at my fingertips.
One might research their fav players pedal circuit specs and put them in preset switch combinations for easy dialing of your inspirations' signature sounds.


11 years ago on Step 16

...or drill another hole, install a jack, and plug it in AC! Adaptors for $12 at RadioShack, too


Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

Uh fuzz pedals ALWAYS sound better with Alkaline batteries, not AC power. I dont know why, im not an engineer, but any tone freak can tell you that! Great instructable!


Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

nope. a noise gate filters out the static from the AC/DC conversion, and the sound quality stays same (I know cuz im into electronics n guitar :D)


Reply 9 years ago on Step 16

A good shielding box and regulated ac/dc adapter should keep the hum away.
Good pedals power supplies have filter capacitors on the dc side to snubb unwanted noise and ac ripple.


9 years ago on Step 11

My cheesy paper cutter doesn't do even the thinner boards.
I use a straight edge and utility knife, scribe both sides and snap.


9 years ago on Step 7

Aluminum doesn't rust. But primer can help you get a really good finish.
Do a 400 grit or higher wet sand between coats.


9 years ago on Step 5

Other methods could be to use a leather punch or a sharpened piece of metal tube of the correct inner diameter to make a punch.


11 years ago on Step 12

Hey nice Pedal, and I'm Kind of new at making circuits so I never used Relays before so I two questions Does the relay need to be of certain amperes? And where does it go? thank you


Reply 10 years ago on Step 12

voltage on a guitar is pretty low, the contacts can be standard 5v, or 12v... the coil is the thing, you have to decide what voltage to feed it, and with this, 9v, you'd need a better than 5v coil, commonly available ones are 5 and 12v.


Reply 10 years ago on Step 12

hey thanks for the tips :)


Reply 10 years ago on Step 12

even better, most relays are made with low voltage coils to control HUGE voltages, a feeble little 5v coil can control thousands of volts. the contacts are also rated for ac and dc, interesting thing, dc will wear the contacts away, so you need heavy duty contacts to survive it, these same contacts can control hundreds of ac volts. a lot of the relay spec sheets i've read, are on the order of 1/10th, so 120v relay, is likely to be good on 12v, phones, as i remember, are built to use 90v, so, 9v on both the contacts and the coils would probably work.

so... how about building a few effects into an old rotary phone?


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

Yeah! Use the receiver's contact closures to instead of a relay to switch in parts. Hang up the phone and it's rhythm fuzz. Pick up and it's "OFF The Hook!"


10 years ago on Step 12

Is it okay if I use polyester 0.047 capacitors? will it make any difference? and could you please upload a more legible version of the schematic? I'm having some troubles figuring it out