Breadboarding Fuzz

Building a Fuzz Face Clone – Breadboarding

After the introduction let’s see what’s the sound of the clone is. I’ll breadboard it and try it out to make sure everything works as expected.

I’ll do a breadboarding diagram, bill of material and then do the actual breadboarding. Finally I’ll test the effect.

Breadboard Diagram

Here’s the Fuzz Face diagram once more:

Schematic diagram of Silicon Fuzz Face clone ready for breadboarding
Silicon Fuzz Face (click for larger image)

It is slightly different from the bare bones schematic. I added input/output jacks, battery and DPDT switch. BTW, the original version did not have LED indicator and was powered by the battery only, so this is probably very close to the original.

One note about how the battery is wired up. Negative pole is connected to the ring connector of the stereo input jack. This way, when the guitar cable is unplugged, the battery is disconnected, when the cable is plugged in, the battery negative pole connects to ground.

What happens is that because the guitar plug is mono, sleeve and ring connectors get shorted by the plug. So when the guitar cable is unplugged from the effect, the battery is not used. It is worth noting that the effect is powered up even if not engaged all the time, as long as the plug is in.

I’ll use DIY Layout Creator to prepare for breadboarding. This step is not strictly necessary, but I prefer to do it this way. Here’s one possible layout:

One possible breadboard layout for Silicon Fuzz Face
Fuzz Face – breadboard layout

One of the pots is with solder lugs, so I have breadboard jumper wires soldered to it. That way I can plug it easily into the breadboard. The pot other is with PCB pins, so I have it plugged into the board directly.

Actually, the only 1K pot I had was too awkward to plug into the breadboard so I had to solder it onto a strip board and then use header pins. But for all intents and purposes it’s the same as if it was a simple pot with PCB pins.

Here are the DIY files if you wish to play with them:

Bill of Material

Let me prepare components that I’ll be using:

BreadboardFull size breadboard
BT1Battery and battery connectorI’ll be using battery for testing the effect
Jumpers and Jumper wire
J1 (IN)Switchcraft 12In – stereo Jack
J2 (OUT)Switchcraft 11Out mono Jack
S1DPDT SwitchAlps SPPH410100 latching switch
To bypass effect (optional)
RV11K linear potBourns PTV09A-4225F-B102. Any 1K linear pot will do.
RV2500K audio/log potP160KNP-0QC20A500K TT Electronics. Any 500K log pot will do.
C12.2uFElectrolytic cap 25V
C222uFElectrolytic cap 25V
C310nF (0.01uF)Metal film PET cap
R1330 ohms1% 250mW metal film
Q1, Q2BC109CSee experimentation section below for alternatives
List of components for Fuzz Face


Once I have the layout worked out, breadboarding is really easy. I just literally follow the layout, I plug the components in and put in the jumper wires exactly as on the diagram (and I even try to match the colours).

I nearly forgot. BC109C comes in TO-18 metal can package that has a little metal tab indicating emitter. The DIY Layout app doesn’t have that package coming out of the box, so I used something that resembles it. Anyway, the pinout is the same:

Image of BC109C package drawing with pinout.
BC109C pinout in TO-18 package

Here’s how it looks like breadboarded:

Photo of breadboarded Fuzz Face
Fuzz Face on a breadboard

Trying it out

OK, breadboarding, making sure everything works. I’ll leave trying out various different combinations for the next post.

Trying out Fuzz Face

6 replies on “Building a Fuzz Face Clone – Breadboarding”

I get a high pitched squeal when the guitar volume knob is at 0. I went bc109. Have you come across this before and if so any ideas?

OK, so there’s a diagram with different pinouts here:

Transistor Pinouts

Essentially – BC549 (or any other BC546-BC550) has C-B-E pinout. So it’s oposite to the BC109C and the pin numbers on this schematic.

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