Breadboarding DIY Pedal Basics Fuzz

Silicon Fuzz Face – PNP Version

I did a post on how to modify circuit from using NPN to using PNP transistors, and as a bonus I added a quick note on how to do this for Fuzz Face. Now it’s time to actually do it. I’ll breadboard a Fuzz Face clone, and then I’ll swap NPN transistors with PNP transistors.

I go through schematic and some extra details here, but if you prefer just seeing the video – go straight to it.


Schematic is the same that I did earlier, if you want to know more about the circuit be sure to have a look at the build page for the effect, or you can jump straight into more detailed look at it.

The schematic here is slightly adapted so it is easier to see/explain the differences. Here are side by side NPN and PNP version of the effect:

Schematic showing side by side: NPN and PNP versions of Fuzz Face
Fuzz Face – NPN and PNP versions – side by side (click for full size image)

Spot the Differences

As with LPB-1 conversion, the diagram layout is practically the same. Here are the differences highlighted:

Schematic showing Fuzz Face, both NPN and PNP versions with highlighted differences.
Fuzz Face – NPN & PNP version: differences

It is clear that I have to replace transistors – I went from BC109C NPN transistor to BC559C PNP transistor. BC559C is PNP complement to BC549C that I tried out before. These are high gain transistors, if you used lower gain transistor for NPN version, and you like that sound maybe look for a lower gain PNP alternative.

The power rails for the amplifier part are swapped, as well, but that the same as when I tried out LPB-1 in PNP version.

The only difference is that C2 has to be rotated, because polarity changed. And this is important because if we don’t wire up electrolytic capacitors correctly – they might be damaged or destroyed (and in extreme cases they could explode or catch fire). C2 has to be reversed (note that positive lead is at 9V), but C1 should be left as is – because polarity for it did not change.

Breadboarding Them

Here’s an example of breadboarded circuits:

Breadboard diagram for NPN and PNP Fuzz Faces, side by side.
Fuzz Faces, NPN & PNP side by side on a breadboard

I organized it so the changes are minimal and clear. Replacing transistors, swapping two wires (I made them a bit thicker on the diagram above) and rotating C6 is all there is to it.

Trying it Out

I did a (relatively) short video covering this:

Breadboarding and trying out NPN and then PNP Fuzz Face

There you have it. I’m still undecided whether PNP versions sounds better ?.

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