Anyone interested in exact Chunk Systems Brown Dog fuzz pedal clones?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Milliarto, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. Me!

    23 vote(s)
  2. nah...

    3 vote(s)
  3. ... Let me see the comparison video...

    4 vote(s)
  1. Milliarto

    Milliarto Guest

    May 29, 2018
    Howdy TalkBass!

    A good friend of mine recently introduced me to the Chunk Systems Brown Dog: hands down the coolest fuzz pedal I've ever heard. I tried to buy one for weeks to no avail. They're impossible to find! Chunk Systems unfortunately went out of business almost a decade ago and production on the pedals ceased. I couldn't find any BYOC type companies online making kits or anything so I did what I usually do in situations like this: I found the schematic and (with some help form a very talented friend of mine) built the damn thing myself!

    I was very happy with the pedal. It sounded the same to me as it did when I was hanging with my buddy toying around with his pedal. A few weeks after I finished the build a Brown Dog went up on eBay and I immediately snatched it up. I figured that I'd gotten close but maybe hadn't unlocked some bit of magic so I figured a real original Brown Dog would be a good investment. Between the price of the pedal and shipping/handling I paid almost $300 but I didn't mind... anyone who's heard of the Brown Dog knows what I'm talking about.

    As soon as the real deal Chunk pedal came I plugged it in to my rig to test it out and of course it sounded phenomenal. I then plugged in the pedal I built to see how close I got and... the results were astonishing. To say that the two pedals were similar is an understatement. They're identical. To top it all off my pedal is about half the size of the original so it's very pedal-board friendly.

    To make a long story short: I'm here to gauge interest in this build. I have the means, willpower and tools necessary to make a bunch of these for any interested parties. I mostly just want to bring this pedal to more people because I know first-hand how impossible they are to find. Talk to me: who wants one? I will need to gauge production time, costs and a few other factors. I will also need to get PCBs printed so there are a lot of factors but before really starting to embark on this I wanted to see if people were interested.

    Although sonically identical I made a few alterations while building my version of the pedal. First, I eliminated the envelope out jack (a connection to the the Chunk Systems Agent 00Funk sister pedal) though I can certainly add that back in for anyone who wants it. I removed this jack from the chassis to keep size down but my circuit still has all the necessary connections for this run. Second, I eliminated the 9V battery option making this pedal require a 9V wall-wart adapter. This is the way I prefer to have all my pedals as I'm really not a fan of power sag. This also allows me to employ slightly smaller enclosures keeping size down. I can happily add back a 9V battery option if enough people request it. Third, for the production models I plan on placing the two LED diodes in the circuit on the outside of the pedal. The Brown Dog achieves its fuzz from clipping two LED diodes in the circuit. One of them always stays lit while the other actually flickers based on how much sound is going into the pedal. I think this looks super cool and plan on placing both LEDs on the front face of the pedal as visual indicators.

    So... Who wants one? If I can get at least ten people interested this whole thing will make sense as far as designing a board, ordering parts, getting silk screened cases etc. I'm working out a price but I will do my best to keep everything at about $200. I want to break even on the parts and be compensated for the man-hours of building these things, packaging and all that good stuff. If people are interested I'd consider making DIY kits though I'm not so sure I want to deal with troubleshooting peoples' builds and other responsibilities that come with selling a kit.

    Ive attached an image of my prototype next to the original. I'm keeping the original on hand for the time being in order to make demo videos comparing the two, which I'll do further down the line if there's any interest in this.

    Thanks for reading this absurdly long post! I hope to get this amazing pedal into a few more hands soon.

    Please note: Although Chunk Systems went out of business a while ago I'm still going to check the patents and the legal surrounding reproducing the pedal

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  2. dalo

    dalo Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    I've been interested in this pedal for a while, but I'm not willing to pay the price that they've been going for. A compact version with top jacks sounds great!
  3. Milliarto

    Milliarto Guest

    May 29, 2018
    Yeah I've seen them go for quite a bit of money and they're incredibly rare. I want to do right by people that want one of these.
  4. do it I'm in!
  5. arn


    Sep 19, 2006
    Near Amsterdam
    Are you already building these babies?
  6. Did this project ever eventuate? As a noob to the gated fuzz community I'm terribly intrigued.
  7. gscroggin and Fazz1977 like this.
  8. Nice... pay day today so I might have a go at this...
    DosiYanarchy likes this.
  9. To answer the OP, the Brown Dog is an awesome circuit I had one back in the day. Best of luck getting your version out there.

    I think the issue with marketing a clone is that not many people are actually familiar with the original, I don't think it was super popular at the time and Chunk Systems only made 3 pedals I think. So it's just kinda faded into "if you know, then you know" territory.

    Having said that, it's a unique sounding fuzz that's not an obvious derivative of a well known circuit, ie a big muff, so you'll have some element of exclusivity. EHX probably aren't going to knock together a brown dog anytime soon and not enough smaller builders are hip to the circuit.

    Get a demo together, most people never played the original, hell they may have never even heard of it, so until they can hear how good it is, they won't know that they want it.
  10. G.Bisson

    G.Bisson Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Madbean also has a Brown Dog pcb available.
    I've had a real one and built a clone on stripboard using the factory schematic that's floating around the web and they sounded alike (from memory).
    One of the best fuzz pedals with adjustable gate and clean blend. Much better than Woolly Mammoth or Mastotron.
    Bo0tsy and davelowell2 like this.
  11. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    I would be down for one if it sounds like the original. As mentioned before put together a Video with the two side by side and demo them. If It is good I would grab one . You can never have too much gated fuzz.
  12. I'm torn whether I go down the mastrotron path for synthy fuzz or get the Mutt Fuzz kit. I play purely active basses and this would also sit behind a tuner and light compression in the loop of an NS2, so the mutt might be a bit of a pain for input impedence.
  13. G.Bisson

    G.Bisson Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2009
    Brown Dog isn't sensitive to input levels or pedalchain placement like the ZVex gated fuzzes.
  14. This rabbithole keeps getting deeper... thanks for the info...
  15. Zymba

    Zymba Inactive

    Nov 14, 2019
    The Mastotron works well anywhere in the chain and with active/passive instruments with no issues. I've owned one for years.
  16. The OP was from 2018.

    I don't think the project generated enough interest to get off the ground.

    As you mentioned in your other post, there's the Fuzz Dog clone, and as Bisson mentioned Madbean has one as well, and vero and perf to make a Brownish Dog, so I don't think a full reproduction is in the cards.
  17. I didn't even realise it was from so long ago! However I now feel like a Chestnut Mutt might need to come into my life.
  18. I've been wanting the Chestnut Mutt for a lonnnng time. However...

    Madbean's new bass series has the AgentOOFunk circ to go with the cocoa-canine.
  19. adube810


    Mar 6, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    gscroggin and Nunien like this.
  20. 2BassfoyoFace


    Sep 27, 2023
    all the clones out there .. do they recreate the "Agent 00 funk" connection ??