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Tone Bender any good on bass ?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Wud, Apr 11, 2009.


  1. Wud

    Wud

    Apr 11, 2009
    Hi,

    I've just obtained one of the old Vox Tone Bender MKIII Fuzz pedals.
    It's the "late model with silicon transistors" as seen on this page -

    http://filters.muziq.be/model/vox/colorsound/tonebender/mk3

    I've not got access to my bass rig at the moment, so I was wondering if there were any opinions of its use on bass, or any info on modifications that might help improve its use with a bass.

    Cheers
     
  2. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    MKIII's should work with bass since they have a tone control that will let out more bass than the MKII will.
     
  3. Kooldac

    Kooldac

    Oct 20, 2008
    Arizona
    Audio clips if you can prz!!!
     
  4. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    The Tone Bender circuit is a hybrid Fuzz Face/Big Muff circuit. I've been a couple of clones up and neither did much for me. I think the circuit lacks character in the fuzz produced. But it might be what you're looking for and could sit well in the mix.
     
  5. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    That's an interesting description because the Tonebender predates the Big Muff by several years
     
  6. no its a tonebender is a fuzz face with a buffer stage infront of it to drive it that bit harder. The big muff circuit is fairly different

    tonebenders sound GREAT with passive bass and active if you can get some kind of buffered attentuation infront of them.
     
  7. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    The buffer stage is just like a Big Muff. And the Fuzz Face part of the circuit has diode clipping, like a Big Muff.
     
  8. Wud

    Wud

    Apr 11, 2009
    Many thanks for the replies.
    Hopefully I'll get to give it a blast next week.
    The case is a bit battered (and big) so I might look at re housing it and getting an led added while I'm at it.
     
  9. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    Maybe - but to say it's a combo of the fuzz face and something that came after it makes you look pretty doofy :p
     
  10. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    Alright, you're making me have to explain. :p

    As you pointed out, the Big Muff circuit came later. I'm just looking at all these schematics I have for fuzz circuits and looking for similarities between them. Maybe EHX stole the buffer section of the Tone Bender for the Big Muff. I have no idea. I'm NOT saying that the Tone Bender was designed to be a hybrid Big Muff/Fuzz Face. That's just what I see looking that the schematic and what I hear when playing through the pedal. I may alone on this one but I don't care. :D
     
  11. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    you're just wrong on this one buddy. and you're digging a deeper hole.

    How could the tonebender be "designed to be a hybrid Big Muff/Fuzz Face" when the Big Muff wouldn't exist until several years later? Did sola sound put a friggin TIME MACHINE in there because that would account for the high vintage prices!

    Circuitry is one thing but history is another. It seems pretty obvious to me that ehx borrowed some design concepts from the bender, not the other way around
     
  12. rcubed

    rcubed

    May 8, 2008
    Vista, CA
    Damnit. It's too early in the morning and I had too many typos. I'm going to edit my post.
     
  13. grygrx

    grygrx Lookout! Here comes the Fuzz! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2003
    Columbia, MO
    Agreed, The MKIII Tonebenders (which is what is being discussed...) first appeared in like... 68. Which still precedes the Muff by a few years.
     
  14. Wud

    Wud

    Apr 11, 2009
    Its interesting to hear the contrasting views that people have towards these pedals.
    I'm looking forward to hearing the sounds of a pedal that may just well predate my time on this here planet...I was born in 72.
    Maybe I shouldn't consider re housing it after all.
     
  15. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    you can join the "old" club with me (also a 72er) and Jimmy (older than the Tutmarc bass from what I gather)
     
  16. Wud

    Wud

    Apr 11, 2009
    Old yes, but probably none the wiser.
    but like the old Tone Bender, I think theres plently of life left yet
     
  17. Wud

    Wud

    Apr 11, 2009
    Still wondering if anybody has any ideas for easy mods to a mkIII Vox Tonebender ?
    Maybe I should just get a ghost fx box ?
     
  18. dune2k

    dune2k

    Sep 26, 2009
    Germany
    diodes, tonestack, coupling caps, different transistors.
    since mk 3 tonebenders and big muff style circuits have that much in common the mods are kind of similar.
     
  19. Wud

    Wud

    Apr 11, 2009
    Hi dune2k,

    Many thanks for the reply.
    Don't suppose you have any links to online info/idiots guides ?
     
  20. dune2k

    dune2k

    Sep 26, 2009
    Germany
    Google is your friend.
    I'd start with finding a schematic for both the big muff and the tonebender mk 3 and spotting the main differences.
    If you want to fiddle with the tone stack there's a wonderful tool around that's called "Duncan's Tone Stack calculator", makes life a lot easier.
    Also check out what R-C-Filters do, muzique.com does have a calc for their corner frequencies.
     

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