My friend’s dad picked up this Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face new in 1976. It came as an NPN silicon circuit with BC209 transistors, and after 30 years of component drift it sounded downright horrible. He tried gutting the thing and shoving a Boss SD-1 board inside, but that didn’t work out. By the time the thing got to me it was a beaten chassis with no back plate, extra holes drilled in the front, all jacks, pots and switches missing, and a broken indicator LED. The original circuit board was there but it was a lost cause.
How It Started A few years back I took a Frontman 25 cabinet and chassis and turned it into a Vibro Champ. I messed around with it, modded it, got a nice Weber Alnico 10″, even added foldback reverb, but I was never happy with the way it sounded. Eventually I got fed up and decided to turn it into a Brown Princeton.
When Frankie disassembled a Hammond M103 organ he picked up from the side of the road, I ended up with a huge pile of parts. Lucky me, an AO-67 amplifier and two Rola 12″ alnico speakers fell in my lap! By the look of the completely dry-rotted, twisted and shorted out 2-wire power cord and the incredible depth of dust on this thing I could tell it had been sitting for a bare minimum of 15 years. One of the speakers needed a little cone repair and all of the electrolytics were dried out.
Once upon a time a guy on TDPRI pulled a boatload of 12FQ8 tubes from a Wurlitzer organ. They’re pretty odd tubes – Think of it like a 12AX7 with both cathodes tied together, and each triode has not 1, but 2 plates! He graciously sent me a half-dozen to experiment with. This is one of the projects that spawned from my experimentation.