I started this project with a desire to breathe life into these vintage heldheld AM radios. With everyone being into tube tech, and AM radio being practically nonexistant, they don't get much love.
The skeleton is a modified PNP Fuzz Face. I discovered the germanium transitors in the "Encore" radio had very low HFE readings, the markings were 2SA142 and 2SB136. These make for amazing Bonamesa style Fuzz Face!
One trouble with these fuzz pedals is that they don't react well if placed after other pedals due to impedance issues. There's a portion of the circuit that uses a modern transformer to act as a "pickup simulator" to mimic a pickup going straight into the front of the pedal....but that's boring! Instead, I used one of the transformers that was from the radio and used the windings of the side that sounded better to my ear. Instead of an inaudible impedance change, we have a new mode on a toggle switch that adds some punchiness and crunch. I'm not sure as to the science of it, it feels kind of magical! The toggle down/middle bypasses the transformer and you get the thick, wooly fuzz face with the vintage Ge transistors. Toggle up, you get a nice crisp fuzzy distortion for those lead tones from the transformer!
Another trouble with the 1960s Fuzz Face with PNP transistors is that it requires positive ground that doesn't work with other daisy chained center negative pedals. This circuit has built in correction using a TC1044S so you can use it like a normal Boss style pedal power. I recommend using clean, isolated power for reduced noise.
The asthetics of the pedal has the original Encore radio Made in Japan in the 1960s on the left side and the pedal controls on the right. I've added a soft white LED for a vintage illumination vibe.The graphics have a matching Encore logo and read "Encore 60's Vintage Ge Fuzz," laser etched in house here in Texas. Vol and Gain controls. Loophole Custom Shop at the bottom.