Uncompromising, true boutique construction, completely handmade in the European Union with a carefully selected and matched trio of vintage new old stock US made KRC brand OC140 germanium transistors (the NPN equivalent to the holy grail OC75/OC81 PNPs of 1960s original pedals).
This pedal represents an unparalled level of quality and craftmanship for the money and rivals any high-end germanium fuzz box costing twice as much. If you are in the market for that true 1960s British mk II fuzz sound in a compact footprint, at a reasonable price, look no further.
The 2021 edition features selectable voltages (9/6/3V) via switches inside, for that ‘power starving’ sound. There is also switchable tone mods inside via two double DIP switches to reduce the brightness and to modifiy the tonal characteristics of the original circuit. On top of that, we have added a recovery gain stage (to make it louder - it looses volume in 3V mode) and an output buffer to bring this old classic into 2021. The output buffer gives the pedal a uniform and stable output signal. In the 1960s design, the output impedance would depend on the ‘LEVEL’ setting. The original circuit and sound is 100% there, but with less quirks and more stability than found with vintage pedals. The three power modes along with the tone switches gives a total of 48 different unique settings!
Another new feature of the new Germanium Bender is advanced, state-of-the-art power supply filtering. The vintage fuzz boxes were only made for battery power, and the first version Germanium Bender, which was very purist, was quite sensitive to all kinds of noises from modern power supplies. Compact ‘switch mode’ supplies, like a new Boss PSA, would induce a high pitch tone in the pedal. Well, no more. The new version works great with just about anything.
The great advantage of using NPN germanium transistors (as opposed to the PNPs of the opriginals and pratically all clones at the market) is that it allows the original circuit to run on normal, negative ground, power polarity, without the addition of charge pump circuitry. No need for an isolated power supply with this one!
OC140 NPN germanium transistors are VERY expensive parts, costing more than 10 EUR/each at suppliers, if available at all. This is why you don't see them in other boutique pedals. Too expensive. PNP germanium transistors are much cheaper and easily available.
April 13th 2021: I am now offering a 'Vintage Purist' version of the Germanium Bender. This is built on the first version circuit board and features none of the upgrades of the normal version. Only the barebones vintage tonebender mk ii circuit (in OC140 NPN/normal power polarity configuration). No voltage switching, no tone filters, no recovery gain stage, no output buffer. Choose the 'Vintage Purist' option in the 'Add to Cart' drop-down menu if you want this option. Same looks and same price as the regular version.
Limited availability, made in tiny batches.
Excellent demo by Budda Guedes (first version/Vintage Purist Germanium Bender):
Download the Germanium Bender manual here
PLEASE NOTE: Prices at the webshop are listed without VAT. For customers in the European Union 25% VAT is added at check-out.