The slightly larger "BART" size cases can be used for any of our Sun Faces, just request one in the order comments box at checkout. The good thing about these boxes is that they allow any options (top jacks with on/off fuzz pot etc). ____________________________________________________________________________________
The Sunface has many transistor options, there is no BEST, they are all very similar but have some differences that could make some better than others for your needs.
Here is a short summary, much more info is on the Sunface page on analogman.com :
Vintage Germanium transistors : These are USA made old transistors, lower gain cleans up quickly, sounds and cleans up like the NKT275. Still gets fuzz when cranked up. Not very bright sounding. High Gain were used in Baldwin Organs about 45 years ago. They are quite consistent, sound similar to the other germaniums but the higher gain does not allow them to clean up quite as well. Some of these came out of old Baldwin organ boards. We only have these in high gain.
BART: these became available in 2020, BIG fuzz sounds but excellent cleanup throughout the volume pot range on your guitar. Cuts through great, some edge and crunch to the sounds. Run the FUZZ knob down a bit and the BIAS up a bit for cleaner sounds like the white dot NKT275. These will use the slightly larger case as they are too big for the small case. This case allows any options (top jacks, on/off pot, top power jack if no CLEAN knob). These are sometimes just a little noisy (white noise/hiss) and come in Medium-high gain. We also have a different model of the BART which is low gain and has a Big Muff sort of sound, like an AC128 transistor, not as clear as our others but great for that thick compressed sound.
2N527 USA : Silver large body transistors with silver legs. "W" brand, these are fairly bright and clear, in medium-high to high gain, specify if you have a preference. The cleanup is good, depending on gain (the higher gain, the less cleanup).
2N527 GE : Branded General Electric, these are pretty much the same as the above - silver
large body transistors with silver legs. "GE" brand, these are fairly
bright and clear, in medium gain. Good cleanup.
Hitachi 2SB77: These low gain germaniums from Japan have excellent characteristics and work great for a traditional sounding Fuzz Face. They have a decent amount of fuzz when up all the way, and a nice gradual cleanup, with medium tone, not too bright
2SB Japanese transistors : usually Toshiba brand, about 30 years old. Not too finicky, nice warm tone, not very bright. Good cleanup. Not much edge, very smooth sounding. We have these in 2SB171 which is lower gain (better cleanup) and 2SB175 which is medium high gain (still much lower than silicon).
RCA: These are back in 2021! These are the only Germanium transistors we have found that are not very temperature sensitive. These are pretty bright, and can get very clean. These tend to be a bit noisier than others but we don't use them if they are too noisy. They come in low gain and higher gain (med-high). Low gain still has plenty of fuzz. IN 2022 we got some that look the same but made in 1967. These are high gain for Germanium but sound great, though not good at extreme temperatures.
RCA/BART Hybrid Pair: We can use an RCA low transistor to avoid temperature instability, and a BART high transistor to make the sound fatter and fuzzier. They still clean up well, all along the volume pot range, not too fast. A little brighter than all BART. Although this is not listed as an option on the page you can order it by selecting either the RCA or BART transistors ($45 option) and in the order notes write that you'd like the RCA/BART hybrid pair. These are medium gain.
NPN GERMANIUM British CV : We had some of these NOS transistors from 1976 in our stash, and saw that a British pedal builder whose work I like was using them in a popular, expensive fuzz, so we finally tried them. The main benefit they have is normal polarity so you can use a daisy chain, though I still recommend isolated power. These sound similar to the RCA, nice brightness and decent cleanup, which gets bright and British sounding. The gain is pretty high, so best to use a touch of the CLEAN trimpot unless you want the full fuzz sound.
SILICON - higher gain, no temperature issues, not as much cleanup, usually brighter.
BC108 : most normally found in early 1970s era Fuzzfaces, small metal can. BC108C is high gain, can cause radio or other noise. Best to back the FUZZ KNOB down a bit to reduce noise. We are now using some TFK (Telefunken) marked transistors like the old ones from 1970. We also have these in BC108B which is lower gain, in TFK and SGS.
BC183 : These are medium high gain. I like these a lot for a silicon fuzz. Almost all the silicon transistors sound about the same if you use transistors with the same gain ranges. But these BC183 are all in the right gain range so it's easy to make a consistent and excellent sounding fuzz. These are really smooth, almost like a germanium sound, smoothest of the Silicons. Good cleanup for silicon. Not as bright as the BC108 or BC109, or as much edge as the BC109. The Eric Johnson Fuzz Face by Dunlop uses these transistors, with a low bias voltage (around 3V) so you can use the internal bias trimpot or Sun Dial to dial in that sound.
BC182 : Similar to BC183, it's also easy to match these up with a BC183 to make a perfect matched pair. But I like the old BC183 that we got better so we don't normally offer these at this time.
BC109: Similar to BC108 but a bit edgier, cuts well. TFK BC109C are NOS original Telefunken brand, high gain, cuts good but not as much bright edge as the BC109B.Be careful cranking the FUZZ knob. TFK BC109B: same as C but B is a little lower gain, great cut and high end, also less of that high gain silicon noise and fussiness when the fuzz knob is cranked. Pretty low noise floor too. My favorite on bass guitar. Very nice!
For more info about the Analog Man Sunface & options link here:
Power jack is an option on these to allow you to plug a power supply into the pedal. If you get it, the Sun Face will still come with a battery and work the same with a battery. If you might use a power supply or TheGigRig Virtual Battery, it's much better to get the power jack than to connect a cable to the battery clip. Just make sure to use ISOLATED POWER (which is what the Virtual battery does if you have a non-isolated power supply).
BATTERY DISCONNECT OPTIONS
We can add a power off switch on the FUZZ pot, when you turn it down all the way it clicks and disconnects the battery. This will only fit on the side jacks model. We can install a mini toggle switch to kill the battery on the top jacks model. If you can unplug the cable from the input jack, it will do the same thing. But for people with the pedal in the middle of their pedalboard, one of these options will make it easier if you want to use a battery. If you use a power supply (requires the power jack option) then these battery disconnect options are not needed.
We can move the internal white CLEAN trimpot to an external knob. It works like turning down the volume knob on your guitar, to make the sound more clean and tight/bright.
If you get this option, it will be between the Volume and Fuzz knobs and you must choose TOP JACKS. It is a smaller knob, and the other two knobs will be smaller also. The MXR KNOB rubbers will not fit if you get this option.
If you don't get the Sun Dial, we can do the clean knob as a normal size black knob in the middle of the pedal and you can get top or side jacks.
Below is the current optional CLOCK LOGO, which you can choose instead of the Sun Face.
BART size vs MXR size enclosure:
BART SIZE 125B: 2.5" wide x 4.75" tall x and 1.5" high
MXR SIZE1290 or 1590B : 2.25" wide, 4.25" tall, and about 1.25" high