people have been asking Dave Fox about this..and he's finally doing it!
Hot Silicon2 is based on the legendary
Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face. Specifically, the version that was produced by
Dallas Music Industries, Inc between 1986 and 1990. DMI, Inc also
manufactured Crest Audio power amplifiers and Kelsey Mixing boards.
These Fuzz Faces came to be referred to as "Crest Reissues" because they
were built in the same factory as the Crest amps. In fall of 1986, a
young Dave Fox (founder of Foxrox), while working for DMI, Inc, brought
the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face back from extinction. These Fuzz Faces were
based on the silicon version from the 1970's but they also had a tone
all their own.
Hot Silicon Fuzz (HSF) is the same Hot Silicon previously available as a FuzzCard for Captain Coconut 2. HSF
uses a pair of high-gain BC109C silicon transistors, just like many of
the original silicon FuzzFaces, and all of the Crest Audio reissues
from the late '80s.
The Foxrox Hot Silicon Fuzz is based on the most famous
fuzz of all, the Dallas Arbiter FuzzFace. The FuzzFace has
gone down in history as one of the most erratic, but coolest
sounding fuzz effects ever made. They all sounded slightly
different due to a number of variables including temperature,
transistor gain and quality, battery level and pickup output levels. FuzzFaces could sound dull, bright, smooth,
gritty, and sometimes so choppy that they were unusable.
There were two different types of FuzzFaces, the original PNP Germanium version and the NPN Silicon version which
followed. The Foxrox Hot Silicon Fuzz is based on the NPN
HSF specializes in the hotter, brighter side of
Fuzz. The transistors are high gain silicon (BC109C), which
are hand picked and custom matched for the best sounds.
The sound is more high-endy than other versions, and there
is no shortage of gain and sustain at normal playing levels.
At high gain settings, it can get unruly, breaking into oscillation
and noise. Under certain conditions it can even pick up
radio broadcasts, although measures have been taken to
avoid this. It can also oscillate when fed by a wah wah
pedal. While these might seem like bad things they are part
of what it takes to recreate certain classic sounds, including
many of the live Hendrix recordings from 1969 / 1970 such
as Woodstock, Band of Gypsies and Isle of White. With the
right settings, this fuzz can be tamed, but the out-of-control
aspect is what makes it unique. If you would prefer that
your wah pedal does not interact with the fuzz, check out the Foxrox Wah Retrofit.
- Fuzz allows you to back off on
the intensity of the fuzz. This is useful when looking for special
vintage sounds and when driving more overdrive stages.
This is also great if you want to dial in some wimpy fuzz tones
for effect. If you want the fuzz to clean up when you role back your
guitar’s volume knob, back off a little on the
Fuzz control. You can dial in a massive range of great sounds
just by playing around with the Grit control, the Fuzz control, and your
guitar’s volume and tone controls.
- Grit makes Hot Silicon
different from other similar fuzz boxes. This knob allows you to fine
tune the attack, tone and fuzz level. The
control is subtle, but very effective. As a continuous control,
you can dial in the exact sound you want. Here are some examples of what
to expect as you try out different
Counter clockwise: Dull loud tone. Sounds great
when overdriving a tube amp, or pushing an already overdriven amp over
the top. This is a very fat fuzz sound that
can be heard on lots of old recordings from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Middle: Even tone with lots of fuzz and sustain.
This is the most user-friendly of all the settings. The tone is very
round, without sputter. If you like to clean up your
sound by turning down your guitar’s volume knob, the Grit control
should be set between 10:00 and 1:00.
Clockwise: Clipped, farty and burnt out. If
you’re looking for some of the nastier fuzz sounds, experiment with Grit
settings in the 2:00 to 5:00 (max) area. The
sound gets very choppy while you pick and the sustain trails off
abruptly. This sound can be pretty ugly at times, but it’s great for
reproducing certain vintage tones
that originally occurred due to unmatched transistors or drained
batteries. Extreme Grit settings sound great when your amp is turned up
loud. Stand near your amp
and play around with the feedback.
- Volume - The Hot Silicon Fuzz
is set up to have more than enough gain for those who like it LOUD.
Changes in the Grit control have a direct effect on the output level,
so you may need to make some volume adjustments while dialing in
- Input Trim - Hot Silicon Fuzz includes an internal trim pot that adjusts the amount of loading at the input stage.