Guitar Stompbox & Effects Projects

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

The classic Rangemaster is thought to have been the source of some of the best tones in rock guitar, from Clapton`s Beano sound to some of Brian May`s singing sustain tones. While the effect is a simple one-transistor booster, locating a good quality germanium transistor to use in building a clone of the Rangemaster can be a problem. Furthermore,

Guitar Stompbox & Effects Projects
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germanium transistors will drift in bias and gain as the temperature of the transistor changes. If we use the basic Muffer circuit and tweak the values of a few of the components we can produce a simple booster that has a lot of the character of the Rangemaster while being more stable and built from easy to find parts. This booster is best used to overdrive the input of a tube amp or otherwise create a bright boosted response. The gain of the Muffer circuit has been reduced and input capacitor made smaller to create the proper frequency response. The Muffmaster can be made using the Muffer pc board layout shown above with the pads for D1, D2 and C3 left empty, or it can be built on the AMZ Multi-Purpose PCB. The transistor can be almost any NPN silicon device and the same devices listed for the Muffer may be used. The current draw is low and therefore the battery should last a long time. Because the response of silicon transistors to overload is different from that of germaniums, the sound will not be an exact duplicate of the classic effect but it is interesting and useful nonetheless. This cheap booster provides a lot of bang for the bucks - try it out! The Fuzzface is a simple two transistor design that produces the classic sound of the `60s. The original version used germanium transistors but the manufacturer soon switched to silicon since they were more readily available and produced stable, repeatable results. The...

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