Demo & Review: Benson Amps Germanium Fuzz

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Benson Amps Germanium Fuzz Pedal

Temperature-Controlled Innovation

Benson has solved a problem that has existed with traditional fuzz pedals - tone that is sublime, but only at certain temperatures. With the Benson Amps Germanium Fuzz, the bias of the transistors is automatically regulated by a circuit that gently warms the transistors to a preset operating point using analog components, and ensures a consistent sound, no matter the external temperature.

A Solution to Impedance

In a classic two transistor Germanium fuzz circuit, the low input impedance can produce a sparkly clean tone when the guitar volume is rolled down. But if can sound terrible if there are buffers or pedals in the signal chain. The folks at Benson Amps have solved this issue, and a class A buffer in the very input of the Germanium Fuzz. This buffer feeds a Jack Orman style passive pickup simulator circuit (an audio transformer set up as an inductor, a resistor, and a capacitor). These two additions make compatibility with other pedals possible without losing the desired sound. After the pickup simulator circuit, an “Impedance” control simulates rolling down the guitar volume to get that tight sparkly sound without adjusting your guitar volume.

Video Transcript

This is Brandon from Cosmo Music. Today we're checking out the Benson self-regulating temperature Germanium Fuzz.

Due to the pandemic, Chris Benson actually created this pedal in his trailer. If you're unaware of what a Germanium fuzz is, it requires its transistors to be heated at an even rate so it can have a consistent sound. The thing with this pedal is it self regulates the temperature to keep the transistors at 35 degrees Celsius. With Germanium fuzzes, they're not usually encouraged to be put in pedal chains. Well this one, you can. The way that this works, it has a built-in buffer that goes into a pickup simulator so you can actually use this fuzz within your chain.

Another cool thing with this pedal is that the impedance knob creates serious resistance, just like you're rolling off the volume on your guitar.

When the light is amber, that means the pedal is still warming up. When it goes green, that means it's ready to go. There's also a white version of this pedal which can handle heat better from the sun.

This pedal runs on 100 milliamps of power compared to some other pedals, which will take quite a bit more. Thanks for watching. That was the Benson Germanium Fuzz. Come check it out at CosmoMusic.ca or in our retail store.

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