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    The Zonk/MK1 pays homage to two legendary fuzz boxes from the early days of loud – the Hornby Skewes Zonk Machine and the Sola Sound MK1 Tone Bender. Both these pedals hail from the UK and came into being during the mid-60s, just as rock n roll was exploding its way onto stages around the world. The circuits are very similar, having most likely borrowed their core design from the first fuzz to really make waves - the Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone – as used to ultimate effect by Keith Richards on (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.


    The MK1 Tone Bender and Zonk Machine were beefed up to take the now ubiquitous 9-volt power supply (the FZ-1 runs on 3 volts) and apart from some different component values here and there are largely identical in design. The biggest tonal difference occurs right up front where the MK1 input capacitor is 10 times to size of the Zonk. This translates into letting more bass and mids through the circuit, giving the MK1 a full range throaty attack. The Zonk is brighter, tighter and little less compressed but will happily tear your face off in full flight.


    Both have a tactile, chewy attack, loaded with interesting overtones and some tasty gating that’s accentuated when rolling back your guitar volume or softening your attack. Always musical and inspiring to play – these are the types of effect that send you off exploring unchartered sonic territory.


    At the heart of each pedal is a handmade turret board which lays out the circuit in a logical flow for the shortest signal path and bomb proof structural integrity. The custom painted enclosure is solid steel, with rubber feet and an easy access battery door on the underside.


    Each pedal is optimised for its set of transistors to provide the ultimate fuzz experience. This run uses a trio of premium New Old Stock transistors - Texas Instruments 2N1307 in Q1, Mullard/Valvo Black Glass OC45 in Q2 and Texas Instruments 2G308 in Q3. The sets are matched for their tonal qualities and how they interact together in the circuit. All are of the highest quality and tested by ear for low noise and great tone.


    Elsewhere in the pedal you’ll find Switchcraft jacks, military spec shielded cables, Sprague and Vishay electrolytics and a high-quality mix of new and vintage resistors and signal capacitors – each selected for purity of performance in its given role.


    There are two toggle switches on the topside of the pedal. The top switch is an on/off for the battery which allows you to leave it connected to your board without having to pull the cables (removing the input cable also disconnects the battery). The second longer bat switch toggles between Zonk and MK1 mode (left and right respectively on the switch). A simple but highly effective mod that changes out that first input capacitor - a lower value for the Zonk and higher for the MK1. Also great for matching the pedal to different guitar and amp combinations - Zonk mode will give you more cut, MK1 mode a beefier tone


    Below the switches are the usual Zonk/MK1 controls for Fuzz/Attack and Swell/Level - the two pedals used different names but they do the same thing. Use the left control to dial in the sweetspot for the fuzz and the right control sets the overall output of the pedal. There’s some interaction between these and having the Level higher or lower also has an impact on the tone. It’s a bit brighter at lower levels and fattens out as you turn it up. Experimentation is the key here to find where it works best with your setup.


    From there the signal runs its course through the classic lineup of germanium transistors, there are three in circuit, dialled in to spew forth all the glorious raucousness these pedals are famous for.

    Each set of transistors is auditioned in a test circuit to find their tonal sweet spot and optimum operating parameters. As a result, no two circuits are exactly the same and each has its own recognizable but distinctive personality.


    When the completed circuit is dimed up through the workshop test amp and we can’t stop playing – we know it’s ready. The real test of course is how it makes you feel when you plug in and crank it up… We’ll let you be the judge.


    All pedals come complete with a custom carry bag, signed and numbered certificate of authenticity and instruction card - battery is included.

    Zonk/MK1 Fuzz - Wedge Edition

    Out of Stock

      • Custom painted enclosure
      • Hammered Blue and Gold
      • Photos present an example of range
      • NOS Germanium Transistors
      • Premium quality components throughout
      • Battery included and installed in pedal
      • Custom carry bag (included)
      • Certificate of Authenticity (included)
      • Instruction Card (included)
      • Handmade in New Zealand