Analogman Sun Face BC108 review

January 4th 2009 | Posted in Reviews | 60 Comments

Review updated 4 January 2009

Finding a good sounding fuzz unit can be one of the more tricky tasks when you’re designing your pedal board. There are tons of different models and versions available but not all of them fits our acquired taste. After years of searching for David’s tone on Live in Pompeii I got my hands on a Sun Face from Analogman and the sun has been shining ever since!

Vintage fuzz units are either based on germanium or silicon transistors. Germanium has a warm and mild overdrive (Hendrix/early Gilmour) while the silicon has a much brighter more aggressive tone with lots of sustain (Pompeii/Dark Side of the Moon). As the name implies, the Sun Face is Analogman’s (much improved) version of the classic Fuzz Face. They’re available with both NKT275 germanium transistors and BC108 silicon transistors. David used germanium from 1968-1971 and silicon from medio 1971-1977.

The Sun Face BC108 is housed in a MXR sized chassis with Analogman’s familiar smiling sun logo. It has true bypass and a trim pot inside allowing you to set the amount of fuzz, – much like adjusting the guitar volume knob. I recommend leaving the trim pot at 100% with the volume at about 3:00 and the fuzz all the way up (roll it off just a hair to avoid too much noise). Like all vintage style fuzz units the Sun Face is extremely sensitive to buffered pedals and if you must include these in your board I recommend that you place them as far away from the Sun Face as possible. Having a Boss BD-2 placed right after it will seriously alter the tone (bright, harsh fuzz) but a delay unit last in the chain will work. You should also place the fuzz in front of a wah wah.

The Sun Face could do with more lower frequencies. It can sound a bit thin in some setups. However, the fairly bright tone only enhances the pedal’s rich character and by compensating with an EQ or a booster/overdrive you’ll get a much more dynamic tone. I always use mine with the Colorsound Power Boost placed after it boosting the volume and bass. This also evens out some of the harsh overtones and adds sustain.

The Sun Face isn’t for everyone or any setup. The best combination is a powerful tube amp and for smaller transistors I would go for a RAT or a generally more versatile tone. However, for that classic ear pinching sustain from hell kind of tone I warmly recommend the Analogman Sun Face BC108!

60 comments so far

  1. brett says:

    great review, if only they werent in the $200 range :( hey Bjorn maybe you could sent yours along with that airbag t-shirt as the surprise gift ;)….please..lol

    -brett

    [Ha ha! Yeah…. it’s on its way! – Bjorn]

  2. EchoesLA says:

    Great! I can’t wait to hear some clips of the unit itself. I’ve been eying the Sun Face as the first pedal I’m going to buy. Analogman knows his stuff.

    [I’ll try to make some clips soon. I really recommend this thing! Finally I have the fuzz sound I’ve always searched for. – Bjorn]

  3. Adam says:

    Nice review, really enjoyed it. Have you checked out the Skreddy Top Fuel? It’s more of a muff than a fuzz face but worth checking out I think.

    Great review! Looking forward to the clips.

    [Thanks for the link Adam! I’ll check it out. – Bjorn]

  4. wallakoala says:

    Wow…that pedal seems really awesome. I always wanted to get that tone that gilmour has on Time, and this seems like the answer. Too bad it is really expensive :(

    Can’t wait to hear the sound clips though!

    [It’s not that more expensive than a Fuzz Face or any other “high end” fuzz units. You get what you pay for and the Sun Face is ten times better than the Dunlop Sun Face… – Bjorn]

  5. o says:

    what about the Dallas Arbiter fuzz, is it crap ? i’m about to buy fuzz but don’t know witch one..

    [If you can find an original Dallas Arbiter FF, germanium or silicon, it will cost you… The new Dunlop reissue doesn’t sound anything like the originals or the Sun Face. It’s too muddy and I found it really hard to get a nice sound from it. It’s also germanium, which is basically only suited for Gilmour’s pre-Dark Side stuff. I definitely recommend the Sun Face. – Bjorn]

  6. Ty says:

    You know, I’ve looked at them before and never thought about really getting one until two days ago – and now you’ve just sealed the deal – I’ll save up for it (I also need a tape echo so I’m kinda saving for that too).

    [You won’t be disappointed! – Bjorn]

  7. Steve says:

    I’ve ordered the germanium one – should be here soon, but I would love to test drive a Cornish fuzz…. one day it will be mine! *grins like a maniac*

  8. Paul says:

    Oh! Now I realy don’t know what to choooooose… AnalogMan or Keeley Fuzz Head or standart Fuzz Face. AnalogMan is a little bit expensive for me; they say that Keeley have a modern sound; some people say that Fuzz Face is no so good as it was.
    So, would you help me to choose?

    [The SunFace is how the Fuzz Face used to be. No question. The Fuzz Head sounds too modern with a sound better suited for metal bands and the Dunlop Fuzz Face reissue is muddy and without the classic character. My best advice is to sit on if for awhile, save up some more money and go for the Sun Face, germanium or silicon. – Bjorn]

  9. Ash-Zayr says:

    Hello
    I am currently involved as singer/guitarist to raise up a Pink Floyd Tribute here in Germany. I used to play in a Rock/Pop classics band for more than 10 years, until I quit about 2 years ago – an I sold out all my equipment that time, retired from music.
    But when 2 ex-members came up to me with that PF idea, I was in again….;)
    Now I need new toys of course, and I need to buy exactly what I need for the PF project. I had an excellent 70`VOX AC30, completely re-furbished before selling it….please tell me: it wouldn’t have been the right AMP for me anyway, now that I have to be David Gilmour…;))

    I started up with the T.C. Electronic “G-Major”. Seems to be a fine Muli FX; at least Reverb and Delay is perfect for songs like “Run like Hell”. Chorus is also very nice….well, it is exact anti-retro, but 100% modern soundprocessing….but so far the result sounds good.
    As a guitar I am using a kind of selfmade model, assembled with the body from the only E-Guitar I kept after selling-out my stuff and new purchased neck and chrome parts, same as all electricials. It sounds very good and it is quite flexible, but it does not sound like a Stratocaster (2 passive EMG Humbuckers, fixed Bridge).

    Ok, but what a bout overdrive/distortion?
    I still have, also from former days, the Boss MT-2 “Metalzone”. What a hag of a unit. You can do a lot with it, first of all real heavy, dark, long sustaining walls of metal….but also for Soli it is very nice and sharp. I like it…but is it the right Floyd unit?? I am afraid not! Well, things like the Intro for “Sorrow” need a sound like from the MT-2, but most of the other stuff seems to be not really authentic with it.
    As I am not too familiar with Overdrive/Distortion, your review comes at the right time!! But what will I get?? We will play songs from all over the PF history. Would the Sun Face limit me to a particual range of songs or Floyd-Years, or is it still a good authentic sound to also play the Solo on “Learning to Fly” or “On the Turning away”?

    Also your review does not make clear to me, why to chose the BC108 instead of the NKT-275?

    Thanks for some advise!

    Ash-Zayr

    [Hi! Sorry for my late reply… I don’t think you were wrong selling the VOX. It’s a very nice amp, but perhaps not something I would recommend for Floyd tones. I would much rather go for a Fender combo. My best advice is to get an amp that can stay clean even at extreme volumes.
    The MT-2 is, at least by my taste, better suited for metal sounds. The tone has a little too much mid tone. I recommend starting out with a minimum of one overdrive and one distortion. The Boss BD-2 is a very versatile overdrive, equally suited for David’s 70’s sounds and newer stuff. If your pocketbook allows it, you should also consider a Tube Driver, although it’s not that good for the vintage sounds. You don’t really get THE sound without a Big Muff for your distortion sounds. It’s been David’s main lead since Animals. I recommend getting a vintage US or a green Sovtek (check out E-Bay). The new US reissue and the black Sovtek is a little too muddy and it lacks some sustain. Read more about recommended effects here.
    The NKT-275 germanium model sounds like a warm overdrive. Listen to any Hendrix recording or early Gilmour tones like Nile Song and Fat Old Sun. The BC-108 silicon modelhas a bright, edgy sound way more agressive than the germanium. Listen to Time and Money solos from Dark Side. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  10. Andrei says:

    Gosh… That fuzz DOES look nice. However, since I’m still begining (I’m 14, yet ;P), I’d better get a normal fuzz, first. Or, even better, the money for one, lol.

    However… that silicon face… woot. I already know what I’m gonna spend my x-mas money, after the DG signature.

    And congrats for the fuzz. If you get tired of it, mail me and I’ll tell you my posting adress… HEHE

    [I’ll let you know when I get tired of it, he he! – Bjorn]

  11. Leandro says:

    Congratulations for your SunFace! it´s a really nice effect!! You´re getting closer and closer to the tone you´re looking for aren´t you, man?! hehe….I´ll be waiting for some soundclips!

    By, the way, did you check the True Bypass Strip?

    Leandro

    [Getting closer… I only wish there was a pedal that had it all, – like going into a store and saying “I want the On an Island pedal!” he he! It’s like a treasure hunt, isn’t it? The TBS lokked very interesting… I haven’t had the time to really check it out yet, but I know a couple of store here in town that has it or something similar. Cheers Leandro! – Bjorn]

  12. wallakoala says:

    What is the main difference between the silicon sunface and the germanium sunface?

    Is there a major sound difference?

    I am also wondering how that pedal sounds for jimi hendrix stuff, because he used a fuzz face also.

    [It’s pretty much explained in the review, but the gremanium model sounds like a warmer overdrive, – listen any Hendrix tune or David’s lead tone on stuff like Nile Song, Fat Old Sun etc. The silicon is much brighter and nastier, – listen to David’s Time and Money solos from Dark Side. If you’re after a Hendrix tone, go for the germanium. – Bjorn]

  13. Paul says:

    Bjorn, what can you about Zvex fuzz factory (compare with Analogman)?

    [It’s basically two different effects. The SunFace is a replica of the old Fuzz Face, while the Fuzz Factory is sounding much more modern with more metal type fuzz… doesn’t sound very 70’s. – Bjorn]

  14. Roen says:

    Bjorn !!! Nice review, Here is my question I own a couple of Fuzz Faces, Tube Drivers, Big Muff, Boss Fuzz etc… etc…

    If you had ONE Gilmour OD’ you had to take with you on a desert Island … which one would it be, which one covers it all the closest, which one is the Mack Daddy of Mack Daddys ( and don’t give me any of your ” depends on the period ” crap !!! )

    Which is the most Gilmourish of them all !

    Analogman Sun Face ? Fuzz Face, Big Muff, etc.. etc… ???

    [Hi! Well, it depends which period you prefer…. ha ha! Difficult question. There’s no doubt that the Muff is THE Gilmour distortion pedal. It covers most solos. Still, it’s not an overdrive and therefore not as versatile as a Mack Daddy should be. I think I have to say that my modified Boss BD-2 (Aage C-Mod) will join me on a desert island. It’s got that transparent clean boost, wonderful warm overdrive, fat Muff-like distortion and screaming fuzz. Suitable for ALL periodes. And yours? – Bjorn]

  15. Fred says:

    A good alternative could be the Fulltone 70 fuzz. It also has silicon trannies and a useful mid control pot that helps cutting through the mix.
    I use that along the 69 version which has germanium transistors and nail both Gilmour pre Animals distortion tones.
    Cheers

    [Thanks for the tip! I have tried the Fulltone only briefly and although it sounded very good, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. Still, I can recommend it any time. – Bjorn]

  16. Fred says:

    I want to try out Analogman pedals though…I have several fuzz boxes in my collection but never tried his pedals… Did you buy directly from him?
    Cheers

    [Yes. Visit the website. I don’t know if they sell anywhere else… – Bjorn]

  17. Yoda says:

    Hi Bjorn ! Thank you for this great review, I was very surprised to see it in your gear. It could be a good alternative to the reissued version of the FF, I just don’t like her sound… Did you tried it ?

    One last thing. I heard the mp3’s of your latest show and I was very impressed. Where did you find the sample of “cosmic sounds” that your own “Rick Wright” use on the intro of Shine on ? I am looking for it for so long !

    Thank you !

    [Hi! The new Dunlop Fuzz Face is a germanium model, but its really far from the original late 60’s model. Too muddy… The AnalogMan NKT 275 is really the best choice for the real FF Hendrix sound.
    Glad you liked our Mp3’s! Our Richard Wright has managed to tweak the most amazing sounds out of his gear… I think he uses a Korg Triton for that sound. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  18. o says:

    i’m looking for good Pink F bootlegs from the 70’s , most of what i have is crappy quality.. the only ones with good sound is the 70-71 bbc shows.. If anyone know more shows with this quality, please tell me the name.. most interesting is from animal tour and something that include “Cymbaline”

  19. Roen says:

    Bjorn …

    How much money does Boss give you everytine you say … I LOVE MY BLUES DRIVER !!!

    change the name from Gilmourish to http://www.bluesdriverobsession.com

    [Ha ha! I get nothing… Everything I recommend is purely based on my own honest oppinions. The Blues Driver C-Mod is fantastic and one of the most versatile pedals I’ve tried… – Bjorn]

  20. Asato says:

    I never really liked the FF units… but I have to admit that you made me think a little bit… I used to associate FF with the Grunge sound and I think that was not quite good for me :p I still prefer to use overdrives/distortions without sounding like a Fuzz. Where I live, there is good pedals of distortions.. if you wat to see go to tmiranda.com.
    Just One question, wath about the PeteCornish fuzz? Do you think its close to the analogman?

    Cheers Bjorn!

    [Well, fuzz and distortion is two different things but “fuzz” is often used to describe both. Since the mid 80’s, Gilmour has been using distortion (Muff) on stuff like Time and Money, – songs that were originally recorded with a Fuzz Face. You can clearly hear the difference between Dark Side and PULSE.
    The Pete Cornish P-2 is more like a Big Muff and shouldn’t be compared to either a Fuzz Face nor SunFace. It’s much smoother with fatter lows… If you’re into the classic sounds from Pompeii and Dark Side, I strongly recommend the SunFace from AnalogMan. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  21. Hugo says:

    What’s the difference between the Big Muff and the SunFace? I mean.. both are fuzz units. I’m asking cause I have now the Big Muff Usa version and I find it too moody it lacks some definition in the sound..I’m thinking in doing a mod in the pedal to correct this problem.

    It’s really necesary to have two fuzz units, each one for distinct time periods?

    cheers

    [The Big Muff isn’t really a fuzz… It’s a distortion. In fact, when Mike Matthews of Electro Harmonix designed it sometime in 1970, he called it a sustain pedal as he wanted a fuzz that was smooth and had rich sustain. The new US reissue is perhaps closer to a germanium Fuzz and therefore has little in common with the original 70’s Muffs or the early Sovteks. You’re describing what most people think about it… it fails to live up to the “myth”. I would say that if you want a sound like Dave has on Time, Money and Echoes, you should go for a fuzz, preferably one with silicon transistors. If you want a sound like Dogs, Comfortably Numb and Sorrow, you should get a Muff… preferably a vintage Electro Harmonix or Sovtek. – Bjorn]

  22. Rababa says:

    Bjorn, Here is my question to you

    I have a Tube Driver ( I’m having a hard time falling in love with it … what should I do with this pedal is it really soemthing that only sounds good with a tube Amp ??? ) a Black Big Muff ( I’m selling it because it’s just not doing it for me, doesn’t sound Gilmourish enough … ) and a Fuzz Face ( that sounds nothing like a Fuzz Face … )

    I am thinking of getting rid of all three, Maybe keeping the Tube Driver …

    I am looking for something well rounded ( for the early stuff ), do you think the Analogman Sun Face is my solution

    My favorite Pink Floyd Era is Pompeii, Meddle, Dark side , everything before Animals …

    [I definitely recommend the AnalogMan SunFace silicon BC108. It’s dead on the era you prefer. David used silicon Fuzz Faces from 1970-1981. It’s the closest you get…
    My personal oppinion of the Tube Driver is that it’s not very versatile… It’s good for stuff like Shine On, Another Brick and Coming Back, but you can’t really use it on the early stuff. Also, as my review of the TD says, I needed to change the tube for a milder one to get the sound I wanted. I haven’t tried it on a transistor, but I guess it sounds best on a Tube Amp as it was originally made to boost tubes, – amps and organs.
    The black Sovtek Muff is a distant cousin of the original 70’s Muffs. It’s muddy and doesn’t have the rich dynamics like the originals or the early Sovteks. – Bjorn]

  23. Rababa says:

    Also Bjorn, is there a small 30 Watt Amp you’d suggest for nailing a Good Pink Floyd vibe with any of these pedals, I’m thinking of a Fender Blues Junior soemthing Tuby enough to respond to a Sun Face with a Good Clean Hiwatt ” style ” vibe.

    What do you suggest ? Small Fender Tube Amp, Small Hiwatt Bulldog ( transistor ) small Marshall Tube amp etc… etc…

    [I think I would eiether go for a Fender or Hiwatt. Marshall transistors tend to sounds a bit too much Metallica, if you know what I mean. You should also check out the new line from Epiphone, – tube amps for around $400. Basically, you should be looking for an amp with a clean sound that doesn’t break up when you play loud. – Bjorn]

  24. Roen says:

    Rababa, be careful of small tube Amps that break up easily, I had a small Fender Amp as well as one of the new Epiphone heads and beleive me crank it past 5 and they just crumble into overdrive.

    Unfortunately if you want to get even remotely close to soemthing we’d call ( and correct me If I’m wrong Bjorn )

    You’d be better off saving for a ” E-bay Special ” Sound City Amp combo or a Reeves and Hiwatt small Combo …

    I saved for 8 months to get a Reeves Custom 100 , they are worth it although you’d have to dish out close to 3 000 USD for Dave Reeves Amp A Good Combo with Fane Speakers is also absolutely great .

    Reeves carries a line of small Amps for 600 $ they are absolutely great and I also strongly suggest them !

  25. Brendan says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    On the subject of distortion/fuzz/overdrive, have you or anyone else tried that new Line6 DM4? It models stuff like the Fuzz Face, Big Muff, Tube Driver, etc. I know everyone is going to hate me for suggesting digital, but I’ve heard good reviews about Line6 products (plus it has true bypass). I’d reccomend someone chacks them out, plus they have a delay pedal and modulation pedal.

    [I have only tried the POD XT Live and I liked the Tube Driver very much, although it sounds more like a Tube Screamer. The Muff didn’t sound like a Muff… – Bjorn]

  26. fabien says:

    hi,

    first happy new year ;-)))

    i find the sound of the fuzz in Echoes, live at Hollywood Bowl, AMAZING !!
    Can i have a sound like this with a germanium fuzz? Have you tried Roger Mayer Axis fuzz? do it suit for a pink floyd sound (area 60/70’s)?
    i’m waiting for your SunFace’s samples

    [The germanium not as bright as the one David using on the Hollywood Bowl clip. It’s a Fuzz Face with silicon transistors… it’s a diference. I haven’t tried the Axis. – Bjorn]

  27. ChrisZurada says:

    This review makes me hungry for a great taste of sound ;). One day I will spend some money on It, but it looks that It’s a far future :(. You said that You might take the Boss BD-2 on “a desert island”. Do You think that the Blues Drive in Boss Gt is similar to bd-2 sound?

    [The BD-2 is definitely one of my favourites… a strong candidate for a desert island :-) A modded version that is. The stock Boss and the GT is good, but a little too bright and as all Boss pedals, a little too fuzzy. The modified versions (AnalogMan, Keeley or Danish Aage C-Mod) are definitely worth the money… The tone is just so much warmer, defined and rich. – Bjorn]

  28. abeeone says:

    I just purchased a sunface bc 108 and expext to enjoy that raw guilmour sound from the early PF albums. $ is no object to me when in comes to true sound. What kind of pedal do you recommend I should get in order to capture that animals sound? (solo on pigs)

    [Congrats! I think you will enjouy it a lot! David’s main distortion pedal on the album was a Pete Cornish Custom Fuzz. An early version of the P-2. You can order one directly from him. Alternatively you could go for a Big Muff, preferably a 70’s model or a green Sovtek. The new reissues aren’t any good. The P-2 is essentially a customized Muff. There’s also a bunch of other cool Muff clones like the BYOC Large Beaver. For the ultimate Animals sound I strongly recommend a Colorsound Power Booster, – David’s main overdrive unit from the era. He used it on the rhythms on Pigs and to drive the P-2/Muff. The combo is awesome. The Colorsound can be ordered from Macari’s in London. Please read more about David’s Animals setup here.- Bjorn]

  29. Sam says:

    Hey, love this site. Really helps. Just wondering which is more durable, the germanium or the silicon. I was reading on the analog man site that the germanium needs to be adjusted at different temperatures. This makes me think that the NKT is too sensitive and maybe the silicon is more durable.

    [I don’t have much experience with this but the silicon transistors don’t have any temp issues or anything like that. Whether you need to actually adjust the germaniums I don’t know but AnalogMan’s pedal has both the clean trimpot and the bias control so I think that will do. That being said, I would go for the silicon as it’s more representative of Gilmour’s sounds. He only used the germanium from ’68 to about 1970-71. – Bjorn]

  30. Sam says:

    Help me, Bjorn! I can’t decide between the NKT and BC108. I love that Pompeii-ish high fuzz but I also love those classic blues overdriven tones from Hendrix. If I lower the fuzz on the BC108 will it somewhat sound like the NKT, or max the fuzz on the NKT to get a high silicon sound? Whichever one can sound like the other better I guess. Any information to push me over to one side will be appreciated. I’m really picky on my tones so this decision is costing me sleep at night. Also, if the guitar plays an role with the sunface tone, I have a black standard mexican strat with maple neck, 1969 fender pickups, vintage tuning keys, Callaham tremolo block, shortened whammy bar, aged plastic parts/pickgaurd. It’s my Pompeii strat.

    Thanks

    [I don’t think neither of them can be compared to the other. The silicon is very bright and fuzz, – at high volumes it can be similar to a Big Muff. The germanium is like a warm overdrive which never gets too edgy. When the fuzz is turned to max on the germanium you’ll have the classic Hendrix tone. If you lower the fuzz it gets very clean like a booster. You can’t really tweak it to sound like a silicon. If you want David’s lead sounds from Pompeii, Dark Side etc I would definitely go for the silicon. – Bjorn]

  31. Alex says:

    Hello again Bjorn,

    I’m wondering what your feelings are on the SunFace covering the WYWH album tones? Particularly the SOYCD ovedriven parts?

    Alex

    [It sounds a little thing and fuzzy on it’s own but together with the Colorsound PB (set to clean volume boost) the tone is dead on. Still, I’m not 100% sure that he used a fuzz for the rhythm parts. However, I’ve analyzed a quad mix of the album… you can really hear all the tonal characters of the guitar tracks. The rhythm parts sound much dirtier than on the album version, so I think he used fuzz… perhaps with a booster. You can manipulate the tone by adjusting the guitar volume and adding compression and EQ in the mixing process. BUT I wouldn’t use a fuzz while playing the tune live tho. Way too agressive and difficult to control… use a mild overdrive instead. – Bjorn]

  32. Jeffrey says:

    Hi Bjorn! How noisy is the Analogman BC108? I’ve got another boutique BC108 fuzz that I just received and I may send it back as it’s pretty noisy when on. BTW, I have the Sunface NKT 275 and although I like it, I’m selling it as I really prefer the more agressive silicon fuzz face sound ala Pompeii, etc.

    Thanks.

    [It’s quite noisy but not extremely… The design is very basic to maintain the purest tone. I definitely recommend the BC108. With a good portion of some tape delay, it nails the Pompeii sound perfectly. Could even be mistaken for a Muff (although the sound is perhaps a little too bright). – Bjorn]

  33. John CapeMayNewJersey says:

    Happy New Year.
    I am tired of my Green EH Russian Big Muff. Way to noisy!. I was checking out the Large Beavers and now they have 4 controls, the website said something about it being an EQ tweak. Should I go for the new BYOC Triangle with 4 knobs?
    Thanks
    John

    [If you want about the same tone as the green I’d go for an Absolutely Analog Green Russian. The new Large Beaver lets you dial in a tone ranging from the triangle to the ram’s head with a bit more mids. I think the Large Beaver would be a better choice for David’s 70’s and present tones though. – Bjorn]

  34. John CapeMayNewJersey says:

    Also I have a Fuzz Face Gray reissue from England that is modded by Analogman. I love it until I turn the volume up on the guitar and I get the fuzz. I love it for the clear crips gain as if my fingers and notes are leaping off the fingerboard. I really love your Pompei sound clips and I do not think my unit gets me those. I understand you use the BC108 Sunface. Do you think its overkill to get the bc108 also. I really am not able to get the tone that you have with my unit. Eventhough I primarily use my FF almost always ON.

    [Your’s has germanium transistors right? Those have a much warmer tone with less gain than the 108s. In any case I recommend using a booster behind the fuzz, ultimately one with a fairly transparent tone like the Colorsound Power Boost or Tueb Driver. This will give your fuzz more sustain and a smoother tone. – Bjorn]

  35. Tig Boots says:

    Thanks for the great up date Bjorn.
    got the rat pedal the other day
    works very well with small practise amps.
    thanks for the aricle last year on the
    rat and the tube screamer pedals

    thanks tig

    ps have you tried the skready lunar module ?

    [Glad it worked out for your :) Never tried the Lunar no… but I’ve heard lots of good things about it. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  36. John CapeMayNewJersey says:

    BTW:
    I got a nice Fat Old Sun tone from this set up.
    Fender Twin Revervb < Blue Tube Mic Pre Amp < Boss CE-2 < Boss HM-2 < Fender 62 Reissue Tele. I know Boss is not your most favorite type of pedel, but you may approve of this tone. If I got you interested, I would send you my settings for each unit. Kind of a cross between a Microverb and an EH Electric Mistress with warming jets of color.
    John

    [I have both the CE-2 and HM-2 in my collection. Love the CE-2! What settings do you use on the HM-2? – Bjorn]

  37. Luciano says:

    Hi, Bjorn.

    In a youtube page I found the following comment, supposed to come from somebody at Analogman:

    “Also we have warmed up the Silicon Sunface recently. We got in the new Dunlop Jimi Hendrix BC108 fuzzface and it sounded really nice we so made ours a little closer to that, by using a larger input capacitor and volume pot value. It still cuts nicely but not as harsh and trebly. ”

    So, looks like Dunlop has finally made something good, for a change. If it’s true that Analogman will change the Sun Face to get it closer to the Dunlop’s it’s really something, isn’t it? :)

    Well, I must say that I’ve got an MXR Classic 108 Silicon Fuzz, a few months ago, which is more like the Jimi Hendrix Signature Silicon Fuzz Face Reissue in a square box, but with a very interesting buffering option. I found it out to be very good indeed.

    I think that it’s a good alternative to the Sun Face, cheaper and easier to find (at least here).

    Hope you’ve had nice holidays.

    Cheers,

    Luciano.

    [Thanks for the info Luciano. The Hendrix FF is indeed a bit warmer than the Sun Face. – Bjorn]

  38. Yosef says:

    I was thinking of getting one of these, but as you say in your article it works best with a tube amp whilst I have a Marshall 100 watt transistor. I probably won’t be able to get a good tube amp in the near future; do you think that if I used this with my amp that it would do the job for now? The other pedal I was looking at was the MXR Classic 108 you mention in your gear guide, possibly a better option?

    Also, I love that you reply to comments from readers and offer advice; great work, I am so glad that I found this website!

    [Cheers Yosef! My experience with using vintage style fuzz pedals on transistor amps is that you won’t get that super smooth Pompeii kind of tone. The tone gets a little hars and bright, which a tube amp will smooth out when the tubes and the pedal “reacts” with each other (in lack of a better word). But it’s not a rule for all transistors and the louder you play the smoother the tone gets. In any case I think I’d go for something a bit more versatile than a fuzz, like a RAT or even a Big Muff. Both will give you that typical Pompeii/Dark Side tone and are much easier to tweak for a good tone than a fuzz. I haven’t tried the MXR on a transistor, so you just have to check it out your self. Great pedal though. – Bjorn]

  39. unclebenzsensei says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    First,Wish you my best wishes for 2009.
    I bought i 2007,a Dice works Big Muff Triangle,what do you think about?

    [Happy new year! No, never tried it. – Bjorn]

  40. Michael M says:

    Hey Bjorn. Love the site. I just bought the Sun Face BC108 and it’s so great for floyd dark side and pompeii stuff. Time is awesome as is Echoes. The pedal is also great for the stuff i play in my band because some songs require going from clean to distorted really quickly lol. Thanks a lot for the review. It was a great buy.
    —Michael M

    [Glad you enjoy the pedal! – Bjorn]

  41. Michael M says:

    One problem i do have is a treble booster behind the Sun Face BC108. I have a StrangeMaster pedal by Throbak modeled after the Rangemaster. When I turn on the pedal it kills the sun face tone and volume. Also I took out the battery in the treble booster and attached a 9 volt adapter to it but it short circuits my whole pedal board. Any clues as to what i should do? As of now i have the 9 volt adaptor going to the other pedals and the treble booster is the only one now with just a battery.
    thanks again
    Michael

    [The booster is placed AFTER the Sun Face right? It shouldn’t kill the tone. You are sure you dialed in the right settings and that the volume is too low? What happens when you turn off the Sun Face? Keep in mind that treble boosters doesn’t behave like normal boosters or overdrives like the Colorsound Power Boost. A treble booster is designed to push dark sounding amp over the edge for fat distortion and they don’t really work that well on clean setups… the tone only gets brighter. I don’t have much experience blending fuzz with treble boosters but I would imagine that you’d get a better result with an overdrive of some kind… preferably one with true bypass as the fuzz doesn’t like to be placed next to buffered pedals. Regarding the power problems… I have no idea. Sounds like there’s something wrong. I’d send them a mail and ask. – Bjorn]

  42. Danny S. says:

    Great review. I am looking forward to getting the Sun Face. As of now though, I am stuck with a US reissue muff. Any ideas on how to get a thicker tone with less higher frequencies?

    [The US Muff can be a bit too muddy and difficult to tweak. I really don’t have enough experience with it to give any suggestions. Anyone? – Bjorn]

  43. Whackystrings says:

    After lots of research and budget considerations, I went with a Dunlop JH-F1 BC108 Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face…in fact, my favourite music shop had a barely-used model that I saved $50 Cdn on…so, while my first choice would have been the SunFace BC108 (2nd choice, MJM London Fuzz II), it was hard to pass up a deal that was less than half the price of my first choices. It doesn’t seem to have quite the same amount of gain as the the other two mentioned, but there are qualities about the tone that sound perfect to my ears…and I have been experimenting a bit with running my TS808 and my Radial Tonebone Classic after my Fuzz for some of the cascade/boost qualities.
    Very happy with my purchase…and would recommend anyone interested in BC108 fuzzes to check out the JH-F1….next up is seeing about getting a BYOC Large Beaver (triangle) although I think my Tonebone Classic & Bad Monkey cascade combo seems to be beefy enough to cover this territory already.

  44. Bryce says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I am considering a bc108 sunface but I am concerned about the buffered pedals in my chain messing with it. I know you said to place it as far away from a buffered effect as possible but here is my current chain: guitar>vox clyde mccoy reissue wah(truebypass)>rocktron blackjack distortion pedal>maxon 808>EH small stone nano> Boss super chorus CH-1>volume pedal>amp

    Now do you think that having the true bypass wah in between the fuzz and the buffered distortion will be too little distance? Also does the maxon 808 sound good at all with the sunface? Thank you for your time.

    -Bryce

    [I’m not sure if the Rocktron has true bypass but neither the Maxon nor CH1 has and they will alter the tone of the Sun Face. It depends on how picky you are but these vintage style fuzz units sounds best alone and the more pedals you add, buffered or bypass, the more the tone will be altered. This is the fact for all pedals, but it’s even more evident on with fuzz pedals. Some buffered pedals works better than other and although I haven’t tried any Cornish pedals with it I experience no tone alteration with the Ibanez DE7 but Boss completely fucks up the tone leaving it harsh and thin. The Maxon is somewhere between but an alternative is to place the Sun Face in a loop with a true bypass looper pedal. If you look at my set up I have a Boss DD2 last in the chain, which works OK and since I always use the Sun Face with the Colorsound it’s really no problem. It’s not as smooth as I’d wish but then again it cuts nicely through the mix and I have the Muff for warmer things. I have experimented with having a Boss CS-2 right next to the fuzz or a Boss CE-2 chorus 4-5 pedals away from it and it really doesn’t work. I could of course ditch the Sun Face but I love the tone… Anyway… – Bjorn]

  45. Bryce says:

    Right on, thanks for the info. I finally bit the bullet and got one in excellent condition on ebay for $150 USD! To expand on my earlier questions though, dont you have a lot of buffered effects in your chain though? What works best for you and how would a true bypass looper pedal help? Does it isolate it from the signal path and would I be able to use other pedals with it if I did this? Sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance!

    -Bryce

    [I have a couple of buffered pedals in the chain, – Maxon OD808 and Boss DD2. They’re affecting the Sun Face, especially the DD2, so I’m not entirely satisfied with the Sun Face tone but it’s OK and with the Colorsound boosting it’s really not a huge problem. A looper will take the Sun Face out of the chain but I would also have a booster and perhaps a delay (both true bypass) in that chain too. – Bjorn]

  46. Danny S. says:

    My sunface bc-108 just came in today. I love it! The tone is definitely Gilmour. It cleans up beautifully to a nice crunchy overdrive but when the guitar volume is up, it just screams! To respond to Bryce’s question, I noticed my wah has a low impedance buffer. The sunface is in front of it however and I noticed no tone difference after playing it without the wah. (It says in the manual no buffered pedals in front of it in the signal chain, I’m thinking that means after it.) I don’t really have a great ear for this sort of stuff but as I said before, I didn’t notice a tone difference with the buffer after the pedal. Thanks for the review! It’s what finally got me to buy it…

  47. Bryce says:

    Hi Bjorn, I have been trying to find places that sell non-alkaline batteries but haven’t really found anything. I did however stumble upon this place just now…

    http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/HD-9V/9-VOLT-BATTERY-HEAVY-DUTY-CARBON-ZINC/-/1.html

    I was wondering if you think this type of battery (carbon/zinc) would be good for the sunface and colorsound?

    Thanks,
    Bryce

    [It’s not easy to find carbon batteries anymore. I haven’t tried these but I’ll guess they do. Carbons are much warmer and smoother sounding than alkalines (yes, it really makes a difference!). I use Rayovacs and Gi, which has a warm, open tone. Panasonic sound a bit sterile and cold. We’re talking nuances here and if you’re pedal board is packed to the brim you probably won’t hear any difference between power chains, alkaline or carbon but if you use your fuzz pedals with a small handful of other pedals you will appreciate the effort. – Bjorn]

  48. Bryce says:

    Thanks for the tip. I cant seem to find any non-alkaline rayovacs online but for Gi’s, do you use these?

    -Bryce

    [Yep, these are the ones. – Bjorn]

  49. Joe Davies says:

    Hey Bjorn, would you say this is the best Gilmour fuzz pedal? What do you think of the Pete Cornish P2 and G2? Also how about the Gary Hurst Tonebender? I am looking for the best Gilmour sounding fuzz pedal so please reply soon.

    Excellent review!

    [I don’t think there is ONE ultimate fuzz for David’s tones. Depends entirely on what guitar/pickup, amp and other pedals you’re using and also your technique and playing. David used different Fuzz Face models between 1968-1975 and went over to the Muff in 1976, which is still his main distortion pedal (the P2 is a Muff and the G2 is somewhere between a Muff and a Fuzz Face). One of my favourite fuzz units is the silicon Sun Face BC108 from Analogman. It’s dead on David’s Pompeii and Dark Side tones. However, the pedal needs a loud powerful tube amp or it’ll sound like a bee on the run. The Big Muff (or P2) isn’t actually a pure fuzz but rather a mix between a fuzz and a distortion. The Muff also needs a loud tube amp to be able to shine but you can also make it work nicely on smaller amps and even transistors depending on the character of the amp. Despite their basic construction, fuzz pedals can be a real pain in the ass to dial in if your rig isn’t built for it. So, the best Gilmour fuzz is the one that fits your guitar and amp. In some cases you’ll be better off with a RAT or similar distortions. Check out this article for more. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  50. César A. says:

    Hi Bjorn, I recently purchased a Moollon Fuzz 14 by Moollon Musical Instrument. Did you already heard about these projects? I never had the chance to test the AnalogMan, but I obtained some similarities sounds by Mr. Gilmour and liked it very much! Congratulations for the page, congratulations from Brazil…

    [Never heard about it before. I’ll check it out! – Bjorn]

  51. Eric Nyberg says:

    Hey Bjorn, I have a Keeley modded Blues Driver with the phat switch, would that be pretty close to a Sunface with BC108? Should I have the phat switch on for Time? I love the pedal but I need to get to know it more, which I don’t mind of course, How is Identity selling? I really can’t get enough of that album. I need to work on mine, I’m being bad. It’s called The 360 Impression, I’ll keep you posted. Would you mind critiquing some stuff when you have time?

    [The BD2 (modded or not) is closer to a Tube Driver rather than a fuzz. The SunFace has a much more saturated tone with more gain, less sustain and a generally nastier tone. You can get pretty convincing fuzz tones with both a BD2 and Tube Driver, but still not close enough to stuff like Echoes and Time. Identity is going very well and we’re just beginning working on the new album now with some exciting stuff. Let me know how your album is going :) Cheers! – Bjorn]

  52. Ville T. says:

    Very nice review, but i have question…
    I´m thinking about having pedalboard that is little bit based on DSotM, WYWH & Animals albums, like this (from guitar to amp) :

    Fuzz : Analogman Sun Face BC108
    Compressor: ?
    Distortion : ?
    Overdrive : Boss BD-2
    Phaser : Electro Harmonix Nano Small Stone
    Delay :Boss DD-3 / E&H Memory Boy / MXR Carbon Copy
    Noise Gate :BOSS NS-2 / MXR Smart Gate

    And in the review you said that the BD-2 (or any buffered pedal) would change the tone of the “Sun Face” radically, so to the question…
    what Compressor and Distortion you would recommend that could blend well with BD-2 and with the other pedals that i would like to have in my pedalboard?

    P.S: have you tried Kustom “The Defender” amp?

    T: Ville (I´m from Finland, so sorry if theres some grammar errors…)

    [First of all I recommend reading this article for some basic tone tips regarding overdrives and distortions. Not all high gain pedals suits every amp. I think the MXR Dynacomp and a Muff (triangle or ram’s head models) or a RAT (depending on your amp – read the recommended article) would be great. Noise gates etc aren’t necessary. They will often do more harm than good and there’s lots of things you can do that’s more effective in eliminating noise etc. More tips here (middle of page). – Bjorn]

  53. Michael says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    I’m a noob when it comes to affect pedals, amps, and guitar accessories. I got my guitar about two years ago and thought all I needed was the amp it came with. About a year later I got into Pink Floyd and of course David Gilmour, and thats when I knew there was more to his playing than I thought. I’m building a pedal board and decided to start with a fuzz. My question is, will this pedal be at all effective with my amp(its a Fender Bullet 150,not sure if thats what its called, thats what it says on the amp.) The amp is about 11in. long and 13in. wide. Also, will this fuzz be suitable on pre DSoTM stuff, or is it too strong?

    P.S: Love the site, you really brought my guitar and me closer.

    [Thanks for your kind words Michael! I don’t think a fuzz pedal would sound that good on the Fender Bullett amp. Fuzz pedals needs a lot of volume to get that smooth tone. On smaller amps they tend to sound thin and harsh. In your case I think you’d be better off with something a bit more versatile like a RAT, which is capable of replicating classic distorion, Muffs and fuzz. Check out this article for more. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  54. John says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I have a few questions about fuzz units. I have a Mexican strat with CS69s in the neck and middle and a Seymour Duncan sh-2b on the bridge. What kind of fuzz should I use for the classic Dark Side/ Pompeii sound? My current set up is strat>Dunlop 535q wah>mxr dynacomp> RAT II> boss super chorus> boss dd7> fender super reverb reissue. Thanks!

    [Fender Reverbs, Twins etc tend to be a bit too bright for fuzz pedals. At least in terms of getting David’s silky smooth Pompeii, Dark Side tones. The MJM London Fuzz (blue) has a bit more lower end and a slightly more saturated tone compared to the old silicon fuzz pedals. You could also try the Fulltone 70’s, which has much of the same character. Although my favorite is the SunFace from Analogman, I think this can be a bit thin on some Fenders. – Bjorn]

  55. Arnaud Jolois says:

    Hi Bjorn, great website!!
    I have question about the sunface BC108 and the London fuzz you tried..

    Should I get the SFBC108 or the LF1 for a GENERAL gilmourish fuzz (a fuzz that will cover all eras)?

    Thanks alot!!!

    [They’re very similar but the LF ha s a bit more lower end, which beefs up the tone a bit. – Bjorn]

  56. Mike says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Amazing website, very informative! Do you know anything about the MXR classic 108 fuzz? Dunlop/MXR claims it’s the guts of the original silicon fuzz face loaded into a pedalboard-friendly box. How does it compare to the Sunface? It’s definitely the cheaper option!

    Thanks!

    [Thanks Mike! It’s certainly one of the better among the cheaper fuzz pedals. Compared to the AnalogMan SunFace and MJM London Fuzz I think it’s a bit muddy and not as dynamic but a great pedal anyway… – Bjorn]

  57. sebastien says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I’m the owner of the 2 analogman sunfaces, BC 108 and NKT 275.

    I just would like to know what brand of carbon batteries you’re using (GI, panasonic?), and most important where I can order them on the web?

    Thank you in advance.
    Regards

    [I use Panasonic my self. Seems to work OK. I buy them at dollar stores here in my town but they should be easy to find on the net as well. – Bjorn]

  58. Ben says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m looking to buy a fuzz pedal to augment my pedalboard. I already have a couple of E-H Muffs, one black Sovtek and an original early 70’s Little Big Muff, which as good as they are aren’t really doing it for me! (I’ll happily sell if anyone’s interested)

    I’m interested in the Analogman Sunface BC 108 as i’d like echo(no pun intended) Davids tone from the Meddle/Pompeii era. Any chance that you can recommend a sensibly priced overdrive/booster to put after it? I was thinking maybe a BOSS graphic equaliser, what do you think?

    Many thanks, awesome website by the way,

    Ben.

    [Thanks Ben! The Sunface and most other vintage style fuzz pedals are quite demanding in terms of which amp and pedals you use them with. They don’t work that well on smaller solid states and you have to be careful with buffered pedals like Boss etc as these will dramatically alter the fuzz tone leaving just a thin, harsh tone. In that case I’d rather go for a Muff or a RAT, which easily can be tweaked for fuzz tones. I’d stary away from any Boss pedals especially but check out the Fulltone OCD, ThroBak Overdrive Boost and Absolutely Analog Fist. – Bjorn]

  59. Daniel says:

    Hi Bjorn

    Many thanks for posting tons of very useful information and for your awesome demos!!! As a newcomer guitarist I find your website vey informative.

    I was wondering if you have ever tried or know anything about Hartman’s BC108 fuzz and if so what are your thoughts and comments…

    Thanking you in advance
    Daniel

    [Thanks! Never tried the Hartman so I can’t really tell. They seem to get rave reviews for all their pedals though. Of all the BC108 fuzz pedals I have tried the Analogman is definitely the best. – Bjorn]

  60. Moses says:

    Hi Bjorn. The information was very useful, and I got the Analogman BC-108 a few days ago…well its a pedal that puts you in heaven!

    You built an amazing site for all us Gilmour fans
    Many thanks,
    Moses

    [Thanks Moses! – Bjorn]