Build - Pedal Project: Burns Buzzaround (Eyelet Board)

The Burns Buzzaround is a classic fuzz pedal most notable for its use by Robert Fripp, guitarist of King Crimson. It is a 3-transistor germanium fuzz with a circuit topology that is similar (but not identical) to the Tonebender Mk3/4 with Q1 and Q2 set up as a darlington pair, though the Buzzaround came before the Mk3/4. The Buzzaround is thought to have been introduced in 1966 and discontinued in 1968.

The Buzzaround has Balance, Sustain, and Timbre controls. The controls are roughly analogous to Volume/Fuzz/Tone, but the "Balance" control on the Buzzaround is not a typical volume control. Volume does decrease down to silence as the Balance control is turned counter-clockwise, but the Balance control also has an effect on the bias of Q3. It can be quite a subtle difference, so the Balance control can be plenty effective as a volume control, but a somewhat common Buzzaround tweak is to add a "Master Volume" control at the output.

Original Buzzaround units fetch extremely high prices, but it is a fairly simple circuit. The original Buzzaround used a 2x12 turret board very similar to our P-HTBU-2X12-D, though the actual layout could have fit on a 2x9 board (three columns are unused). A 2x8 Buzzaround layout and a 2x10 Buzzaround layout can be found below. These are inspired by the original layouts, but with some minor tweaks to make the layout more condensed and neater. If you would prefer to use the original layout, we have a drawing for that on our P-HTBU-2X12-D listing.

This is a PNP germanium build. It should either be run on battery power only or considerations need to be made for how to provide -9V. For more information, see our PNP "Positive Ground" Pedal Considerations tech article.

Figure 1: 2x10 eyelet board layout of a PNP Buzzaround build

Figure 1: 2x10 eyelet board layout of a PNP Buzzaround build

Figure 1: 2x8 eyelet board layout of a PNP Buzzaround build

Figure 1: 2x8 eyelet board layout of a PNP Buzzaround build

See Figure 4 in our Guitar Pedal Footswitch and Jack Wiring article for the recommended footswitch and I/O wiring.

Parts List

Potentiometers
Alpha 100K Linear2R-VAM100KL-SS
Alpha 10K Linear1R-VAM10KL-SS
Capacitors
1 nF1C-UD001-630Film capacitor
100 nF2C-MKT-D1-400Film capacitor
50 µF2C-SA5-50Electrolytic capacitor
5 µF1C-SA50-50Electrolytic capacitor
Resistors
3.3 kΩ1R-I3D3KCarbon composition resistor
10 kΩ3R-I10KCarbon composition resistor
15 kΩ1R-I15KCarbon composition resistor
27 kΩ1R-I27KCarbon composition resistor
100 kΩ1R-I100KCarbon composition resistor
470 kΩ1R-I470KCarbon composition resistor
Semiconductors
PNP germanium1P-QOC141The PNP germanium transistor of your choice can be used here. P-QOC141 is a good option.
Germanium diode1P-Q1N60-KBKThe germanium diode of your choice can be used here. P-Q1N60-KBK is a good option.
Other Items
Knob3P-K388S
Pseudo Eyelet Board1P-HTBW-2X10
Stereo jack1W-SC-112BXInput jack
Mono jack1W-SC-111XOutput jack
Battery clip1K-P155
Battery cushion1S-H165
Topcoat wire spool1S-W3024TC-BK-50
Black 1590BB1P-H1590BBBK
DPDT footswitch1P-H497
Dress nut1P-H52-NUT-DRESS
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