AnalogMan Sun Face List of Transistor Options GERMANIUM

UPDATED MAY 30TH

The AnalogMan Sunface has always been a favourite among boutique Fuzz Face enthusiasts.  It is well built, sounds amazing and, relative to the cost of an original vintage example, quite a bargain.  There are numerous forum threads popping up on the topic of transistor choice lately (among other options) and it’s only heating up. With the return of the Red Dot NKT’s availability, the choice has become harder than ever…

OPTIONS

To date, AnalogMan currently offers approximately 12 or so optional transistors in addition to the “Standard” Japanese Germanium 2SB175 (medium-high gain) available for fresh Sun Face builds.  A staggering amount, considering the importance fuzz fanatics place on having the “right” components in their pedals, especially when it comes to the transistors.  This stock option is anything but standard in the tone department, but with so many available transistors to “upgrade” to, it would be ideal to match your transistor to your style and fuzz requirements.  Low down dirty Blues that just hints at Fuzz?  Lo-Gain Germanium.  Biting raspy Fuzz for snarling 60’s Psychedelic Rock with a screaming edge to it?  High gain silicon is your choice.  Among the usual germanium and silicon camp lie many variations;  we will delve deeper into these soon.  The aim here is to prevent any potential option anxiety Sun Face purchasers face with so many available transistor options. Keep in mind that Analog Mike doesn’t seem to put out anything less than amazing, so there really are no bad transistor choices per se;  just some better suited to certain styles than others. Some users even find themselves exploring genres they previously didn’t because of how good some of the lower gain options are.

We will take an in depth look at each transistor later.  For a quick reference here is a chart with a few brief descriptions of each and of their attributes, both bad and good.  These have been cross referenced with AnalogMike’s website, but more importantly, they have been thoroughly verified by actual use.  In another post I will also list discrepancies, if any, from the AnalogMan descriptions, but for now here is the list.  The key here is to use this as a guide, and your ears as the judges in the actual evaluation. Since there is almost always some variation in transistors keep in mind that these findings may be different than yours.

Link for detailed reviews to come soon…

Japanese Transistors

Transistor Standard Japanese 2SB15
(Medium)
Standard Japanese 2SB171
Low
GainMedium-highLow
Pros
Cheap, all around usage,
super smooth, warm
Cheap, all around usage,
super smooth, balanced
ConsNo grit (but not the point)Obviously not High Gain
UsageNon-descript fuzz, great
all-arounder
Smooth refined fuzz,
fusion styled soloing sound

US made Transistors

Transistors Red Dot NKT Newmarket (2017)Standard Germanium
2N USA
GainVaries, usually Medium,
(Low, Medium and
High Available.)
Medium
(available High Gain)
ProsCLASSIC Transistor,
little to fault, can clean up fairly
well (gain dependant)
Fairly close to the NKT-275
Cheap,
great standard choice
a bit of character,
ConsPriciest option (listed)
Low Gain is Clear and Sweet
but can’t Scream like High Gain
(and  Vice Versa)
Not a lot of bark,
particular example
a bit dark
Usage Classic Fuzz Tones,
60’s Pop and Psychedelic to
Modern Shoe-Gazing
70’s Fuzz,
sits a bit better in
the mix than
wooly transistors

Transistor Vintage Low GainHigh Gain Germanium
– from Baldwin
Organs
Gain
Low
Medium-high
ProsCheap, cleans up
well(great actually)
Cheap, all around usage,
super smooth, warm
Cons(Obviously) not a lot of
gain on tap
Very smooth,
No grit (but not the point)
Usage Laid back tones, smokey
blues, even non-fuzz
overdrive tones
Non-descript fuzz,
not a defining tone as such,
but fits well with many
styles
Transistor 1973 Mullard (UK) CV7005
White Dot
NKT-275  
Gain
Low to Medium
Varies, usually Medium
ProsCheap, all around usage,
super smooth,
balanced
CLASSIC Transistor,
little to fault, can clean
up fairly well
(gain dependant)
Cons(Obviously) Won’t do High Gain
Priciest option (listed)
Usage Smooth refined fuzz, close to 
NKT275 so classic tones
abound
Classic Fuzz Tones 60’s
Pop to Psychedelic *

*Found this to be higher gain than any others, but could just be this particular example ….

Transistor Red dot NKT-275  
(Discontinued)
GE General Electric
Black vintage
Gain
Medium (available High Gain)
Low, Med-High, &
High gain
ProsCheap, great standard choice, a
bit of character
cleans up well, Warm
and Crisp, smooth
ConsNot a lot of Bark, this particular
example was a bit dark
Seemed like it had a bit
more compression
than other Germaniums
Usage 70’s Fuzz, sits a bit better in
the mix than wooly transistors
Classic warm fuzz tones
Transistor TI/UK **
More to come…
Gain
Medium-high 
ProsGreat NKT alternative (but
distinct enough to have both
though!) Known to be a bit
brighter than most
Germaniums
ConsNot an NKT (but quickly
getting close to the same price!)
Usage Anywhere you want warm
Germanium tones but with a
bit more cut

** These have become really hot lately so keep an eye out for them at a relatively decent price online or otherwise. Again, they have just enough of their own voice to warrant having both an NKT loaded Sun Face and a TI/UK.

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