Analog Man Sun Lion Fuzz Booster Pedal 2SB175Medium Gain Germanium Japanese-Super Smooth
A little history
The Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster pedal was made in the UK in the 1960s. Analog Man’s Beano Boost pedal is an awesome, improved recreation of that pedal. The Dallas Arbiter Fuzzface was one of the first Fuzz pedals, made in the mid/late 1960s. They became extremely popular due to Jimi Hendrix and other great players of the 60s and 70s. We have been modifying fuzzfaces to these early GERMANIUM specs for a long time, and started selling our own SUN FACE to keep the cost down and quality high for people seeking the ultimate early fuzzface sound.
In early 2005 we combined these two pedals, the BEANO BOOST and SUNFACE into a new pedal – the SUNLION! The result of this combination turned out to be much more than the sum of it's parts- an amazing sounding Tri-Germanium fuzz! We have made several three-transistor Tonebender MK-II pedals but they are not possible to make as consistently perfect sounding as our Sunface or Beano Boost so we stopped making them. We find the Sunlion an excellent alternative as it can get the same sounds with both sides on, plus MANY MORE sounds and so much more.
The order of the two pedals is SUNFACE -> BEANO BOOST. We chose this order because it is quieter this way (less noise), and it's a less subtle, more cutting sound. The other order (Beano -> Sunface) is more a classic rock tone, while SUNFACE -> BEANO BOOST can get more extreme sounds. You can use the volume controls on each pedal to change the sounds, for example crank the sunface up really loud into the Beano Boost and turn the Beano down so the output is not too loud for your amp, and you can get an even more extreme fuzz.
- True Bypass on both sides
- Two 3PDT stomp switches, one for each side. Either or both can be used.
- Status LED on each side.
- Various Germanium transistors, selected for best tone and low noise on both effects.
- High quality RE’AN British input and output jacks
- Battery disconnected when INPUT cord removed (input is on the right).
- ON/OFF battery switch optional on new version, so you don't have to unplug pedal if it is in a pedalboard.
- Optional Power jack, these can be detrimental to the ultimate tones, or dangerous due to positive ground. You must use ISOLATED power!
Power used about 2mA when off, 5mA with either side on, and 8mA when both sides are on.
- Battery should be a cheap non-alkaline general purpose battery, as found in the dollar stores. These will sound better than an alkaline.
- Size is 4.75" wide, 3.75" long, and 1.5" tall not including switch etc (about 2 1/8" tall to the switch)
- This effect should not have any non-true bypass effects in front of it. Otherwise, the fuzz’s cleanup function will not work well.
Left side is the BEANO BOOST:
- BOOST KNOB, Volume of the Beano Boost, controls the amount of CRUNCH by driving your amp harder.
- Toggle TONE SWITCH with 3 positions. Up = Midrange, Center=Treble, Down=Low range boost.
- Circuit is hand wired just like the original version. Other Rangemaster clones use circuit boards.
- Has about the same output level ON and OFF with the BOOST knob set at 9:00. At 11:00 there is about a 10dB boost, which sounds twice as loud. At 12:00 there is a 13dB boost, and up all the way is about an 18dB boost which is nearly twice as loud as it was at 11:00.
Right side is the SUN FACE:
- VOL Knob needs no explanation. Audio taper volume pot.
- FUZZ knob : Best to keep it up or almost up all the way, and use the VOLUME knob on your guitar or the TRIMMER knob to control the amount of fuzz.
- ON/OFF power switch is optional on the FUZZ KNOB on the Sun Lion.
- TRIMMER : The white knob on the circuit board (TRIM103). You can turn this one with your fingers. Normal setting is full CCW, for full full fuzz availability. This knob works the same as the VOLUME control on your guitar, which interactively cleans up the fuzz sound. So if you never use the FULL fuzz sound, use this knob as a preset for the maximum amount of fuzz that you need, instead of having to turn down your guitar every time you step on the fuzz. When this knob is turned all the way up (CCW) it is completely out of the circuit, as if it were not even there. Then the circuit is identical to an original 1968 germanium Fuzz Face.
- SUN knob: This is the knob in the center of the pedal’s SUN FACE, also called the Sun Dial. It is set by us to the “sweet spot” for the fuzz, just under 5 volts on the High transistor at about 70 degrees temperature. It is set with the mark at 12:00 on the SUN knob. You may try other settings, you can turn it down to get a stuttering, weak fuzz sound which can sometimes be useful. Or turn it up for a harder, less fuzzy sound. If you have a voltmeter, you can test the voltage so you can keep it set where you want it. Put the (+) lead to ground, one of the screw holes on the case will work. Put the (-) lead to the HIGH transitor leg closest to R23 (says VOLT-> on the picture, pointing to the correct leg). About 5 volts is best for cleaner sounds. I would not set it too high, much over 6 or 7 volts. When it is set at 4.5 to 5 volts, it is the same circuit as the original 1968 germanium fuzzface. You may find you need to turn it down (CCW) at higher temperatures, and up (CW) at lower temperatures. This BIAS adjustment allows it to work well at any temperature.
We made up four of these for Billy Gibbons in 2006, after he had already bought several of our NKT Sunfaces. His tech emailed me back:
Hi, the Sun Lions made it in yesterday, Mr. Gibbons Loves them, we tried yours against some of the newer rangemaster clones and the Sun Lion was a far superior effect, great job. Thank you very much.
J Mascis got one in 2007 and used it on his late 2007 tours with Dinosaur Jr. In very late 2008 he got another one, with the Beano Boost side tuned for HI, HIGHER, and HIGHEST range! ("Live, it's all about treble"). Marc Ford uses different pedals all the time but the Sun Lion has been his most steady pedal. He has used one since he joined the Black Crowes for their reunion, and continues to use them with his solo bands. Other players using the SunLion include John Wesley (solo and Porcupine Tree), Mark Karan (upgraded from a Sunface he used for years), Jason Isbell (got #1 Sun Lion from Marc Ford), Chuck Garvey from moe. and Paul Tobias (GnR).