Got a groovy early-90s Fuzz Face for a very reasonable price. This has a repro, not-so-great NKT275 transistor in spot 1 but then it's got a NTE102a transistor in the hot spot which just kills. According to Analog Mike Piera, this is the arrangement he used in his mods until he got ahold of real-deal NKT275's and the like.
It's got thick, fat, almost swirling tone with a fuzzy edge. Great 'sting' and good sustain with natural decay, even with the JTM45 barely cracked open. I was expecting some sputter and general fizziness but nope. To be honest, I am more than a little surprised by how good it sounds. I've had many Fuzz Face clones over the years, still do, but never the real deal in the cast iron frisbee with the smiley face.
Purists will argue that the 'real' ones were made in the 60's and early 70's and they are correct! However, I don't have a couple of thou laying around so this one will do nicely. Works great with my Gibson humbuckers. It doesn't clean up much with the volume knob like it does with a single coil pickup, but I'll deal with it. Already have a couple of different caps on order to tweak it a bit. A great addition to the family!