Tonebender MkI

It has been a looooong time since my last post to this page. Mainly because I haven't done much in the way of meesing with gear. I have found my tone for the time being which includes the home-made fuzz that I've already written about. However, lately I've been on the search for something higher gain and more aggressive than a fuzz face. For a while now I've been using an Analogman Sunbender MK IV, which is a dead-on copy of a Sola Sound era Tonebender MK III. Which is a Tonebender MK II with a tone control. The Sunbender of mine is number 40 out of a limited run of 100 made with three NOS Mullard OC82 transistors. The pedal is drop dead killer but then I started researching the MK I Tonebenders and came across some interesting info. The modern masters of this pedal are spoken about with reverance by MKI afficionados for their 'tuning' abilities. Builders like DAM, Pigdog, Ghost, Jerms and LIC pedals, the only builder in the USA as far as I can tell, all others are in merry old Blighty.

I tried building my own clone of a MKI and couldn't get it going for various reasons. The lure of a MKI is the primal roar of the pedal, all dependant on the trannies used and the bespoke tuning thereof using various resistors in front and behind the transistor. So anyway, I got in touch with Chris at LIC pedals, located in murky Long Island City on the banks of the East River overlooking Manhattan. He hooked me up with a new version of his MKI Professional. The pedal itself is the size of a brick. My wife calls it the 'Frankenstein' pedal. This one uses a Russian germanium tranny up front and a pair of AC125 or something for Q2 and Q3. It roars like an untamed beast from an alien world. It has sizzle, spit and general nastiness to spare. I haven't had enough time to sort it out yet. The trouble is finding the time! But that's another story. Here's my nasty little beauty:

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