I’ve always loved the guitar Hendrix painted, played and subsequently destroyed during his final song at the historic Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. There have been many reproductions of the guitar from that gig, but never the fuzz pedal.
Hendrix used a mid ‘60s Arbiter Fuzz Face during his groundbreaking performance. Fuzz Faces from this era used Germanium transistors which were pretty sensitive to temperature. When the transistors get warmer, their gain goes up and when they get cooler their gain goes down. The weather during the concert was considered “balmy” and since what people in California call balmy us Canadians call warm to hot I assume the pedal would be running a little warmer and higher gain. This can be “faked” a bit with biasing. Even when listening back to the recording you can hear how thick and full his tone was, listen to how little his tone cleans up when adjusting the guitars volume during “Killing Floor” (a combination of the pedal and a dirty amp no doubt).
Using Carbon Comp resistors, Vishay electrolytics, a NOS Mullard Tropical Fish Output Cap and NOS Germanium transistors (biased around 5.2/5.5 on the collector of Q2) and a bunch of mojo I found hidden in an abandoned mine to get a sound close to what he was getting that night. I built it on perfboard using a layout I made from pictures of the original PCB online. I just kinda followed the lines!
Now the next problem, what to put it in?
I used a standard Hammond 1590B enclosure and got out my paints.
I took my sweet time with this since I was blessed with my Mothers nervous system. After an hour or so referring to pictures of reproductions of the Monterey Strat it started to kinda look like something from the ‘60s. Apparently Jimi used flat white spray paint over a Fiesta Red body and nail polish to paint the fancy colourful stuff. He was also on acid. Apparently. I used acrylics and Starbucks.
Anyway, after the whole pedal building experience I decided it would be fun to build a Monterey Strat as a project in my spare time. Since I have a lot of it I was finished in about three days once I sourced all the parts.
I started with a dirt cheap made in China strat body.
Painted half the body with flat white Duplicolor spray paint and did the graphics in acrylics.
Then I bought a not so cheap pickguard. (I really got soaked on this but I was full of caffeine and avarice).
And hand painted it with Arcylics.
I found a nice flame maple neck with a rosewood board on craigslist for a decent price. I have yet to get tuners for the neck.
I used Fender 57/62 RI pickups. Once it;s all up and running I'll give you all some sound clips.