Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Super Fuzz explosion!

We get a lot of pedal repair work at the FMO Gear Shop, but most of them aren't as spectacular as this one. A customer emailed us to ask if we could repair a Fred Bonte era Black Cat Super Fuzz. At this point, we've done repairs on just about all of the Black Cat pedals from the original line, so I told the customer to go ahead and send it in.

When the Super Fuzz arrived, Greg opened it up and quickly figured out what the problem was. Someone had used the wrong power supply.  Now, this is not an uncommon issue when dealing with effects pedal repairs. Many 9V powered stompboxes even have a protection diode after the DC Jack for exactly that reason (guitarists aren't fond of reading instructions). But this was no ordinary repair.

Unlike the current Black Cat models, the Super Fuzz in question did not have a protection diode. So not only did it fry the DC power jack, but it blew the bottom right out of the battery. I’ve never seen anything quite like it! So I just had to take a picture (I thought maybe no one would believe me). But here's the proof.

I hope this serves as a lesson for pedal players everywhere. Remember kids, always make sure you're using the proper power supply with your favorite stompbox.


  1. The power supply actually fused the ring and tip of the DC jack together, so the battery was being "charged" by some unknown amount of AC... good times! - Greg

  2. sweet, battery juice!

  3. Very interesting, Not many of those SF's had adapter jacks because of space considerations. Fred Bonte was one of the first designers to incorporate input protection diodes and 100uf filter caps in all his products.
    Fred Bonte