Pedals

Fulltone Ranger - incoming

1

Full report to follow but I am excited to be receiving this soon. I've been really happy with my Swart Atomic Boost but it only has (2) settings: "High" and "Full". The "Full boost" setting has way too much midrange to be useful. The Ranger has (6) settings I believe.

I just love the sound of a Gretsch through a treble booster and a cooking amp.

Anyone else have the Ranger yet? If so, how does it sound with your setup?

2

I've never tried it, but I'm a longtime fan of the Rangemaster. Let us know how you like it when it arrives

3

In this domain, I have only the Analog Man Beano Boost, which I find completely satisfying. Based on the Rangemaster, but with a 3-way toggle: original Dallas treboost; mid-boost; low enhance.

http://www.analogman.com/be...

I got the mini version, because space.

4

I posted a clip a few weeks ago with a box my buddy built which is basically a Dallas Rangemaster with NOS OC44 transistor, into a vintage Fuzz Face circuit. I've never liked fuzz boxes but that Rangemaster lit up the fuzz in a really cool way. I've since looked at the Ranger and I watched the video Mike Fuller posted on youtube, and funny thing, my friend Dave Robinette (who used to be local to Ogden where I live), is singing on the track that Mike is playing along to! If you have a fuzz face you've got to plug your new Ranger into it!!!!

Here's the clip I posted... https://soundcloud.com/dani...

5

I've been very interested in this one.... haven't see a GOOD demo yet, and the demo Fuller did himself sucks! It certainly seems to be the "ultimate" treble booster, and looks cool to boot!

6

Yeah, Analogman was onto that with the Sun Lion pedal (Sunface and treble boost dual pedal). They cost a small fortune but a great combination. Germanium fuzzes alone can be so finicky, it's like a love-hate relationship unless you like to listen to AM radio, they are great for that.

7

I didn't opt for the NOS Mullard OC-75 Ranger, I went with the CS model, which is 100,00 cheaper and I've heard there isn't a significant difference is sound between the two.

8

Anyone who hasn't tried a Gretsch with a treble boost, really should. I find that overdrives and distortions are excellent for most applications (I have an Analogman "King of Tone" - a dual overdrive that will always be a fixture on my board) but when you want to rip the lower-mids out by the throat and offer them up for a sacrifice (which I often do) the treble booster is the scalpel of choice. There is a magic to it that is similar to a Germanium fuzz-face but with much more cut.

The problem I have with fuzzes in general (especially the square-wave type) is that I use amps with Fender-based circuits and I've always felt that fuzzes tend to sound better with Marshall's with their greater mid-range and compression. They can sound harsh through a Fender instead of smooth and creamy, like a Marshall.

Having the (6) different boost settings on the Ranger will allow you to compensate for whatever style amp you use by increasing the mids and boosting different frequencies. I imagine several settings will not sound all that great and a couple will sound superb.

9

I make my own! It's really easy if you have a soldering iron - there are so few parts and it's very satisfying. You don't need mojo Ge transistors either - really the difference between a lot of these trannies is so negligible. In fact I have built a few silicon versions which I prefer because they are lower noise and less likely to be affected by temperature...

The circuit I prefer is the Red Rooster, by DAM. It's a dead-on Rangemaster but has a knob to increase low-end. At minimum it's stock Rangemaster and you can gradually get to full range just by turning up the bass. With a Les Paul I have the range knob lower - around 10.00. Classic Rangemaster tones with a little more grunt. With my Gretsches I'll push the range knob to around 1.00 or 2.00 and it's the perfect boost for an already overdriven tone.

Fo the silicon version I use a 2N2222A and put a treble snubber cap on the output and it sounds basically the same as a Ge treble booster.

A treble booster should be a cheap pedal. Even rare Ge trannies don't cost $100. And you don't need rare to make a killer treble booster. You don't really need a PNP tranny either. I have used Russian NPN Ge trannies with fantastic results and if you use an NPN tranny you don't need a positive ground power supply. Treble boosters are a pedal where too much nonsense is talked. There is no magic transistor and no magic ingredient. But built well to a good schematic they sure can sound magical.

10

JimmyR is spot on.

One thing I do like about the Fulltone is it is PNP but isn't dependent on a 9v battery like most PNP treble boosters.

You really need a cooking amp though to appreciate a treble booster. I use an Allen Hot Blond (Bassman) a fairly clean amp but with it's RAW control you can cut the tone-stack and add that voltage back into the circuit, making it more of a tweed-type amp.

I prefer the Gretsch's with my current treble booster over my other guitar, which is a Jazzmaster because I think the pickups on the Jazzmaster don't have as much meat on the bone. Still sounds good but not as chewy. Maybe the Ranger will be better with it's (6) settings instead of the typical (2).

11

What really attracts me to the Fulltone Ranger is, for someone like me who has never owned a treble booster, it has a lot of different circuits in it, so it's a good pedal to try many circuits at once, instead of spending months or years trying out the different versions.

That would have been cool if someone had made a fuzz pedal like that: fuzz face, foxx, octavio, etc... all in one box.... it would have save me a lot of time, and likely a lot of money as well LOL

12

would have been cool if someone had made a fuzz pedal like that: fuzz face, Fox, Octavio, etc... all in one box..... it would have save me a lot of time, and likely a lot of money as well

So...like virtually any modern multi-fx/modeler? With not only a wider selection of fuzzes than that, but a similar variety of every effect type.

Or...these: https://reverb.com/marketpl...

Note two varieties: mini (mono) and standard (stereo) versions. HUNdreds of models of amps and allsort pedals, dozens of them awfully good to plainol-great, loaded via Bluetooth from free app on your phone/device. New models added monthly.

13

would have been cool if someone had made a fuzz pedal like that: fuzz face, Fox, Octavio, etc... all in one box..... it would have save me a lot of time, and likely a lot of money as well

So...like virtually any modern multi-fx/modeler? With not only a wider selection of fuzzes than that, but a similar variety of every effect type.

Or...these: https://reverb.com/marketpl...

Note two varieties: mini (mono) and standard (stereo) versions. HUNdreds of models of amps and allsort pedals, dozens of them awfully good to plainol-great, loaded via Bluetooth from free app on your phone/device. New models added monthly.

– Proteus

Holy sh*t, that's pretty darn cool (I had no idea there was something like this in a small footprint that was so versatile). thanks for the insight. If I was a working musician I might consider one of those gadgets as a backup. Still might be fun to geek-out with.

14

would have been cool if someone had made a fuzz pedal like that: fuzz face, Fox, Octavio, etc... all in one box..... it would have save me a lot of time, and likely a lot of money as well

So...like virtually any modern multi-fx/modeler? With not only a wider selection of fuzzes than that, but a similar variety of every effect type.

Or...these: https://reverb.com/marketpl...

Note two varieties: mini (mono) and standard (stereo) versions. HUNdreds of models of amps and allsort pedals, dozens of them awfully good to plainol-great, loaded via Bluetooth from free app on your phone/device. New models added monthly.

– Proteus

no no... no modeling. ACTUAL fuzz circuits, all in one box.

I did own on of the Zoom stomp boxes, the MS-50 maybe? 100? Not sure. But anyway, I was surprised at how good some of the models of various effects are. I'm not a fan of "do-it-all" devices tho... they are usually complicated, and sometimes require connecting to software or an app. I'm too old school for that. Just give me a box with a few knobs, that does one thing, and does it very well.

15

The Xtomps are ridiculously cool. I started with the stereo, and found it so useful, with so many great sounds, that I got a mini in order to have access to more of them at the same time. (Stereo only matters for some modulations, delays, and reverbs - not the great amp and dirt models.) I’ve found I prefer many of Hotone’s dirt and amps to those in the Helix or the Kemper.

I bought the Xtomps used, and have in BOTH of them just about the 235.xx the Ranger costs.

Even if they didn’t have great models (and they do), they’re still a bargain just to sample a wide range of effects and amps to see what appeals - after which you can buy “real” examples of the ones you like.

But in many cases, I like XTOMP version BETTER than “the real thing.”

I can’t imagine any player not getting way more than their money’s worth of screaming bloody hoot out of one.

16

no modeling. ACTUAL fuzz circuits, all in one box

Oh, of course.

17

Isn't that what the iStomp was? Didn't it flop?

18

Didn’t solid state amps “flop” at emulating tubes - till someone “cracked the code” and then they didn’t?

Have you TRIED any current modeling stuff?

19

I have. We are cross-posting, so you probably didn't see my edit above, where I tried the one of the Zoom stomp boxes. I have also been through umpteen digital/modeling delays, and I own a Roland Blues Cube Artist (not so much a modeler as a transistor amp, but still). Just sold a Fender GDEC, that was a pretty cool little amp. I'm not anti-modeling, it has it's place. But I have never played a digital/modeling DIRT that I liked... be it overdrive, distortion, fuzz, etc. Not saying the code can't be cracked. It certainly appears Fender has cracked the code with their new Tonemaster Series, and if they ever do a Super Reverb, or Vibrolux Reverb, I'm in.

Regarding the fuzzes, I'm just saying it would be cool to be able to try ALL the various famous fuzz circuits at once (like the Fulltone Ranger does with treble boost circuits). And I've been playing long enough and went through enough gear that a facsimile isn't good enough... I want to know what the ACTUAL, REAL, famous circuits sound and feel like. It's part of the experience/joy. I don't want to know what Kemper thinks a Plexi sounds like, I want to know what a Plexi sounds like.

I did draw the line at tape echoes tho. I do think the code has been cracked there, and I have no desire to own a real tape echo. But as I said, I've never played a digital dirt box that I thought "cracked the code". Yet.

20

I know you like - rave about - the Blue Cube. Thus my analogy.

And...Zoom? With all due respect.

But I have never played a digital/modeling DIRT that I liked... be it overdrive, distortion, fuzz, etc. Not saying the code can't be cracked.

You're just saying that because Zoom and the Digitech iStomp "flopped," you're done.

And I've been playing long enough

Yeah, me too. Since 1967.

and went through enough gear that a facsimile isn't good enough... I want to know what the ACTUAL, REAL, famous circuits sound and feel like. It's part of the experience/joy. I don't want to know what Kemper thinks a Plexi sounds like, I want to know what a Plexi sounds like.

I know what Plexis sound like. I don't want to buy a Plexi to occasionally get that tone. (If I was in a situation where the real 4-12 pant-leg flapping "experience" could be lived - or it was the only tone I cared about it - I might get more purist about it.) Multiply that gestalt by at least dozens, for all the "models" in a contemporary device, and I find the proposition compelling.

But, more than that, in the end I don't care what the device I'm playing through is called, or whether it's a "real" vintage iconic famous historical circuit or device - or an emulation, model, or profile (of if "fake," how well it represents the "real" thing). All I care about is whether I like what I'm hearing when all the pieces - whatever they are - are fit together.

21

I don't understand why you're apparently seeing this as an argument? I have tried modeling. Some was good, some was bad. I USE modeling, the stuff I found good. I just haven't heard a digital/modeling dirt that I liked. Which is WHY I would like the Ranger, or a fuzz box like it (with many different circuits). That's all there is to it. No need to read anything else into it, such as "I'm done". I never said that.

And regarding the "real things", yes... it IS important to me to EXPERIENCE the real things sometimes, so I ACTUALLY KNOW what other people are talking about.... "I've played a Plexi" doesn't count if it came out of a Kemper, not in my book anyway. And the Kemper is getting RAVES... maybe they have cracked the code too. I've been down the road many times of "trying to find something that 'sounds like' or 'similar to', trying to get a certain tone" (like Brian Setzer's for example... but w/o buying the 6G6 and Space Echo. If I ever want to experience Setzer's ACTUAL tone, I have to have his rig. Not a Dyno Brain (no offense Tavo, it's great), not ANY Fender- but the 6G6B, with V30s and a real Roland RE-301. Otherwise, you're just dealing in maybes. And that's perfectly fine if someone digs it.

Not putting down modeling at all.... I haven't even played a Tonemaster, but I'm championing the technology. As much as I love tubes, and I'll always have a tube amp, I think it's fan-effing-tastic that those tones can be had with no tubes, no biasing, and only 22 lbs. Someday maybe the digital/modeling world will crack the code of overdrive/etc. as well.... but in my experiences thus far, they haven't. I'm open minded. But I'm also getting simpler as I get older. I like simple boxes that do one thing. I don't want to plug into a Kemper, but a Roland or Tonemaster is fine. I don't want to "talk" to my pedals with my iPhone, I like A overdrive pedal, A delay pedal, A fuzz pedal, A whatever. It's just how I like doing business. Especially as I continue going through gear over the years, I don't want to accumulate... I want to get to the core of what I want.

In closing, I never put down your magic box of wonder that you linked to. If you dig it, cool. I don't have to dig it. Or even try it. I'm not a fan of app-controlled stomp boxes. And that's cool too. Everybody's alright alright alright.

22

I don't think the Ranger it's doing anything fancy with it's rotary switch for "multiple different circuits". It's almost certainly swapping input caps, like a million other Rangemaster clones. Some do it with different caps, some with a blender pot.

To do what you're describing, with many different fuzz circuits in one enclosure would be decidedly more difficult. There's just not enough in common between the different circuits to swap a few caps and call it a different circuit. Sure they all have transistors, but they're used in different ways in each circuit.

It'd be like taking a jigsaw puzzle of the USA and rearranging it to look like Canada. The Rangemaster switch is more like, different ways of drawing Cape Cod. Not so easy with a single (or even triple) switch.

You could put all the circuits in one box sure, but they wouldn't be able to share much of anything, except maybe a power supply. The closest thing is probably that JHS Muffaletta, but that is, of course, just different versions of the Big Muff. And unlike the Muffaletta, you'd be stuck with a specific version of each.

You'd be better off (and probably save a bit of money) just getting a nicely tuned version of each fuzz you're interested in, like we've all been doing for years.

23

I don't understand why you're apparently seeing this as an argument?

Because I read your tone as consistently dismissive of anything that doesn't have your seal of approval - and the standards behind your seal of approval change. When they do, you make a fairly big deal of it, trumpeting that Roland (and Fender, whom you'll acknowledge at a distance, without actually hearing it) have "cracked the code" of tube-amp response from solid state. (Which you fastidiously segregate from modeling.) And you eventually acknowledged that various builders had "cracked the code" of tape echo.

So those get your blessing. But, in your experience thus far, no digital tech has gotten amps or dirt pedals right, so you all but sneer at that stuff - while acknowledging that you have no interest in trying it further. What if you had condemned all solid state amps, and not discovered the Blues Cube?

Your plea for essentialist simplicity seems at odds with the desire that someone would build all the real actual analog circuits of various fuzzes into a single box. Such a box would not be simple.

Nonetheless, there are some examples out there. JHS has a box with multiple actual circuits of different Muff versions, as well as one with multiple Tube Screamers. Various builders have combined at least two or three classic fuzz circuits: Earthquaker's Hoof Reaper (with three) and Blackout Effectors' Twofer (each with two) come to mind. Surely there are more.

(Granted, these are the builders' versions of those classic circuits - but given the variance of components, both when new and after drifting over time, as well as changes made by the manufacturers of the classics through the years of production, it can also be said that any two Muffs or Fuzz Faces or Octavias are also versions of the original.)

"I've played a Plexi" doesn't count if it came out of a Kemper, not in my book anyway.

While blind testing has revealed that experienced players can't tell the difference between a Plexi and a Kemper Plexi model, I have played through a Plexi or three. It's a glorious tone, which is sometimes just right - but it's not central enough in my palette to justify spending the money for one (much less carrying and caring for it, or having the opportunity to play it at a volume at which it does what it's famous for).

Thus, emulations and models.

If you dig it, cool. I don't have to dig it. Or even try it. I'm not a fan of app-controlled stomp boxes.

Then, logically, these sentences could be re-ordered to explain your objections. "I'm not a fan of app-controlled stomp boxes. Therefore, I'm not going to try it - and I'll never know if I might dig it. If you dig it, cool."

And, I agree. Everyone can dig whatever, no harm no foul. It's just that your standards have proven in the past to be malleable - that is, when you've tried something of which you were previously dismissively skeptical, and now found it suitable, you've acknowledged it. As I recall, that was a very long process with tape delay - and that you persevered through multiple purchases, always chasing something you suspected might not even be possible.

Since you've enthusiastically endorsed digital "tape" delay - and then the Blues Cube - I thought there was at least a slight chance you would be open to trying other new tech.


All of which could have been said much more succinctly: I know you're a fellow tone quester, and am just trying to soften your resistance to something it might be entertaining to check out. (If only so you can say you tried it, it sucks, and I must be deef.)

24

Did I mention that I like the Red Rooster version of the treble booster?

And there is a little irony in that. DAM are one of the companies that makes a huge deal about ye oldie components, and I get really tired of all the mumbo jumbo about how the older a germanium transistor is the better it sounds. I am certain that whoever designed and produced the original Ge transistors didn't intend for them to be used in treble boosters! And DAM charge a huge amount for not very much in the box.

But the DAM circuit is excellent. I haven't played an original Red Rooster because (a) I've never even seen one and (b) I would never pay what they cost. But as they are not made any more I am happy to build my own, whether with a silicon or a Russian Ge tranny. I have built plenty of pedals with both western and Russian Ge transistors and actually found that some of the pedals built with the Russian transistors were my favourites.

25

I haven’t made the Red Rooster Jimmy, but the DAM Meathead is by far my favorite Fuzzface to build. Likewise never even seen a DAM pedal, but if there’s a DAM version of a circuit I want to try, I’ll try his first.


Register Sign in to join the conversation