Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Music-Son Distorsion Booster - The Spanish Tone Bender?

So the years are not fully known, but some time between the late 60s and mid 70s, the Spanish amplifier brand Music-Son released a fuzz pedal in a Tone Bender MKII-style enclosure, that they called the Distorsion Booster.

*from the handful of examples I've been able to find. This gold one appears to be the earliest...

As of now I have been able to find 3 different circuit layouts and a handful of examples that seem to show a bit of an evolution throughout its life; suggesting that they were made for a considerable amount of time, and not just a one-off.

And this above example appears to be first in the run. It uses germanium transistors and has a more amp-like build than the other two, which is what I typically see when an amplifier company starts getting into the fx game for the first time.

As I was digging for more info on these I did come across this old Music-Son catalog from 1970 that includes the Distorsion Booster, among other effects. Unfortunately I have yet to find any earlier evidence, but at least we have a good starting point now!

What cane next in evolution of the pedal's design was when Music-Son jumped to a silver hammerite paint and a BC 147 silicon transistor-based fuzz.

Again, I am not sure what this is based on, but the circuit does look a bit different than the earlier unit:

The final version shows an evolution of the board, the circuit, the ouput jack, and possibly the enclosure itself (but it's hard to tell just from the available photos). 

This was definitely the most extreme change I have come across; and as of now there are at least 3 examples of just this version. So it's also the most prevalent (so far, at least).

The other thing to notice about this version is both the wires used and the components match those used in Music-Son's other fuzz pedal, the Distorsion Sustain; a super nasty Fender Blender copy that's extra splatty, and looks doomy as hell...

So even if it's a different circuit, at least going by the build similarities I assume they were either being made at the same time, or very close to each other.

Alright, now comes the part where I ask for more info, if any of you out there happen to know anything about the Music-Son Distorsion Booster or the brand itself; please reach out to me via Email or Instagram.

thanks for reading!

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