MKII FAQs

MKII FAQs

"I am interested in your MKII mini. While I understand tone is quite subjective, which transistor set do you prefer in this circuit? Or, what are the subtle differences between them? Does your stock (unspecified) transistor set get very close to the sound of the 'fancy' NOS transistors?"

Most original produciton 1960's MKII Tone Benders came loaded with Mullard OC75's. They sound great, with a nice velcro grit to them. There were some oddball 60's MKII's with Mullard OC81D, and they are typically smoother with more mids focus and slightly less gain than the OC75's. Those are considered the Holy Grail transistors by some, probably not just because they sound good; they're also just impossible to find these days. We offer the Mullard OC75's for those that want the security of knowing they can get the classic original 60's MKII sound, but as the above suggests, there isn't a specific transistor set that is necessarily "best" in this circuit. We also offer other NOS Mullard devices like the OC81Z, which are close to the OC81D sound, but closer in gain to the OC75. Then there are the "standard" germanium transistor sets that are selected purely by measured specification requirements and by ear. We use transistors that give sound and performance close to the original Mullard OC75 or OC81D. With these sets the part#, year or country of manufacture, etc... are not important. We only care about how they sound and perform in the MKII circuit. We can offer these for a less $$$ because they are not as scarce as the original Mullard transistors. If you just want a great sounding MKII, the "standard" germanium transistor sets are carefully selected to be close in spec. and tone to the originals. Due to the careful selection, the actual tonal differences between the sets are very subtle. If you want to spend less and just have a great sounding MKII fuzz, get the standard germanium transistors. We also install an internal trim pot that allows you to adjust the input level to tailor the sound to your needs. It also allows the MKII to work well with varying input signal levels and it does not affect the sound at all when bypassed (full clockwise). This "input trim" control is kind of like turning the volume on your guitar down a hair, but doesn't thin out the sound. Great for keeping hot pickups from f%$king up your fuzz tone by driving your MKII's input stage too hard.