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Building a Propolis Fuzz Guitar Pedal Kit

This is the Propolis Fuzz guitar pedal kit from Musikding, it includes a PCB from PedalPCB.

The circuit is based on the Bumble Buzz from Union Tube & Transistor. It's a gated octave fuzz that was developed in conjunction with Third Man, Jack White's company.

It's unusual in that it has no knobs, just an on/off footswitch. This isn't much of a limitation however, as it's quite dynamic and sensitive to your playing sytle and guitar volume.

The base kit can be purchased without a pedal enclosure, however they provide an option to purchase a blank or pre-drilled 125B enclosure.

Propolis Fuzz Guitar Pedal Kit
Propolis Fuzz Guitar Pedal Kit

The build documents are available on their website, these include: bill of materials and assembly instructions.

Preparing the Enclosure

Several coats of matt black paint were applied to the enclosure, followed by some basic masking to add three yellow stripes using acrylic paint. It was finished off with a few coats of matt clear coat spray.

Guitar Pedal Enclosure - Base Paint
Pedal Enclosure - Base Paint

Guitar Pedal Enclosure - Stencil 1 Guitar Pedal Enclosure - Stencil 2
Pedal Enclosure - Stenciling

Guitar Pedal Enclosure - Painted
Pedal Enclosure - Painted

Assembling the PCB

Soldering the components to the main PCB is relatively easy, everything is clearly labeled so it's a typical assembly, going from lowest to highest components; resistors & diodes to capacitors.

The footswitch has a separate PCB which keeps the wiring tidy.

Pedal PCB - Assembly 1 Pedal PCB - Assembly 2
Pedal PCB - Assembly

Assembling the Pedal

In general, the build was straight forward, most of the off-board wiring and testing was done before mounting in the enclosure.

Pedal - Assembly 1 Pedal - Assembly 2 Pedal - Assembly 3
Pedal - Assembly

A yellow LED was used instead of the one that came with the kit, in keeping with the bumble bee theme.

Time to play

Some short demos of the pedal in action:

The End Result

This is a really fun pedal to play. It takes a bit of getting used to and doesn't suit every style of playing but it does create some really interesting sounds.

Pedal - Complete
Propolis Fuzz
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