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Old 03-27-2009, 01:58 AM   #1
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DEATH BY AUDIO and THE EDGE: In Print

DEATH BY AUDIO and THE EDGE: In Print

MARCH 2009 ROLLING STONE

...Edge has a particular affinity for the fuzzed-out experimentation of Benjamin Curtis, the young former guitarist from the indie-psychedelic act Secret Machines, now with Scholl of Seven Bells. "I love what those two bands are doing," says The Edge, who cites their sounds as an influence on No Line's droning, tribal side. "It brought me back to some of the music that I would have been listening to when U2 first formed, bands like Magazine, Joy Division, Neu! and Can."

Curtis, in turn, was heavily influenced by The Edge, and the two struck up a friendship -- Curtis turned Edge on to an over-the-top new fuzz pedal by a company called Death by Audio, which ended up difining the grinding rhythm-guitar sound of both "No Line On The Horizon" and "FEZ-Being Born." (Editor’s note: It seems that The Edge is using it for "Get On Your Boots"). "'No Line' blew my mind -- he is using that pedal in a textural way that it wasn't intended to be used at all," says Curtis. "The Edge makes the guitar seem like such a beautiful simple instrument."


NOVEMBER 2008 - MOJO

MOJO: You always manage to find -- in every record -- a piece of technology that you engage with immediately, and that throws up a song. "Where the Streets Have No Name" came out of your dabblings with the Infinite Guitar box, and this time you mentioned your Death By Audio pedal...

EDGE: It's this particular kind of 21st Century distortion. Guitar is such a versatile instrument, but it's very easy to get in a cul-de-sac in terms of how it sounds.

I love anything that just gives it a different personality and this particular set of distortion pedals I think, are a different colour. It's like a different personality and that, for me, is a great jumping-off point.

I used Death By Audio's Supersonic Fuzz Gun on the song "No Line on the Horizon," and a couple of others I think.

It was Ben Curtis who turned me onto them. He's one of the Curtis Brothers from Secret Machines -- he's got a new band now called School of Seven Bells, who are pretty interesting.


OCTOBER 2008 - Q MAGAZINE

Other notable tracks include the eight-minute-long "Moment of Surrender" and "No Line on the Horizon," inspired by a distortion box called Death By Audio recommended by ex-Secret Machines guitarist Ben Curtis.


What does a Supersonic Fuzz Gun sounds like and do?



Death By Audio's Harmonic Transformer has been in The Edge's rack too. Seems it's being used for "Get On Your Boots", also.

What does it sound like?


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Old 03-27-2009, 04:11 PM   #2
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Thanks for this info.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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"Death by Audio"... One of those overrated boutique builders again...
They are so overprized! The build quality of their early pedals was really terrible. The new ones look a bit better - comparable to the gutshots that many people post of their first DIY kit pedals at forums like freestompboxes.org or musikding.de. Any Biyang still looks better under the hood - and they use parts of the same or even better quality.

From what I undrstand from interviews (and from looking at the schematics...), the guys at Death by audio don't really know what they are doing. They take existing circuits, mod them, swap parts and change values and see what happens. Their pedals seem to be happy accidents. But on the other hand: Who cares how they do it, as long as the results are interesting? I don't. And there seem to be some interesting sounds in the Supersonic Fuzz Gun. I wouldn't call it a "21st century sound" as Edge does, it looks and sounds more like one of those fuzzes from the early 70ies, when some builders hadn't just realized that they couldn't simple replace germanium transistors with the then modern silicon ones (because most of them have much more gain/hfe...).
Actually, I think it sounds a bit as a misbiased Burns Buzzaround or s.th. similar. Maybe a well built version of Joe Gagans Skyripper Fuzz could cover that kind of sounds much better. But the Supersonic Fuzz Gun definitely has something interesting. I think I'll give it a try, it will be a good christmas present for a friend who plays a lot U2 stuff.

What I really wanted to say was: The pedal has been retraced at freestompboxes.org. Schematic is not yet verified, but that won't take long. freestompboxes.org • Login
A simple circuit, similar to fuzz face, tonebender etc, but with some strange values (and a strange orientation of the first and second transistor) to make it sound a bit ill - it definitely looks like a happy accident!
Should be a two-hour-built, parts will cost less than $15 including enclosure etc... First thing I'll add will be a good filtering for the supply voltage to be able to use a wal-wart (I guess the original only has a battery clip?). And I'm sure that it will fit in a smaller MXR style enclosure.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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Some like boutique pedals and some don't. Some complain about the price. Some have other issues.

It's pretty simple, if you have the money and are willing to spend it, there are a number of boutique pedals that will get you sounds that standard fare pedals (Boss, DOD, Ibanez) might not be able to get.

As for the DIY online schematics:

1) If you are handy at building things, this might be the way to obtain boutique tones for the price of the parts alone.

2) Keep in mind, just like tablature pages have have a few variations on what someone THINKS are the element to a tune, the same thing can happen with schematics.




Quote:
Originally Posted by roseblood11 View Post
"Death by Audio"... One of those overrated boutique builders again...
They are so overprized! The build quality of their early pedals was really terrible. The new ones look a bit better - comparable to the gutshots that many people post of their first DIY kit pedals at forums like freestompboxes.org or musikding.de. Any Biyang still looks better under the hood - and they use parts of the same or even better quality.

From what I undrstand from interviews (and from looking at the schematics...), the guys at Death by audio don't really know what they are doing. They take existing circuits, mod them, swap parts and change values and see what happens. Their pedals seem to be happy accidents. But on the other hand: Who cares how they do it, as long as the results are interesting? I don't. And there seem to be some interesting sounds in the Supersonic Fuzz Gun. I wouldn't call it a "21st century sound" as Edge does, it looks and sounds more like one of those fuzzes from the early 70ies, when some builders hadn't just realized that they couldn't simple replace germanium transistors with the then modern silicon ones (because most of them have much more gain/hfe...).
Actually, I think it sounds a bit as a misbiased Burns Buzzaround or s.th. similar. Maybe a well built version of Joe Gagans Skyripper Fuzz could cover that kind of sounds much better. But the Supersonic Fuzz Gun definitely has something interesting. I think I'll give it a try, it will be a good christmas present for a friend who plays a lot U2 stuff.

What I really wanted to say was: The pedal has been retraced at freestompboxes.org. Schematic is not yet verified, but that won't take long. freestompboxes.org • Login
A simple circuit, similar to fuzz face, tonebender etc, but with some strange values (and a strange orientation of the first and second transistor) to make it sound a bit ill - it definitely looks like a happy accident!
Should be a two-hour-built, parts will cost less than $15 including enclosure etc... First thing I'll add will be a good filtering for the supply voltage to be able to use a wal-wart (I guess the original only has a battery clip?). And I'm sure that it will fit in a smaller MXR style enclosure.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:08 AM   #5
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It seems that Death By Audio are discontinuing some versions of pedals, upgrading and re-releasing them. They've already discontinued, redesigned and re-released a few of them.

The Interstellar Overdrive Supreme (which Edge has) was later replaced by the Interstellar Overdrive Deluxe.

The Soundwave Breakdown (which Edge also has - He's got at least one of each of their pedals, per Dallas), has been redesigned and recently re-released with 3 knobs. For Soundwave Breakdown (version 2) DBA added a volume knob. (Previous version had in internal volume pot)

And today, I was looking at the Death By Audio site today and noticed that the Harmonic Transformer is no more.

Per the site: "WE ARE SORRY THIS PEDAL HAS BEEN DISCONTINNUED. STAY TUNED FOR A NEW VERSION OF THIS PEDAL COMING OUT LATER THIS YEAR!"

Will the new version be as good or better? Will The Edge use one? Only time can tell. So if you want the 'exact' Harmonic Transformer that The Edge has, you will have to get it on the used market.

Could be interesting.

I wonder if the DBA Supersonic Fuzz Gun and Harmonic Transformer pedals will continue in The Edge's arsenal or if they, like the Love Tone "Big Cheese" will turn out to be a one tour wonder.
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Old 05-21-2012, 04:30 PM   #6
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Could anyone tell me the models of the transistors of the Harmonic Transformer?
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockhound252 View Post
Could anyone tell me the models of the transistors of the Harmonic Transformer?
Wasn't it retraced at freestompboxes.org? If not, you should ask "Glass-Hero" via PM, he had his hands on a lot of the DbA pedals... My guess would be: Some stages with 2n3906 (used backwards) and some darlington at the end...
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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I've been listening the U22 and at the finishbof until the end of the world sounds the harmonic transformer. Could anyone tell me if i'm right?
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