(DE-250: dp. 1,20.0, 1. 306'; b. 36'7"; dr. 8'7"; s. 21 k.;
cpl 186; a. 3 3"; 2 dct., 8 dcp., 1 dcp. (h.h.); el. Edsall)
The second Hurst (D~250), a destroyer escort, was launched by Brown Shipbuilding Co., Houston, Tex., 14 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Jeanette Harris Hurst,widow; and commissioned 30 August 1943, Lt. Comdr. B. H. Brallier commanding.
Hurst departed Houston 3 September and after a short period of outfitting at Galveston sailed 12 September for shakedown training off Bermuda. After returuing briefiy to Charleston in November and screening a convoy to the Caribbean, Hurst arrived Norfolk, Va., 29 November 1943 to join Escort Division 20.
Assigned to the vital job of protecting ocean commeree from submarines, Hurst. departed Norfolk with her first convoy 14 December 1943, stopped at Casablanea, and returned to New York 24 January 1944. She then eondueted gunnery and antisubmarine warfare exercises in Casco Bay, Maine, before sailing with another convoy from Nevv York 23 February. Enemy action was not the only hazard on such voyages as two days out of New York merchant vessels igl Coston and ifurfreesboro collided and sank during a heavy gale, the survivors being taken on board one of the ever-ready escort. ships. Hurst reached Lisahally, Northern Ireland, 5 March 1944, and 1 week later returned to New York with another convoy.
Hurst made no less than 10 more escort voyages from Boston or New York to ports in Northern Ireland and Great Britain before returning to New York 11 June 1945. Tn this way she contributed mightily to winning the "Battle of the Atlantic". After her final voyage, the destroyer escort sailed with her divisiop for training in Chesapeake Bay and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Reassigned to the Pacific Fleet for these last months of the war, she transited the Panama Canal and arrived Pearl Harbor via San Diego 26 July 1945. There the ship took part in exercises with submarines and departed 27 August for the Samoan Islands. Arriving Pago Pago 25 September Hurst spent the next weeks steaming among the small outlying islands of the Samoan, Fiji, and Soeiety and other island groups, sending parties ashore to search for missing personnel and to investigate possible remaining enemy units. Completing this painstaking duty she departed Pago Pago 3 November 1945 and sailed for San Diego via Pearl Harbor. She arrived San Diego 23 Norember and sailed 2 days later for New York via the Panama Canal. Hurst entered New York harbor 10 December 1945, sailed to Green Cove Springs, Fla., and then decommissioned there 1 May 1946. She then entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet at Green Cove Springs. In January 1947 Hurst was transferred to Orange, Tex., where she remains.
What Happened to the Car Industry's Most Famous Flop?
A ny crossword puzzler knows there’s a five-letter word for a Ford that flopped: Edsel.
At the heart of any big flop–like when Ford ended the Edsel 55 years ago, on Nov. 19, 1959–lies high expectations. The Edsel was named after Henry Ford’s son, no small honor, and it had its own division of the company devoted to its creation. As TIME reported in 1957 when the car debuted, the company had spent 10 years and $250 million on planning one of its first brand-new cars in decades. The Edsel came in 18 models but, in order to reach its sales goals, it would have to do wildly better than any other car in 1957 was expected to do. The September day that the car first went on the market, thousands of eager buyers showed up at dealers, but before the year was over monthly sales had fallen by about a third.
When Ford announced that they were pulling the plug on the program, here’s how TIME explained what had gone wrong:
As it turned out, the Edsel was a classic case of the wrong car for the wrong market at the wrong time. It was also a prime example of the limitations of market research, with its “depth interviews” and “motivational” mumbo-jumbo. On the research, Ford had an airtight case for a new medium-priced car to compete with Chrysler’s Dodge and DeSoto, General Motors’ Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick. Studies showed that by 1965 half of all U.S. families would be in the $5,000-and-up bracket, would be buying more cars in the medium-priced field, which already had 60% of the market. Edsel could sell up to 400,000 cars a year.
After the decision was made in 1955, Ford ran more studies to make sure the new car had precisely the right “personality.” Research showed that Mercury buyers were generally young and hot-rod-inclined, while Pontiac, Dodge and Buick appealed to middle-aged people. Edsel was to strike a happy medium. As one researcher said, it would be “the smart car for the younger executive or professional family on its way up.” To get this image across, Ford even went to the trouble of putting out a 60-page memo on the procedural steps in the selection of an advertising agency, turned down 19 applicants before choosing Manhattan’s Foote, Cone & Belding. Total cost of research, design, tooling, expansion of production facilities: $250 million.
A Taste of Lemon. The flaw in all the research was that by 1957, when Edsel appeared, the bloom was gone from the medium-priced field, and a new boom was starting in the compact field, an area the Edsel research had overlooked completely.
Even so, the Edsel wasn’t a complete loss for Ford: the company was able to use production facilities build for Edsel for their next new line of, you guessed it, compact cards.
Read the full report here, in the TIME Vault:The $250 Million Flop
1966 Chevrolet Nova II SS L79 For Sale
1966 Chevy II Nova SS L 79 Matching Numbers 327 / 350hp L79 with 4 speed Muncie followed up by the 12 bolt rear. The real deal. Rebuilt drivetrain and restored body.
This is one beautiful, solid, and correct car. It wowed the judges at the 2007 Super Chevy show, and took Outstanding in its class!
Yes, on this documented original 70k mile real L79, the numbers in the stampings, tags, casting numbers, castings dates, etc all match up on the body cowl tag, title, VIN plate, engine, trans, and rear differential. See all of the below pics of the numbers and the decoding. I would be happy to walk anyone through these that are ready to buy the car. Decoding can be very confusing and time consuming.
This rare 1966 SS L79 is an example of the highest optioned Nova that was immediately turned into a dragstrip ready car from the dealer. Many of the L79’s were bought for this purpose. This is mostly a survivor of that time in history , but has been continually upgraded throughout time.
Before I get into the upgrades, let me tell you the basics about the car:
The paint is beautiful and fresh. Nice enough to win a serious award at The Super Chevy Show. The body is very straight as you look down the sides. If you put a magnet on the car you will see this is an all-metal car, not a bondo car at all. The chrome and trim are in great shape. There is no evidence of any rust bubbles in the paint anywhere. The body and paint are about as flawless as you can get in a car that has been out cruising some. A very nice car. You might notice the front hood trim and small rear quarter/bumper trim pieces are in the trunk. Holes can easily be drilled and these pieces installed by the new owner, but the old owner liked the car better without them.
Much of the interior is original. It is in great shape. Not much to say. The speedo works. All of the lights work. The 2-speed windshield wipers work, though I don’t think this car has seen dew or rain since it was restored. The turn signals work. It has the original push button stereo with the optional rear antenna. The original 4-speed center console is in great shape, as well as the Hurst Shifter. The whole interior is in really nice shape. The old Stewart Warner 4 gauge cluster is really cool and rare. The oil pressure is good and high even once the car is at operating temp. on a hot day at an idle. The water temp. has been holding at 180 degrees around town even on these 95 degree days. There is an auxiliary electric fan you can switch on to help, but I really haven’t needed to switch it on. The Steward Warner amp meter works and shows the system is charging well. The last gauge is an oil temp gauge, but I don’t think it is hooked up. The dash pad is in good shape, and the gauge cluster and gauges are in great shape. The gas gauge works, the high low beams work as does the dash indicator. There is also the factory clock in the cluster. The original seat belts work. The door locks work so you can lock up the car. There is a new cd / FM radio under the dash (thank God they didn’t cut the dash) that sounds great. The windows all roll up and down, the glass is all good, and the door glass also seals up well. There are new door window felts.
If you wanted an L79 that could serve as a reliable daily driver, this would be a great candidate. But, you might rather baby this investment between trips to the cruise in or strip. The L79 fires right up every time. There are no funny noises in the engine. The engine sounds great and feels incredible as you wind through the gears. I pulled the valve covers (see pictures) and by looking at the insides of the engine and outside it looks like the engine has very very few miles on it since a rebuild. The 4 speed Muncie M20 transmission shifts perfectly. The transmission appears to have been rebuilt probably the same time as the engine and restoration of the car. The driveshaft looks to be original as does the starter. The positraction 12 bolt rear provides solid power to the ground. It feels and sounds good as you spin the yoke and tires to check for any funny noises with the L79 on the lift. Under power, the 12 bolt posi performs flawlessly. Because of the updated suspension and power disc brakes, the L79 feels great in corners and at high speeds. It does cruise the highway at 65mph with the 3.73 rear gear, but you can tell you don’t have a highway cruiser 3.08 gear in it for sure.
Again see below for all the decoding and pictures of important stamping and castings.
I am going to list all of the upgrades and give you my best educated “guess” to the timeline of the upgrades on the car. Again, let me say this is my best guess from my experience and research.
The car was bought to be a street strip car, with the rare SS L79 option. With a little massaging these Chevy II L79 could run 13’s in the quarter almost stock. This was very fast for the time. This L79 was turned into a dragstrip burner in with the Dealer installed Hurst Shifter and 4 pack Stewart Warner gauges. The car also soon had headers installed and a larger carburetor and intake. Also, a high volume electric fuel pump was installed in the trunk with a fuel cell. The center of the trunk floor was cut out for the fuel cell, but in the recent restoration the small fuel cell was taken out, and the trunk floor welded up with a metal sheet. Then a new stock gas tank, with a working gauge, was installed with a newer electric fuel pump. The rear leaf springs gained another leaf and were also moved inboard about 2 inches to accommodate larger tires if so desired. Traction bars were also welded on. I have mentioned how well this old school 60’s system works. The rear tires plant and the car launched straight. It also drives nice a smooth around town and on the highway. Yes, this is the real deal o’s asphalt burner.
I am guessing in 1969 the original camel hump heads were replaced with upgraded 1969 186 camel hump 2.02 heads.
There is also a scaterproof bell housing and aluminum flywheel that was also added, as well as a driveshaft loop and cross brace. As well as a large capacity oil pan.
With the restoration, an MSD ignition with rev limiter and an MSD distributor was installed. Also the weld wheels and new tires, aluminum radiator, an electric fan as well as a manual flex fan. Also, there is new Flowmaster mufflers and aluminized exhaust behind the old vintage Hooker Headers.
The last owner just installed from Classic Performance ( CPP ) front and rear power disc brake kit with dropped spindles. He also just put on the CCP Mini Subframe,Part # 6267TCA-K, which eliminates the strut rod and adds a 2 pivot lower control arm system. This makes a huge difference in the handling. The suspension and brakes take the handling and driveability if this L79 to a new era. I do have the original drum brakes and front lower suspension if you want them.
LET ME PICK THE CAR APART: I don’t want you to buy the car unless I know for certain you will be happy with it, so let me tear this car to pieces. By far here are the worse things on the car that keep it from being a fresh $200,000 restoration. There is a tiny chip the size of the tip of a pencil under the driver’s headlight. There is a little touch up on one door in the clear coat about 1/4 of an inch size you probably wouldn’t know about unless you were told. The rear trunk on the driver side bottom sticks out a little bit. I think I could just bend it in no problem, but I hate to do that to such a nice paint job if it possibly cracked. I don’t think it would though. You buy it, I will try if you like. The center of the trunk floor was replaced nicely with a sheet of metal when the fuel cell came out, instead of a “correct floor” with indentations, etc.. I would leave it because it is a piece of it’s 60’s dragstrip history, but this could easily be put back to stock. That is about it. I would be happy to pick it apart more on the phone if you like. Like it was a $250,000 resto or a 2008 new car.
Here are some of my sources: www.novasource.org, www.5speeds.com, and other GM casting and number books.
W = Willow Run Michigan Plant
145222 = vin production sequence number, notice this is also on the engine block and rear.
1966 Nova SS L-79, 4 speed 327/350 hp with 4 speed and 12 bolt rear.
I have inspected the vin and cowl tags closely, and they both obviously have the original rivets holding them to the body, and have never been tampered with as often happens during restorations or “faking”. Check out the pictures.
COWL TAG: ( See below picture)
I will decode the tag for you, starting at top left and working across then down. You should also do your research, this is what I came up with. You should decode it yourself of course.
18 = Chevy II Nova SS, V8 engine
WRN = Willow Run, Michigan Plant
4224 is the tracking number through production, not to be confused with a vin sequence number in 1966.
TR 765 = black bucket seats
F – F PAINT = Marina Blue Paint, both Fs b/c it is a solid color, not two toned.
2L = 2 is tinted glass and L is 4 speed trans
Remember, there were only 3,547 L79 SS Novas ever produced!
ENGINE BLOCK: Here are the engine numbers with decoding
FO108ZI 145222, these are on the front block pad on the passenger side.
F = Flint, Michigan Engine Plant
ZI = 327 c.i., 350 horse power, L79 with manual trans
145222 = last 6 digits of the vin / vin sequence production number
362 = cast on the sides of the block underneath, these are the last 3 numbers of the block casting number which is on the driver side facing up on the rear of the engine. That number is 3791362 cast into the back of the block. It is very fun to get pictures of these rear numbers with the engine installed. This casting means it is a 62-67 327, you know what year it is by the next casting that is on the top back also, just on the passenger side.
6= 1966! So it is the correct block, dated correctly. ******This is very important******
The production date of the car is the end of January 1966,see above. For the car to be correct the engine casting date and the rear casting dates must be towards the beginning of January 1966. They both are. This rules out the possibilities of “faked” stampings. The great thing is that it all adds up on this car. Not many so called matching cars do with this close scrutiny.
TRANSMISSION: Here are the decoding numbers.
stamped 6W 145222 = last 6 digits of the vin. On the passenger side.
P09125A on the drivers side. This number is not supposed to relate to the dating of production and castings as the engine and rear do b/c the trans is made at the Muncie Plant. P= Muncie
3885010 cast on the pass side= a case for 1965-1967 1 inch bore 4 speed Muncie M20, M21, or M22
38575846M on pass. tailshaft =
3857584= 66-70 pass. side speedo, 27 spline
3852980N on the housing = 65-67 Nova
So this is a 1966 Nova rear produced a couple weeks before the production date of the car (on the cowl). Which matches it all up.
Individuals Who Never Made It Home
Request the Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF). The IDPF will almost always establish his unit and give information on his burial. In many cases, it will also give valuable information about where and when he died, possibly including reports of the action in which he died. For men whose remains were never recovered or identified, extremely valuable records of the testimonies of his buddies are usually included, giving extraordinary information about the action, what happened to him, and when they last saw him. NOTE: You must send a letter before any information can be sent out to you. The letter should include your signed statement of willingness to pay the Freedom of Information Act fees for the work involved. If you are requesting your relative's IDPF, they may not charge you.
Department of the Army
U.S. Army Human Resources Command
1600 Spearhead Division Avenue, Dept. 107
Fort Knox, Kentucky 40122-5504
If the deceased was buried overseas and you want information on a gravesite or possible memorial site, contact the American Battle Monuments Commission.
American Battle Monuments Commission
Courthouse Plaza II
2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 500
Arlington, VA 22201
Missing in Action
You can find a listing of dead and missing Army and Air Force personnel by county at The National Archives and Records Administration website.
Individuals Who Made It Home After the War
If the individual came home then his discharge papers will provide a lot of valuable information. If you do not have these papers you will want to contact the National Personnel Records Center To get this information you must fill out a Standard Form 180. To get a form, call the following numbers and leave your name and address. The Standard Form 180 will be mailed to you.
National Personnel Records Center
(Military Personnel Records)
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
On the Web
The National Personnel Records Center might not have any information about the individual due to a fire in 1973 that destroyed many records. If this is the case, you may try contacting the Department of Veteran Affairs. They have addresses and information on veterans who applied for benefits. To find out if they have any information on your veteran, call them at 800-827-1000.
If the Department of Veteran Affairs does not have any information you can try contacting the Veteran Affairs Insurance Center at 800-669-8477.
If you do not know the individual's Social Security number and they applied for veterans benefits after April of 1973 you can send a $2 check made payable to the Department of Veteran Affairs. In a letter to them, ask for the individual's VA claim number, not his Social Security number. If the claim number is nine digits, then it is also the individual's SS number. Mail this letter to:
Department of Veteran Affairs
Records Management Processing Center
P.O. Box 5020
St. Louis, MO 63115
Finding A Military Unit
Once you find the individual's information, or if you already knew it, you can contact members of their military unit. Many can be easily found with Internet research. From there you can contact the person in charge of the group to get further detailed information. This is the best way to get in contact with the soldiers who served with this person.
Hurst II DE-250 - History
1979 Suzuki year code: N
TS 250 N 1979
More: All Suzuki models
Came here from a search engine?
Elmhurst University traces its history back to 1871, when the German Evangelical Synod of the Northwest founded the Elmhurst Proseminary to prepare young men for theological seminary and to train teachers for parochial schools.
Fourteen students enrolled that first year. They studied music, mathematics, science, history, geography, religion, German and English—all disciplines that remain in the curriculum today—along with Latin and Greek. All courses, including English, were taught in German.
In 1924, the school formally took on the name Elmhurst College and began conferring the bachelor of arts degree. The first leader of the new four-year college was a 1912 alumnus, H. Richard Niebuhr, who went on to become one of the premier theologians of the 20th century.
Niebuhr, who envisioned Elmhurst as “an ever-widening circle,” undertook dramatic reforms. He built laboratories, hired a talented and progressive faculty, strengthened course offerings across the disciplines, and expanded library holdings.
Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel’s steeple is added during construction in 1959.
The circle continued to expand in the post-Niebuhr years.
Over the years, the University welcomed an extraordinary array of renowned speakers. In 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a standing-room-only crowd in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel.
Other speakers have included Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, writer Joyce Carol Oates, social activist Jesse Jackson and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Hurst II DE-250 - HistoryEdwin William Hurst was born on October 16, 1910. According to our records Nebraska was his home or enlistment state and Richardson County included within the archival record. We have Falls City listed as the city. He had enlisted in the United States Navy. Served during World War II. Hurst had the rank of Ensign. His military occupation or specialty was Pilot. Attached to USS Lexington (CV-2), VTB-2. During his service in World War II, Navy Ensign Hurst experienced a traumatic event which ultimately resulted in loss of life on June 9, 1942 . Recorded circumstances attributed to: Killed in Action, air crash. Incident location: Whemuapai, Aukland, New Zealand.
Edwin William Hurst was born in Falls City, Richardson County, Nebraska, the son of Edwin Knox Hurst and Edna Crook. His father died in 1941 and his mother in 1924. His family moved to Sioux Falls, Lincoln County, South Dakota when he was young and he graduated from Sioux Falls High School in 1928.
Edwin graduated from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1932. He was married to Marian Jeanette Harris and they lived in Coronado, San Diego County, California.
He was awarded the Navy Cross and two Distinguished Flying crosses in 1942 for actions during the Battle of the Coral Sea. Based from the USS Lexington, he attacked the Japanese carrier SHOHO, scoring hits which contributed to her sinking and the following day severely damaged the carrier SHOKAKU.
He later flew from New Zealand until his death on June 9, 1942 in a crash near Whemuapai Air Base in New Zealand. The destroyer escort USS Hurst (DE-250) was named in his honor.
On June 9, 1942 he was a passenger on the B-17E #41-2667 "Texas Tornado" during a transport flight from the airdrome at Whenuapai in Auckland, New Zealand to Laverton, Victoria, Australia. Their aircraft failed to gain altitude on takeoff and they crashed, with their cargo load of bombs detonating. The cause of the crash was never determined. There were no survivors.
William Randolph Hearst
William Randolph Hearst, the man who conceived Hearst Castle, was a media genius whose influence extended to publishing, politics, Hollywood, the art world and everyday American life. His power and vision allowed him to pursue one of the most ambitious architectural endeavors in American history, the result of which can be seen in magnificent grounds and structures of Hearst Castle.
Mr. Hearst was born on April 29, 1863, in San Francisco, California, as the only child of George and Phoebe Hearst. His father, a wealthy man as a result of relentless work and creativity in his various mining interests, allowed young William the opportunity to see and experience the world as few do.
At the age of ten Hearst toured Europe with his mother. Inspiration rose from the grandeur and scale of castles, art and history. This experience fueled Hearst’s life long aspiration to recreate this majesty for his own enjoyment. Back in the United States, Hearst was enrolled in St. Paul’s Preparatory School in Concord, New Hampshire at the age of 16. Hearst continued his education at Harvard where he showed the first signs of becoming a future publishing tycoon. At Harvard, he excelled in journalism and acted as the business manager of the Harvard Lampoon . His election to the “Hasty Pudding” theatrical group revealed his talent and interest in drama.
During his time at Harvard, his father George acquired the San Francisco Examiner as payment for a gambling debt. Soon after, the young Hearst pleaded with his father to turn over the paper to him. In 1887 the older Hearst relented and relinquished control to his ambitious son. Shortly after, William Randolph Hearst purchased another newspaper, the New York Journal, which would become the second in a long list of newspaper holdings that he acquired in the next decade of his life. At his peak he owned more than two dozen newspapers nationwide in fact, nearly one in four Americans got their news from a Hearst paper.
In 1903, Mr. Hearst married Millicent Willson in New York City. The couple had five sons together during their marriage: George, William Randolph Jr., John and twins Randolph and David.
Their honeymoon drive across the European continent inspired Mr. Hearst to launch his first magazine, Motor. Motor became the foundation for another publishing endeavor that is still known as Hearst Magazines.
Hearst’s interest in politics led him to election to the United States House of Representatives as a Congressman from New York in 1902. After reelection in 1904, he unsuccessfully pursued the New York Governorship in 1906.
In the 1920s he started one of the first print-media companies to enter radio broadcasting. Mr. Hearst was a major producer of movie newsreels with his company Hearst Metrotone News, and is widely credited with creating the comic strip syndication business. His King Features Syndicate today is the largest distributor of comics and text features in the world. In his career, William Hearst produced over 100 films including, “The Perils of Pauline,” “The Exploits of Elaine” and “The Mysteries of Myra.” In the 1940s he was an early pioneer of television.
In addition to his brilliant business endeavors, Mr. Hearst amassed a vast and impressive art collection that included American and European Old Master paintings and sculptures, tapestries, oriental rugs, Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities, silver, furniture and historic ceilings. Much of this collection found its home at Hearst Castle and five other sumptuous properties, while the remainder filled warehouses on both the East and West Coasts. Like many of his contemporaries, Hearst voraciously collected art and established a museum quality collection.
Throughout his life, Hearst dreamed of building a dwelling similar to those he had seen on his European tour as a boy. Hearst Castle was to become the realization of this dream as he and architect Julia Morgan collaborated for 28 years to construct a castle worthy of those he saw in Europe. During construction Hearst used the Castle as his primary residence, and it was here that he continually entertained the elite of Hollywood, politics and sports. Hearst left his San Simeon estate in 1947 to seek medical care unavailable in the remote location. While the Castle was never completely finished, it stands as the remarkable achievement of one man’s dream.
William Randolph Hearst died in Beverly Hills on August 14, 1951, at the age of 88. He was interred in the Hearst family mausoleum at the Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Colma, California. All of his sons followed their father into the media business and his namesake, William Randolph, Jr., became a Pulitzer Prize-winning Hearst newspaper reporter.
“Hearst Castle”, “Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument”, “La Cuesta Encantada”, and “The Enchanted Hill”
Hurst II DE-250 - History
This page is periodically updated to reflect new information. Do not reprint or repost without permission.
&bull1965 October - The MKI Tone Bender is advertised in Beat Instrumental in October 1965 and in the Expert Advice section of the October 1965 issue of Melody Maker mentions the Gary Hurst Tone Bender as a device to achieve a similar effect to the guitar sound on the Rolling Stones' Satisfaction. Note the name Sola Sounds Ltd is incorrectly printed as Solor Sound Ltd in the BI ad.
&bull1965 October - The patent for the Maestro Fuzz-Tone was granted to Gibson (design by Glenn Snoddy and Revis Hobbs) on Oct. 19, 1965, and becomes public knowledge (filed for on May 3, 1962). The patent is only for the USA, not international.
&bull1965 - Gary Hurst claims he brought the Beatles a couple of fuzz boxes, at the request of their road manager, and spent several hours with them at a theatre near Cambridge Circus (intersection of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road in central London) where they were rehearsing. Looking at the timeline, the fuzz boxes were likely the new MKI Tone Benders, but Gary claimed in 2010 that one was the two-transistor Tone Bender we now call the MK1.5 . Note that Vox/JMI engineer and Vox Distortion Booster designer Dick Denney also claimed that he personally gave the Beatles a Vox Tonebender prototype in early 1965.
It is possible both Dick Denney and Gary Hurst could have each given fuzz boxes to the Beatles, since they were both around them from time to time in their work capacity. There is some verification to the claims. Paul McCartney reportedly did use a Tone Bender in November 1965, is pictured using a MKI in late 1965, and is pictured with one in April 1966. It cannot be determined which model TB it is from the 1966 photo, but it is either a Vox or Sola Sound TB, in the MK1.5/MKII style case.
In trying to track down exactly where and when the Gary Hurst account occurred, I checked the dmbeatles.com website, which lists everything the Beatles did on practically every day of the year, but I did not find any rehearsal dates in London in 1965. It appears the Beatles were either touring, performing, recording at Abbey Road, or attending other events constantly. Most of the Beatles rehearsal time seems to have actually been in the recording studio. One would assume they did rehearse outside of the studio, and this part of London was the theatre district, with numerous places to rent as a rehearsal space.
&bull1965 - Pete Townshend uses the MKI Tone Bender on stage intermittently in 1965 and '66.
Jeff Beck with a MK I Tone Bender, 1965
&bull1965 - Jeff Beck uses a MKI Tone Bender with the Yardbirds on several occasions in 1965. Gary Hurst has stated Jeff was one of the early users of the wood boxed Tone Benders, and came into Macaris often. According to Gary, Jeff used to crush the wood boxes on stage, inspiring the sturdier, metal cased MKI version that came later. Jeff has mentioned a few times in interviews that he bought his first Strat in Macaris Musical Exchange.
Paul McCartney using a MKI Tone Bender during a pre-show rehearsal in 1965
&bull1965 November - Paul McCartney reportedly used a Tone Bender on Rubber Soul in 1965 for the song Think for Yourself. That song was recorded November 8th, 1965 (the Beatles Recording Sessions/Mark Lewishon). Some claim it was a MKI, others a Mk 1.5, and others a Vox Tone-Bender. There are no photos or documents to verify the model used in the studio, but Paul is pictured in a rehearsal photo in late 1965 with a MKI Tone Bender, likely the pedal used. Paul is also pictured with a Tone Bender a year later, in April 1966.
&bull1965 October-November - Vox Distortion Booster (V816), Treble Booster, and Bass Booster on market. Although lesser known, it was one of the first British fuzz pedals on the market, and its development actually seems to pre date the first Tone Bender, even though it became available a few months after the TB. In the Instrumental News section of the December '65 issue of Beat Instrumental, it states - "The new range of boosters from Jennings are now in the shops. The mike, treble and bass boosters have been in limited supply, and the distortion booster has only just come in to the shops because of a delay in production. Each of these input attachments costs 4 gns." Magazines typically were written and assembled several months before the actual news stand date, which means the actual date these were in stores was probably sometime around October-November, or earlier.
Brian May of Queen used the V816 circuit inside his Red Special guitar for a period of time in the early Queen: "I did have a distortion box in there, something called a Vox Distortion Booster. At one time I had it mounted inside the guitar because I thought I needed the extra fuzz and sustain, but this was before I had the AC30s. I had a variety of amps before. I think one of them was a Burns amp, but when I turned them up, they just distorted in a very unpleasant way." Queen bassist John Deacon also reportedly modified a one-transistor Vox Treble Booster for Brian May to use in front of his Vox AC-30 amp. Later Brian used a Rangemaster Treble Booster (various accounts say one or the other treble booster was used, or mix them)
The VDB was a small 2 transistor Silicon fuzz (though some early ones may have had Germanium transistors), in a thin rectangular shaped, chrome plated box that plugged straight into your amp. There was also a red coloured version. It had a built in plug and jack, and an on/off switch, similar to some American Electro-Harmonix plug-in pedals like the Muff Fuzz that would come a few years later. The chrome plated version used USA made transistors and capacitors on a perf board circuit. It was enclosed in a slightly different case than the red version, with slightly different graphics. The same chrome case was used for the Vox Bass Booster and treble-Bass Booster. There were three different versions of the VDB made later, with various enclosures and controls. There was a V830 Distortion Booster in stomp box form that came much later, but that is a different circuit.
The 2 transistor circuit topology appears to be a common design prior to this, similar to a shunt feedback amplifier, and common Mullard and GE textbook amplifier circuits from the 1950s. A nearly identical topology exists within a phono/tape amplifier circuit shown in a 1961 General Electric transistor manual from the US. A similar amplifier circuit appeared around 1963 in the Vox T60 amplifier input stage, indicating Vox had been using this simple circuit for several years prior to the VDB and MK1.5. Dick Denney designed the VDB with Silicon NPN transistors. Silicon transistors were already widely used in the US and less expensive than in the UK, as Denney had found from his recent visit to Thomas Organ Lab in California, just a few months earlier. It is rumored that the chrome cased VDB's were actually made for Vox in the US by a builder contracted by Thomas Organ in California.
&bull1966 February - The Vox Deluxe Distortion Booster on market. This was an updated deluxe version, this time plugging straight into the guitar, including a leather cable strap. The V8161 Deluxe Distortion Booster first appeared in a Vox price list from February 1966, and in the June 1966 Replacement Parts List. Factory schematics are dated June 1966 and April '67. This "T" plug version came in a chrome plated plug in enclosure like the first version, but with a volume control added, and the plug moved to the middle of the side, rather than the end. Exact same circuit later appears as the fuzz section of the Jen Double Sound Super Fuzz Wah, circa 1972.
&bull1966 February - The Tone Bender MK1.5 (so nicknamed by collector Dennis Johannsen, now adopted by the Tone Bender community) is documented to have been on the market around February 1966 to March 6th 1966 (related from an original owner's recollections, citing an event at the time purchased, which is documented to have occurred February-March 6th), purchased from a store bearing a Vox sign on Charing Cross Road. This would be the JMI/Vox shop. This MK1.5 is a two-transistor design, seemingly step backward from the three-transistor design of the MKI. However, the MK1.5 was a more stable and less expensive design than the MKI, which required some tweaking to make it sound right.
The enclosure is aluminum and appears to be sand cast, with a rougher surface and slightly different shape than the later MKII Tone Bender case, which appears to be cleanly die cast from a steel casting mold. It had no Sola Sound brand on the enclosure, nor any brand at all, even though Sola clearly manufactured it. There is a red painted or coated undercoating, with red on the inside of the case bottom plate as well. The hammerite coating was made in a gold colour, similar to the MKI colour, and silver. Some Sola Sound Tone Bender Professional MkII pedals exist with the Mk1.5 circuit, and same red undercoat as the 1.5, indicating the 1.5 did come before the MkII. There also appears to be an evolution of the circuit board between the MK1.5 version and MKII, as some MK1.5 circuits appear to have been modified after initial production to match the short circuit board version of the MKII. Some MkII Tone Benders circuits may have been made in MK1.5 cases.
In 2008 Dennis Johannsen explained the 1.5 nickname in a UK Stomboxes (D*A*M) forum posting: "The only reason I named that pedal Mk I.5 was because when I found mine it did not say Mk II on the case even though it looked like one and it seemed to sit timewise inbetween the Mk I and the Mk II. I got my Mk I.5 before I found my Mk I so I automaticly assumed that the Mk I was a two transistor pedal. I was very surprised when I finally got the chance to talk to Gary Hurst to learn that the Mk I had three transistors."
Gary Hurst claims to be the designer of this two-transistor Tone Bender, although there are no advertisements showing this version and naming him as designer that I know of, and there are contradictions to that claim and many doubters. Digging back to 2003 it is possible to find where Gary did state he designed a 2-transistor version long before the doubts arose, but going back to just a few years before that, he flaty stated there never was one. In 2008 collector Dennis Johannsen related on the UK Stomboxes (D*A*M) forum Gary's statements from around 2000 - "I have asked Gary Hurst about this and he claims that there never were two transistor circuit on a ToneBender as long as he was with Macaris. He claims that the Tonebender always had three transistors from the start, beginning with the wooden case ones, and that he never designed a two transistor circuit." Dennis elaborated in a 2010 post: "I was very surprised when I finally got the chance to talk to Gary Hurst (after I tracked him down in Italy about 10 years ago ) to learn that the Mk I had three transistors. His exact words were "The Tonebender always had three transistors". When I confronted him with pics of my two transistor Mk 1.5 he claimed that he did not know about such a pedal. And again when I interviewed him last year (2009) he again claimed that he could not remember a two transistor Tonebender but added that anything could have happened since they tried alot of different things in that period."
In the 2003 interview for Guitarre magazine, Gary talks about the chronology of different Tone Benders, beginning with the wood cased version, the MKI metal case version, on to the aluminum injection version, then makes this reference to the 2-transistor version: "We tried the circuit with two transistors when we worked out the wah-fuzz because it cost less and also because it did not need all that drive." That is the earliest reference to the MK1.5 circuit I have found from Gary, long before the resurgence in Tone Bender popularity, and before all of the criticism started about Gary having nothing to do with this version. Why, since Gary flatly stated there never was a 2-transistor Tone Bender just a few years earlier, did he reverse this shortly thereafter? It could simply be becasue Dennis alerted him to the fact that there was a 2-transistor version.
In Gary&rsquos four page &ldquoTone Bender Fuzz Unit Story as told by Gary Hurst&rdquo from around 2005, he lists all the versions except this one, adding to the confusion. His only mention of a 2 transistor TB at all in that story is in reference to the Italian Vox TB &ndash &ldquothey started building a terrible copy in Italy at one of their subsidiary companies. This model changed from a three transistor circuit to a 2 transistor circuit to lower the cost&rdquo. Note that Gary has also called the Vox Tone Bender and Arbiter Fuzz Face, 'cheap 2 transistor copies' of his MKII Tone Bender, but this simple MK1.5 circuit is essentially identical to those two circuits.
Why does it matter to some where this design originated? The 2-transistor topology of the MK1.5 is similar to the Dick Denney designed Vox Distortion Booster circuit, nearly identical to the Italian made Vox Tone Bender circuit, and the Arbiter Fuzz Face circuit. If you look at the Tone Bender MKII circuit design, it was simply an upgraded version of the MK1.5 circuit, with an additional transistor stage added as an input amplifier. When these contradictions appeared, some, including me, questioned if the MK1.5 design may have had its origin with Vox, as Denney has claimed to be the designer of the Italian Vox Tone Benders. There is much debate about this (see the Italian Vox Tone Bender entry), but these 2-transistor circuits are so simple, and variations of them had appeared in transistor manuals for many years prior to this, they were essentially generic amplifier designs. Us fuzz fanatics like to know 'who came first' and have every little detail gone over with a fine tooth comb however, so details like this often become obsessive to the point of being silly.
Around the 2009-2010 time period correct schematics of actual MK1 and MKII Tone Benders were available on various websites and forums, as well as the MK1.5, and its place in the timeline. From comments made in interviews, it seems Gary and the people who then owned the JMI brand (the Harrisons/Music Ground) and were making their own Tone Bender replicas, had read about the MK1.5 controversy over his previous statements. When promoting the JMI Tone Benders in interviews and videos Gary returned to including the MK1.5.
In 2009 Gary stated: "When I was building the first ones (MKI) they changed from box to box. I could only put them in what I could find on the day I was buying the components. I changed the circuit when we went with the cast housings, because it had been a bit unstable before then and every box had to be tuned-up to get it right." In 2009 he stated he could not remember a 2-transistor version, but then in a 2010 interview he stated his reasoning for the 2-transistor version was that he was looking for a more stable circuit than the three-transistor MKI. Gary also claimed in 2010 that he gave the Beatles a two-transistor Tone Bender in early 1965. In a 2012 interview Gary was listing the evolution of the circuit and stated: "Well it wasn't actually the Mark II Tone Bender, it was the Mark I Tone Bender. The Mark I Tone Bender was the three transistor one. When I moved on into the cast design, in the gray cast type pedal, and it was two transistors. That lasted for a short time, then everybody wanted longer and longer sustain, so I built another transistor on the front end, and I called it the Mark II Tone Bender, the Professional Mark II." A few times when Gary has claimed he was involved in the MK1.5 design, he used the term "we", so possibly others at Macaris/Sola Sound may have been involved in the design, or he is just referring to the company as a whole. &ldquoThen we moved on to the Mark I, well, they call it the mark 1 and ½, but we never called it the Mark 1 and 1 ½. It was basically a new design circuit with two transistors. Then it was moved on to the three transistor version which was called the Professional Mk II&rdquo.
My take on the contradictions is that it is not possible to now remember a minor detail like this from over 30 years in the past, especially from the '60's! Perhaps it was based on a Dick Denney Vox circuit layout, but perhaps not. Perhaps Gary designed it. Perhaps not.
&bull1966 March - The Yardbirds perform on Ready Steady Go. Jeff Beck uses a MKI Tone Bender.
&bull1966 - Guitarist Mick Ronson uses the MKI Tone Bender circa 1966 with The Rats, and it becomes his main fuzz box. He later uses it in David Bowie's band The Hype and the Spiders from Mars band. Here is a quote by Mick from a 1973 Melody Maker article: "I use a Cry Baby wah-wah pedal and an American Tonebender which used to belong to Pete Townsend. He sold it to someone else about seven years ago and I bought it for L5. It is the only one of its kind I have ever seen." Presumably Mick thought the MKI was American pedal since it resembled the wedge shaped American Maestro Fuzz-tone, but what he was actually photographed using on stage was a Gary Hurst/Sola Sound MKI Tone Bender.
&bull1966 - The Arbiter Electronics manufacturing/distribution company was formed in 1966 by Ivor Arbiter.
&bull1966 late - Rangemaster Fuzzbug on market. Made by Sola Sound for the Dallas Rangemaster line (pre Dallas-Arbiter), sold in Macaris at same time as MK1.5 and MK II Tone Benders, and using the same circuits.
&bull1966 April - Paul McCartney is pictured with a Tone Bender sitting on top of his Bassman amp head in the April 1966 rehearsals for the Paperback Writer/Revolver sessions. It is in the same style enclosure used for the MkI.5, MKII and the Sola made Vox MkII Tone Benders. Since there is no evidence the Sola MkII was on the market prior to November, and the pedal pictured has chicken head knobs, this is likely a two-transistor MK1.5. Gary Hurst claimed in 2010 that he gave the Beatles a two-transistor Tone Bender, and Vox Engineer Dick Denney also claims he gave the Beatles a prototype Vox Tone Bender, which was also a two-transistor circuit similar to the MK1.5. The pedal pictured could be either one. John Lennon was also pictured with a fuzz box during these sessions, the Wem Pep Box Rush.
&bull1966 June - Jimmy Page joins the Yardbirds playing bass. He would later share guitar duties with Jeff Beck for live gigs.
Jimmy Page on bass (left) and Jeff Beck playing lead guitar in the Yardbirds, June 1966
&bull1966 June - Jeff Beck is photographed duri ng rehearsal with a Tone Bender in the MKII style case, positioned in front of a Vox amp, for the Provins Rock Festival, France, on June 27th, 1966. Jimmy Page is still paying bass in the Yardbirds at this point.
&bull1966 (mid to late &rsquo66) - Sola Sound Tone Bender Professional MKII in production. An old Musical Exchange/Sola Sound statement scanned by Anthony Macari indicates the MKII was shipping in November 1966, but it was likely on the market at the same times as the Vox version listed below. The enclosure was very similar to the Mk1.5 sand cast box, but this was a slightly different and cleaner surfaced die cast box for the MKII.
The new three-transistor MKII circuit was based on the two-transistor MK1.5 design, but Gary added a new input amplifier, making a more stable design that was easier to manufacture, and retaining the extended sustain. The same circuit was also used to upgrade the Rangemaster Fuzzbug made by Sola Sound. Some Professional MKII's were sold with the VOX brand. New art was silk screened over the old art to cover the Sola Sound text with a black bar, and add the word VOX to the left of MKII.
&bull1966 (mid to late &rsquo66) - Vox Tone Bender Professional MkII (V828) on the market. A re branded Sola Sound Tone Bender Professional MkII made for Vox. Gary Hurst explained this in 2009: "What actually happened was that Larry was very friendly with the Vox people and they wanted one, so we built them a Vox version. The very first ones were the same as ours". Those very first ones were simply the Sola Sound Professional MKII's with new art silk screened over the old art to cover the SOLA SOUND (LONDON) LTD text with a black bar, added the word VOX to the left of MKII, and changed the knobs. Otherwise, they were identical to the Sola MKII.
It could have been available as early as April 1966 (based on April pot dates, but likely many months after those dates), and has also been said to have been on market in late 1966 when the Sola Sound version was advertised. It is listed in the Thomas/Vox 1966 price list. It is also listed in accessories section of a Vox 1967 catalog, and the factory schematic for the Vox Tone Bender is dated May 1967. Some documentation (according to Dennis Johannsen) indicates Vox bought two production runs of 100 pedals each from Macaris. The first 100 have are identical to the Sola Sound MKII Tone bender, but the word VOX was added to the screen printing, and a black bar was printed over SOLA SOUND, indicating the Vox version was made after the original 1966 Sola Sound MKII Tone Benders had already been in production, with extra screen printing added to cover the Sola logo. The second 100 have a different silk screen, with a line box around the graphics, and more prominent VOX logo.
Jimmy Page playing lead guitar in place of Jeff Beck in a Yardbirds gig in California, August 1966
&bull1966 August - Jimmy Page is photographed with the Yardbirds using what appears to be a Maestro Fuzz-Tone on August 23rd 1966 on Catalina Island, California. Jimmy is playing Jeff Beck's Les Paul, so this was likely one of the many shows that Jeff did not show up for. Since Jimmy was not a fan of the Maestro Fuzz-tone, and he owned a Mayer fuzz box that he thought was superior back in England, the Maestro shown here may belong to Beck, or it may have just have been part on the rented gear for the gig. The Yardbirds could not afford to bring all of their gear on these tour dates, so amplifiers, and possibly other gear, were rented for each venue. It is odd that Page is using Beck's guitar, but not the Tone Bender shown behind Beck from a few months earlier in France. Perhaps Jeff did not bring it to America with him.
&bull1966 late - Marshall Supa Fuzz on market. Made by Sola Sound in London. Designed for Marshall by Gary Hurst (according to Gary) while he was still working in the Macaris/Vox shop, and based on his Tone Bender MKI circuit with a modified tone circuit to give the Marshall version a different sound. The knobs were closer together on the first version. Only a few of these early versions have ever surfaced, so they were likely only made for a short time, and some may be prototypes or from a short test run. The circuit was similar to the MKI Tone Bender circuit, with three OC75 germanium transistors. The fuzz was internally fixed at maximum. In place of the fuzz knob was a tone control labeled "filter". In later production the circuit inside was changed to a modified Tone Bender MkII circuit with an extra limiting resistor and the regular fuzz control, however the fuzz control knob remained labeled as filter.
The enclosure mold style used was from an Olivetti adding machine that Gary Hurst spotted in Italy. Jeff beck has been seen using them from 1966-1968, both the closer knob version and the wider spaced knob version. Around 1968 the Supa Fuzz got a slightly different enclosure with rounded corners. Sola Sound of London made many of these for Marshall, offering several case colours. According to Gary Hurst, Sola occasionally used outside contractors to make up circuits. Around 1972-73 the enclosure was revised to include raised letters on the face, and Marshall took over production sometime after this. Marshall may have taken over production around '68-69, around the time the second enclosure came into use. The SF was mentioned in the February '67 issue of Beat Instrumental, advertised in the May '67 issue (the Olivtetti boxed version is pictured with the close together knobs), and shown in both the 1967 and 1968 Marshall catalogs.
Jeff Beck smashing a guitar, Towshend style, with a 1966 Marshall Super Fuzz in front of his amplifier
&bull1966 September - The Yardbirds are filmed for a scene in the Michelangelo Antonioni film Blow Up . The Who and Steve Howe's band Tomorrow had declined invitations to appear, so the Yardbirds were the third choice. Jeff Beck was asked to smash his guitar into an amp like Pete Townshend, which he did. When Beck is stomping his foot on the guitar, a Marshall Supa Fuzz can be seen on the floor in front of his speaker cabinet.
Jimmy Page using a Tone Bender, late 1966 or early 1967
&bull1966 December or February 1967 - Jimmy Page plays guitar for the Brian Jones soundtrack to the film A Degree of Murder . Session photos show he used a Tone Bender in the MKII style case. Jimmy Page's website shows a September 5, 1966 date for his session, but dates he and Brian were both available in London seem only fit into a period in December '66 or before February 12th, '67. This appears to be the first photographic evidence of Jimmy using a Tone Bender, however there was one visible on the Yardbirds stage in Paris, June 1966, behind Jeff Beck.
&bull1966 October - Jeff Beck is fired, or quits the Yardbirds while on tour in Texas. Jimmy Page takes over as lead guitarist.
&bull1966 November - An advertisement for the Tone Bender MKII Professional from 1966 promoting Gary Hurst as the designer. The ad states this version was only "previously custom built and supplied to Britain's top artists. but now available to you", explaining the "Professional" branding. Musical Exchange/Sola Sound addresses listed on ad: 22 Denmark St, London W.C.2. / 155 Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware, Middlesex / 46b Ealing Road, Wembley, Middlesex. Note, as on the MKI Tone bender ads from 1965, there is no 100 Charing Cross Road address listed, indicating that address was still in business as the Vox shop at this time, not Macaris Musical Exchange.
&bull1966 November - A consortium is formed between JMI and Thomas Organ with the Italian guitar manufacturer EKO . Named Elettronica Musicale Europe (EME) , the new company is to manufacture guitars and organs for the U.S. and other markets.
&bull1966 December - A Professional MKII Tone Bender was sent to Jimmy Page by Macaris Musical Exchange in December 1966, free of charge (recorded on an old Musical Exchange/Sola Sound statement discovered by Anthony Macari - thanks Ant!). This was most ikely the gold Tonebender he was seen using in 1967, shown above. Macaris had an arrangement with Page to supply him with any of their latest products that he may require in return for use of his name in their advertising.
Based on some rare surviving examples, various versions of the Tonebender circuit have been found inside the silver or gold colored Sola Sound cast metal enclosure. Those early Supa Fuzz circuits, the MK1.5, and the MKIIs were all being made around the same time in late 1965. So which version of the circuit was inside Jimmy's gold MK II Tonebender case? No one knows, but the gated 'bloom' of Pages Tone Bender seems more extreme on some of his Yardbirds tracks than a typical MK1.5 or MKII. I think it has the extremely rare early Supa Fuzz version of the circuit, which was a modified MKI circuit with the gain fixed at maximum and a filter control.
&bull1966 - Buzz-Around by Baldwin-Burns Limited on market. Very rare three knob, three transistor fuzz similar to the Sola Sound Tone Bender MkII/Vox Tone Bender MKIII/Italian Elka Dizzy Tone circuit. Sold in the UK, but likely Baldwin/Burns Guitars had the manufacturing outsourced, possibly to another country. This was one of the first British fuzz pedals with a tone knob (labeled timbre, with treble on left, bass on right). According to the November 1966 issue of Beat Instrumental, this was a new version of the original two-knob Buzz-Around, which was likely made in 1965, before Baldwin bought Burns: "A new Baldwin-Burns fuzz box has been introduced. It is a fresh version of the existing Buzz-Around and incorporates a special sustain effect. It is available now at a cost of 10 guineas.". Robert Fripp states it was discontinued in 1968. Gary Hurst claims he did not design this, but he did supervise the Buzzaround reissue prototypes for Burns in 2009, which were built into the incorrect Elka Dizzy Tone shaped enclosures.
&bull1966 - Zonk Machine pedal by JHS (John Hornby Skewes) of Leeds England, a clone of the Tone Bender MK1 circuit. Possibly on the market as early as 1965.
&bull1966 - Rotosound Fuzz Box , an OEM label version made for Rotosound by Sola Sound of London. Identical to the Tone Bender Professional Mark II.
&bull1966 late - Arbiter Fuzz Face on market, from Ivor Arbiter's Arbiter Electronics manufacturing/distribution company. Arbiter owned three stores in London, one of which was called Sound City. The Fuzz Face, said to have been available in late 1966 (September-November according to one source), was Arbiter's entry into the fuzz box market. Jimi Hendrix was one early users, as was Leigh Stephens of Blue Cheer. Jimi made awesome sounds with his Fuzz Face using a Strat and a Marshall amp, and even though it was only one tool in his tone arsenal, he was heavily associated with it. Due to the association with Hendrix, the Fuzz Face became one of the most popular and legendary fuzz pedals in the history of fuzz. Hendrix was first seen using one in the second week of November 1966 in Munich, Germany. That places it on the market around a year after the Vox Distortion Booster and well after the 2-transistor Tone Bender. However, many people later came to believe that the Fuzz Face was actually the first commercial fuzz box on the market in the UK, which is not correct at all. It was essentially a knockoff of an existing product, housed in an odd, but oddly appealing enclosure.
The two-transistor circuit is nearly identical to the Mk1.5 Tone Bender and uses a similar circuit pathway to the Vox Distortion Booster. Component values are closer to the MK1.5, so it was likely copied from that circuit. One clue that the FF was copied from the MK1.5 Tone Bender was the fact that the instruction sheet for the FF states it is a "battery powered tone-bending unit". That could have been a reference to the Mark I, but it indicates Tone Bender was on someone's mind at Arbiter. Early black and gray units were branded "Arbiter England". In 1969(?) the branding changed to "Dallas&bullArbiter&bullEngland" when Arbiter was sold to John E. Dallas & Sons. Around 1972 the transistors changed from Ge to Si (some sources state this happened around '69).
The earliest Sound City catalog this appeared in was 1967. The idea for the round enclosure shape came to Ivor Arbiter from looking at a microphone stand. The knobs for eyes, name label as the smiling mouth, and footswitch for a nose was an oddly appealing gimmick that worked magic on people. Some sources state that Sound City amplifiers and Arbiter effect pedals were made in the back of the Sound City building. Dave Reeves made Hiwatt amps branded and sold to Arbiter as Sound City amps for a short while, circa 1966, as well as branding them for the Macaris Sola Sound brand, so he may have also been involved in the building. There are other reports of Ivor outsourcing his house branded products, so it is unclear if the effect pedals were made in house or outsourced by Arbiter.
When Ivor Arbiter brought the Arbiter England Fuzz Face reissues out in 1999 it was stated that Denis Cornell was one of the original engineers and builders of the Fuzz Face in the marketing materials, giving credence in some people's minds to the idea that the Fuzz Face originated as a Vox design. "In an attempt to recapture the pre-Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face sound, Ivor Arbiter recently reissued his original mid-&rsquo60s Fuzz Face. From the mic-stand casting to the smile that reads &ldquoArbiter/England&rdquo to the PNP Germanium transistors &ndash Arbiter&rsquos reissue is the closest-sounding/looking pedal to the real deal. After all, it&rsquos made by the same company that started the Fuzz Face craze of the &rsquo60s. Re-creating the pedal meant including Denis Cornell, one of the original engineers, and locating original components."
The short lived Cornell Fuzz Face, and the reboxed 1st Fuzz version
Denis is somewhat legendary, having worked on designing and building Sound City amps in the 1960's (he co-designed their Mk III / IV amps along with senior development engineer, Brian Hucker) when he was an amp designer for Dallas Musical Instruments and Dallas Arbiter, carrying on work started by legendary Hiwatt designer Dave Reeves. He later worked with with Tom Jennings on the line of Vox amps after Dallas Arbiter bought Vox, reworking the Vox AC-30, among other products. He returned to Arbiter in the 1980's when it became CBS Arbiter, consulted for Fender, and later created his own design business, DC Developments, and Cornell amplification. After Ivor Arbiter died in 2005 Denis made and sold his own Fuzz Face replica, housed in the same style enclosure, branded Cornell:England. Jim Dunlop had bought the rights to the Fuzz Face name from the Arbiter estate by then, so Denis had to change to a different enclosure and change the name of his Fuzz Face to 1st Fuzz.
Jimi Hendrix was the poster boy for this fuzz pedal, making it hugely popular. He was first seen using one in the second week of November 1966 in Munich, Germany, where fans got into the sounds so much they pulled him off stage, breaking his guitar neck. This prompted Jimmy to smash the rest of the guitar on stage for the first time. Jimi first recorded with a Fuzz Face on November 24, 1966, for the Love Or Confusion sessions.
&bull1966-67 - Arbiter Treble & Bass Face on market. This was a treble-bass boost circuit from Arbiter. All enclosures are marked Arbiter England, indicating these were all made prior to the Dallas & Sons purchase (circa 1969). The first enclosure was the same as the 1966 wide brow Fuzz Face enclosure, though some have been seen in the later short brow enclosures.The T & B Face appears with the Fuzz Face in a 1967 ad and in the MK III 1968 Dallas Arbiter/Sound City catalog, but not in the MK IV or later catalogs.
&bull1966-67 - VOX ceases its retail store operations. Vox reportedly grants Macaris Musical Exchange exclusive rights to sell all Vox gear in London.
Macaris Musical Exchange 102/100 Charing Cross Road shop
&bull1967 early - Macaris Musical Exchange moves into the former Jennings Musical Industries/Vox store at 100 Charing Cross Road around 1967, probably early in the year .Vox supposedly had already moved out from 100 Charing when the Macaris took over. It appears there was a long transition period from the Vox shop into the Macaris Musical Exchange. Some accounts say the Macaris bought the Vox shop 100 Charing property from Tom Jennings in 1967 when Vox stopped all retail storefront business. The 1967 date is reinforced by the MK1 and MKII Tone Bender ads from 1965/1966, which do not include a 100 or 102 Charing Cross Road address for Macaris.
&bull1967 - Engineer Dick Denney leaves JMI/Vox to pursue a career as an independent designer and consultant.
&bull1967 March - The Yardbirds with Jimmy Page start session work on their fourth album, Little Games. Recording takes place from March through May at Olympic Studios and De Lane Lea Studios, London. John Paul Jones plays bass guitar on many of the songs. Some of Page's lead and solo tones on these recordings may have been created by amplifier distortion, but most of it has the unmistakable distortion tone of a Ton Bender MKII or the Marhsall Supa Fuzz version of the Tonebender, both of which the Yardbirds had been seen with up to this point. He would use this same 'Page fuzz' tone throughout 1967 and 1968.
&bull1967 March - The Yardbirds perform on the German television show Beat Beat Beat on March 15th. Jimmy Page's Tone Bender can be heard being used for the guitar solos.
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Kit&rsquos Secret Guitar, Gear, and Music Page
Building a vintage dual caliper Hurst Airheart brake unit – by Jeff Campbell
After doing a little research in my “Vintage Karting Library”, I found several advertisements in early to mid 1960’s magazines for the H/A brake units and brackets, they sold a single and dual caliper unit. FYI – no, H/A does not have any NOS brackets lying around (I already contacted them!). Luckily all the H/A brake 150 series brake components are still made today, we just need to fabricate a bracket.
Find “down lever” master cylinder, or buy the “down lever” (p/n AH3115-1021) and install on a readily available “up lever” unit (that is what I did). I purchased down-levers from Hurst Airheart http://www.airheart-brakes.com, 763-478-8000, you will have to call them to order the down levers.
Print out the bracket file (download one of the Acrobat pdf files below, which, and “print to scale” as a template) if you have software to print DXF files, use the printout as a template, as I have. Using rubber adhesive, glue template to plate stock. Notice that the master cylinder mounting holes are dropped 1/2″ below the center line of the plate, all indications I have are that these holes were right on the centerline in the original H/A design. The 1/2″ drop allows for better alignment of the brake pedal rod on karts where a drum brake unit is being replaced by this H/A unit.
My first instinct starting this project was to have the bracket milled out on a milling machine. Then I thought hey, why not try doing this using some common shop tools, my “made in China” bandsaw and drill press.
Now, time to drill some holes, plan is to start with a small bit and work on up. OK, what is that burning smell? Looks like the motor capacitor on my $39 China drill press just got cooked…..looks like I’ll be taking a break here….. more later!
“Borrowed” a capacitor off another “made in China” power tool motor and finished drilling those holes. Caliper mounting holes were sized at 0.375″ (3/8″) and all other holes were drilled to 0.313″ (5/16″). Positioning the holes accurately is very important, use a little finess on the drill press to perfectly center each hole to the pattern. Take a big drill bit 1/2″ or larger, hit each end of each hole to put a nice break on each hole entry. Next drill an entry hole and jigsaw out the big center axle clearance hole. (yea, I know, you guys with milling machines are shaking your heads)
/>Peel off the template, still a lot of hand finish work to be done on all the saw cut edges, more on that later.
Before investing any more time in finishing the bracket, make sure all the parts mount correctly, slip some bolts through and have a look, this one came out perfect!
After spending about an hour working with a hand file, wheel grinder and 100 grit sandpaper, the cut edges finished up rather nicely (Note: using the side of a grinding wheel to grind long flat edges is dangerous, but so is driving a kart!). In the above photo is a nice quality low priced model CF4 1/4″ heim joint I purchased online from Stock Car Products this will be used for attaching the kart brake rod to the master cylinders. Now, for my old 1961 Fox kart, I have to build a 1″ thick spacer plate, about 5 1/2″ x 2 1/2″, to move the brake unit out far enough to clear the left hand engine mount and left hand engine fan shroud. Also, I will be making a new shorter stainless steel 1/4″ brake rod, the existing one could be cut off, but I want to preserve it.
Took a trip to local NAPA store, they build custom hydraulic hoses. I looked for fittings and hose that looked like the original Hurst Airheart advertisement.The guy working there wanted me to buy the latest stainless steel teflon lined hose with fancy couplings. I told him, “no, I want to buy that junky old black hose and use 1/8 NPT fittings.” I think the hose I picked was a little larger in diameter than was originally used, but was all they had at NAPA. I bought 3 1/2 feet of hose and the loose fittings, then headed back home.
So, the idea is to mount the brake on the kart, then test fit the hoses, cutting the hose to the desired length. Now, it’s time to head back to NAPA and have the hose fittings crimped on with their hydraulic crimper. Also, need my 4 foot long 1/4″ stainless steel rod to show up, for making a new brake rod. The spacer plates I made can bee seen in above photo, between brake bracket and kart bearing hanger, the spacers total 1 inch thick, and move the brake disk out to clear the motor mounting plate on my 1961 Fox Kart..
Had NAPA crimp my hoses. I picked up some nylon spacers and a clevis pin at local hardware store and used them to attach the heim joint to the master cylinder down levers. For the 3/16″ thick brake disk I used, I did have to install shims in the calipers, which I just made myself from 0060″ aluminum stock, I put a pair of shims in each caliper to accomodate those new pucks. One fine point to pay attention to, these calipers mount on the anvil castings of the caliper, it might require some machining to make that anvil mount surface parallel to the puck surfaces also, the two anvil castings must be matched in height, take this all into account when machining/surfacing the anvils. For my anvils, I used a surface plate and sand paper to match them up, took a little time and checking, but worked fine. After bleeding the brake systems, I headed out to the East Lansing kart track (Lansing, MI). Fired up the dual MC20’s, took her out on the track, after a few careful laps, I then leaned out the motors and put my foot into, going way deep into the turns, the brake was AWESOME, great stopping power
Safety Notice: Safety wire/pin all fasterners, the master cylinder lever roll pin, and the brake rod clevis pin. There will be a future article on drilling fasteners for cotter pins, and other safety wiring ideas.
Make your own brake brackets
Click links below to download Acrobat bracket dimensioned drawings dual caliper or single caliper , GEM G1851 dual caliper.
Disclaimer: These projects are suggestions and/or educational information. Use any of the ideas, comments, drawings, photos and information on this page at your own risk. Follow your power tool manufacturer’s safety guidelines also. Karting is a fun sport, but not without inherent danger, make sure you play responsibly and safe
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