The Valco BloodBuzz is our modern tribute to the legendary Lovetone Cheese Source™ pedal but with some modern tweaks to improve the overall EQ and expand its versatility. Those familiar with the original will feel at home instantly, those not familiar can now discover it for themselves without taking out a bank loan.
The BloodBuzz can be seen as TWO completely separate FX pedals housed together in ONE enclosure. Due to the input/output options, the BloodBuzz can be configured in ANY way you want. Fuzz into Drive. Drive into Fuzz. Fuzz out to your Wah, back into Drive. All simple to achieve.
The FUZZ Section
Along with the Fuzz, Tone and Volume controls, a 4-Way Voice Switch enables the BloodBuzz to cover a huge array of fuzz textures. Although most famous for the gnarly/gated sound of Voice 3, the other voices offer their own unique and highly-usable fuzz tones too.
Experimentation with instruments volume and tone knobs will reveal the BloodBuzz is highly sensitive to the slightest change. Not only does the fuzz clean up quickly, it contains some of its sweetest tones with your volume between 2 and 6.
FUZZ - controls the amount of Fuzz.
TONE - controls the tonal voicing. Tone is modified by the 4‐position rotary switch, bypassed completely when Voice is set to OFF).
LEVEL - controls the overall output volume of the BloodBuzz Fuzz section. Increased output headroom so you’ll never go unheard!
OFF- 'Tone Bypass’. Acts as a ‘2 Knob’ fuzz, using FUZZ and LEVEL controls only.
1- ‘Mid Scoop’. Introduces a 1Khz EQ dip, giving a ‘Muff’ style fuzz.
2- ‘3 Knob Mode’. A more neutral EQ curve with increased mid focus. Great for both rhythm and lead fuzz tones.
3- ‘Gated’. Using the same EQ circuit as Voice 2, Voice 3 configures the fuzz section to enter deep bias saturation with the introduction of an extra input drive stage. The more you drive, the more gnarly and gated the sound becomes. The classic Cheese sound.
The DRIVE Section
The BloodBuzz Drive works from being an ultra-transparent boost/OD through to a full saturation singing OD/Distortion, with some of the most useful tone-shaping options you will find on ANY Overdrive pedal.
The ‘secret sauce’ in the DRIVE section is in the VOICE controls in conjunction with the TONE control. Between them it is possible to sculpt your tone however you need to… clean up Humbuckers, fatten up Single-Coils, clean boost, full drive, however you want it, it’s there. It also interacts with the FUZZ section like a 60s psych dream, allowing you to create the sounds you hear.
DRIVE: Adjusts the amount of input gain (boost) before the overdrive and tone sections.
TONE: Adjusts the audio tone, with clockwise being more “trebly”. Tone effect is modified by the four position rotary switch. In Voice 2 and 3 modes, bass frequencies are reduced as the tone control is turned clockwise.
LEVEL: Adjusts the output level of the drive section from zero to full.
OFF- 'Tone Bypass’. DRIVE and LEVEL controls only.
1- Introduces the TONE circuit
2- As Voice 1 with the introduction of a Shelving EQ to roll off bass end.
3- As Voice 2 with a higher frequency shift to increase the bass roll off.
Power: The BloodBuzz can be powered by a standard 9V center‐negative AC adaptor or internal 9V battery.
The BloodBuzz FUZZ section input is buffered by a low‐noise JFET op‐amp, with characteristics similar to a vacuum tube amp input. A variable bias dual‐transistor amplifier stage provides the variable drive function (VOICE 3). A silicon bipolar transistor is used in a unique common‐base mode together with a silicon diode to create a warm and complex distortion generating element. The standard tone control circuit is post‐distortion for full effect on the rich harmonic palette. The final output stage uses another JFET op‐amp to provide an additional fixed boost of 9 dB.
A four‐position rotary switch provides a wide range of audio options by switching signal paths and tone shaping components with effects as described in the “Controls” section above.
The DRIVE section has a transistor emitter‐follower at its input. A variable feedback JFET op‐amp drive section provides up to 40 dB of gain with symmetric clipping. When driven hard, this can provide a classic distortion function. The tone section provides a wide range of tone curve settings using a rotary potentiometer and four position selector switch. The output stage uses a low‐noise JFET op‐amp to provide 12 dB of clean signal boost, superior to typical boost pedals.
The FUZZ and DRIVE sections are completely independent and can be used singly or in tandem. Each has its own input and output jack. By default, the FUZZ comes before the DRIVE, with the internal bypass within the “DRIVE IN” jack feeding FUZZ output into DRIVE input without need of an external patch cable. You can place the DRIVE ahead of the FUZZ by plugging the input signal into the “DRIVE IN” jack, connecting a patch cable from “OUTPUT” to “INPUT”, and taking the output from the “FUZZ OUT” jack. Using all four jacks, you can patch the two effects independently into any positions you wish within your pedalboard.
The analog circuitry includes a fully regulated analog ground for maximum immunity form hum, power supply variations and battery ageing.
All active components are surface mounted. PCBs and ribbon are cables used throughout. No unreliable point‐to point wiring. Lead and cadmium free construction (RoHS).
To install or replace 9V battery (not included), grab one of the footswitches and use it to lift the top cover of the pedal case up and swing it back. Snap the battery clip onto the battery terminals and place the battery in the spring clip at the inside back left of the housing cover. The battery is connected whenever a plug is inserted into the FUZZ IN or DRIVE IN jack. Be sure to unplug from both those jacks when pedal is not in use.
If an AC adaptor plug is inserted, the internal battery is disconnected. Replace battery when you detect a loss of signal output level, unusual distortion, or a dimming of the LEDs.