The Custom Shop Queen Bee is powered by 3 x New Old Stock Military “Flying Saucer” germanium transistors in an original design that behaves in an amp-like manner, meaning it responds dynamically to the input from your hands and guitar. Great clean-up by lowering the guitar’s volume knob, sweet mids, clarity, sustain, harmonics...it’s all in there.
The #1 and #2 transistors are configured to achieve maximum gain in order to hit transistor #3 extremely hard, creating more sustain and distortion than is possible with the 2-transistor Fuzzes while making the pedal rather low-noise for such a high-gained design. Another thing the Bee has, something no other fuzzes have, is ample MIDRANGE! Fender amp owners will appreciate the Passive Hi-Cut Tone control for taming the treble, and further sonic sculpting is accomplished via a smart, loss-less 3-position Bass switch (placed before transistor #3) tailoring the low frequencies and keeping the bottom-end tight. Looking at this pedal’s signal on an oscilloscope reveals what your ears already knew...a wildly asymmetrical waveform high in second-order Harmonics, culminating in a sweet, rich, commanding voice with tons of sustain. Translation: This pedal will not get lost in the mix. Inside the pedal is a trimmer for adjusting the bias of transistor #3 by a range between 2 and 6 volts DC. My favorite tending to be somewhere between 3 and 4 volts. The trimmer should be adjusted by ear as there are no wrong settings, a slight turn results in a drastic change in sound, in volume, and in compression characteristics. Suddenly firm becomes soft, bright becomes warm, grainy becomes smooth...it’s astonishing what this little trimmer does.
As with most Fulltone pedals, the Queen Bee has True-Bypass switching via the Fulltone 3PDT footswitch for maximum signal integrity while the pedal is bypassed. Because the Bee utilizes Germanium transistors it should only be powered with the (included) battery or a “Center Positive,” well-regulated power supply. Do not “daisy-chain” multiple pedals on a single wall wart adapter as this may damage the pedal. Instead the Queen Bee should be connected to its own outlet on a professional-grade power supply that has regulated, isolated/discrete outputs, in addition a reversed power cable must be used. Fulltone Queen Bees are 100% Hand-Built in the USA.