The Hypercube Fuzz/Distortion is an adaptation of the BOSS FZ-2 Hyper Fuzz from 1993. The FZ-2 was not particularly successful and was discontinued without much fanfare a few years later in 1997, but has lately risen in popularity as one of Boss’s rare cult classics, in the same category as the HM-2 Heavy Metal or DC-2 Dimension C. Today, they routinely sell for USD$250 or more.
A switch selects between Fuzz I (flat) and Fuzz II (scooped) tone modes, and a third mode called Gain Boost that disengages the middle fuzz stages and connects the boost directly to the active tone stack for a relatively clean tone shaper.
The Hypercube is an exact replica of the FZ-2 in effect mode. The buffered bypass has been converted to true bypass, but the rest is the same.
The rotary switch has been replaced by a 3-way toggle switch, with one slight difference: in Gain Boost mode, the original circuit disables the volume control, presumably because it is somewhat redundant with the gain (boost) control—but it’s confusing and causes a large volume jump when switching between fuzz and boost.
The Hypercube preserves the output volume functionality across all three positions. If you want to use Gain Boost mode exactly the way it is in the original unit, just turn the volume control all the way up while in that mode.
Important note: This pedal has a specialized method of assembly that is different from most DIY builds, and because of this there are a lot of ways to make mistakes that are hard to fix. Please make sure to familiarize yourself with the assembly instructions in the build documentation before installing any of the components.
Under the hood, the Hyper Fuzz is an enormous circuit, broken into four distinct parts.
Boost: The first is a boost stage, utilizing Boss’s trademark “discrete op-amp” topology as seen in the Blues Driver, OD-3, and others.
Fuzz: Next is the fuzz stage, a near-exact replica of the Univox Superfuzz which brings the thick distortion and octave-up.
Filter: After that, the signal goes through one of two tone-shaping filters, one with scooped mids and the other with a flatter profile, similar to the two tone modes of a Superfuzz.
Tone: Finally, there is a two-band active tone control allowing independent adjustment of treble and bass, followed by the output volume control and the output buffer.