Monday, 5 March 2012

BJFE Little Green Wonder

Information about the original:

BJF design high headroom overdrive with adjustable low/mid EQ balance

Premium quality classic blues/rock pedal that works very well with complex overdriven amp sound. This pedals is now offered as lower priced pcb-model or hand wired pedal.
Both share the same specs and tone.

It's a low compression, high headroom overdrive with high output, and it has a Body knob for adjusting low-mid content and treble.

The LGW was made to be a stackable overdrive that could go anywhere in the pedal chain and the compression normally associated with this type of circuit is reduced same as several distortion mechanisms.

This pedal will work very well with amps and other pedals that have a lot of complexity or compression, a situation that not all pedals work well.

LGW makes a great building block to sound yet it works standalone and especially with humbuckers where normally this type of circuit would not work satisfactory, much due to bass loss and sometimes separated sounds (where transients feed through and a cloud of distortion follows beneath.

Body control gives access to medium midhump at center position and allows treble boost at cw rotation and low mid/treble boost a ccw position and so unit also can provide distortion albeit a smooth type. LGW can be used as an overdrive to already distorting amplifiers or pedals downstream, as well as function as a filter when feed with fuzz pedals that may be rough on some amplifiers and can also be used as light overdrive for just breaking up sounds.

As designer Bjorn Juhl put it:
"Whereas Little Green Wonder is a TS-style pedal, but one for those who don't generally like TS-style pedals.
Big difference between these two pedals would be headroom, distortion style and distortion depth and treble response, output level, function of tone knob, color, symbol.... they do share a common layout of mechanical components."




79 comments:

  1. Which OD would YOU recommend based on the one's you have built? I understand it is completely subjective, but I'm just looking for some guidance. In general, my Mesa Lonestar Special has great OD anyways, so I'm looking for something that is a little unique and adds some flavor to the tone.

    On another note, even though it is known for being "transparent" what do you think of the Timmy and have you done a layout for it (is it the same as the Lovepedal Amp Eleven)?

    Thanks

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    1. I haven't built them all yet so I don't really know. I really liked the Honey Bee and used it for fattening up single coil guitars which is does a great job of. The Mesa Lonestar Special is quite a bright amp isn't it, so maybe for something different a fat sounding Honey Bee may be a good choice. It all depends on your taste, the Little Green Wonder is a nice alternative to the Tubescreamer, the Model H emulates a HiWatt so it's all down to what would appeal to you. Personally I'd build all of them. :o)

      I really love the Timmy, it's one of the best stacking pedals ever, and the Timmy and Zendrive are a fantastic combination. I have a verified layout for it, but I've been in two minds whether to post it because I like Paul and think he's been shafted over by quite a few people, and as the Timmy is (IMO) reasonably priced, it is one I would always suggest people buy the original (I did as well as build one myself). I know the Amp 11 is essentially the same thing, but it doesn't tweak my conscience so much encouraging people to build it themselves rather than giving money to Lovepedal.

      Having said all that, I will probably post the Timmy layout anyway because it seems daft not to with the Amp 11 layout being here, but I was waiting until someone brought it up. :o)

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  2. Built this one the other day. When engaged, it produces s steady buzz, and the guitar signal isn't coming through. I don't have a signal tracer, but so far I haven't found any mistakes. Any thoughts?

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    1. I just noticed in the bare layout showing the links and cuts, there is a cut in the wrong place. Turn the board over so you're looking at the track side and if you have a cut on the fifth row, third from the right, put in another cut on the fourth row third from right. I've updated the layout above for you to cross check what I'm saying.

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    2. Here's a reversed track side view showing where the cut should be:

      http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j6/IvIark_2006/DIY/LGWtracksreversed.png

      Don't worry about the cut you already have in there, it won't cause any issues.

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    3. Bingo. It's working now. I should've noticed that.

      Thanks
      Ben

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    4. No it was my fault not yours, it's not easy to notice differences between the two without the parts there as a guide. I do this sometimes without thinking. I finish a layout, copy the board (without components) and paste below for a bare layout, and then go and change something on the original board and forget to update the bare layout too! Doh!

      Anyway, thanks for verifying the milestone 100th verified layout! :o)

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    5. So i've got it all taken care of aside from that cut. Fixed the cut issue, and now the 47ohm resistor inline with the power diode heated and smoked out when i tested the circuit again. No noise, no power...just a smoked out 47ohm resistor. really confused?

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  3. Will 2K2 resistors work in place of the 2k resistors?

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    1. I wouldn't worry about any sub that is within 10% of the original part unless high accuracy is mentioned.

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    2. Where can I get the source schematic for this?

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    3. http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=851

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    4. It's pretty strange. I built this first from your vero layout, but it was just picking up RF and nothing else. The LEDs were lit all the time. Built this today from the FSB schematic, with the PCB layout by Brink. With the TLC272 and J201 instead of a 2SK170 it works just fine. It also sounds good with an NE5532. So I think J201 and NE5532 are drop-in subs for this circuit.

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    5. Very weird because the 2SK170 has a DGS pinout, the J201 has a DSG so should need a couple of the pins twisting over.

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    6. Yeah, with that layout it doesn't work with a 2SK170 because of the pinout. I'll try twisting the pins of one and see how it sounds with that.

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    7. Mark, why'd you omit that 220nf cap going from the 2k resister to ground?

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    8. I didn't omit it, are you looking at the wrong 2K resistor?

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    9. woops. never mind... i was looking at my layout that i modified, and i forgot it. good thing i caught it lol

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    10. i emailed it to you, did you get a chance to check it out?

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    11. I've just had a quick look at it, and it seems to be as per the description so that is ok. As to how well it will work, you'll need to give it a go and see if the results give you what you want.

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  4. I am completely new to the world of pedal building but so far I've been able to figure it all out. I'm stuck on a few things that are probably assumed knowledge that I don't have:
    - Do all the pins on the pots need wires attached or JUST the few listed on the board?
    - How is the switch wired up?
    - Where is the output part of the board?
    Any help would be great. I just noticed this...which may be what I'm looking for? (http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.ca/2012/02/offboard-wiring.html)

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    1. 1 - Yes, you only need to solder the lugs mentioned. The pot can act as a voltage divider where all 3 lugs are used, or as a simple variable resistor where only 2 are used. In this layout the Drive pot and one half of the Body pot only use 2 lugs, the other half of the Body pot uses all 3.

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    2. Oops pressed send too early :o)

      2 - Yes the offboard wiring layout tells you everything you need to know

      3 - The output of the effect is lug 2 of the Volume pot. You'll get used to this. In all of these layouts, the output is either shown explicitly on the board, or if there is a volume pot at the end of the circuit, the effect output comes from there.

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  5. Great, that does help for sure. I'm still not 100% there. Here's what I think I've understood so far. By the sounds of it there should still be another two wires on the Body pot somewhere and a third wire on the Volume pot. I don't know if the rest is correct or not.
    Here's what I got.
    http://www.tylorjreimer.com/misc/lgw-wiring.jpg

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    1. Volume 1 and Body A2 and B2 need connecting to ground.

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    2. Perfect. And does it matter where in the ground chain you wire in the pots? As long as they are in between the board and 3pdt?

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    3. All the grounds need to be connected together in any way that doesn't create a loop, so connect them in a long daisy chained line like as shown in the offboard wiring layout, or maybe all going to the ground rail on the board in a star formation.

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  6. Got this pedal running. My first build and it sounds great. Good work Mark!

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    1. Nice one, and brave first build! :o)

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  7. built this one yesterday and I love it! I didn't have any TLC272 chips so I went with the LF353N that was used in the earlier versions. Thanks Mark!

    pic:

    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/BJFE/LGW-01.jpg

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    1. Nice one John, thanks for the pic

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  8. Is a K170 the same as a 2SK170?

    I ordered some 2SK170's, but when they arrived they just say K170 on them. Are those correct?

    Thanks,

    Ian

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    1. Yes I've seen them marked like that before

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    2. Cool, thanks - hopefully it's the right thing then!

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  9. Nice overdrive - very different to a Tubescreamer.

    It's very punchy and in your face - seems like it will stand out in the mix a lot.

    With the Body turned down, it's quite raspy, but as you increase the body, it gets thinner and that goes away.

    It's a little bit too bright like - wonder if there is a way to reduce the top end a little....

    Odd like, as the blurb on the pedal says it's good for taming high end...hmm.

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  10. Got this one all boxes and working.

    Can anyone suggest how i'd mod it do reduce the top end a bit though - it is good, but a bit too bright.

    Thanks,

    Ian

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  11. Can I substitube the 20K Body for a 25K?

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    1. What difference will it make?

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    2. basically, none. if you're that worried about it connect a 100K resistor between lugs 1 & 3 of it and your 25K pot will be a 20K one.

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    3. Awesome! Thanks for the confirmation

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  12. This came out great! With the body maxed it's tube screamerish enough to go as a tube screamer for me and everything after that is just juicy fatness! I also found the "good for taming the high end" to be true. It somehow smoothens the shrillness, even though it's fairly bright. With the first 25% of the drive taper it's much more of a booster than an overdrive. Dig it!

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  13. I've built this pedal once before and it sounds amazing. I highly recommend it. I was working on my second build of it and it is acting weird. When I adjust the body knob the only time I get sound coming through is when it's basically all the way to the left or just a hair past that. Also I'm noticing only the left LED is lighting up. Any ideas what in the circuit may not be working properly?

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    1. Does anyone have an idea where to start debugging? The body knob causes the whole signal to drop out after I turn it even a little past all the way left. I also found it odd that the onboard LEDs, only one of the two lit up (and I tried soldering in a different one already).

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    2. Bad connection somewhere or a bad pot. Recheck signal from pot to board.

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    3. I decided to pick this up again and try to finish debugging. Is it possible to bypass the pots all together and use a resistor in it's place? Just trying to limit possible failures.

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    4. yes there is a way.with alligator clips you can put resistors in the range of each pots and check if your board works. for example put a 400k resistor from drive 1 to drive 2. from body a 1, a 10k to ground, from body b 1&3 two 10k in parallel to ground. and from vol3 a 5k to output and from output a 45k to ground.
      but you can always just check with your multimeter if your pots are ok.
      and you can post your voltages, or prob your hole build.
      hope i helped

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  14. The body control takes a while to get used to :) Not bad sounding OD...
    +m

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  15. Hi Mark, could I just check. I'm guessing the electrolytic caps are polarised and the little light blue mark is the negative leg. Is that right?

    Thanks

    Tim.

    PS still loving my mxr dst+ :)

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  16. one other question (sorry) is it important to get the Gr or BL or V version of the JFET?

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    1. Yes light blue line shows the negative side. It really shouldn't matter which ones you get, it's just a unity gain buffer and so any should work

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  17. This is probably a really dumb question, but I was wondering the other day why the caps that are 'in series' with the signal aren't always non-polarised? or does it simply not make any difference at all :)

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    1. Because polarised caps are cheaper and some builders will use the cheapest option. There's no problem using polarised caps, as long as they're orientated so that the negative leg goes to the side with the lowest voltage. I'd prefer not to use them unless you just can't get non polar caps in that value at a reasonable size, mainly because electrolytics have a shorter expected life span, but also because voltages at various points in a pedal can change as pots are rotated and there is at least a possibility that in certain positions you could end up with the side with the lower voltage swapping. When the caps are just going to ground it isn't a worry.

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  18. I'm getting a very low and heavily distorted output. I checked all the joints, followed the circuit, checked the values, and checked the wiring. And here are my voltage readings:

    1 - 3.13~3.19 (3.02)
    2 - 3.12~3.16 (3.02)
    3 - 3.12 (2.82)
    4 - 0.00
    5 - 3.25 (3.12)
    6 - 3.24 (3.10)
    7 - 3.20 (3.07)
    8 - 8.15

    Q1
    D - 8.15
    G - 1.78
    S - 4.30

    The ones is parentheses are from a second reading, where it seemed to drop lower and lower.

    After I did a voltage test, I retested the pedal and got a really low type of hum that sounded like a "wind storm" that would increase with the gain knob. I didn't do anything to the connections...

    SOS!

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    1. Your IC voltages look ok considering your battery or supply is only 8.15V after the diode but your voltage at the source looks suspiciously high to me. Check all your soldering around the source row and check cuts etc

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    2. Everything that's supposed to be connected on that row is connected, checked all the part values on that row. I measured again, and it's still around 4.16. Any idea what could be wrong?

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    3. It works now! WOOHOO! Is the voltage at the source supposed to be around 4.15?

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    4. Seems a lot higher than I would expect at the source, what does it measure now it's working?

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  19. I measured it again when it was working, and it was 4.15

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    1. Well it must be fine then. I always expect to see the drain with the highest voltage, gate second and source lowest but maybe I'm basing my perceptions on bipolar transistor voltages performing a similar function.

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    2. Help! I boxed everything up and redid the offboard wiring to make it all neater. I'm only getting clean boost with the effect on and the signal drops almost completely out when the Body knob is maxed out.

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    3. Correction: Insane amount of clean boost, Gain knob increases boost, Volume knob does nothing, signal drops low at both ends of the Body knob's turn.

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  20. ive built this before and it was awesome, i built it this weekend and it sounds great accept when body knob is 100% in either direction the signal gets cut off. I sub 5.1K for all the 5.6K but did not see that as a problem. Also not sure which row of dual gang lugs is a or B so I went with the on closest to shaft front as a

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  21. it doesn't matter which row is A or B on the dual pot, but the body knob shouldn't cut out anywhere on its rotation so you must have an error in your build somewhere.

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  22. is there a way to take out the body pot and set the resistance that goes to it at around 1 o clock (whatever value that ends up being) and then adding a tone pot? and eventually maybe adding a clipping section

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    1. Start a thread in the forum, just so that pics can be added more easily

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    2. will do! dont know why i didnt already.... silly me

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. I built this pedal and LOVE it!!!!!! It is very straight forward to build and sounds AMAZING. Here is a picture of my working board. I hope that it helps.

    http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/denfox1/media/LittleGreenWonder_zps055b7bce.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

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  25. Replies
    1. yes. if you look at the tags it says it's verified. so you should be good to go.

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    2. oh, i missed tags.
      thanks. i'll try it.

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  26. i finished building.
    i replaced green LEDs with red ones and it sounds grate!
    low range became more smooth. you guys should try it!

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  27. It is more like a Tone Bender MKI circuit with a Big Muff style clipping section than a TS like unit.

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  28. It is more like a Tone Bender MKI circuit with a Big Muff style clipping section than a TS like unit.

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