Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Catalinbread WIIO

Manufacturer's info about the original:

Sheer raw power. Dynamics that feel like a roundhouse kick to the chest. Incredibly responsive clean up with the flick of the wrist. This is the WIIO.

The WIIO is an overdrive inspired by the powerfully unforgiving British amps from the ‘70s. Its all right there at your fingertips - your picking attack determines how much gain is delivered to the speakers. There is none of the typical compression found in most other overdrives to hide behind or to soften the blow - this is brass knuckle to the jaw type sonic impact we‘re talking here - you literally feel as though you plugged straight into the power section.

Like the amps, the WIIO has a wide freq spread so if your amp can deliver you’ll be rewarded with crisp clear highs and a very full tight low end. Lower gain settings are very clean and linear - you can hear every pick stroke and fingerprint, and the headroom allows for some very rich sounds when using modulation pedals. As you crank up the Gain the breakup is aggressive, powerful, punchy, and immediate then it decays quickly to a full clean sound. The midrange bark particular to the amps on which we based the WIIO is right there too as you crank it up. This pedal cuts like a broadsword so no need to fear being lost in the fray. It respects the integrity of your pickups, and loves being slammed with other overdrives or your favorite fuzz too.

The EQ controls on the WIIO are interactive with the Gain knob - increasing the Treble will not only give you more highs but also more grit to the gain. Likewise, increasing the Bass control will not only deliver more lows but will also alter the feel and attack. Plenty of output to smack your amp into submission as well.

The whole point of the WIIO experience is the dynamic interaction between you and the pedal. It reacts immediately to your picking hand, so cleans are easily attainable just by lightening up your attack. Conversely, you can get to the raging power chord stuff just by hitting the guitar harder. Running the WIIO at full gain will give you pushed transformer-style saturation for leads as well, so in reality you can have three levels of gain available just by using your wrist and your guitar’s volume control. It was designed to be intuitive with a minimum of tweaking, freeing you to follow your inspiration to wherever it takes you.

The WIIO won’t be for everybody and we‘re cool with that - hell, Nic has the real deal 100w full stack with eight Fanes and many of us in Teh Bunker cower and lose continence when its at full bore. Its unique sonic structure is very unforgiving and due to the responsiveness allows EVERYTHING you put into it to come through. But as the players who have had the experience of playing the amps know, there are great rewards to be had once you’re able to grab hold of the reins and attempt to ride the mighty beast.Sheer raw power. Dynamics that feel like a roundhouse kick to the chest. Incredibly responsive clean up with the flick of the wrist. This is the WIIO.

The WIIO is an overdrive inspired by the powerfully unforgiving British amps from the ‘70s. Its all right there at your fingertips - your picking attack determines how much gain is delivered to the speakers. There is none of the typical compression found in most other overdrives to hide behind or to soften the blow - this is brass knuckle to the jaw type sonic impact we‘re talking here - you literally feel as though you plugged straight into the power section.

Like the amps, the WIIO has a wide freq spread so if your amp can deliver you’ll be rewarded with crisp clear highs and a very full tight low end. Lower gain settings are very clean and linear - you can hear every pick stroke and fingerprint, and the headroom allows for some very rich sounds when using modulation pedals. As you crank up the Gain the breakup is aggressive, powerful, punchy, and immediate then it decays quickly to a full clean sound. The midrange bark particular to the amps on which we based the WIIO is right there too as you crank it up. This pedal cuts like a broadsword so no need to fear being lost in the fray. It respects the integrity of your pickups, and loves being slammed with other overdrives or your favorite fuzz too.

The EQ controls on the WIIO are interactive with the Gain knob - increasing the Treble will not only give you more highs but also more grit to the gain. Likewise, increasing the Bass control will not only deliver more lows but will also alter the feel and attack. Plenty of output to smack your amp into submission as well.

The whole point of the WIIO experience is the dynamic interaction between you and the pedal. It reacts immediately to your picking hand, so cleans are easily attainable just by lightening up your attack. Conversely, you can get to the raging power chord stuff just by hitting the guitar harder. Running the WIIO at full gain will give you pushed transformer-style saturation for leads as well, so in reality you can have three levels of gain available just by using your wrist and your guitar’s volume control. It was designed to be intuitive with a minimum of tweaking, freeing you to follow your inspiration to wherever it takes you.

The WIIO won’t be for everybody and we‘re cool with that - hell, Nic has the real deal 100w full stack with eight Fanes and many of us in Teh Bunker cower and lose continence when its at full bore. Its unique sonic structure is very unforgiving and due to the responsiveness allows EVERYTHING you put into it to come through. But as the players who have had the experience of playing the amps know, there are great rewards to be had once you’re able to grab hold of the reins and attempt to ride the mighty beast.




[24th May 2014 - new revised layout]


48 comments:

  1. Hi..any ideas on this...pedal works and sounds great...but i have almost no drive until the final smige of the sweep on the drive

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try a linear pot instead of log

      Delete
  2. scrub my last...it really is interactive with the EQ...low gain setting is boosted into over drive by treble and bass...Windmill chords coming up !!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just built this and I'm very impressed so far by Catalinbread.. The RAH is an excellent recreation of Pages tone and this is a fantastic drive too.

    Probably prefer this to the RAH just for the extra gain on this. And its sharper with more pick attack.

    Cheers mate ;o)

    ReplyDelete
  4. any ideas on biasing the jfets? or is this a mu guy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marks away for a week, To my ears, mine sounds great straight off the bat so I'm not sure if any biasing is needed. Not in mine anyway ;)

      Delete
  5. i was still wondering if anyone had ything definitive about biasing the jfets... and i am wondering if anyone has tried this at 18v yet... what are the purpose of the zeners? would those prevent 18v operation from being possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Zeners are used as static protection diodes with MOSFETs.

      Delete
  6. Hi Mark do you have voltage reading for the BS170 s I was getting 0.01 for D&G for q1 & q2 and 0 for S and 0.01 for S&D of Q3 and 0 for g , first time Ive used mos fets ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't built this but hopefully someone who has will post. 0.1V is very low for a drain which is only separated from the 9V supply with a 3K3 resistor. What voltage are you getting at the right hand side of the 47R on the 9V row?

      Delete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Mark I fixed the problem with the voltage to the transistors they are getting decent voltage now , but cant seem to get any sound at all .If I touch the output and output jack lugs on the switch I get some noise so thats fine? where would I use a audio probe on this,also this circuit has a 4.7k resistor for the led yet I cant get the led to work I dont think I need another resistor , Im getting 9v on the pcb side of the led seems a little high.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To use an audio probe you need to follow the schematic:

      http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=8046&hilit=wiio&start=60#p124670

      Plug the input cable in but leave the output, and use the audio probe plugged into the amp. Then as you follow the circuit through the signal path on both sides of the components, you'll get to a point where the sound stops, and that's where the issue is.

      Delete
  9. this is calling for 1n4739 (9.1v)...I have 1n4738 (8.2v)...will it affect the sound if I use those?

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, as those zeners are only being used for static dissipation on the MOSFETs.

      Delete
    2. Yup. And i believe some designs use red LEDs for that purpose too.
      +m

      Delete
  10. Hi.

    I seem to have succeeded in wiring the Bypass correctly. Unfortunately there's something wrong in the circuit, as no sound comes through when I switch the effect on. ;)

    As bass 2 & 3 connect to the same spot on the board, I connected them with one wire, is that ok? I don't see a problem, but may well be mistaken.

    Secondly, is it ok just to wire from the board to the switch as per http://www.beavisaudio.com/techpages/StompboxWiring/
    without using a led? Again, I thought it should work, but am second guessing my reasoning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes 1 wire for Bass 2 and 3 is fine providing you're linking the lugs at the pot. You can omit the LED if you want, the 2K2 current limiting resistor shown offboard in the Beavis layout has been included on the board (4K7) for people who do want LED indication but there's no problem in not using it.

      Check all the JFET pin voltages to ground and it should give an indication where the problem starts.

      Delete
    2. Thanks a lot for your help. Amazing service :)

      I measured the pin voltages. The Jfets on the bottom of the board show just under 4,5 volts, but the on on the top of the board shows just under 9. To be honest I don't know what to make out of that.

      I'll start studuying the web for help, any tips are most appreciated.

      Paavo

      Delete
  11. Verified, and awesome. Thank you Mark for the schematic and you help earlier today.

    https://soundcloud.com/paavo-kuukasjarvi/diy-wiio

    Paavo

    ReplyDelete
  12. Does the 220n cap that goes to D -q1 and lug 3 on the gain pot help put out more overdrive , Ive seen other versions of this pedal with 100n cap whats the best way to get a little more saturation .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No it won't affect the gain. Using a 220n cap may potentially pass more bass frequencies onto the next stage and it was definitely a 220n on the schematic I did it from.

      Delete
  13. Would increasing the 3k3 resistor on the S of the transistors give a little more overdrive Mark or decreasing to a lower value.??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try experimenting with the 1K at the bottom of the board

      Delete
  14. Got it boxed, so only the hardest part left:

    Choosing the pot caps!

    Anyway, managed to fit it into a 111 x 60 x 27 box, might even be able to fit in a battery if I needed to. No led yet, maybe later.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-HLDH6xQHqso/USe26k51AOI/AAAAAAAABRM/PCOsWdA4fAk/s512/20130222-DSC_1289.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the pic, you're one of the very few people I know who use the pot's keyway tabs

      Delete
    2. As long as you've got knobs covering the holes, It's actually a pretty good idea. Prevents the pots from ever turning (and causing damage!).

      Delete
    3. Yes it is definitely, most people just don't bother even though it makes the pots much sturdier and less reliant on the nut tension.

      Delete
    4. I've never used them before because I drill holes by hand and it's all too easy for the drill to slip into the pot hole but I just got my hands on a drill press so I'll probably give them a go.

      Delete
  15. I changed the 1k for 390r Mark for more gain managed to get a little , the 200k resistor was changed to a 250k trimmer this helps to adjust the pedal so I can get clarity with my neck pickup, and and the bridge not to be too bright .500k may have been even better.The 220n was changed to 270n or 330n this gave the pedal more mid and body its got has a big amp sound now and medium gain . The further down you go with the 1k resistor the more mid range was lost and the pedal sounded anemic .I may box this with uni vox super fuzz for a live at leeds combination .

    ReplyDelete
  16. No problem Mark , I used 2 2N7000 s and 1 BS170 ,The 7000s have a cleaner tone but are harder to drive and the pins need to be bent to suit . .Using a 250k or 500k trimmer is a brilliant replacement for the 200k resistor .

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pardon me for the newbie question but what are those half-moons with DGS on them? I couldn't figure out what they mean even after reading the Vero Build & Layout guides along with the Components guide, as they're not clear enough for a dumb-head like meself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Are there other good image guides on building circuits on veroboards you know of?

      Delete
  18. my build report:

    http://fuzzquest.blogspot.com/2014/03/king-watt-hiwatt-grinder-king.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great stuff, I love reading your write ups

      Delete
  19. Hi. I was looking for some information about modding a WIIO, when this place showed up.
    Ive got one of the latest wiio v2 pedal, (the one with the who logo). The lay out is not exactly the same like the diagram posted here, but I guess that they share most of the parts. When I plug it to my dr103, it sounds great, but I miss some air. Even if I crank the treble, there is an audible lack of "presence" on the pedal sound in comparison with the actual sound of the amp. In order to balance the sound, I have to roll off the presence control of the amp from 3 to 12 oclock, what is annoying. I readed here that playing with the negative feedback circuit values could solve the problem. I was thinking on swapping the 200k resistor and installing a 500k pot. Do I have to play with the cap value as well, or would the resistor swapping do¿
    Cheers, Gilberto.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi, for those who need the voltages here they are. Wall @9,04v.
    R01=47R Drain Gate Source
    Q01 5,69v 2,71v 3,21v
    Q02 5,68v 2,75v 3,22v
    Q03 5,67v 2,73v 3,24v

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi guys, really need help with this one. Circuit is all fine, no solder bridges or anything. Master, treble and gain work. Wont get any overdrive with treble set before 3 o clock. Bass knob is not responding. I did swap the 5 pf condensor for a 5,7 pf greenie cause my supplier didnt have a 5 pf. Any suggestions on what to do?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Update/ Voltages of Q1 and Q3 were 5.65v, but Q2 was only 3.65v.
      There was a very tiny solderbridge between row 4 and the 10k resistor ending in row 3. This totally explains the non responsive bass, gain bleed and massive treble.

      Delete
  22. Anyone have a source for the 5n cap at the top right of the layout? I'm having difficulty locating and sourcing one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Use a 4n7 (4.7nF), it won't make any difference.

      Delete