Saturday, 7 April 2012

Menatone Red Snapper - 4 knob

Info from the manufacturer:

The Red Snapper is the original Menatone pedal.  It debuted in 1996 to fill the need for a very open and uncompressed overdrive.  The circuit has remained essentially unchanged except for the addition of the "hi cut" control, which allows for complete control of the treble response after the overdrive.  The unique design of this control allows it to be taken completely out of the circuit when turned fully counter clockwise, thus making the circuit identical to the original three knob version.  The Red Snapper can produce anything from a clean boost to enough drive to make any amp sing.  Its overdrive character was painstakingly designed to keep your amp and guitar's illustrious tone perfectly in tact.






And an alternative version with a switch to swap between symmetrical and asymmetrical clipping.


37 comments:

  1. Not in this case. I suppose some effects look quite similar sometimes but it's mostly because they're all using some standard opamp practises in some parts of the circuit.

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  2. Yeah, I was just looking at the layout and saw some similar arrangements. But I suppose there are only a handful of ways to arrange certain components...

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    1. With opamp dirt pedals, many have a gain control between the inverting input and the output of the first opamp channel which is why you often see pins 1 and 2 going out to the Gain (or Drive or whatever the pedal calls the "more distortion" control :o) often one of them via a resistor which sets the minimum gain level of the pot. Also in many of these "one dual opamp" effects the second half of the opamp is dealing with some tone shaping which is fairly simple in the case of the Red Snapper and Timmy. This can leave a lot of space on the right hand side of the opamp which is why I used an axial cap in the layout as opposed to radial caps that I tend to use with more populated circuits like the BJF stuff for instance. I've got loads to hand in the size shown which is why it's used (although of course you could equally use a radial cap perfectly well in the same position). Plus axial caps look cool! :o)

      There's only so many ways to skin a cat, but these are different enough in other ways to preclude one or the other from being a clone. Most similarities you see are simply because I did both layouts with my own methods and components I have to hand in mind.

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  3. Is the switch an on/on or on/off/on? Thanks, I have done 4 or 5 of your veros (the simple ones)and I am really pleased with them. Take care

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    1. You could use either. It only needs on/on to switch the diodes, but if you use on/off/on then you have a centre "off" option which would probably be good for a clean boost.

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  4. 4 knobbed with clipping switch - Verified.

    This is really great OD. I guess there's a bit more distortion than in your average overdrive, but it's colour is something quite unique. I like it a lot. Happen to have one red bb box available, so this will get in in a box very soon.

    I used three position switch for clipping stage - and it's not a clean boost without clipping diodes. :) It's massively loud and as such overdrives anything past breaking point. Would be nice to use small resistor there to attenuate it a bit, but i don't see how that would be possible without attenuating the diodes even more...

    Anyway. It's just great. In my opinion, it might even beat Zen in a fistfight.
    +m

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    1. In a heat of the moment, because it sounded so good, i forgot to say that there is a flaw in gain pot wiring. It should be "Gain 3, 2 & witch 1, or the pot is reversed...

      Otherwise - a perfect layout once again.
      +m

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    2. Sounds good Mirosol, you may have just convinced me into building one.

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  5. WOW! proper impressed with this! I did the stock version. VERY nice drive pedal. Tight, sharp and very responsive. Glad I built it now ;o)

    Yes the gain needs flipping and although I and most other will use common sense but the 47 'n' should be a 'uf'

    Thanks again Mark.

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    1. It is much better than i would have ever expected. And this 4 knob version is maybe more sensible to build, since you can make it 3 knob by rolling hi cut all the way down.

      Might suggest using 2PDT (on/on) instead of three position switch. Gain difference between clipping and no clipping is indescribable.

      :) I didn't even notice it was labeled 47n.. Just soldered 47uF axial in without thinking.

      If i remember correctly, this was used on some of the Afghan Whigs recordings. Those do have nice guitar sounds but song writing hasn't aged too gracefully...
      +m

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    2. I didn't notice the uf until after lol...

      I agree about the 4 knob version, The 'cut' control is a really nice touch as you can max out the bite and use the cut to roll of any harshness.. I'll be keeping one of these for myself. Sounds especially nice with my strat ;o)

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  6. You guys make me want to make one, so I'm gonna!

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  7. Boxed it. I'll snap some pictures soonish.

    One more thing about the clipping swithch though. Since the three position switch didn't work well with "no diodes" position, i swapped it with two position switch. Tried 1N270 germanium diodes for asym side and 1N914 for sym side. Germaniums eat'd up a lot of gain, so the 1N914 side was about half louder. Disappointed in those results, i swapper the 1N270s for basic 1N4148 and hmm. It works and sounds decent.

    I've read a lot about how diodes are supposed to affect the sound. But i for one can't seem to hear any difference between 1N4148s and 1N914s if they are both arranged the same way - as symmetrical for example. Same thing with 1N270s and 1N34As. Biggest difference is that germanium diodes a not nearly as loud as silicon diodes.

    Guess i should start experimenting with schotkys and leds for clipping...
    +m

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    1. 1N914's and 1N4148's are identical. I'm sure I read somewhere that 1N914s were just badged that for the US market. Germanium diodes dump a lot more of the signal because they have a lower forward voltage. Maybe try LED's in there, they're popular in this type of circuit.

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    2. Oh and definitely try 1N4001's at some point too to compare. A few people think that they are smoother than the commonly used 1N4148 and 1N914

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    3. Now that i think of it.. one could make 3 position switch work with two diodes in series in middle lugs with wires, two in different direction in upper lugs and one in bottom lugs.. I guess i'll need to try that out at some point..
      +m

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  8. I had an original stompobox for a while and fell in love with it. Will try to build this copy soon. What types of caps you use. Original description says film caps. Are they poliester film caps or any other?

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  9. i'd like to build the red snapper since i saw it in David wm Sims pedalboard (The Jesus Lizard bass player) and i like his sound.
    Any good mod for a better use with bass frequences or it should sound good like this?

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  10. Built this with the diodes onboard, no switches. Pretty nice pedal. Reminds me of a cranked JCM800. Now that I think about it, I'm gonna try it as a booster for my JCM800, might work.

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  11. Built another one now. Is it just me or is the cut pot wired backwards? I reversed cut 1 and 3 in both builds as it's supposed to be a cut control and this way it works like a regular treble control.

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    1. I started this last night and finished it today. The cut pot IS wired backwards when compared to my production red snapper. Also, unless the circuit was changed after my 2005 model was made, this layout contains different cap values than my original pedal and the cut control is wired differently. the production model has 2 100n caps rather than 1, no 1n cap (looks like a 10n), no 22n cap, and the cut control (which is a 250kb pot) is wired as a variable resistor. This layout does produce a nice sounding overdrive, but the production model is SUPER transparent and has a bit more low end. This is a bit more colored with less lows. anyway, just figured i'd post my findings.

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    2. I get the impression that the Snapper has changed many times over the years in terms of slight circuit tweaks. This is the scheme this layout was based on:

      http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j6/IvIark_2006/Layouts/Schematics/menatone_red_snapper4.png?t=1387441413

      If you can alter this to show how yours is I'll do an additional layout as an option.

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    3. i'll see what i can do. the cut knob on my original actually does nothing for most of its sweep, so it might have been an accident that it has a 250k in there. it seemed like the board wouldn't come out easily unless i took the whole pedal apart when i was comparing circuits last night. i'll be less lazy today and give it another go and get some top/bottom board shots if i can get the board out cleanly.

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  12. I really like this pedal. I built it after the raves from Miro and Vince. Now I see why. This probably won't knock my Clark Gainster off my board, but it will probably get it's own place alongside it.

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    1. Both of these are very good sounding designs. Have you tried OD250 yet? It dropped all the other ODs from my board :P
      +m

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    2. Have not tried that one. I'll definitely give it a go with that kind of endorsement.

      Gotta finish up my Velvet Fuzz and I'll throw the OD250 together. If it sounds good enough to knock the snapper or the gainster off the board, it must be pretty damn good.

      Thanks ;)

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    3. Is this the one you would suggest?

      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.com/2013/06/dod-overdrive-preamp-250-reissue.html

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    4. Either that or the original version:
      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.fi/2010/07/dod-250.html
      (Note that the pots are wrong , 500k rev. log for gain and 100k lin for level are correct, and diodes are 1N4148 or similar)
      Both have similar feel to them, the reissue is a tad more brighter.

      Try it and let us know how it sounds :)
      +m

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  13. Just to confirm comments above. The 'cut' pot is in reverse.

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    1. Thanks mate, I should have changed it before when Myrkky mentioned it. Sometimes things just pass me by and I move onto something else without engaging my brain! :o)

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  14. I just built this yesterday and love it! I'm a little late to the party but oh well.. This is a great OD

    Thanks!

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  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  16. Hi there,

    Thanks for the layout, I've just bought some components and am looking forward to building this pedal. One question, what size enclosure would you recommend?

    Thanks

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  17. could I add more gain by playing with the 10k resistor around the drive section of the scgematic (newb)

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