Thursday, 3 May 2012

ToadWorks Mr Squishy Compressor

Info about the original from the manufacturer:

ToadWorks Mr. Squishy is an analog compressor pedal that combines purity of tone with tight, punchy squeeze-on-demand. Mr. Squishy has been tested with a wide range of amplifiers, including tube, solid state and hybrid, and it delivers the goods every time.

ToadWorks Mr. Squishy provides great compression without oppression, remaining transparent enough that you never lose the original tonal qualities that made you love your axe in the first place. For years, guitarists have sought a natural sounding compression that did not diminish their tone, and ToadWorks has delivered.

Don't you just hate when you kick on the compressor, and your guitar sound changes? Compressors aren't supposed to do that. ToadWorks Mr. Squishy is the anti-compressor - your tone stays crystal clear and unblemished.

Mr. Squishy provides plenty of squish where you want it, and none where you don't. The Gain, Squish & Level controls allow you to compensate for all manner of differences between guitars, pickup types, etc. Mr. Squishy has a nice, tight attack, and a long, slow release, giving you the best of both worlds. Mr. Squishy won't distort unless you want it to; there is no buffer, the Op-Amp can be overdriven, but that's what the Gain control is for. And when you listen to the sound clips, notice that the Level is always around six... want to guess what happens if you turn off the Squish, crank the Gain, and set the Level at 10? A very serious clean boost that will overdrive your amp's input. Yes, that's right - Mr. Squishy can double as perfect clean boost, with power to spare.

Mr. Squishy is hand made, assembled and tested, by real humans with guitars. From the high quality 3PDT switches to our custom made enclosures and knobs, each component is the finest available, making ToadWorks pedals the most well-built and reliable effect units in the world. So stomp away.


Operation and Controls


ToadWorks Mr. Squishy is an Op-Amp based compression effect designed to provide clean, transparent tone even at full effect. The compression effect is more subtle than many other units, while at the same time offering cleaner, longer sustain.

The switch turns the effect on and off, the Input knob controls the level of input prior to the effect, the Squish knob controls the amount of compression, and the Level knob controls the overall output level.

Mr. Squishy features a true-bypass circuit, so un-squishing won't suck your tone dry. Each pedal is carefully manufactured by hand, using only the finest components.






22 comments:

  1. Verified.

    This was my first ever compressor build and it sounds really nice. This with Hog's foot and you have super heavy bottom and so much warmth that it's enough to melt the antarktis.

    I only had JRC4558D at hand, but it sounds really good with it.

    Thanks again Mark!
    +m

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    1. Forgot to mention..

      The controls will probably work much better with rev. log pots. As is, all the controls are pretty much mute from 0 to 35-40%.
      +m

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    2. It's been one helluva boxing day today. I've boxed Whisker Biscuit, Micro Amp and Orange Squeezer in a single box and this one. Orange and Micro go together really well. I'm calling it "Beater Heater" :)

      But back to the issue.. The controls on this beautiful sounding compressor didn't work the way i wanted, and it wasn't as loud as i wanted. So i started tweaking, and after four hours of trial and error i finally got it working and sounding the way i wanted.

      First i took the controls under a microscope (figure of speak, not a real microscope:)). All three gave out unity at approx. 55% and like i said, it didn't get loud enough. Input pot seemed to be the logical point to start. First i tried B250K, but that didn't help very much, so i swapped it for C100K. Input pot problem solved. With other pots at max, C100K gave me unity at 15-20%, which is more than acceptable. For volume, i swapped that A10K for B5K. Problem solved. Next, the "Squish" pot that controls the biasing of Q1...

      Once again, the JFETs didn't want to bias properly - which seems to happen in every single JFET design i build. Went trhough about 20 2N5457s and tried them all in Q1 and Q2 positions. No avail. So i started to think it through.. Since that pot basically controls the resistance for ground connection between Q1 source and Q2 gate, i figured that the biasing problem has to be in those values. Tried out a lot of different value resistors in different places, but i got what i came for with swapping squish for B5K pot and placing a 10K resistor between ground and squish lug 1. Now it's loud, and since that 5K of control is above the original sweep, i get about the maximum compression of the original when the pot is turned ccw. The rest is just even more compression. Neat.

      I thought i'd share this, because it may be useful info for someone building this - and not likeing the controls or having problems with JFET biasing.
      +m

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    3. Great info, thanks for that man. Definitely going to build this, I want a few compressors to choose from and am bored of the Dyna Comp circuit options so this will make a nice alternative along with a few of the other layouts.

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    4. http://mirosol.kapsi.fi/varasto/boxes/squish.jpeg

      Clean and simple beats over designing every time :)
      +m

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  2. i built the orange squeezer yesterday and have been just completely enthralled with it... why does the keeley get so much hype? maybe because people dont try to sub the jfets til it sounds good- going through and subbing a bunch of different jfets changed the sound of the OS so much it was ridiculous. most transparent comp ever.

    anyways- I assume this is basically an orange squeezer, just wanted to make sure? Are the controls worth the build? or should I just take my perfect OS and run?

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  3. i built this one today and i have plenty of voulme but there's NO compression whatsover. i can hear the bias pot trying to do something, but like i said, there's no compression at any setting.

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  4. i spent a few hours with it and got the compression to work as it should but i'm not thrilled at all with this compressor since my bass's overall tone changes when i change 'squish' (compression) settings. in many (if not most) of the settings, there's alot of low end loss, while in others, the high end gets dull and the low end goes away with it. i'm not going to spend anymore time on it since the other comps that i've built are far better (IMHO) than this one will ever be.

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    1. Yup. It needed some tweaking before i accepted it. Haven't played with mine for a while, but it doesn't seem to change the tone like you mentioned...
      +m

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  5. Hi,
    I made this compressor and it works, but I am a little bit disappointed with the sound. I lost a lot of treeble, and when I move the volume pot of my guitar, the compressor loose 75% of the signal. And I nearly can't hear the change of sound when I play with my tone pot guitar (normally without the compressor, the change of sound is quite huge)
    I heard that those 3 points append on lots of type of compressor when the output of my guitar pickups are too high. Is it true ? (I have a PRS CE24)

    What components could I change to get a little bit more of treeble ?

    Thx for your help.

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  6. I've owned the original of this compressor and like Mirosol has said, it sounds sweet. I used it on guitar and bass. Apart from a slight pumping if you pushed it too hard and a loss of the top 'sparkle' on guitar, it was very musical sounding. In some circumstances it was 'the' compressor for 'that' sound. I only got rid, as I found the DOD milkbox worked better as a compromise to all the different tones/sounds in songs of my band. I'll definitely make one from this schem though as it is sometimes missed - especially when recording.

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    1. Totaly agree on his musical sounding. I love his sound, but I manage to have only one "sound" with it. If I change tone of my guitar, it did not change the sound (just a little bit). I do not want to have a pedalboard with one pedal for one sound. I try to make a pedalboard with pedal that could provide me quite different sound per pedal.

      As for me the compressor need to be as much as possible transperent. It is not the first time I hear about the DOD milkbox. Perhaps, I should buy one or make it (if I find the layout).

      Can you advice me on a type of transparent compressor ?

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  7. I hate having builds that don't work the way that I'd like them to so I pulled this one out and messed around with it again. I tried the 'miro mods' but it still didn't do it for me (I got good level, but it had hardly any compression at all!). so I looked at the orange squeezer schematics again (which is what this pedal is based on). I tried a bunch of different 2n5457's and even tried some 2n5458's (higher gain). the 5458's gave it way more level but still no compression. but I did end up solving the compression problem in mine. being that the jfets need to bias properly to work correctly, I ended up replacing the the 6.2K resistor with a 3.2K one and voila(!), tons on compression if I want it, and a ton of gain too! so mine is now as follows:
    100K reverse audio input volume pot
    10K audio squish pot (stock) but with a 4.7K resistor from pin 1 to ground.
    10K audio output level pot(stock)

    counterclockwise on the squish control has little or no compression and fully clockwise has a ton of compression (and a lot more level!).

    I feel great about being able to box this on up now.

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    1. Great stuff, thanks for the info John

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    2. My input pot and level pot work but I don't seem get compression from this circuit. I used John's mods, tried different resistor values instead of the 6.2K, tried different matched jfet pairs. Any info on voltages of a working clone? I'm gonna put this away for a while and check it again later.

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  8. for the ic, it doesn't matter if i get a RC4558 without the p on the end, does it? i don't think so, but i don't know what that p stands for. thanks guys!

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  9. Sorry for ruining the post with a bunch of deleted comments. But I took miro's solution and tried a rev log pot. The compressor works great. This site is amazing.

    On a side note, this pedal picks up 96.5 KOIT FM quite well in San Francisco... I think I might need to work on shielding...

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  10. Question to Mirosol and John :
    To do the improvment, can I wire out the longest jumper and put a 4k7 or 10k resistor instead of ?
    Thanks !

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  11. I always thought that the drains should be biased around 4,5-5v. But here the drain is directly conncected to 9v. My compressor doesn't compress so I have to test other jfets and maybe that resistor between the source of the jfets. Does anybody has voltages of a working unit? Thanks!

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  12. Can you post an updated vera schem? i really want to build this for a college course im taking currently

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  13. Can you post an updated vera schem? i really want to build this for a college course im taking currently

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  14. I built this pedal. But I'm getting a massive pop when it is engaged? Could reducing the 4m7 resistor to 1m help? Thanks to anyone who helps !

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