Thursday, 5 July 2012

Barber Direct Drive

Another great sounding pedal from Dave Barber, very well made and reasonably priced if you want the original.  I have put all internal controls external with this for more flexible tweaking, and remember if you want to run this at 18V you need to select your caps appropriately.  I've also seen a schematic for this with the 10u and 4u7 caps both being shown as 1u, so if the circuit seems bass heavy consider swapping those to taste.

Info from the manufacturer about the original:

The Direct Drive provides guitar players with classic amp tones!

True to life overdrive with greatly reduced compression artifacts, this unit has it all, clarity, great guitar volume knob control, solid punchy articulate bass, gain range from a little juice to fat harmonic overdrive. Give your guitar playing a vintage voice with this stellar performer!

    Internal bass control- The Direct Drive can dial in a stronger deeper bass response to perfectly match amplifiers.


    Adjustable presence circuit- The internal presence circuit allows the Direct Drive excellent clarity while limiting fizzy artifacts.


    Volume knob response circuitry-more shades and textures at your fingertips just by adjusting your volume knob.


    Low compression artifacts!-By carefully tuning the Direct Drive compression has been reduced to the most amp like response to date!!


    Three knob control for tonal versatility-The Direct drive uses a simple three knob control layout with a push/pull tone knob for a second Fat Harmonics voice. With the Tone control pushed in the Direct Drive brings the classic tones of the past to veteran players then simply pull the tone knob for modern fat harmonic tones...KILLER! High quality components- Players have requested the use of carbon resistors, metalized polyester caps Elna silk particulate audio caps. These components were thought to be only available on the highest priced pedals. Players asked, and we deliver...no problem, no exaggerated "boutique builder" pricing.


    Ready for 18 volt operation-The Direct Drive operates from 9 volts to 18 volts, this allows use of higher voltage converters and supplies, for players who want to try higher voltage tweaks.


    Barber adjustable phono style recovery stage- Most of our op-amp based overdrive pedals use a cool old style phonograph circuit to recover the frequencies lost in the overdrive stage, this worked great for vinyl and now works great for guitar overdrive!







14 comments:

  1. Thanks. My next attempt..... :)

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    1. anyone built this yet? i'm just wondering if it's verified.
      thanks!

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    2. FWIW, i'm building one this evening. i should be testing it in the morning.

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  2. I just finished mine and it works perfect so you can VERIFY it. the only thing is, is that the bass control worked backwards (i.e. CCW boosted the bass), so since it's a linear taper pot, i reversed the leads from 1 & 3 and now turning the knob CW adds bass and CCW cuts it. it sounded great with the recommended JRC4558D, and i tried a JRC4562D (which gave it even more gain, which also sounded great) and a TL072 which is my favorite for bass. since i use these OD's on bass, i'm going to try and make the bass control add even a lower frequency, or find a way to slightly cut the mids since this pedal does add a bit of mids (i.e it's not completely transparent).

    thatnks for posting the vero of it. it's a great sounding pedal, especially on guitar.

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    1. Excellent, thanks for that John, layout updated.

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  3. Since I really like the pedal the way that it is stock, rather than mod it for bass, I added a blender circuit (a split and blend with two 2N5458's) so i can retain the low end and punch of the dry signal and blend it with the Direct Drive. It really woks well that way and opens up a whole bunch of tones with it for a bass. Here's a couple of pics of it:

    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/BarberDirectDrive/01-DirectDrive.jpg

    http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/BarberDirectDrive/02-DirectDrive.jpg

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    1. Excellent looking build John, thanks for the pics

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    2. thanks! yeah, i love the pedal, but idi i just make one more final mod to it. i was reading a Dave Barber post on one of the forums that if you lower the value of the 10K resistor that goes between SW1_4 and the 10n capacitor you can scoop the mids, so i put it on a SPST toggle so i can go between stock (with the mild low mid bump) and flat (or even scooped) mids. i think that i'm going to install an internal 10K trimmer so i can adjust it to exactly how flat or how much scoop i prefer. it takes some of the 'cloudiness' out of it when used with a bass and makes it more transparent, kinda like the LTD silver.

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    3. Ooh that's good info to know, it's probably worth doing another layout for a 6 knob version and adding an external mids pot by removing the 10K and putting a 10K pot between Sw1_4 and IC pin 6.

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    4. yep, a 10K pot would do make a nice mid control. it would basically go from flat mids to the level of the stock boosted ones. since i like my pedals simple, i just installed a 3 way (on-off-on) SPDT toggle so i can have the stock boosted mids, a flat mids setting, and third setting that's in between the two. i used an 8.2K resistor that's in parallel with the 10K one for the in between setting, and just shorted the 10K resistor for the flat setting. the pedal really sounds great to me now and is capable of being a transparent overdrive.

      here's a pic of it with it's new mids switch:

      http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/BarberDirectDrive/03-DirectDrive.jpg


      my 'flat' setting is with both switches set to the left (no fat boost and the shorted 10K resistor).

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  4. Built it, working perfect. But, Mark, in regards to the connection with the switch, by Bass 1 & 2 did you mean Bass 2 & 3? I connected only bass 2to switch terminal 5, now the switch is working but the bass knob is almost dead. Should I connect Bass 1 to switch 5 as well?

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    1. Oops, I've obviously made a change after John noted the Bass pot wiring was wrong but not altered the notes. It's Bass 2 & 3 that also needs connecting to Switch 1_5.

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  5. I'm not a huge fan of the MP Blueberry. Any other drives that would be great with an active bass?

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  6. I just built this. I have slightly less than unity gain with the volume all the way up. What could be causing this. Otherwise the pedal sounds great... :<

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