Saturday, 7 July 2012

Subdecay Liquid Sunshine V2

Another one for Miro because I know how much he loves JFETs! :o)

Brian Marshall of Subdecay is one of those builders who adds a lot to the DIY community.  He openly discusses the technology behind his products and has even corrected errors that have been made in schematics.  The Liquid Sunshine is out of production, but being one of the few builders now who does seem to be producing innovative products rather than rehashing the same old thing with different caps and claiming 1000 hours R&D, his other stuff is highly recommended if you're wondering what your next purchase should be.

Info from Brian about his original:

Our award winning Class A Overdrive, The Liquid Sunshine was introduced in 2004 and has been a mainstay of our stompbox lineup ever since. The Liquid Sunshine bucks the current popular trends of overdrive pedals. It is neither fully “transparent” nor “uncompressed.” It is not modeled after a specific family of amplifiers. The Liquid Sunshine adds to your tone without overwhelming it.

Low gain settings render tube power amp like compression. Add a bit more drive to gracefully ride the line between almost clean and a hint of breakup. Turn both drive controls near max for some classy sustaining rock overdrive. The all jFET design does not produce any “sharp edges” or hard clipping.

Where’s the tone control?

This pedal has two drive knobs. The top drive knob pushes the full range, while the bottom drive knob pushes the midrange and treble. Most overdrive’s tone controls have a very narrow band of useful settings. Because of the interactivity of the two drive knobs, and the jFET design we found The Liquid Sunshine did not need a dedicated tone control.

Is The Liquid Sunshine for me?

Equally well suited as an overdrive for a clean amplifier, or pushing cranked amp over the edge. This is especially important if you need an overdrive that works at many volumes. It won’t feel out of place on stage, at rehearsal or simply practicing at home.

The Liquid Sunshine absolutely loves being stacked. It’s great for pushing other drive pedals, but unlike many other low gain overdrives it excels when pushed by other dirt boxes too.

It’s also great for warming up your tone. Many modern amplifiers are biased cold. This may result in tubes lasting longer, which is especially important if the amp maker supplies the cheapest tubes available. It might even make an amp a little bit louder. Unfortunately this doesn’t always make for great tone. The Liquid Sunshine is a perfect match for amplifiers that leave you wanting more.

Many users of The Liquid Sunshine have used words like “tweedy” or “voxy” to describe its overdrive tone. This overdrive is not an “amp in a can” device. Often these designs will create a facsimile of amp tones, but often deliver unexpected depending on what amplifier is used. The design philosophy of this overdrive is to “play nice” with your tone. The Liquid Sunshine enhances what you already have.  It won’t make your amplifier sound like something it’s not.






40 comments:

  1. I'd rather go swimming right now. Well.. Let's see when the evening comes and darkness falls :)
    +m

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  2. haha, miro, were quite the same!
    this looks really interesting! im gonna throw a big order at tayda during the weekend, any suggestions what i should order, i mean, any suggestions for some veros i MUST build?
    currently doing the russian green muff!

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    1. Heh! There are so many great designs listed here.. I can recommend from the heart: Roland AF-100 Beebaa, Jordan Bosstone, ROG Whisker Biscuit, Schaller Tremolo, Ersatz Verben, all Devi stuff, Maxon 808, MXR Micro Amp, Hall of Reverb, Orange Squeezer, Skreddy Lunar Module, Klon Centaur, Catalinbread Heliotrope, MP Ruby Red Booster and why not that modded Pastrami :) Now those for starters :)

      I'll have to pass on this one for now. I have like 4 orders in, but sadly i'm currently out of B100K, B10K and two postion 2PDTs... It does that to you when you have the need to build 1-4 boards a day :)
      +m

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    2. the hall of reverb is on the bench already, waiting for some bricks from musikding, went for the L model.
      def trying the ersatz. def going for the micro amp and orange squeeer to. and oh yeees, the klon centaur, im doing that for sure! what are the Devi stuff? im lost! i have a feeling that my vaccation for two weeks will be busy...
      did you build the plimsoul? i loooooove mine, part of my main distortion now.
      https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2828668/Reaper%20Pedals/309_overdrive.jpg

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    3. Dude! Looks mean!

      By Devi stuff i mean all the Devi Ever layouts.. http://mirosol.kapsi.fi/varasto/boxes/666.JPG - bad photo, but that's my Aenima/Torn's Peaker/US Fuzz/Neverdrive/Disaster/Krackle in one box :) Hyperion2 is sure hit. Mine got sold before i even got to take a photo..

      L is good for the brick, i have two of those - one newer as hall of verb and another older for ggg-schem layout from Sabro. L's are really wet and surfy.

      I didn't build plimsoul and wasn't planning to. My opinion of Fooltone isn't too flattering :) Klon for OD. ROG English channel has it's mark as my next main distortion. Plus that Pastrami mod turned out really nice.
      +m

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    4. One extremely good thing about running out of components - i started to go through all my finished/boxed builds. Fastening the boards better, fastening transistors/regulators on sockets with solder, testing them all with battery, battery adapted to dc jack, good regulated wall wart and a super cheap, bad wall wart. Tested 12 already, with 1 of those in "maybe" pile, 2 in "to scrap or not to scrap" -pile and the rest go their designated shoe boxes (one for boosts, one for ODs, one for modulation, one for distortion, one for others and two for fuzzes). Only about 30 more to go. Once i'm through all of them, the ones in the shoe boxes are definitely good for selling. Or to hoard - to be used in recordings :)

      I guess i wouldn't have found the time to do this, if my stash wasn't out of some basic stuff. Funny. I feel like i'm going to be leaning more to quality than quantity from now on :)
      +m

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    5. Well you have built almost everything so there isn't too much quantity left! :o)

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    6. Oh if it were so... :D
      +m

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  3. I'm building the Pastrami when my parts order arrives. I was wondering about the English Channel. If you like it that much I'll have to build it. Used the Peachfuzz at practice today and loved it.

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  4. Very nearly pulling my hair out over this tonight. Tried 11 jfets in Q2 and couldn't bias them below 8.3v. Ok, dodgy trimmer, so I replaced it with a new one, same result. Removed that trimmer and socketed from 9v rail to Q2 drain and experimented with resistors. 4.53v was achieved with a 120k resistor. Circuit worked but was very noisy, used 5457's as I didn't have 5458's dunno if this contributed to the noise

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  5. What position did you have the Drive B pot in when you were trying to bias? The source resistor is part of the bias circuit and as that task is being performed by the Drive B pot you may find that if you had it at an extreme CW or CCW rotation then it would make biasing more difficult.

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    1. Probably had it fully ccw doh!

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    2. Do the same for Drive A because that's connected to the Gate of Q2 as well.

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  6. Hi can anyone help me on this. Ive built it seems like its working. But i find it that the gain is pretty low at both drive max. I adjust the trim to achieve 4.5ish v on the drain side of q2 n q3.

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    1. Hi muhammad. I think this could ideally do with biasing to 5V to 5.5V, do you have a bit more play with the trimmer or have you had a similar problem biasing that dexxyy had?

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  7. You can VERIFY this one. i just built it last night. if you'd like, i'll post a pic of it in about an hour.

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    1. Yes please John that would be great, and thanks for verifying.

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    2. here's some pics of it:

      http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/LiquidSunshine-clone/01-liquidsunshineclone.jpg

      http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/LiquidSunshine-clone/02-liquidsunshineclone.jpg

      it fit easily in a 1290 enclosure and IMO, it sounds great!

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  8. BTW, IMO, for bass guitar using a .47uf cap for the bass boost works a bit better for me, you could also use an on-off-on for that switch and get the additional stock 22nf (less bass boost) setting as well. and after trying it at the 4.75V-5V bias (as per specs) i actually prefer it at 3.28V for Q1 and 3.68V on Q2.

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  9. Hi may i know does the trimmer affect q1? adjusted both trimmers only seems to affect q2 and q3... my q1 shows 9.4v at Drain.

    With both drive knob at max the drive is not much. hmmm...

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    1. Q1 is permanently attached to the 9V row so you can't affect the drain voltage. If you think Q1 needs tweaking you'll need to swap the 10K source resistor for a trimmer but that's just a buffer stage so should be fine without tweaking.

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    2. yep. Q1 is supposed to be 9.4-9.6V at the drain. mine has plenty of overdrive with both drive A&B maxed.

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  10. I'm glad to see that this is verified because I am having trouble getting mine to work. I get the the same bypass signal as when it's bypassed except the volume works! But the voltages are correct when I check them. I must have some sort of wire messed up or perhaps a solder bridge that I missed.

    This is the fun part...

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  11. I got all the weird bits worked out, but it still wouldn't work. I was subbing 2N5457's for the 2N5458's and was getting nowhere. I swapped them for J201's and it suddenly started working. And very well, I might add. Should I hold out for the 2N5458's or stick with the J201's? They are a little noisy.

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  12. mine works with 2n5458's, 2n5457's and J201's, but i just went with the stock 2N5458's since i think that it sounds best with them. J201's are supposed to be very hi gain low noise transistors.

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  13. That's weird. Maybe I am getting hiss from something else. I swear the 5457's went into the same sockets but didn't work. Oh well, it sounds great and I will try the 5458's when they come in. Thanks

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    1. Do you know what make the 5457's are? I came across a datasheet the other day for Central Semiconductors which had a weird GDS pinout, unlike the more usual Fairchild arrangement which I always lay things out for.

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    2. I get the bulk of my stuff from Tayda and I just looked at the site and it says they are Fairchilds. Looking at the unit, it reads "F" and "BB33" which I assume means Fairchild. But the J201's sound fine and I have some 5458's on order, so we'll see.

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  14. anyone else get this weird low humming noise when the circuit is engaged? I biased it with 2n5458's with drive 1/2 turned to 12'0clock but still happening

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  15. Anyone else getting a weird low humm noise from the circuit when it's on? I used 2n5458's and biased per instructions with the drive knobs at noon. Help?

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  16. Not even when you turn the volume up? What could be causing that in mine?

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  17. nope. no hum, even when cranked to the max. you might try shielding your input and output wires to see if that helps, but i didn't have to in mine.

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I had made a comment about using 2n5457s ans using this as a clean boost - but immediately after I saw a small solder bridge and fixed it, restored the 2n5458s and now this has plenty of gain.

      It just goes to show you - one little thing. And I will admit I was in a hurry to do this last night and I literally forgot to check the board after I did my cuts, and I had some cuts that I did not fully drill out.

      If yours doesn't sound right check your cuts, etc. This circuit will "work" even if you have problems. It just won't sound right.

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  20. once biased its sounds great, except the high pitched whine. Ill take picture and maybe it might be my grounding of stuff. lots of different grounding objects: bass switch, volume pot, board, etc. when q3 is taken out it gets less. treble cut switch lessens it too.

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  21. here's what I've found out... The trimmers are at about5.25v. now 3 different wall warts made three different hums, 1 like a mosquito was 2amps, one like a lower hum was 6ishamps and another made a low hum. I then powered up with my carline(chinese) multi box power thing and bang no hum ,clean as. Its not even isolated power. what do you think is going on? This is a great pedal, would it benefit with a power filter section? why amps?

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