Monday, 3 September 2012

ColorSound Overdriver

Hmmm this looks familiar to another layout I've done recently ...
Note that at least one of the transistors is going to be very difficult to obtain now, and/or will be expensive.  The pinouts shown in this layout are based on using more modern transistors as replacements such as the 2N3904 or 2N5088.  Check the pinouts for the transistors you decide to use before soldering.

[Note: Layout updated 20th June 2014]







BUY A KIT

109 comments:

  1. Heehee. So the /13 has changed three component values and added one cap...
    +m

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  2. Yup, that's about the sum of it

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  3. Built this version tonight, when the drive pot is cranked I get a nice overdrive but back of slightly and it goes straight to clean with about a 20 percent volume drop. Volume, treble & bass all work as you would expect but not the drive. My only subs were the trannies, went with the /13 2n2222a combo as I didn't have this.

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    1. Just notice that the Drive pot in this should be 10K, my bad!

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    2. That makes sense, have a word with yourself ;-)

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    3. Much better response with the 10k pot, verified, probably makes the divide by 13 a stick on too :-)

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    4. Yeah the other will be good if this is, although that one does use a 100K Drive pot so we know what to expect maybe from that one. Cheers for verifying mate.

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    5. A C10k pot will give a more gradual sweep but the original has an bunched up at the end sweep as well.

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  4. Made one of these with a while ago with bc109's. One of the only pedals that has stayed on my board for a while. Brightens up my hot rod dlx unbelievably n sounds mint with Marshall 18 watt, beano album all day long

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  5. Mine sounds like crap. I used 2n2222's and few others but it just sounds farty and spongy.. maybe thats the way it's supposed to but doesn't do anything for me at all..

    Do you have any recommendations for equivalent transistors to the originals?

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    1. Also, I subbed all the 25uf's for 22's... would that make much of a difference?

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    2. I would seriously doubt it, I suspect that everyone building this would use a 22u now.

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    3. If anyone has built this and had problems then turn the 4u7 cap to Q3 collector, layout updated.

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  6. I've just ordered the kit from BitsBox, and looking forward to putting it together. Sorry - this is a very basic question (and probably answered elsewhere, but I can't find it), but are the diagrams above showing the stripboard with the copper side down or up (i.e. if down, the cuts need to be made from the underneath). Thanks.

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    1. The layouts represent the copper side down, and so looking at the component side of the board. So when you turn over the board to put the cuts in the copper side, bear in mind that the positions are mirrored those shown in the layout (if you use a graphics package like Paint Shop Pro and use the "Mirror" option, that will show you exactly what the cuts should look like copper side).

      With this being new to you I've done the mirrored version here to make it a bit easier, but at least you'll know what to do for the next one:

      http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j6/IvIark_2006/Layouts/Vero/ColorSoundOverdriver-trackside.png

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    2. There appears to be an extra 25uF cap (top left, 2nd left) decoupling the tone control input to +Ve. Now, I know I'm getting old & senile, but this can't be right!

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    3. Lennie, I think you're right. I just looked at the layout and thought, "where the hell did that come from"? I assume I've done a copy and paste of a cap intending it to be the 22u filter cap, put it around about where I intended to put it, and then did it again with the actual filter cap next to it. And funnily enough it still works! I'll update the layout.

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    4. Hey, we've all been there : ( Musta been A Momentary Lapse Of Reason! I'm gobsmacked to know it still works, as it should shunt AF from Q2 to +Ve, then to ground via the battery decoupling cap. I've tipped off Bob at Bitsbox. Thanx for the compact layout, I'll be building a junkbox version at the weekend.

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  7. Thanks for the quick response - that's very helpful.

    Best wishes for your future projects - I'll be watching.

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  9. In the way the transistors are oriented on your diagram, and if Q1 and Q2 are BC 169C, they should be (from top to bottom) BCE and if Q3 is a BC 184C, it should be EBC the correct legs order, shouldn't they?

    Thanks for sharing all this wonderfull info, this is an incredible site.

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    1. Yes you're right, I based the layout on using more modern transistors as replacements because the BC169 will be difficult to get hold and expensive if you can find them. But admittedly when I mention the original transistors in the layout without mentioning my reasoning behind the transistor pins used, it makes it a little confusing.

      I've added a note to the main post to make things more clear. Thanks for the feedback.

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    2. Thanks for confirming this.
      I got a couple of BC169C's and BC184C's, so I'll do some little leg twisting then.

      Just to know, those 2N3904's (or 2N5088) that you mentioned, would they sound the same as the 169C-184C combination?

      Cheers from Berlin!

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    3. Possibly not, a lot has changed since the BC169's were first manufactured, but the 2N3904 and 2N5088's are just mentioned as an example. There are plenty of modern CBE pinout transistors which could be experimented with to pick your favourites from. Some people would prefer the originals no matter what, but some would prefer to use something more easily obtainable. If you socket yours you could tell us how they differ! :o)

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    4. by the way, if they are scarce, here you can get BC169's, you can ask him to sell you less quantity, as I did.
      http://www.ebay.de/itm/50-x-BC169C-NPN-Silizium-Transistoren-rauscharm-/310490638380?pt=Bauteile&hash=item484aaf282c

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    5. Excellent, thanks for the link. I like to have plenty of choices so I'll get some of those just to stock up.

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  10. Built this using period parts from the junk box & am very pleased with the results. However, I found the gain control best served by a 1k pot.(2k woulda been ideal) as with 10k, all the action was crammed up one end. Once again, thanx Mark for the compact layout. : ) Right, now to rock the neighbours, KERR-ANG!...

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  11. so the kit comes with 2n2222's? wassup with that?

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    1. Yes, Bitsbox don't sell the BC types and so the 2N2222 was selected because that was what Divided by 13 used in the Joyride, which is a Colorsound Overdriver, and so it's obviously a comparable choice.

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  12. If the originals are hard to find and here in the states, the NTE equivalents are readily available! I'm going to slam this together in the next week with the NTEs and see how it turns out! I really like the tone of the clips also, fyi

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  13. Ok, here's the deal...I made it and it works and sounds killer! Due to the pin outs, Q1 and Q2 legs had to be bent to accomodate, but if you follow the Base, Emmitters, and Collectors on the layout, you're gold. I used NTE199's for Q1 and Q2 and a NTE123AP for Q3 which are readily available and only cost $1.20 and $1.25 each from Mouser respectively (I purchased them from the local electronic store)! The only issue I had was with the Drive knob...it really does not break up or significantly until the last couple of degrees (95-100%). The rest it pretty clean! Soo, I wonder if this can be changed for more variance between 0 and 100%. If so, let me know. Other than that, again, sounds killer and quiet! :)

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    1. p.s. - just listened to the Divided by 13 video and yes, that's how mine performs and sounds. I wonder why the ColorSound has 4-knob like the Divided. i thought it was only a 3 knob like in the video!!

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    2. Because it was shown as optional on the schematic I did it from, and I don't really like the idea of a dirt pedal where you have no control of overall volume. I wasn't sure what the output of the Overdriver would be like with full drive, so included one to be on the safe side.

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    3. Darn right. This has heaps of gain & a volume control is a must. You see heaps of OEM Colorsounds where one has been added as an afterthought on a sidewall : )

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  14. I made this and it worked really bad. Then I saw the wrong orientation of one electro cap, okay, so I turned it around and it was better but still crappy sounding. Now I've revisited this page and I can see that there's talk about that 22uF cap, hm, maybe I'lll try to dig it up from my fail bin and try it out one last time...
    still, thank you for the layouts...

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  15. anybody can say me where is the output on the pcb?? thanks!

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  16. output goes from the 2nd lug of the volume pot as it describes in the diagram.
    Thanks
    Dave

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  18. If I wanted to put higher quality capacitors, what would you recommend me? and how transistors work best?
    Thanks in advance

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    1. I really like the Panasonic ECQ series of caps, they're all uniformly small up to 470n, have tight tolerances and every effect I've used them in has sounded great. I also use multi layer ceramic caps instead of the common 50V ceramics for pF values. Divided by 13 used 2N2222A's in their copy and Bitsbox sends those in the kit for this, so I'd suggest those as replacement transistors.

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  19. Hey there! Finished the build but I'm having some problems. My problem is that the drive pot only really does anything at the very end of the taper, the sound is non-existant when the drive is low or down, clean in the middle and then all of a sudden is fuzzy. There's no overdrive in the middle, and the volume is very low until the very last portion of the taper.
    Here are some pics!
    [img]http://i46.tinypic.com/2rw3gug.jpg[/img][img]http://i50.tinypic.com/drfon8.jpg[/img][img]http://i50.tinypic.com/2dm5m3a.jpg[/img][img]http://i49.tinypic.com/2howqds.jpg[/img]

    Thanks in advance!

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    1. I am having this same problem, did you ever find a solution? I get sound throughout the entire taper but the last 1/10th or so is the only time you get added drive, it is fuzzy goodness but I would like to get a larger range. any suggestions?

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    2. Would a reverse log 10k pot help? I see this on a couple other layouts.

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  20. vadärdethär you might want to try a 2K2 pot for the drive. It helps a bit, but don't expect it to be an enormous difference! ;)
    There seem to be a lot of differences in colorsounds. I used to have a powerboost, but now i have an overdriver. Just made this kit to compare it.
    It sounds exactly the same (giving it i used the same pot values (200k for bass and treble and 2K2 for drive). I also used bc184L transistors.

    Cheers

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  21. Hey! I'm new in all the DIY stuff...
    I only did till now general guitar gadgets, and they have a layout so you don't need to think to much...
    And it's my first time using a breadboard .
    I figure to schematic and it's look ok
    But I didn't understand what are the red squares with the red dots I'm them?
    I just need to solder them ? To nothing?

    Thanks
    Roi

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    1. Hello Roi and welcome! I suggest you read the build guide to get you started. The red squares are trace cuts on the stripboard.
      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.se/2012/04/vero-build-guide.html
      +m

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    2. Thanks for the comment! I read it before I started, and maybe because of my bad English I didn't understand ,what I need to do physicaly when it's says "cuts" a photo will help.
      When it says "link" it's like a jumper right?

      And I have another questions
      1) how do I wire the switch?
      2)how do I put the transistors legs? I'm sticking with the 2n2222a

      And thanks agin!

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    3. I just got the cbe right in the place
      But I'm still stuck with the "cuts" and the switch

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    4. wiring switch: http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.be/2012/02/offboard-wiring.html
      cuts: cut the traces of your stripboard, like visualised here http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.be/2012/04/vero-build-guide.html

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    5. abd another step by step: http://www.sabrotone.com/?page_id=386

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    6. thanks!!! i will finish it today!

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    7. so i did everything and it went well!
      but now im stuck with 2 last things

      1)i try to see how to wire the 3pdt and i found 2 diffrent things
      the first
      http://www.sabrotone.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/TrueBypassWiring.jpg
      and the second
      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.be/2012/02/offboard-wiring.html

      they both from the links that "KT" gave me.
      how should i wire mine?

      2)about the GROUND
      i now that ground is allways black,but in this kind of project its kinda confuse me...because there are 2 ground from the board
      and were do i wire all the other ground wires ,Especially the connection to the switch acording the my first qustion.

      Thanks and sorry for my lack of knowledge

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    8. And I just notice That I have a output(from the volume 2) but I don't have a circuit output.

      Thank you all agin

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    9. Harald's method and mine are identical, they just use different poles, so use whichever one you want. The circuit output is the volume 3 wire, which is then attenuated by the volume pedal before going back to the switch via volume 2.

      All these questions are covered more extensively in the guides above.

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  22. Hi IvIark,
    Love your site, Great work!

    two questions:
    1. the Bass pot, when rolled down it turns the volume down and vice-versa.
    (unlike the treble which works fine). Any ideas why?
    2. Same issue with the Drive pot (changed to 2K) as everyone else here. It starts to work only at the last 5% of the dial.

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  23. Can any help me to fix the complete schematic?
    http://www.guitarristas.info/index.php?controller=forum&action=view_attachment&attachment_id=45794
    In this URL You can see my wrong schematic.

    Thanks

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    1. Yes, the grounds are not correctly done.

      Take off the black dc jack wire from the 25uf side and take it to the lower ground row. Where you had the back wire, solder another one and solder it to any other ground place.

      Just use the sleeve on the input jack for grounding, forget about the ring if not usin' a battery clip, so take the grounded pot lug from the ring and solder it to the sleeve.

      No way can it work with this wiring :P

      P.D Si tienes dudas, ya te contesto en cristiano, pero no es paln hacerlo directamente, ya que este es un foro inglés. Saludos!

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    2. Thanks, puedes escribir a srpolidis@gmail.com

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. Can any help me?
    http://www.guitarristas.info/index.php?controller=forum&action=view_attachment&attachment_id=45979

    Thanks!

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  26. Hello,
    I just built this today, and yesterday the same on a PCB, same circuit really with the 2N2222. they gave the worst or even no sound on both sides! So i tried BC549C, 2N5088 and 2n3904 and it sounds as it should now i guess.
    But i have a question, i've been desperately trying to build a good EQ, i've tried this only for the bass and treble section, i built a 6band EQ, the Sea blue EQ, all have the same problem: noise on high frequencies... is this how they're all supposed to act or am i doing something wrong for the 5th time?
    any suggestions welcome! :)

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  27. hey just build this pedal and it really is great with the gain dimed, very nice when driving a tube amp into a creamy saturated mess, defo a keeper for a nice vintage vibe
    thanks for the layout!

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  28. Hello!
    I just finished mine, and it smashes!
    I found bc169c on ebay and I bought bc184L in Tayda (it does not have the bc184c), I just watch out for the pinouts.
    Disappointed that the gain arrives at the end of the curve. Is that the curve would lengthen if I use C5K (this is what I have in store)? What can change this?

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  29. sorry i'm posting like crazy here... but i've been laid off and am on a pedal building binge while I apply for new jobs. I had originally read that the power boost and overdriver were the same, but then i read differently and found out that the power booster (which i believe gilmour used originally) ran at 18v. Anyone try running this at 18v?

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  30. hey guys, cool layout. how about the power boost version? i know its similar, either the 18V or the 9V sola reissue. would love to build one of those....

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    1. You'll get Power Boost if you run this layout at 18V and you'll get the Overdriver by omitting the level pot.
      http://www.kitrae.net/music/Music_mp3_Colorsound_Sound.html
      +m

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  31. Hi guys! I just made the Colorsound Overdrive and it sounds great.The tone is perfect and I am really satisfied with this pedal.The sound is simple unbelievable!

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  32. Hi guys! I just made the Colorsound Overdrive and it sounds great.The tone is perfect and I am really satisfied with this pedal.The sound is simple unbelievable!

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  33. Hi!

    I'm trying to build the Overdriver, but it won't work. There is signal, and the bass and treble controls function, but there's no drive at all, even with the drive pot bypassed, and the volume is lower than when the pedal's bypassed.

    I'm using 2x BC169C and a BC184C with the legs twisted according to the datasheets, and I couldn't find any misplaced component, solder bridges or anything else. I've built it twice now from scratch but without luck (I guess you define insanity as doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result?).

    Has anyone had the same problem, or do you have an idea of what could be the problem? I've built several pedals from this site and they work as they should, but this one just won't!

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    1. spacetape, i just built this with the same transistors and it works great. lots of gain and LOUD!!!!. your issues sounds like trannys in the wrong direction.I would suspect the BC169's are the issue. can you sub out with some others that have a CBE layout to verify if the circuit works? I have my board sitting out if you need some help troubleshooting. Let me know.

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  34. Built this just this weekend. Wow. what a beast with the gain cranked up. I tried several different transistor combinations. and the BC169C & BC183 seems by far the best. What a beast!!! BC109s didn't have any real character to my ears. Anyone who built this and is not impressed order up some BC169s & a BC184 or BC183 and see about the difference.

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    1. Nice one, did you build it from the updated layout or from the original one?

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    2. it would be the most current version. just built it over the weekend. Yes rev2. nice sounding pedal. had to play Freeway Jam on it. like everyone else i bet. It's big & ballsy.

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    3. Let me first apologize to Jeff Beck for the horrible rendition of one of his classic tunes. Next up trying to get some Gilmore tones out of this thing. Sorry in advance David G.

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  35. Hi,

    Got no drive, everything else is good, any ideas please?

    Built from the kit, V2 schematic as above...

    Thanks,


    David

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    1. Measure the DC voltage at all the transistor pins and post them. That should give a clue as to a problem area

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    2. Hi,

      Thanks for your response.

      Voltages as follows, measured against ground, unit switched on, all pots to maximum and assuming Q1 to Q3 left to right as per the schematic:

      Q1
      C 1.69
      B 1.08
      E 0.47

      Q2
      C 5.12
      B 1.69
      E 1.08

      Q3
      C 6.49
      B 1.32
      E 0.71

      The unit does now appear to add a little gain, but only at the very last gasp of the drive pot, possibly similar to other threads on here?

      Thanks in advance,


      David

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  36. Just to say that it sounds so nice ! Thanks the team for this great layout !

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  38. I'm getting set to start this one, but I'm confused as to which is Q1, Q2 and Q3. I though at first, as stated just above, that it would in order, 1, 2, 3 from left to right. But your Sept 2014 comment, regarding the cap at Q3's collector, indicates that Q3 is in the middle. Can you clear this up for me?

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  39. Hi, could anyone help me out, please? I'm just putting this together from the Bitsbox kit and it has two 220nF caps, one of which is a polybox and the other a polyester film, and two 10nF caps one polybox and one disc. The diagram doesn't specify which go where.

    Thanks,

    Nick

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    1. Put them wherever they fit. Their type is unimportant, it's the value that matters. In this case, the 220n box cap probably has a 5mil pitch so should go on the left had side without having to bend legs. The film cap will go on the right as the pegs are longer allowing you to bend them into position. Take your pick with the 10n's.

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    2. Ah thanks! I thought there might be no difference but just wondered why they supplied different types

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  40. Success! Sounds fantastic! I've tried the supplied 3 x 2N2222A's and 3 x BC184L's so far. The 2N2's have a softer tone while the BC184's (which I tried because they're what's in the Casteldine Power Boost)have a treblier and fuzzier tone. I'm going to try some BC109C's as well. I'm still uncertain what the exact differences are between the Overdriver and the Power Boost. I'm after the early Gilmour sound and this is very close.

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  41. built his circuit over the weekend, plugged it in and thankfully it worked straight away (This is the most complex build I've attempted so far) but I was left a bit disappointed. even swapping various transistors the gain pot only gets any kind of dirt from around 7 or 8 upwards and it's quite a thin weak drive unless the treble is dropped to around 3 or less and the bass is upped to around 7 or more, also the volume pot works perfectly up to about 9 then suddenly cuts to silence. I've double checked for wrong components/orientation, bad solder joints, swapped out pots and transistors as well but other than higher hfe giving a little bit more dirt, and lower hfe giving a little less, I'm a little disappointed with the results. Sounds pretty poor into a clean channel, and not much more than ok into a breaking up/driven channel, perhaps I need to try the black forest or the joyride?

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  42. I found a dtat sheet on the bc169c they have a minimum HFE of 380. Thats pretty high i think ill go with 2n5088 has anyone used these and had good success?

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  43. hello, I bought this kit a few days ago but I'm not an engineer and I can not recognize some of the resistance values. Can someone post a detailed picture of the complete circuit?
    Please help me!! Thanks a lot.. You could even sent pictures at my email: layne78@libero.it

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    1. That might not help you, or prove more confusing if the resistors are not the same brand or series as the ones you have. Download a resistor colour code chart from the internet and try to use that to identify them correctly.
      OR, use a multimeter to accurately identify them - a cheap auto-range one is best for this job.

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  44. Any guess how could I adapt this circuit to use in the Bass ? I would like to use as a transparent overdrive.

    For example, to preserve the low end and to make the Tone Stack be good for the low frequencies (10Hz for example).

    I found this schematic, I believe is the same of the Tagboard Effect:

    http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/schematics/overdriverschem.gif

    Thank you very much!

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  45. Hi, just made this from Bitsbox Kit and I have volume that works and a battery that you can hear when connecting/disconnecting but otherwise nothing works. Transistors and all other parts look correct and no bad solder any ideas?

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  46. Hi, is it 1M ohm or 1M K resistor I need for this one, not sure .

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    1. 1M ohm, there's no such thing as a 1M K. all resistor measurements are in ohms, the k means thousand, m means million.

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    2. Thanks Zach , Just testing, Sorry for the dumb comment still learning again thanks for your reply it means a lot!

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    3. no problem man, happy to help. we all start from the same point.

      just think about it like the metric system, the M or K represents the multiple of the number (1million, 1thousand) respectively. without the letter it's just whatever the number is.

      btw, i always say this to someone just starting. don't try to build a pedal that's more on the complicated side. if there's a problem debugging it when you don't really know what you're doing can be a nightmare. build something less complicated that you can still use.

      also, don't forget to read the build guide at the top.

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    5. Zach, I have been using the build guide above but i have come to a wall. which ground and output do I connect too from volume pot . I am using the off board wiring diagram . From the volume pot can I ground at DC ground ring. I have been after one of these pedals for along time so really would like to finish if i can.

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    6. awesome. so if i understand what you're asking the answer is actually really simple. so the build notes at the bottom say "volume 1 to ground and volume 2 to output." lets take each one individually.

      first, ground. now when you think about ground, all your grounds are tied together usually through the enclosure mostly, so they all go to the same place regardless of which ground location to attach it to. remember you've got a ground lug on your input/output jacks, which make contact with the metal enclosure.

      what i like to do is make as many ground connections to the board as possible. so i look for either an open spot on the board that i can connect to at the board or tie multiple connections together by daisy chaining ground lugs together and bringing them to the board. it's just one of the things i'm anal about, you don't have to do it that way.

      you'll notice with this pedal you don't have an open space on the edge of the board that's connected to ground. but, you have on the bottom left "Drive 1&2" tied to ground. so you have a wire that connects "Drive 1&2," you can also take a wire and run it from either lug 1 or 2 from the drive and run it to volume 1, and then to the "Drive 1&2" mark on the board. the other option, which is more commonly used, is just run a wire from volume 1 up to the grounding lug of one of the input/output jacks. you could put it to the DC ground, but it's a small lug, and i think it will be a PIA, and look sloppy. just run the DC ground to one of the grounding lug of one of the input/output jacks. you'll run the ground wire from the board to one of the grounding lug of one of the input/output jacks as well, and then run a ground wire from one of the grounding lug of one of the input/output jacks to the switch.

      now the output is stupid simple. your output will typically always go to the switch. check out the offboard wiring tab to see the offboard wiring in pictures. when you do you'll notice there's a wire running between the 2 jacks, but you really don't need it.

      when i do my offboard wiring, i try to make as few ground connections on the jacks as possible, mostly for neatness, so i try to keep the same amount of connections on each jack, rather then have them all on one.

      check out the forum and the pedal guts thread and you'll see how a bunch of us wire up or pedals. it hopefully help give a better visualization. and sorry for leaving such a long winded explanation, i tried to be as detailed as i could and not be overwhelming. hope you get it up and running, it's an awesome pedal and don't hesitate asking anything else. oh and there's also 2 different great variations of this that you may find to be more versatile or more interesting, the throbak overdrive boost and black arts black forest.

      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.com/2013/04/throbak-overdrive-boost.html

      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.com/2014/04/black-arts-toneworks-black-forest.html

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  47. Zach , thanks so much for taking the time to explain various methods on how this is done. So far I have made two pedals, the P19 and the PIG MINE. But for some reason I stumbled on this one, anyway thanks again for the reply let you know if I run into any more walls . Thanks Stu

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    1. anytime man always happy to help. the more you build, the more you learn.

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  48. Hi ZACH, Just completed it finally second attempt at last , Wow very loud goes well with a MUFF nice pedal just want to keep it on all the time adds loads of life to your pickups, I did not have a BC169C , all three are BC184C, could you recommend a good sounding Transistor to take the third place. if I wanted to convert this to an 18v how would this be done. Thanks Stu.

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    1. Tbh, I haven't built this one, but built the throbak version with 2n2222 for all 3 transistors and love it. Really you can try any npn Si transistor, just mind the pinout. I believe you want medium to low gains. As for running it at 18v, as long as your caps are rated higher then 18v, especially you're electrolytics, you're good to go. Can't guarantee it will sound better or different though.

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    2. Yes I think the THROBAK looks the way to go, a lot of great reviews on this pedal, very good clone of the Colour sound Power booster. I will leave this one the way it is. have a go at the THROBAK .Thanks Stu.

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  49. Can you also post rev 1 back up? I made it years ago and now something came loose and I can't remember where it goes! Thanks.

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