Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Rockbox Boiling Point

Yay, Overdrive layout number 100! :o)   Info from Rockbox about their original:

The Rockbox™ Boiling Point™ Overdrive Boost incorporates a 3 position diode selector for a nearly endless variety of harmonic flavor. In the Plexi mode, the pedal has very Marshall-like response. For the Symetrical Overdrive mode, we gave the pedal a truly organic, tube-like distortion, with greater output. You will notice the overtones and response is like no other pedal. The middle position is a clean boost, with more than enough gain to send your favorite tube amp into overdrive heaven. While we gave the Overdrive Boost a tremendous amount of gain, we paid close attention to how the pedal cleans up. If you are a volume knob player, you will love how this pedal will clean up for a thick, creamy clean rhythm sound.

In a recent pedal shootout that included many of the "holy-grail" and vintage pedals like Landgraff, Klon, Fulltone, Lovepedal, Way Huge, Analog Man and Paul Cochrane, the Boiling Point™ was consistently named the "Best of Class" by all the players who participated.

For greatest road reliability, we don't use socketed connections in any location with the exception of the 4558 chip, which was designed to be socketed. Socketed connections, which you will find in some boutique builders work, can come loose and fail. We solder all connections within the pedal for greatest road reliability. The IC is socketed so that you can experiment with other IC chips. (We prefer the sound of the RC4558P in most builds, but can ship with any other chip you prefer). It may be quicker to use pin sockets like some of the more expensive competition, but we don't want you to suffer due to unreliable connections.

Final assembly of our effects are followed one final test: Each finished pedal is auditioned using the best test we know of - we listen to it.

We truly believe that the Boiling Point™ is one of the best overdrive pedals you will ever purchase. If you are an experienced guitarist, satisfied with your amplifier rig, the Boiling Point™ will add a wide variety of very tasty flavors to enhance your sound. "Enhance" is an important concept with us. The Boiling Point™ is specifically tuned with the finest quality components to ensure that the true sound of your guitar shines through. You will notice that your guitar's sound will remain the foundation of that sound even with the most aggressive distortion settings.

If you are like most of us, and have wasted money in the past on effects that just didn't cut it, the Boiling Point™ will make a believer out of you. We think that you will find the Boiling Point™ to be a useful tool in your arsenal of sound, and will get a permanent spot on your pedalboard.












Edited to show the position of the perceived "signal path" carbon comp resistors used by Rockbox, all other resistors are 1% metal film in the original as shown in the layout.  I think they must have found a bulk lot of 1K at a good price, especially as they included the 1K resistor which forms part of the filter and maximum gain resistor attaching to switch 2, which is no more in their apparent "straight line series" signal path than any of the other resistors in there (vref voltage divider accepted).  No denying this sounds great in the clips though.


Updated 4th September 2014 - new compact layout added



81 comments:

  1. Congrats on number 100!!

    Does anyone have any tips/tricks for mounting diodes/leds on switches? I've never really bothered with switchable diode/leds but I imagine it could get quite messy piling things on the switch...

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    1. I've always used heat shrink to get them neatly in there. Other option would be to use tiny daughter board for the diodes and wire that up..

      Hmmmm.. Is it just me, or does this look a lot like http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JbBew4g4qu0/T0avYgDSZ1I/AAAAAAAAA1Y/CIHYhZa3Q7c/s1600/Ibanez+TS808.png

      +m

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    2. Yes heatshrink or electricians tape will help keep things compact and tidy. And yes Miro, do you notice a couple of similarities. :o) It's basically a Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive with an additional switchable option and a couple of value changes. Does seem to sound nice though but it's a lot of money for a modded TS.

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    3. Hello guys, congrats for your work. Someone has electric diagram of this pedal? Thx a lot carlo

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    4. Can find a schematic here:
      http://revolutiondeux.blogspot.fr/2012/01/rockbox-boiling-point.html

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  2. Congrats on 100! I'm curious, is this a stripped down version? Schematics I have show far more components than this.

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    1. Everything is there with one group exception. For some totally bizarre reason they included 5 x 100n filter caps in parallel between supply and ground. I have just included one (even though it's pointless I thought I'd at least keep that semi-authentic). There is already a 100u main filter cap, but the logic behind adding an additional lower value cap in parallel is that it can help with high frequency noise in some circuits. But not a low voltage circuit like this, so even including 1 is essentially a waste of space. And so the sum result of putting 5 x 100n filter caps in parallel with the main 100u cap means that the capacitance between supply and ground will equal 100.5u instead of 100u. You may as well just measure a few 100u's and choose the one with slightly more capacitance.

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    4. Not that i want to start another "smell my caps" war, but..

      The reason for the small caps could also be to have better/more treble. The sound is just a modified power supply signal and the better the ps the better the sound. Smaller caps are "faster" than large eletrolytic ones and should have better treble response. I've have used small caps parallelled on the large ones on hifi power amp and could hear a difference. Don't know if it is possible to hear the difference in a pedal though, probably depens on the quality of the power supply. Anyway, with one 100n you should be on the safe side

      (finally got the spelling right on this one)

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  3. Thanks for the explanation. Sounds like the person who was given the task to tweak the circuit was not 'au fait' with this kind of application.

    I learn something every time I used your site or build a pedal!

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  4. Fantastic, thank you Mark! And congrats on the milestone release! :-)=

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  5. Why 4M99 resistor? Can be 5M resistor?

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    1. Because they were using weird E96 values, but you can always use the closest common value in instances like this. Things just don't need to be very precise in the vast majority of cases with these effects.

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    2. Is 4M99 close to 5M or is it 4,099 M?
      BTW, nice circuit Mark!

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    3. The M (or K, R etc) replaces the decimal and so this would be 4.99M. If it was 4.099 it would be noted as 4M099

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    4. But it's just a pulldown resistor so you could use anything from 1M to 10M really, it wouldn't matter.

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  6. I'm loving the judicious use of carbon comp resistors in exact mojo-approved places!

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    1. He obviously wanted to use carbon comps for all positions where the entire signal runs through the resistor, and I'm assuming he's used one at the switch 2 resistor purely because he had plenty in stock for a bit of extra mojofication.

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  7. The clips are pretty fantastic. Congrats on 100. You work too hard!

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  8. Nice work on this one,
    I am going to have to make this pedal ASAP!
    Any word on when this one will be verified as working?
    I am a noob and will not be the 1st to make it LOL

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  9. i just built this one today and it sounds frickin' awesome so you can VERIFY IT. IMO, it makes my vintage tubescreamer sound like a toy by comparison.

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  10. a couple of pics of my completed boiling point. i socketed some of the coupling caps that allowed me to make it into a bass dirt pedal. now, it's capable of a full range transparent boost (with NO low end loss) , all the way into heavily saturated FUZZ. i really like this one. thanks again Mark!

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

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

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    1. Very pro build as usual John, nice one.

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    2. thanks Mark. IMO, it really is a great dirt pedal, so thanks for posting the vero of it. after trying about a dozen different dual opamps in it, i settled on an OPA2134 which i found to yield the smoothest and fullest overdrive/distortio, at least on mine that's now modded for bass. ;-)

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    3. Looks very nice John ! . . what do you use to label it so nice (volume, tone, etc.) ?

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  11. jrc4558d vs rc4558p in this, any thoughts on that ?

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    1. It's subtleties and a matter of taste, so you'll probably have to choose your own favourite on a circuit by circuit basis. Socket the IC and you can try lots.

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    1. Hi Mark,

      I built the pedal and sound fantastic!, but there is a weird thing that I'm not sure if it's natural... I notice a volume drop when you change the switch from symmetrical clipping to middle position in the switch, Is this normal?, Also if I put the gain on 10 in the middle position I have a massive amount of gain, more than the other switch positions.

      Cheers.

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    2. No that definitely doesn't sound right to me. The middle position should be loudest with no diodes in circuit. Maybe a dodgy switch?

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    3. Oh sorry (I made a mistake in the comment :P), I notice a drop down when I change from middle position to 4 diodes position, and also the middle position is the loudest of the 3 positions on gain 10, It has more gain in comparison with the 2 other positions.



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  13. Hi there,

    i also just finished up my Boiling Point build:
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/2696342/diy/Quasimono-Rockbox-Boilingpoint.jpg

    Thank you very much for supplying the layout Mark!

    I really dig this thing, sounds awesome, a fantastic higher gain tubescreamer!

    I've been changing around a few different IC chips (RC4558P, TL072IP, OPA275P, TLC2262), but the original (cheap) RC4558P sounded best to me.
    Or i might need to say that the other, more expensive chips didn't sound that much better or different, the changes were rather subtle...
    Anyone have another favourite IC for this pedal?

    Cheers!

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  14. Hello, can you specify how I will be wiring the 3 position switch? The wording has me a little confused.

    A) The yellow wire goes to the Drive pot with lugs 2 and 3 bridged. The white wire goes to the 3 DPDT switch with the center lugs bridged?

    Or

    B) The yellow wire connects to Drive pot lug 2 then heads to the Sw1b. The white wire connects to Drive pot lug 3 then heads to Sw1a?

    Thank you!

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    1. The connection point shown on the board, Drive 2 and 3 AND Sw1b on the switch all need connecting together. You can do that however you prefer, I would normally daisy chain from one to the next and use a cut off resistor lead to connect Drive 2 and 3 to link them. Sw1a and Sw2b on the switches both need to be connected to the positions shown on the board.

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    2. Thank you! Makes perfect sense now. For some reason I wasn't reading the two as separate.

      Btw, is there any way I can donate to the site? I don't have much, but I'd like to contribute.

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    3. Thanks Frankie but I wouldn't feel right accepting donations. Google do pay me for ad clicks though, so if you do want to donate then click a few ads every now and again and let Google pay me :o)

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  15. Hi Mark, is there a way to compesate the volume drop when you change from middle position to any of the diode clipping positions with the switch?

    I was wondering a way to reduce the volume in the middle position to get the same volume in all the switch positions.

    Thx!

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    1. I can't think of a way you could do it easily using a simple toggle switch. If you used a 3 position 4 pole rotary switch you could do it by adding the diodes in the appropriate positions and in the diode lift position add a resistor to ground somewhere in the circuit to dump some of the signal to try to get the levels at some sort of parity. It would be a lot of messing about though for something which may not be that much of a benefit. You're not likely to switch a toggle mid song and so you can always get the levels right in between songs when you're selecting a new clipping method (or indeed no clipping). And if you do switch on the fly mid song then the boost could be useful for a solo or something.

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  16. Hi there folks, and a happy new year to all of you!

    I've been testing a few other IC's in this pedal recently, and finally settles on the Analog Devices' AD712.
    This chip sounds superb in the boiling point! Compared to the original RC4558P, with the AD712 the pedal now has a little more refined mids and added clarity in higher gain settings, really cool!

    Recommended!

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  17. I do have another question regarding my build of this pedal:
    Compared to the Galileo pedal i also recently built from your (Mark's) layout, the Boiling Point has a very noticeable hum when activated. It's not totally annoying, but it bugs me ever so slightly, as the Galileo is really silent in direct comparison.. you know?

    I tested both pedals with the identical "guitar -> cable 1 -> pedal (powered with an external battery) -> cable 2 -> amp" chain.

    The result is, that the Galileo is almost silent, even with gain and volume cranked, whereas the Boiling Point has a very noticeable hum, that doesn't change from varying the gain, but get's louder or softer from varying the volume.

    What would you guys do to remedy this?
    Just changing positioning of the input / output cables inside the pedal?
    Use shielded cable for the input /output?
    Add some filtering circuitry after the 9V input?

    Any tips appreciated, thanks!

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    1. Circuit has 100µ cap for power filtering, but you could try on a bigger value there. 220µ maybe.
      +m

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    2. Yes, plus you could put a low value resistor like 47R in series with the supply which might help

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    3. ok, thanks guys!
      I'll try these suggestions first, should be easier and faster to do than mucking around with shielded cable..

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  19. Hi, I checked out the videos and was impressed so had a go at making it.

    Ive just built this and when I plug in I get about 1 second of distorted signal and then the sound quickly fades away and then silence. When I unplug the battery from my test rig and reconnect, I get a second of signal and then same thing happens. Ive never had this type of problem with a build before and to me it sounds like the circuit works because Im getting output but I cant figure out what is happening to the signal after that first second.

    Any thoughts? I'll recheck the layout for mistakes, but does this problem sound like anything?

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    1. Any thoughts anyone?
      Ive still not got this working.
      I got the audio probe out and followed the signal path and i could get signal up as far as pin 3 on the ic. No signal from pin 2.
      Checking the voltages, im getting a reading of 8.something from all the pins apart from 4 which is zero, which sounds dodgy to me.

      Im thinking that theres a fault with my vero but ive checked for continuity between the jumper on the top strip that gives the ic its supply voltages and to the other strips that the ic connects to and theres no continuity.

      Im stuck for ideas so pointers on what to do next, please let me know. Id be very grateful for some advice.

      Cheers

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  20. So the negative pin on the LEDs (on the switch) is where the little white stripe is?
    I guess it doesn't matter, you just solder both of them straight onto the switch, with both oriented in a different way. Is this correct?

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    1. Yes the mark is the cathode but as you say, as long as you have them top to tail it doesn't matter which is which

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  21. wait, so the LED+ wire goes straight to the LED? No resistor in between?

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    1. LED resistor is on the board.
      +m

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    2. Oh, so it's that 4K7 there. Thanks

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    3. Noob question...

      Where goes the LED- ? to the 9V?

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  22. I've put this one together last weekend. Sounds great!!!
    With the gain way up it becomes gritty in the good way... almost like a fuzz.

    Could not get a 620K so i soldered a 300K and a 330K in series... (you do the math ;)
    Don't suppose that is going to make a lot of difference.

    This one is going into a nice box!!

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  23. Just finished this one, and it sounds great! Thanks so much!

    I also had to change some resistor values because I couldn't find the exact ones, but it's all good.

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    1. Some pictures :)
      https://dl.dropbox.com/u/15615610/pedals/IMAG0028_BURST003.jpg
      https://dl.dropbox.com/u/15615610/pedals/IMAG0027_BURST002.jpg

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    2. Nice one, thanks for the pics

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  24. and here goes my version of thism and demo as well!
    http://instagram.com/p/XQQx8jxWG7/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgYfnzvBPnk

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  25. Finished this today. Excellent little pedal!

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  26. Would a W20K or B10k work for the tone pot? Which one would be more suitable? Thanks

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  27. between those tow, i'd use the B10K with a 2.5K resistor across lugs 1 & 3.

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  28. Hello everyone. I'm building sabro's layout of this pedal now. Only my 4th build or so, and I have a question about the 1uF caps. I was about to use some electrolytics I had then thought better. Is the voltage oscillating in this circuit and therefore bidirectional caps are specified here? Just curious because otherwise i have not used bidirectional caps of this value range so far.

    On a related note - of all the DIY books out there, any suggestions for one that would start to enlighten me on such things?

    Thanks in advance for helping a beginner.

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    1. I don't think that in this circuit you need non polarized caps, as in the few cases that you should use them, its clearly stated in the layout / schematic, for example, in the Mutron III.

      Most of the times, a non elethrolitic is prefered as it lasts many more years than a electro, and some fellows swear to find differences in the sound.

      I try to use non p caps whenever is posible in order to get a longer lasting pedal, the sound differences (if existing) are barely noticeable.

      BR

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    2. Hello everyone.
      A simple question - Can i use 18 volts to power this project?
      I see the 9 volts power directly to a transistor.

      Cheers

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    3. Yes no problem, just make sure the 100u filter cap at the bottom right and the 100n cap next to Q2 are both rated for at least 25V.

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  29. For some reason I am getting very little output volume from this pedal. As in, significantly lower than most overdrives I've built. I've double and triple checked my that each component is in place and has the correct polarity, checked my off board wiring, inspected for solder bridges, and I STILL can't find a reason why I'm getting such low output.

    Here's the kicker: this is the third pedal in a row with this problem (along with the mojo-less EM Drive, and Honey Bee v2)... Are there any bad habits you can think of that would be contributing to this a lack of OP volume? I'm completely stumped here... Please help!

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    1. Voltages:

      C/B/E
      Q1: 9.16 / 2.68 / 3.66

      Q2: 9.16 / 2.90 / 3.72

      IC

      4.56|----|9.16
      4.60|----|4.56
      4.47|----|4.56
      0.00|----|4.55

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    2. Well your voltages look pretty good to me so it strongly suggests a poor connection somewhere which could be something as simple as a bad joint on one of the pot lugs. You really need an audio probe to try to pin point the problem area, and from the start of the signal path start going through the circuit component by component until get get to the area where the signal is dropping out. There will be no better way of finding the exact area where the problem starts.

      Have a look at this page, and then you need to check through the components in the following order (both sides of the passives so you can tell exactly where the problem starts). This assumes you've wired the switch as per the Offboard page on this site.

      Input socket
      Stomp switch lug 9
      Stomp switch lug 5
      Input
      22n
      1K
      Q1 base
      Q1 emitter
      1u
      IC pin 3
      IC pin 1
      1K
      IC pin 5
      IC pin 7
      1u
      1K
      Level lug 3
      Level lug 2
      100n
      Q2 base
      Q2 emitter
      100R
      10u
      Output
      Stomp switch lug 7
      Stomp switch lug 8
      Output socket

      There are obviously more components around the drive pot, tone pot and switches, but that follows that main signal path through the circuit and will allow you to find the area the problem starts in and then you can investigate a bit further once you know that.

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  30. hi, i built two of them with a lot of substitutes. i took 2n7000/2n5088. the gain is pretty ok. would not not recommend 2n3904s. would leave the diode-switch aside. it just rocks without it. tried one tsh22. rc4558 is much more ballsy. thanks. works fine. nice pedal.

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    1. correction: this thing sounds awesome (with or without a SBEQ in front of it.)

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  31. Sounds amazing! Another great layout Mark!

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  32. Hi everyone, hoping to get a bit of help here with some mods. I'm planning on building this pedal for guitar but I olay bass and was wondering if anyone could help me with adding some tweaks to make it more bass friendly.
    Any help would be great, thanks

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  35. I built the version 1 and I LOVE this pedal. It has an amazing tone that can give you just a little grit or totally Growl. It kind of reminds me of a Klon. It is a very straight forward build that is totally worth it. I really appreciate this layout and also this page.

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  36. Hi, can you please tell me what value of cap can I use if I don't have 150n (so that sound is still as it should be)? Thanks.

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  37. Hi !
    on rev.2 layout, Where drive 3 is solder please ?
    Lugs 2 & 3 are they linked on the drive pot ?
    like on this schematic :
    http://revolutiondeux.blogspot.fr/2012/01/rockbox-boiling-point.html
    Thank you ! I 'll post some pics as soon as mine is done ! I've engraved the enclosure, very beautiful result !

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    1. Leave it unsoldered or link it with gain pot's lug 2. Both will work the same.
      +m

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    2. Hi Miro ! thanks for the tip
      mine is done, it sounds fantastic !
      great circuit !
      only one "default" : it sounds very loud !!!
      perhaps I will replace the level pot by another ...
      (1M lin or 500k : is anybody makes this mod ?)
      some pics :
      http://tompouce33.free.fr/pedales/boiling_point/1.jpg
      http://tompouce33.free.fr/pedales/boiling_point/2.jpg
      http://tompouce33.free.fr/pedales/boiling_point/3.jpg
      http://tompouce33.free.fr/pedales/boiling_point/4.jpg

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