Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Death By Audio - Soundwave Breakdown

One for the Fuzzynoise-ophiles.  Description of the original:

The Soundwave Breakdown takes the idea of a screaming fuzz pedal and turns it inside out. It uses specially matched transistors turned backwards to get it's bombastic sound. The one knob controls extreme biasing of one of the transistors and the other controls intense filtering. Although this sounds simple the results are perplexing. The combination of allow a vast universe of fuzz | distortion | overdive | buzz | grind | bleeps | synth sounds | harmonies | and soundwave manipulation. The exact positions of the knobs yield completely different sounds for endless great insane fuzz tones.

Video of the 2 knob version, this layout for the 3 knob version with additional volume control.





41 comments:

  1. I still doubt if Oliver Ackermann is a genious or just really sucks designing effects.

    The Fuzz Gun makes me think about the first option, effects like this one, the Fuzz War or the Sonic Anhililation leads me definetely to option 2...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you mean the opposite right? I have the original Supersonic Fuzz Gun and it sucks... i'm gonna sell it asap

      Delete
  2. bite your tongue, this circuit is incredible. i did my own layout for this one awhile back but i havent boxed it yet, think i might just rip all the parts out and do this one because it was the first layout i ever did and is probably wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm building this in the next few days. Sounds like fun. I would love to find a verified Fuzz War also. I have seen 2 different verso floating around but I can't find anyone that has verified it yet. Thanks Mark for the Death By Audio love.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excited for this one also. Will have to sit on my hands (or build something else!) until the parts come...

    ReplyDelete
  5. I too would love a good Fuzz War layout

    ReplyDelete
  6. Damn. I need to resolder the darlingtons. Legs need twisting. Like always iwith my overconfident touch, i soldered them in with emitter on top. But the layout calls for BCE pinout. I'll have something to eat and twist the legs then..
    +m

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't yours BCE? That was shown in the datasheet.

      Delete
    2. Nope. That didn't do it. I lost the massive kracles and i've had the fuzz all the time. So quiet that i can hear it at bedroom levels when VC15 is maxed though. Can't see anything else wrong in there.. I'll probe some...

      ---

      Everything seems to be in order and fine until Q5. Base has the signal as it should.. I'd better dig out the sockets.

      ---

      Nah. Only BCE transistors i have at hand are 2SC1815. With these it works like an envelope filter, eating up the attack and lighting up second or two later. Any of my 2N5306s didn't work at all. Only have like 20 and i only did twist the legs of ten pieces...
      +m

      Delete
    3. I've been an idiot today. So it seems that the layout is solid.

      2N5089s equal that usual premature gating. And it doesn't accept just any 2N5306 for Q5&6. I didn't manage to get it to sound "right".
      +m

      Delete
    4. Should I leave tagging it for the time being?

      Delete
    5. Probably. Although my board worked, but as it is what it is. I don't feel like humiliating myself more with it. :) Just wanted to have a quick try to see if this was less painful to build than other DBA circuits. Turns out it isn't :)

      But for those planning to build this: 1M in place of all 910K and 2N5088 instead of 2N5089 might be good substitutions... These worked great on other DBA designs, so i don't see why they shouldn't work with this one too.

      So yeah. While the layout seems solid, we'd still better wait for someone who can get it to sound even remotely like the original.
      +m

      Delete
  7. i put this together using a 2N5088 for Q1 and 2N5089's for the rest and it sounds pretty cool. not exactly like video of the original but close enough for me. my only problem is that its quiet. with the volume all the way up it's still just quieter than my clean signal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recall having the same experiences, but i just thought it was because of my hazzle with the pinouts... Someone stated that the schematic was verified, so this should work correctly. Checked it through again, and this layout seems to be 1:1 with the traced schematic.

      Beats me...
      +m

      Delete
  8. Any chance of a link to the schem for this? Can't see one anywhere. Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just curious, has this layout been a success for you guys? Or was the volume problem just builder error?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i still have it lying around somewhere. i checked it a million times and everything was correctly assembled so who knows what my problem was. ill reflow my solder and try new trannys and see if it helps with the volume.

      Delete
    2. Second that. My board is somewhere in the box of horrors, and i think i've snipped the pots and switches. But two of us had the same symptoms and layouts is verbatim to schematic. The schematic however wasn't verified when i last looked at it. Should be pretty safe to assumes there's something wrong there...

      Mark? On Hold -label?
      +m

      Delete
    3. Yes I reckon so, I'll keep my eye on anything happening in terms of updates to the schematic

      Delete
  10. I finished this tonight and it sounds awesome. I didn't have 2n5306 so I used Fairchild MPSA13... the pinout is different so I had to cross the bottom two legs... I might try MPSA14 as well, but I don't expect much difference. It's not loud per se, it's unity at around 3 o'clock. I wasn't sure how to set the trims, I moved them around a bit and it changed the sound, but I didn't notice any marked improvement or worsening of the sound... it sounded pretty wild no matter where I set the trimmers. Some crazy sounds in this pedal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yours is loud?

      Maybe i should give this one another go with MPSA13s too..
      +m

      Delete
    2. so, is it verified, isn't it?

      Delete
  11. Well, good luck. Mine is actually pretty loud, and that's the good news. It easily reaches unity gain and gets quite a bit louder than that. The bad news is I tried it with a pair of MPSA14, grabbed randomly from my stash, and it didn't make any sound. I then tried another pair of MPSA13, the next two on the strip from my first ones, and it was very, very quiet... like barely audible. I went back to my original pair and it sounds great. I'm not sophisticated enough to tell you what the gain is on the ones I'm using, my multimeter can't read an hfE above 999... I need to find a test circuit that can give me hfE for darlingtons but haven't gone there yet. But bottom line is I think the layout is correct, but it's just very picky about transistors.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Okay, last update. Tried it out live, and this pedal actually turns out to be quite loud. I had to keep the volume below noon to not be overwhelmingly loud. I'm very baffled by the pinouts on the transistors... I'm ordering some 2n5306 from Tayda but the weird part is, Tayda's Fairchild 2n5306 datasheet shows the layout switched, EBC. However if you search Google for Fairchild 2n5306 datasheets, it's just as easy to find datasheets with an ECB layout. So I guess you can't know just from looking at the part... Still seeking a solution for this, but for now, my MPSA13 with the bottom legs crossed is working.

    ReplyDelete
  13. i found this schematics with 6 2n5306 transistors, i never got a chance to open a real DBA to check it, has anyone verified this layout? would anyone have a schematic drawing to make a pcb layout?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I ordered all the parts to build this circuit last night. I plan to breadboard it next week and see if I can help troubleshoot this layout and get it verified. If one of the internal trim pots is for volume control on the two knob version. Wouldn't the three knob version just have that internal trim pot as a knob?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I set this up on the breadboard tonight minus the volume knob. It had some cool sounds at certain settings but the knobs and trim pots don't seem to be working right. Both trimmers have a leg that isn't connected and there isn't anything going to Sine 3 either. Is that how it is supposed to be?

    ReplyDelete
  16. As a new builder, what does it mean when the values are 2M7 in the resistors or 6n8 in the caps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 2M7 is 2.7M
      6n8 is 6.8nF

      So the K, M for resistors (or R for ohm values) and n, u for caps just exchanges the decimal point for the value multiplier identifier

      Delete
  17. Hi,

    Why is not verified this layout? Works with no problem. No premature decay, no silent spots..... Just take in mind not to use 2N5089. The ones used at this time by DBA, are clearly not usual and according to spec ones.

    2N5088, BC500C, 2N3904 and many others work like a charm. I've used 2N5088 for Q1 and Q2 and 2N3904 for Q3 and Q4.

    For the darlington, I used tayda 2N5306 trannies, the first pair I picked up from my bag, so really no problem either. Will check with MPSA13 and BC517 too to see if I get some noticeable differences.

    By the way, the pedal is pretty LOUD and noisy. Have to see if the noise is reduced once you box it.

    Nice and crazy fuzz, try it!

    J.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one had said a definite "verified" yet so I just left it until someone seemed sure :o)
      Cheers matey

      Delete
  18. what do the two trims pots do?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Not sure about this one. Everything seems soundly built. Its loud, its noisy but i can't seem to get anything nice from it at all. Maybe thats the way its meant to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must add that I used 2N5088 in Q1,Q2 and 2N3904 in Q3,Q4 and MPSA13s in Q5,Q6. Maybe thats my problem and i should try some other Darlingtons for Q5 and Q6.

      Delete
  20. Hi friends! Do you know how add a Gate on it? When I down the guitar volume to zero, it squeals...any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Replies
    1. Could the trimmers tame it?
      +m

      Delete
    2. I'll try....thanks mirosol! :D

      Delete
  22. I built this with the 5089s and the 5306s. I didn't have a 5k for a trimmer, so I used a 10k. Other than that, everything I put into it was as on the layout. Unfortunately, I'm getting WICKED noise out of this... Like, bad. It's like super high gain hiss, only it also squeals. The trimmers don't seem to effect this noise much. I'm going to retrace my steps to make sure I've got everything wired properly, and that solder joints are solid, but is there anything else I should be looking for when it comes to noise like this?

    ReplyDelete