Saturday, 19 January 2013

Ibanez PL5 - Powerlead

This is the biggest layout i've done to date. And believe me - four transistors and one dual opamp - that's pretty much all you can fit in there, if you want to squeeze it into 1590B. Anyway. I know that in the first six hours of publishing this there will be at least one dude commenting how it sounded like crap back in '95:) This one - once again without buffers and transistor pinouts are changed to accomodate your standard pinouts of 2N5088, MPSA18 and BC550C. I urge you - do a ebay search with keywords "ibanez soundtank".... The days when you could get one for $10 are gone.

Just finished building this, and in my opinion it's not the best design in soundtank series. But if we think this for two seconds - it is called Powerlead - not bluesy overdrive, nor death metal distortion. I can see this very high gain distortion being useful for leads and solos, but i would'nt use it for base tone. If i was to mod one thing, that would be upping the input cap for something like 100n. And why not add some clipping options or just double the number of diodes for more volume. I used BC549Cs for the transistors. Not sure if the tone pot is reversed or not, but as it is, i would rather call it depth than tone. Tone stack would be one of those places where some cool mod would probably make this a lot better circuit.

There are many varieties of distortion. This is it, and beware: it will add a razor-sharp edge to your noise. The PL5 is the 2nd biggest seller in the Soundtank Series (the TS5 TUBESCREAMER is No.1). the POWERLEAD is a little lighter on the bottom with more mid-to-highs.





9 comments:

  1. I used one of these for years until it stopped working. You could get some great dirty crunch, and adding a little delay to it on leads makes for some killer sounds. Didn't sound like any other pedal which is why I liked it so much. Definitely adding this to my build list. Thanks!

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  2. This is a fantastic layout mate, don't think I could have got it down to 21 x 21

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    1. Haha! And i still got it looking relatively symmetrical and the pot wires are pleasing my OCD :) Battled it for hours, but i was really happy with the outcome. Not to mention that it fired up on the first try - and gain/tone weren't reversed :)
      +m

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    2. Havn;t built it,but just did a few gigs with an old power lead and a shredmaster for my high gain choices, and kept going to the power lead.
      It rocks without sounding fake 'metally' and cuts through with tons of volume to spare.
      Any body have any mods for the original PL5? I'd like to add a bit more midrange, thats about it..

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    4. Ok, more time has passed with mine and I much prefer it to my MIJ DS-1 and Barber Dirty Bomb...really! Is it an original Maxon design?

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    5. Ok, more time has passed with mine and I much prefer it to my MIJ DS-1 and Barber Dirty Bomb...really! Is it an original Maxon design?

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    6. Relatively original, yes. It isn't a stright up copy of anything previous, while it is nothing more but a cliping amp (that's not completely unlike a Rat) and a gyrator for tone. Yet, it doesn't sound like a Rat, but just solid, nice and thick distortion with enough lows.
      +m

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