Thursday, 10 January 2013

Lovepedal Woodrow

I had to get in quick with this one, or Miro would have done it for sure! :o)

Cranked tweed 5E3 tone allegedly.  It's amazing how much mileage you can get out of an Electra Distortion and still have customers coming back for another Electra Distortion.  Sean is indeed a genius.







Alternative version with added Gain control:




And a requested tagboard version:




And here's Geiri's demo of his build:



98 comments:

  1. How's that for low parts count?

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    1. Here it is on a clean amp; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXOac3pz5CA
      I gotta have it. Gotta.

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  2. I've just been searching for my afternoon build, looks like I've found it already :D

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  3. that sounds surprisingly nice... like a smooth fuzzstortion a little octave in there and it would sound BA

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  4. Hey Mark, you can tag this. It sounds really nice too, especially for the part count. I know Sean at Lovepedal has his fair share of haters in the DIY community, but DAMN that guy knows which circuits to steal to make a good sounding pedal. Who knows, maybe he's got an original circuit in him that'll sound awesome too.

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    1. Excellent, thanks for verifying mate. And I doubt it :o)

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    2. For the record though, I think most people think his pedals are good (or better) sounding in general. What he gets criticism for, and rightfully so in my opinion, is taking existing circuits, gooping the bejesus out of them, and claiming they are new innovations that he designed himself. Also he really didn't do himself any favours copying the Timmy pretty much verbatim when Paul is one of his friends, and then deny it when the evidence was staring everyone in the face.

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    3. Yeah, I've read a few articles about his unconventional usage of the word 'original' and I saw the circuit comparison you did with the Timmy and Amp 11, I can't say it sits too well with me but I guess he's not the only boutique builder out there using other people's circuit's. I guess the Karma of the situation is that I've now built a Woodrow and a Purple Plexi 800 rather than purchase them from Lovepedal and you get the advertising clicks by way of thanks, now I just have to give one to a friend to keep the karma flowing.

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    4. Oh no they're definitely not the only builder doing it, in fact I'm more surprised now when I do see something fairly unique. I don't actually have any problem with people using existing circuits, there are only so many ways to skin a cat and most of it is standard electronic principles anyway. They just get more plaudits off me when they admit to it. But I definitely think everyone should build their own anyway, much more fun.

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    5. You won't hear me disagreeing, home built everytime!

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  5. Oh and this would make an excellent first build for anyone just starting out.

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  6. thanks for posting this one guys. i built it after work in about 7 minutes!! i know its just another electra, but it does sound pretty good for what it is. i agree with the madferret, it would be an excellent first build. its easy and it sounds good. thanks again guys. keep up the good work!!!

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    1. Yes it would be a great first build, nice and simple. For anyone wanting a bit more versatility it might be night to add a Gain pot. I can add a variation if anyone wants it, but a quick easy fix is:

      1) Take the 47u connected to the emitter off the board (save a column).
      2) Take a wire from the emitter row (above the input wire) to Gain pot lug 3.
      3) Solder the 47u cap between lugs 1 and 2 (negative to 1)
      4) Connect the pot lug 1 to ground.

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  7. That's exactly what I was wondering ( gain control ). Mind reader...

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  8. Definitely making this one. Btw. it is a very good candidate for a "mojo" type tagboard layout. Please, Mark, please? :)

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  9. Did a layout based on this with input cap blend last night, inspired by the previous easy face entry.

    Can't wait to put it together this evening. I will start from a low cap value cap go from dirty treble booster tones to bass friendly drive and see what happens...!

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  10. Any thoughts on a good value for a gain pot?

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    1. The way I described the gain control above is the way it is done in a Fuzz Face, and that uses a 1K or sometimes 2K pot, so either of those would be good values to try.

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  11. After a pretty busy weekend I finally put together my take on the Woodrow with input cap blend. I used a 4n7 and 2u2 but will probably end up changing them both for lower values.

    Transistor and diodes are socketed so will go through a few combinations. Should be fun.

    Can't wait to get a chance to try it out at higher volume to squeeze more gain out of it!

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    1. How's it sounding? I really like the stock layout so I'd be interested to see what it's like after a little tweaking.

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    2. Will do a few more experiments with transistors and diodes tomorrow and probably record a couple clips. Will let you know when it's done!

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    3. Nice one, let me know if you post the samples anywhere.

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    4. Will hopefully have a few soundclips uploaded tomorrow. Fun to be had swapping diodes, germaniums give a more saturated and smooth distortion, while 1n914s are twangier and not as saturated. Wasn't too impressed with LEDs, but all might change when I can crank the volume a bit.

      Tried two transistors (MPSA18 and 2N5089), to hear the differences in gain. So far my favorite combinations were 2N5059+Ge and MPSA18+1N914.

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    5. Cool, thanks man, I only socketed my transistor but I've got a MPSA18 so I'll stick that in there. Thanks for the heads up.

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    6. Posted a little report with sound clips here -> http://sofasoundeffects.blogspot.co.uk

      Sorry for the sound quality, not that great. Really need to get round sorting out my desk and do things a little more properly...!

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    7. Nice demo, i built the Beavis audio trotsky drive which is also an electra based circiut except i changed a few components. I think this is one of those circuits where you could change virtually anything and it'll always sound great.
      Thanks
      Dave

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    8. Good stuff, I think my favourite was the MPSA18 and the Germaniums.

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  12. I think i put an Mpsa18 in mine too! i used 1n914 and a bat 41 for the diodes i think, sounds sooooo smooth.
    Thanks
    Dave

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  13. To be honest the more I listen to it the more the MPSA18 grows on me. Might end up keeping that one in! Socketing components really is the best way to make a simple build a right headache...! :)

    Anyway, I will make up my mind by Thursday when I'll have time to record a more in depth demo of the pedal, I like the Range control on this one.

    In terms of diodes I like the slight compression I get from the germaniums, and the higher saturation would most likely translate in a better 3 knobber with the added Gain pot.

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  14. Built this first up with MPSA18 transistor and Good Quality 5mm Red LED's instead of the recommended diodes and I was stunned by the quality of the sound and how it reacts to the way you play. Maybe I now will have to test other transistors and diodes. Thanks for posting. Great Pedal.

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    1. Playing this pedal now with 2N3904 transistor and 1N34A with 1N4148 diodes. Very nice as recommended by Woody Laboratories.

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    2. Liking more bass in my pedals I socketed the input cap and replaced the 47uf with 100uf. If you like more treble try less 47uf. Only tested at bedroom levels. Might not be as nice a tone through a loud amp.

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  15. I find this pedal very pleasant to play with,(ie It's not Stiff or Slow) it has a quick lively response to the style of music played and sounds great with a slight delay effect. Must be due to the simplicity of the circuit. Very happy I built it.

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  16. Maybe a stupid newbie question, but here goes..

    I'm thinking about putting this one in the same enclosure as the Lovepedal COT 50. Can both circuits share the same volume pot?

    My idea is that I want to be able to select which circuit is active (not have them in series) with a flip-switch, just either the Woodrow or the COT-50. I know how to wire it up, but i'm unsure that it's a good idea to put the output of both circuits into the same pot. Please help :)

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  17. I've been messing around with this one for the past hour or so, trying to make it more bass-friendly. I raised the 47n input cap to 68n, and the 100n output cap to 220n. Diodes are LEDs, and the transistor is an MPSA18. It shows promise, but needs a little work. I think the 47n input cap should stay 47n, there's almost too much bass.

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    1. Just built another one with an MPSA18 and stock caps. I put the diode clipping stage on my breadboard, and found an incredible combination. 2x 1N914 plus 1x 1N277 Ge diode. The slight asymmetry makes it sound like a tweed Deluxe on 11, which works astonishingly well on bass. Highly recommended.

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    2. Thanks for the info Ross

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  18. Built this with MPSA18, 1N914 and 1N34. Sounds killer!

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  19. Went totally stock w/the gain control layout...neat-o stuff...will build another w/sockets galore or get brave and actually USE my breadboard

    Thanks again for all the layouts, guys!

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  20. Am I missing something or this near exactly the same as the COT 50?

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    1. Nope, you're not missing anything. Both of them are based off the Electra Distortion circuit.

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  21. Since this circuit is so tiny, does anyone have suggestions on what i could run before/after this in the same enclosure? Besides the buffer suggested above.

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    1. Sorry there was no mention of a buffer, i was thinking of another pedal. I'll pop the klon infront of this and let y'all know how it sounds.

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  22. Just built this pedal, it worked!! Now, I used a 2n3409, 2 Bat 41's, all I had on hand, anyway, there is a lot of bass! But as someone else said I haven't had a chance to play it at practice or gig volume so it may be just right.

    Also, I built a JO Mosfet Booster that works perfectly, gonna try that before and after the Woodrow to see what works best.

    Lastly, maybe a treble booster is in order

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  23. Just finished my build. Sounds great. Thanks! I didn't have any 47 uF caps so I used a 100 uF for the power filter (left one) and a 33 uF for the right most one that goes from emitter to ground. Any idea if this altered the tone? I was only able to play at very quiet levels at the moment because its late so its hard to tell :/

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  24. Where do you wire the output?

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    1. The notes at the bottom of the layout tell you everything you need to know

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  25. Vol 2 to output?
    Which lug on output? Is that the only thing running to the output?
    Sorry. First build.

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  26. The stomp switch wiring is here:

    http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/offboard-wiring.html

    So lug 2 of the volume pot goes to the top right hand lug of the stomp switch. The board shown in the offboard wiring layout is symbolic, it's just representing an output of some kind, but with a volume control like with this the board output first goes to lug 3 of the volume pot, and then lug 2 goes to the stomp switch.

    It'll all click into place after a few builds.

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  27. Oh ok. So when it says output it means to stomp switch?

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  28. Thanks! I'm planning on building this on perfboard. Excited!

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  29. Am I right in thinking the 330r is controlling the gain and removing it will increase the overall gain of the circuit? If I jumper it to ground that is?

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  30. https://www.dropbox.com/sc/qko7zxw3zmc918u/d82bvwORJ9

    can anyone see why this might not work? I'm getting some gain but not as much as I should. Its acting more like a very subtle boost than what it should sound like. Cheers

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    1. Front side seems ok, would need to take a look to the solder one

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    2. https://photos-5.dropbox.com/t/0/AAD2UWYNEj7zlM3GqxnitU9PL1hLBIeVjCci4I9QHrwLAg/12/122493950/jpeg/32x32/3/_/1/2/2013-06-23%2012.19.31.jpg/WMuFLqMMWOryl7v1q3mBdJzSn-R0zuhfHYyAbHqJ2YI?size=1024x768

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    3. https://www.dropbox.com/s/0lk1vbzamf6919d/2013-06-23%2012.19.54.jpg

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    4. I'd reflow the solder side. The upper link and the 47nf input cap ones seem pretty weak and cold.

      I bet on this. If not working after this, then you have a dodgy component or a wrong value. Don't you have other input 47nf cap instead of thic ceramic disk?

      BR

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  31. Not in 47n. Ive got a few others in box caps lying about but but the nearest I have is probably 100n. What difference would that make? shall I swap it out and see - got nothing to lose!!!

    I'll try and get it working in a bit! ta for help

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    1. To check the circuit a 100nf is ok, but take in mind too the solder of the wire link.

      BR

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  32. Ordered my parts, and was going to put this in a 1590A, with open jacks, and the gain mod. What was I thinking? Do enclosed jacks preserve space? And should I not even think of using a battery? First time boxing a 1590A . .

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    1. This build with two pots and open frame jacks is a piece of cake. Open jacks take far less space than closed ones. Anyway, when dealing with 1590A enclosures, you should not even think of a battery :)

      BR

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    2. Always worth giving it a go if you've never tried it before. Open jacks for sure. As far as batteries go, if the power goes out your amp dies and you can't use pedals anyways. Really not sure why we rely on batteries in pedals anymore? If you want voltage sag you can build that into the circuit with pretty much 1 resistor. 2c over. :)

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  33. Ahh, feeling better. Will work on it tomorrow. I did check out madbeans baby board layout and they cram those boxes, so should be a breeze.

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  34. Another question, should I avoid sockets? Or will it be ok if the board is mounted over the pots?

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  35. I did a tweak to this circuit that sounds pretty good with my amp/guitar combo... Used the 47k power/collector resistor as in the Electra Distortion (the 3.3k didn't work for me for some reason?). Instead of the emitter resistor and 47uF cap around it, I used a 2k pot to vary the gain it provides a nice gain sweep control. I'm using an old pot i found for this gain control and it was crackling up but i think it has to do more with the the circuit rebiasing itself. At max gain it sounds nearly the same as the 47uF in the emitter to ground. I used 1N4148 & 1N34a diode pair for asymetrical clipping and a .0047 uF in parallel to the diodes to tame some of the high-end fizz (see the Trotsky Drive!) to help make this circuit sound more like an overdrive and less a fuzz unit. Lastly put the diodes/cap on a switch to toggle between overdrive / booster mode... Sorta my "deluxe" version ;)

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  36. here is how my build sounds http://youtu.be/KePmEiE2vzw
    I used 1N4148's

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    1. Excellent, cheers for the clip. And as an added bonus I love Labradors too! :o)

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  37. I'd rate this a D- at best...

    Maybe I did something wrong. The one I built didn't even get the volume back to unity...

    The effect was ok but I just could not make it not drop the volume a large amount.

    Really odd



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    1. This is a classic distortion circuit with clipping diodes which have a forward voltage of about 1V which causes max. 2V peak-to-peak signal strength. You could add a little booster at the output.

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    2. Hey Ark Angel, sounds like something might be a bit amiss with your volume setup maybe? Since the volume dumps to ground when the pot is totally closed it should have no signal coming through it at all when closed? Where it gets to unity might depend on whether you've used log or linear pot for volume but I'd be surprised if you couldn't get it close to unity even if it's near 9 oclock? I've built this and even though it's not rocket science it's still quite a nice tone especially on an already sorta cranked amp.

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  38. I tried this as my first build. Did it on pad-per-hole. Have no idea what I did wrong and I've checked it a ton of times but it sounds like the beginning of "Spirit in the Sky", kinda like a bad fuzz pedal with the tone rolled down. Any ideas?

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    1. Hard to know without seeing anything but at a guess is your tranistor in the right way around? Always worth a double check. Best thing is to google e.g. 2N5088 pinout and look at some pictures to make sure C B E are where you think they are.
      :)

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  39. Here are some pics. I hope it's an obvious error to another pair of eyes.

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8ja0V2p50-_MkdhNmJhU2gwbXc&usp=sharing

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  40. Here is mine , orange LED and a middle bump switch ( 47nf / 10nf ) , very simple and great sounding pedal.

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-z4bI0hKCafg/VF89cynEiBI/AAAAAAAAAhE/b5VO8aHwU_U/w348-h580-no/20141109_103732.jpg

    Cheers.

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  41. Howdy, long time reader first time poster - stuck on a woodrow build with the gain control.

    The problem is it's much quieter engaged than in bypass, and no discernable distortion.

    Not sure where to go from here, I've stared at the layout and I think everything is in its right place, and I have tested all of the components, except for the 47uf as my fluke 87 only goes to 10uf.

    No load volts test: Supply 9.13V
    C 1.286V
    B 1.270V
    E 0.619V

    Any ideas?

    Ryan
    PS I've really enjoyed building from the layouts here! Thanks! I have built the EP booster and a 1590A SHO with master volume so far.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109780703/Woodrow%20bottom.jpg
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109780703/woodrow%20top.jpg


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  42. * I tried it without the 330R and it was still way under unity. I also tried it without the diodes, and without the transistor(?!), all quiet, all passing some signal.

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    1. Try cutting the tracks between the copper strips with a craft knife or junior hacksaw blade, in the photo of the solder side there looks to be a solder bridge between strips 2&3 from the top (9v to vol3) the photo is a bit hazy so there may be others so I`d suggest cutting all the tracks.

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    2. Hi Guys

      Just a quick question, this will be my second electra drive build. I don't know very much about pedal builds but I am learning....I don't have any 3k3 Ris...If I change it to 1k5 will this effect the bias at the transistor? And is the 3k3 part of the voltage divider....Sorry to sound like a dumbass....

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    3. It should work ok but it will have more gain than the stock pedal. If you're getting into pedal building then I'd strongly recommend getting a kit so that you have the important values available to you. It really isn't expensive to get a lot of resistors, like this kit, 2500 for £6.50 delivered

      http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200928610804

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    4. Cheers Mate.. Its all up and running I socketed the diodes and went with 4001s sounds nice......I might just buy them resistors this is build number 5 if. I carry on like this it will be re-mortgage for an extension to keep me pedals in...lol..

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  43. Can I just ask..The greater the resistor at the 9v input the less voltage so the less gain.....If so is there anything stopping me from putting the resistors on a switch and changed the voltage therefore changing the gain????

    Thanks again

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    1. you could even through a 5k pot in there.nothing stops you.try it.

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  44. cheers mate gonna build another this weekend with the 5k pot...What does changing the value of the input caps do to the over all sound?

    cheers again for the help...

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  45. Built this up too. Used mpsa18 and hitachi point 4's. Killer.

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    1. Switched these diodes out for 1n914 and a 1n4148. I audition 2n5088's as well. More giany, but it loses that woody tone a little bit when you put that in.

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  46. built and tested in the time it took my gf to make a toasted sandwich. Lucky too, cause I do not like it.

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  47. Hey guys, I am having the same problem as Moreryan. This is my second time building this one. First one works great, but now I'm breadboarding it to make some mods. I've checked it a hundred times, changed out all of the components and built it in the different places on the board. Very low volume and almost no effect. Also, when I turn down the volume pot (tried three different pots, by the way) there's a ton of noise until it's all the way down. No noise all the way down, no noise all the way up, but lots in between. Very strange, and something I just can't figure out since it's such a simple circuit.

    Any ideas?

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    1. this is just a simple common emitter BJT gain stage ..start by breadboardinng the basic circuit and then add your filter and diode clipping as you go . you will have your own design that way seasoned to your liking ..you can google common emitter amp and get tons of tutorials on how to bias a BJT transistor

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. yeop as most of the clipping BJT and fet circuits are straight out of analog 121 academic books

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  50. I bought the "Woody" miniature version long ago with just input/output. Your guitar volume is the gain control giving me clean to harmonically rich grind and all the usual adjectives between. FGWA.

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