Sunday, 28 April 2013

Death By Audio Interstellar Overdriver


49 comments:

  1. Wow, that's almost a normal sounding pedal. Anyone else watching this wondering when it was going to start howling and screaming? Maybe the DBA guys are starting to mellow? Sounds excellent anyway.

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    1. Öhm.. :D Transistors are collectors to ground, so i wouldn't actually call this "normal"...
      +m

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    2. Haha, yeah I had noticed. In fact at first I thought maybe you'd made a mistake, then I thought "this is Death By Audio, those guys are fucking nuts" and I figured it was right. Have you seen the 'factory' tour that's on Youtube? They seem like they're pretty awesome guys, they've got their whole setup in their bassment along with a recording studio and stage setup. Living the dream.

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  2. Hi Miro,

    I think (looking at the schematics) the second Cap from the left should be 10nF.

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  3. tried this with the previous layout and 5088 but there was no sound coming trough and my dual gang bursted in flames :)

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  4. Got this working last night but with the old layout will fix with10nf cap - I didn't think it sounded quite right, but it's aloud beast.

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  5. Miro, thank you SO much for posting this. Been waiting for AGES!

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  6. Ok I've spent the last couple of hours trying to get this sounding good and I've come to the conclusion that it won't. Ever. With the stock 2n5089s it sounds like it's completely mis-biased, I've tried a bunch of different transistor combinations with 2n5089s, 2n5088s, 2n3904s and BC550s and about the best sound seems to come from 2n5088s. I think that the PGS demo is getting a lot of the drive from their amp to get their sounds. With my amp set for mild overdrive it does sound better but still not great. I've been over the schematic and even the pics of the circuit board in the FSB thread and everything seems correct so I think you can say it's verified. Verified that it sounds crap :(

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    1. This is why I've not touched anything by DBA, They seem a right pain in the arse to get 'right'.. award must go to them for hardest to clone ever!

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    2. Don't know if they always use some hfe matching or what, but in my experience none of DBA schematics sound any good when cloned. Thanks for tackling it!

      I'll tag it.
      +m

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    3. I did get my Harmonic Transformer to sound close to original with heavy modding/tweaking, but i did not get any others to work... So i second Vince.
      +m

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    4. Yeah, I've got a feeling they hand pick their transistors VERY carefully. The best sound I got out of this was when it hit the bottom of the bin. Shame, I was hoping this would turn out to be awesome.

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    5. haha.. many of mine hit the wall before they hit the bin....

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  7. I used 2n5088's and it sounds about right with the video. I like it. Way gated with 2n5089's. I'm sure they do measure and choose their transistors. Either that or they match them and adjust those resistor values, notice they're all the same values 180K/910K.

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    1. The pics of the board from the FSB thread show the resistors as they are in the layout so I guess you're right about them matching the transistors, I found the 2n5088s were the best ones to use too but while mine sounded roughly like the video I still wasn't happy. Maybe I'll get the DCA55 out tomorrow and see if I can pick out some 5088s that get it sounding spot on.

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    2. Oh yes it's always 180K and 910K with their pedals. I reckon they must have got eleventy billion of each in a closing down sale somewhere. I think just as important as the trace, with DBA pedals the transistors need removing and measuring or the layouts sound even worse than the originals :o)

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    3. Maybe they got eleventy billion shitty low gain 5089's in a buyout while they were at it. lol!

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  9. The word "CRAP" gets into a new dimension when dealing with this overdrive :P What a piece of shit! XDDDDDDDDDDDD

    With the amp cranked and gettin' its tubes overdrive, it sounds not bad but..... do you want an overdrive that only sounds ok if the valves are previiously overdriven? Reminds me of the MXR ZW44, same kind of trash, only working in a saturated channel.


    BR

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  10. pedal really work? I did the pedal, and connects with and without swicht 3pdt, with transistors for both sides and the pedal always does the same: you hear the guitar clean signal but not distorted or anything.

    I reviewed 3 times as I put the components and is everything as it is drawn in the diagram

    please help!

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    1. Wiring for sure. If doing the tryout it without switch don't forget that black wire from battery, pcb and both jacks are gorunded. If any of these points is not connected to ground, you'll get clean sound as it happens to you.

      BR

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    2. I did what you told me. I plugged the pedal as you said, as well as in this photo:

      http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/430094_10151623363342236_637211675_n.jpg

      but now, no sound, just noise.

      is correct my way of connecting (picture)? could you help me and tell me how to do it, and also as with the swich 3pdt? because I did it as it comes on the blog ( http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-k5Sh68yVU18/TzGRFKbiALI/AAAAAAAAAlk/CbfaaduUjYQ/s1600/!Offboard+wiring.png ) and nothing happens.

      could you take pictures of your pedal?

      thank you very much for your help

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    3. Have to thanl you, because I checked my board in order to see if there was any difference with the layout, and discovered that I had a solder bridge between rows 4 and 5.

      Well, the effect itself is still a big shit, but using a 2n5088 as Q1 instead of a 5089, it gets a lot better.

      Your wiring is ok, so the problem must be on your board (bridge, cold solder, misplaced or dodgy component...) because the effect is loud and hard. A crap, but a loud crap.

      Anyway, this effect (the original and this DIY) is nothing to write home about. Any 25 euros priced Joyo overdrive will sound better.

      BR

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  11. Am I the only one who likes this pedal? :D It sure sounds like crap but I think that's the whole point with DBA effects ... I just built it today and I've tried many different 2n5089s but the sound was still more or less gated .. with 2n5088s it works great :)

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  12. Hi !

    No Marcel you're not the only who likes this dirty baby.
    I build it a while a go, i'm not sure but I belive i used 5088 too.
    It's great on Bass

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  13. I ve built this pedal last day. I used BC550 transistors and it sounds good.
    this is my first pedal.
    But when i am turning the volume knob of my guitar, the pedal became noisy.
    The pedal pots are noisy too.
    the other problem is a high fequency noise from my dc adapter..:(
    How can I fix this ?
    (I used very thin on the offboard wiring....maybe it coud be a problem)

    / Sorry for my bad english /

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  14. I build this and with the previous comments in mind I ordered in some 180k and 910k resitors and had about 16- 2n5089s so I could match the transistors faaairly closely. It sounds exactly as the demo - perhaps a bit more sterile than the demo but then they have probably chosen a guitar/amp it works particularly well with. If you're interested the 3 transistors I had which matched closest were all around 600 hfe but not exactly - something like 595hfe 598hfe and 599hfe and that is what came out sounding like the demo.

    Anyway absolutely awesome website - and thanks for this layout.

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  15. hey guys, lug 2_3 not used? didn't see anyone else ask about it , but i figured i would since I'm getting bypass and very low volume with no gain. thanks. PS any chance you can do a Volume pedal. Ernie Ball jr

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    1. if you only use lug 1 and 3 on a pot maybe you could consider using a resistor instead.
      correct me if i am wrong

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    2. What pot do you mean? The gain pot is dual linear and so has two sets of terminals, Gain 1 and Gain 2, so when Miro wrote "Input to Gain 1_3" it means gain pot 1 lug 3. The two other connected to gain pot 1 are on the board. Gain pot 2 uses two connections, 1 & 2, and so is just a variable resistor. The level pot is a voltage divider and uses all 3.

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  16. Hi, guys! I drew a picture of the original pedal. + png with a transparent background ;-)

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8580169/pics/overdrive_1.png
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8580169/pics/overdrive_2.png

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  17. help! right?
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/8580169/pics/Death-By-Audio-Interstellar-Overdriver.png

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  18. you replaced Level 1 with Level 2 buddy..

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  19. Man Lenny was right! I did this with 5089's and understood 'Gate".
    Put in 5088's and it smoothed out nicely.
    Definitely a very good OD820ish push to the tone!!

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  20. Hi, I made one a year ago (my first DIY pedal) and it works and sounds good (as the demo) at the first attemp.
    Last week i made an other one (because it's very cool) and i have a bad gated sound...
    when i replaced the first transistor by a 5089 left from the first time, the treshold of th gate is lower, and when i replace q2 and q3 by two 5088 the pedal work as a normal pedal (no gated sound). So i have some 5089 working and some 5089 not working.
    How can i measure those 5089 to know why some don't work and maybe change R values to make all work ?

    PS : the reference on the transistors are :
    2N5089 b10 working
    2N5089 b33 not working
    NEC 2N5089 not working

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  21. Hi guy !

    I measured my different 2N5089, the HFe are standard values (around 600-700) except for my working 2N5089 b10 (880) and my 2N5088 (working) have a HFe around 400.
    The values measured with the diode mode are around 0.7V for all Transistors.
    So I try on a breadboard to make one with 2N5089 and the residue of my parts.
    I make it works (no gated sound) with some 110K resistors instead of 180K in the layout.
    I didn't try with other transistors and maybe the value is to change for each transistor...
    The sound looks like my first pedal wich is working. I'm not really sure because i don't tested it on an amp and i don't have pots to change gain and vol.
    Anyway, decrease the 180K R value seems to "open" the gate.

    Sorry for my english, GREAT site and forum, keep on !
    Fab

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  22. Thought I would add my 2 cents. I have built this circuit twice. I followed the vero layout above for the first build and it sounded as it should. The second time it malfunctioned (gatey, blatty sound) so badly I almost threw it away until I read the comments that many others have posted. Following their advice, I tried some new transistors and, bam, now it sounds as it should. I must have checked this circuit for errors ten times. Anyway, if you are in the same boat, wondering what you did to gooch this thing up, it might not be you. Swap out some different trannies. If you have not built this yet, I strongly urge you to socket your transistors. (For the record, I ended up using S9014 transistors.)

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  23. I build it with 5089 (hfe 540-600) and it works great. No gating, from clean to a nice overdrive, nothing trashy about it :(

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  24. I didn't think it sounded much like the Pro Guitar Shop demo at all, but having looked at a bunch of other demo's i think the basic sound of this clone is excellent and faithful to the original. will definitely try some of the tweaks people are suggesting. (:

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  25. so when resistance between gain2_1 and gain2_2 is 0, resistance between gain1_1 and gain1_2 is also 0? or is it 100k?

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  26. well I'm going to start by giving myself the dipstick of the day award, It would have fired up first time if I'd managed to solder the components in the right place lol

    But anyway, apart from not having any 910k resistors (Used 1meg instead) and no dual gang pots I can safely say it works ok with 2n5088, did try a couple of transistor substitutions but the output level dropped considerably and the drive sound suffered a lot as well.

    Speaking of drive, with only the usual single gang pots I though why not give it a go and see how I get on, and the results are........changing the pots in tandem goes from an almost clean boost at minimum gain, all the way through to what sounds to me like a fairly smoothly distorted overdrive as you crank the gain, plenty of drive on tap but never gets shrill or nasty, even a hint of fat fuzz around the edges when maxed out but very useable all the way through the gain range. Found a little bit of versatility here as well by balancing the two gain controls. aWith both at zero there is appears to be no signal getting through but raise both gains up to about one and there is a nice cleanish boost with a little bit of grit, especially when you dig in, increase either one of the gains and proper drive soon starts to creep in and by varying how much you raise each of the gains, there is a slight change in character, gain one is a little brighter and raspier sounding, gain two is a little bit fatter and raucous, oh and it cleans up quite well from the guitar volume too, which to my mind is always a good thing.

    Quite like this one and may well end up boxing it :o)

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  27. Hi.
    As this is my first post I want to thank all you guys doing this amazing project. I'm in awe and forever grateful for you making a once failed attempt succeed
    .
    To the subject, thought I'd add my attempt to do this, if anyone is interested.
    For transistors I used 2N3904 because I have a huge amount (I don't even know why…). The gain is much lower so it doesn't get that hard but it still sounds very nice.
    I don't have a dual pot so I used 2 separate ones. The first gain seems more practical and musical to me.
    Resistors to the transistor are 1M and 180K.
    The circuit losses a bit of the highs, haven't tried doing anything with that yet.

    All that is nice. But I found out something fun. I flipped over the middle transistor so it was C to drain. Now it became much louder, higher and fuzzier gain, and a strong gating. I don't know if it will be a usable arrangement but it's cool.

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  28. Thanks for the layout. I've converted it into 1590a compatible pcbs in through hole and SMD versions. both can be obtained from oshpark:
    https://oshpark.com/profiles/m-Kresol
    I've ended up with 2n5088 for Q1 and Q2 and 2n5089 for Q3. No gating, but still gritty. I was also recommended to use MPSA05 transistors. Just thought I put the info out there too.

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  29. Can someone explain what the second half of the gain pot is actually doing and is it event important? http://freestompboxes.org/download/file.php?id=20382

    Thanks,
    -Casey

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    1. Good catch. As that basically has something quite special going for it. That alters the taper of the volume pot in the same as the input level is altered. Lowering "gain" will also shorten the sweep of the volume pot. You'd be better off with leaving it out. And also - better off with reversing the transistors as they are supposed to be used.. :)
      +m

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