Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Ibanez CM5 Classic Metal

Got the original yesterday and it didn't disappoint. Soundwise. The box is what you'd expect and the stompswitch is out of order, so no surprise there. Ibanez's old cheapo high gain distortion that is articulate and powerful without being mushy or too noisy. Well worth a second look.

This layout omits the in/out buffers and the transistors pinout is made to match your common transistors. Original has 2SC1815s in it, so you could use those too. Just mind the pinout. I would strongly suggest that you try on different transistors and different diodes for the clipping pair. Although this is really nice sounding circuit, i see no harm in modding it slightly to suit your preferences and/or needs.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Boss FZ-3 Fuzz

I recently got a Behringer clone of this one in a trade for free and thought i'd check the schematic out. Turned out a little simpler than expected with a few nice, quite interesting things in its topology. There's basically a buffer driven by transistor, which drives something not completely unlike a fuzz face. After that there's one more gain stage that's driving the tone stack that's not completely unlike the usual BMP tone stack. Pretty simple, still there's something that isn't done in every fuzz..  Doesn't sound too great to my ears, but i think this'll be a nice addition.
This layout omits the electronic switching and in/out buffers. Omitting those also frees us from having vref on board, which isn't touching the effect itself. Original has 2SC2458 transistors, but i've drawn the layout to accomodate the usual supects, 2N3904, 2N5088, 2N2222, BC109, BC550 and so on. You can use the original ones or what ever you prefer - just mind the pinout. Use sockets to find the ones you like the most... The pinout/orientation on the layout matches 2N3904/2N5088. Original also has W-taper pot for tone control, but i suspect that linear will do the job without any issues.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Himmelstrutz Gramps

Modded slightly so the Treble/Presence pot is external (like the Gramps+), but you can always use an internal trimmer like the original if you prefer.  Sw1 in the layout is the "Temperament" switch in their info, the gain and sag switches are both internal jumpers in the original.  I'm not entirely sure how much difference the Sag switch will really make because all that does is put a 150R resistor in series with the supply.

Info about the original:

Jump on Gramps to daze and confuse. Which of course will make your band and audience gratefully amazed. Or use it on all guitar tracks on all your recordings for that not so shimmering, bowl movement provoking, beautiful sound.

Like the rest of the Himmelstrutz pedals Gramps will sound great at any volume. Just more crazy. And fuzzy. Of course it's also capable of generating lovely, magic distortion sounds which will transform your sleepy life into a creamy happy mess.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Runoffgroove Matchbox

Here's one more from the ROG archives. Apparently amazing sounding OD/dist. Should be doable in 1590B, if you feel brave enough with the rotary :)

From ROG: Back in the mid-90s, the Matchless DC/30 became one of the first boutique amps to hit the market. It excelled at clean tones, as well as thick Vox-like overdriven lead sounds.
There is good reason for the similarity in sound to a Vox amp. The lead channel of the DC/30 appears to be a modified Vox AC30/4. The AC30/4 amp featured the EF86 pentode preamp tube, just as the Matchless design.
runoffgroove.com set out to capture the lead sound of the Matchless DC/30 amp, using the technique developed by Doug Hammond for his excellent Meteor circuit.
We opted for a MOSFET to replace the EF86 tube. The MOSFET has better gain and fidelity attributes than the JFETs we normally use. We used J201 JFETs for the remaining two stages.
We've named this circuit the Matchbox.
An item of interest in this circuit is the odd-looking Tone control. This is in some ways similar to the FAC control on old Orange amplifiers. The sound is "thinnest" on setting A, and gets thicker as you progress through the settings. The Cut control acts as a simple Low Pass Filter. As you turn it counter clockwise, it will roll off some of the treble frequencies. We departed from the schematic a bit here. We used a 10n cap where the amp used only a 2n2. The reason for our deviation is to achieve a more dramatic effect.
-Try using a different MOSFET for the first stage. A 2N7000 sounded a bit "tighter" than a BS170. BS170 had a nice "loose" sound. 
-Any N-channel MOSFET can be used, but as always, pay close attention to the pinout. 
-Try to use all metal film caps in this circuit. It really seems to add to the smoothness of the sound. Ceramic caps or "greenies" will work fine, but you will probably notice a bit more "grainy" sound. 
-A 12v Zener diode can be used in place of the LED used for static protection of the MOSFET. 
-Philip Miller Tate (a.k.a. Ge_Whiz) found the Cut control to be quite subtle when using the stock values. He reports that substituting a 47nF capacitor and 50k-B pot provided a much more effective control. 
-You can use other JFETs, but be warned! The middle stage may not bias correctly or have enough gain to distort. Try other transistors at your own risk. PLEASE do not post on Aron's Stompbox Forum with a complaint about the circuit does not working or sounding good when you do not use the specified components. You can always purchase J201 FETs from our friend, Steve Daniels at www.smallbearelec.com, who will ship to anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

JHS Morning Glory

Modded Blues Breaker.. Personally i have pretty high hopes for the circuit...

There’s a lot of hype out there these days with overdrive pedals and the last thing we want to do is to add to the noise.
As you may already know, almost every boutique overdrive on the market is a modified Tubescreamer of some sort; we have decided to take a different approach.
The Morning Glory is a very transparent tone-shaping tool that is the result of several years of building, gigging, tweaking and improving on the original Marshal Bluesbreaker design. We improved vastly on the BB while maintaining what made it a great pedal in the first place. It now has around 4X more headroom, 2X the available gain, and a more useful tone control. The “Bright Cut” toggle allows the perfect level of EQ for your rig.
You will notice immediately how touch sensitive and dynamic the feel of this pedal is. The frequencies are perfectly balanced and the tone knob reacts as a high frequency roll off. The drive allows you a huge range of tones from “little wing-ish” chime to classic rock era bite. If you’re a Strat player, this pedal will bring you sounds that you may have thought impossible. If you like the Les Paul, get ready to discover a new pallet of sounds that you won’t be able to live without.
With enough clean headroom to be used as a boost as well as a hefty amount of drive, this may be your go-to pedal for good.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

EarthQuaker Devices Crimson Drive

A couple of the electro caps look to be the wrong way round to me but this is definitely as per the scheme and it was by Dirk and so a trusted source. 

Info about the original:

The EarthQuaker Devices Crimson Drive is an all-analog, dynamic overdrive that uses a germanium transistor and vintage germanium diodes to create an abundant, open sounding tone that simply isn’t available through FET or Opamp driven effects. The Crimson Drive works beautifully with both humbucker and single coil pickups to get the most out of your amplifier by pushing your preamp tubes into natural overdrive with a choice bit of distorted input boost. The Gain knob gives you control over a broad sweep of harmonically rich effects from a well-textured treble boost to an abundance of viscerally satisfying plexi grit. The low pass Tone control dials back the high end while the Level control keeps the damage to a reasonable level. The Crimson Drive responds to your playing and cleans up with your guitar’s volume control. It is Made in the USA, wired for true bypass, and operates on a standard 9vDC power supply or a battery. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

EHX Double Muff

Classic dual overdrive. The original 1969 plug-in Muff Fuzz had just a touch of overdrive and sounded like a vintage amp with a slightly torn speaker. We paired two of these together in one box to create the Double Muff. Use just one Muff for a hint of milky distortion, or cascade the second Muff for over-the-top overdrive that turns the milk into cream. Two distortions in one!

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Skreddy Top Fuel

Another great fuzz pedal from Marc, and I felt a nice one to add to our collection.  I thought with 8 transistors this would be a bitch to get into a 1590B as a vero layout, but it turned out pretty comfortable in the end.

Info about the original:

Skreddy Pedals™ Top Fuel:
strikes a balance between high gain, sustaining distortion and articulation.

    First, I trim out the woofy, mushy, congested bass.  Then amplify (a lot) and distort using mosfet soft clipping (twice), for a fine-toothed, modern, tube-like distortion character.  Then trim out the harsh and fizzy high end and use a mid-hump tone stack that's centered around 700Hz.

    The string attack is always preserved throughout the entire range of the fretboard, regardless of the sustain level.  Tonal emphasis is placed on the midrange in order to showcase the player's technique.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Devi Ever Legends of Fuzz

Another one from our friend Geiri, thanks for this again mate :o)
Info about the original:

The Bit : Legend of Fuzz has been compared to the Shin-ei Companion FY-2 fuzz, but with a stronger gate on circuit settings.  Some say, it’s a sound that haunts you at night… the desperate 8 bit beep that reminds you your heart is empty and you are close to death. Nostalgia is a lie. It tells you some how something that was is better than what is or what could be. Here it is though. A fuzz that elicits the sound of old video games… I guess. I mean, a lot of my gated fuzzes can do that for you. This one likes to particularly twist your guitar signal in a way that’s relatively like a saw tooth… a pretty fucked up saw tooth. Maybe we’ll define a new kind of saw tooth wave shape now… shark tooth, because that’s what this fuzz sounds like… a shark’s mouth full of teeth ready to clench down, and it doesn’t matter if a few are lost while eating cold rusted steel from a 1950′s buick rotting on the bottom of the ocean, because there is more where that came from. Unmerciful bastard of a fuzz really… just like that beep beep beep counting down the moments till your inevitable death

Opamp 3 channel splitter/mixer ON HOLD

Updated 6th February 2014

I have a TC Electronic G-Force and Eventide Eclipse in the parallel effects loop of my amp and use a rack mixer to keep them in parallel with each other, and so allow me to use them both 100% wet and so avoid having to digitize my dry signal.  I do have OCD about keeping my core dry signal out of the digital domain completely.

But I also have an Eventide Pitchfactor and would like to put this in too, and although the rack mixer can accomodate 4 in and 4 out, adding the Pitchfactor to an already limited rack space would be a pain, so I wanted to make a little 3 channel utility splitter/mixer to use instead of the rack mixer to save 1U and allow me to put two pedal trays in my 6U rack.

I used the splitter scheme you can see at Paul in the Lab, and a generic mixer circuit I found so that everything can be done with one quad opamp.  I may even make this with 3.5mm jacks for the send and returns, make up my own high quality cables and then this will all fit comfortably in a 1590B.  It would pretty much be a set and forget utility for me so I suppose I could even use trimmers instead of pots, set the levels and tuck it away somewhere.  So I thought I'd add it here and it may be useful for others to adapt for their own uses.