Friday, 10 January 2014

Matsumin Valve Caster

Request.  Matsumin's popular circuit using a 9V powered 12AU7 tube in a mojo and compact layout.  The white wires are for the offboard connection to the tube socket.






101 comments:

  1. Verified!. Tone pot is in reverse so that needs flipping. It's exactly what I needed. Perfect tube boost.

    Thanks again mate!

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    1. Awesome, cheers mate :o)

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    2. Cool, nice to see a really simple project incorporating a tube, I like the idea of building two of these cascaded, or I could simply add some clipping diodes to the above for a nice overdrive.
      Cheers
      Dave

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    3. cascading doesn't really sound that good however putting a treble booster in front of it does!

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    4. Interesting, might give that a go *goes off to look for a tube....*
      Cheers
      Dave

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    5. In the original scheme: Tone 1 and 2 go to the ground and Tone 3 goes to the 10nF capacitor.

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  2. Hmm I still have a couple old tubes here that could come to use hmm...

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  3. Great project. Works even better (IMO of course) with a 12AT7.

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  4. This was my first pedal build ever, and it's still has the best spot on mu pedalboard.
    It sounds way much better when powered by 12volt though.
    There is also a small easy mod that turns it into a tremolo as well...

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  5. Link to the Tremolo add-on board + discussion: http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=70160.240

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  6. Is there a discussion anywhere about the mojo caps? What are they? I see this sort of comment here and there on some layouts... (I really like mojo wherever I can get it) :)

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    1. I bought a load of them a while ago, basically when I started doing tagboard layouts because I think they just look awesome in them. If you do a search on eBay for "axial polyester" you should find plenty and although some are expensive, you can get some bargains too if you look around. I used to buy loads from West Florida Components on eBay but they stopped selling them to the UK unfortunately. Glad I stocked up when I did.

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  7. 9 volt AC or DC? , I ask because some tube pedals using 9,12,18-volt AC.

    thank you very much

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  8. This looks interesting

    http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=63479.1840

    Picture layout

    http://jrmcgrath.com/images/triple%20valvecaster.jpg

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  9. Which caps can I change to make this "not as dark"?

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    1. You could try to lower the two 47nf caps, that should thin it out a bit, but it will only remove some of the bottom end.
      A better option is to put it after a treble booster. That sounds better in my ears and retains the bottom end (which I like)
      On my Valvecaster i mounted a 6-way switch with different input caps, so that I can adjust it better to different guitars/pickups. I guess I would only use a 3-way if I build one more, since 6 options turned out to be a bit unnessesary since I mostly use the 3 same settings when switching between guitars.

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    2. Would an input cap be sort of like using a treble booster, since the tone change comes before the effect?

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    3. It will not actually boost any treble, but it will filter away some of the lows.
      But I think you might get the result you are looking for.
      I say try it an see/hear what happens and if you like it.
      It has worked magic for me before...
      One of my reasons for loving vero, is the fact that it is so sturdy and it is no problem going in and changing stuff after you finnish your build without damaging the board (try doing that to pcb and you wreck them very fast)

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    4. I'd love to hear how yours sounds! I'll be checking this post

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  10. Having never used vero or tubes before, could this fit in a 1590A or should I use a 1590B instead? Cheers.

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    1. You wouldn't get it in a 1590A because you need space to mount the tube socket. 1590B minimum really

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    2. Actually Mark.... this is doable in a 1590A :P The compact board is extremely small, and if you use multilayers, is not even a tight fit.

      Anyway, not an easy 1590A build if you're not used to these enclosures.

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    3. With three pots and a tube socket, you're a braver man than me! :o)

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    4. Well, I have to admit that in this build, I'd use 9mm pots :P Anyway, I'm waiting for some russian 6N2P, so I'll give a try to this build when they come.

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    5. The beavisaudio post about this circuit does a pcb-less design, with all the components connecting to the lugs, so you could fit it in like that

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    6. http://www.beavisaudio.com/projects/ValveCaster/

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  11. Hello people, I wanted to ask you about some king of circuit that has more acceptable sound for because this is too dark one for my taste...Also please post the wiring schematics from the circuit to the tube...Thanks

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  12. I was thinking of adding clipping diodes, I found this to be very useful to put in the veroboard, do you could add? do you think?

    link: http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=63479.msg838067;topicseen

    youtube demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVo9xOhCYtA

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  13. I have built this circuit several times and it sounds good. FYI: The circuit was designed originally for single coil pickups and using the 12AU7 tube. Humbuckers will cause some unpleasant results; as well as, different tubes. I have found that running an overdrive (ex. ts-808) into the valve caster is a good combo. Its not really a stand alone device without some kind of boost/overdrive with in front it.

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  14. Almost forgot....... this is a current hungry circuit. I believe (not 100% sure) it used around 800ma. If you build this considered a separate power source from your pedal chain. But this project is worth the time for giving a solid state amp or a clean tube amp (such as a fender) some true tube grit.

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  15. Guys, I've built this but have a problem... I only get a weak clean signal, pretty much below unity. I used a 12ax7(ECC83) instead of the 12au7, as I only had that at home. I thought I would have an ovesaturated or maybe unpleasant hi-gain sound, but I could at least see if the layout works. Of course I double and triplechecked all components, the wiring, and I have my "knife the gaps" pajamas on ;) Is this normal with 12ax7's? If yes, then I'll go and get some 12au7's instead. Thanks!

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    1. A 12AX7 is a high voltage gain tube (mu=100). This circuit works best with a 12AU7 (mu=20). Buy lots of different brands and experiment! It's a fun project.

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  16. About this circuit: The video on top here is actually mine. I appreciate you using it to illustrate the Valvecaster. I used a generic Gibson SG faded with 496 humbuckers for that demo. One important note when wiring for true bypass: Be sure to wire it up so that the tube stays heated at all times as long as a power jack is connected. Otherwise the tube will need to re-heat every time you turn the effect on. Not so cool if you use it as a booster and kick it in for a quick solo... Here's my old, quick sketch for the above mentioned wiring. http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f191/krinor/Valvecasternylayoutmkabler.jpg

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    1. Thanks for the info, and for the vid :o)

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    2. Thanks for the info. I'm quite dumb when it comes to tubes, what do you mean by making sure the tube is heated all the times? Does that mean the heater filaments (pin 4 and 5 in this case) are on the 9V all the times? I think Mark's version is made this way. Thanks!

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    3. Yes it's no problem with this layout, the whole circuit is supplied as soon as the adapter is plugged in, bypass simply switches the audio section in and out of the signal path. I think it was more of a prompt for this kind of effect using tubes especially if someone wants to change the arrangement in any way.

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  17. Yesterday I got two NOS Tungsram ECC82 tubes. I tried this with them and it sounds ok, but not too much distortion. I would rather say it is more like a clean booster with a very little breakup if you strum the strings harder. Also not much louder than unity, though it depends on the tubes as well I guess... One of them was quite loud, while the other is only a bit above unity. I would say putting a booster in front of it is definitely worth to try, actually I'll use this as a building block for my next project, a bass overdrive/distortion.

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    1. And another thing: with 12V I did not seem to get this working...

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    2. Got some NOS tungsrams too :D
      Maybe your power supply can't handle the power that is needed to heat up the tube(s).
      With serial-heater one ecc82 needs at least 350mA. I run mine with a 12V / 1000mA wallwart and two tubes without any problems, built it similar to this: http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Valve-Caster-20-Tube-Boost-and-Overdrive/

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    3. Yep, my fault... This happens when you wire your power supply's different voltage outputs the opposite way... Now it works ok with 12V, but honestly I don't hear much difference, maybe a bit more volume. Which I think is normal since I didn't have much distortion anyway to begin with and in my understanding a higher power supply only gives you more headroom (less distortion). I might be wrong, since this is "solid state thinking" which does not apply to tubes :) Also I tried this with a few boosters in front. The SHO type worked ok, but not outstanding. The MXR Microamp was simply bad. The Madbean FatPants was quite nice, though resulted only a mid/low overdrive (at least according my taste). I'll also try the one mentioned above with the two tube stages.

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  18. I put a fetzer valve in front of it, I think this is what it's going to be the right one. Some more tweaking and voila, a "Marshall in the box".

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  19. well, it works¡¡¡ I'm Very surprised for it. ?im a newbe in electronics, I didn't know how to soler...

    I'd like to thanks all of you for your great job. I've learned a very few things. Now I'm thinking in a new project... I'm thinking in a few possibiliies (big muff-bluesbreaker-The Rat-Superlead). What do you suggest???

    Regards from Spain (and sorry for my poor English)

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    1. Well done, glad it's working for you. Why don't you do some sort of booster that you can use with the Valve Caster? A few people have mention how good it is with a treble booster, so what about the Naga Viper? Keep things simple at first, get used to building and soldering, then move on to bigger things.

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    2. Oh and your English is fine by the way, much better than my Spanish!

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  20. I've just finished building this and works fine. I'm using 12au7 but I have 12ax7 also but it doesn't work, hardly any sound comes from it... do I need to use higher voltage for the tube or what??

    Gunni. Iceland

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    1. my build. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202294311975006&set=a.10200404574172742.1073741826.1107422894&type=3&theater

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    2. That looks very clean. Nice build!

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  21. I was pretty excited to build this. Finally did... got my tubes and sockets, etc.

    Kinda sound like crap :/

    I tried both 12au7 and 12at7 tubes. 12au7 is farty and loud, 12at7 is much smoother but won't even get quite to unity gain.

    I tried putting a Rangemaster in front of it and it sounded a LOT better. I got suspicious, though, and went to just the Rangemaster... Yep, sounds better than the Valvecaster + Rangemaster. The Valvecaster is like a layer of poo that the Rangemaster is cutting through.

    My advice, toss the Valvecaster and just use the Rangemaster.

    (All due respect to IvIark for posting this layout, regardless)

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    1. I did it with the germanium Rangemaster into a Valvecaster. You can listen to it at:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk58f5Bn5zE&list=UUR6lhUch3ymF2PVc_2rF7Yw

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  22. I'm a newbie to building pedals (been stalking this board for about a year) so take it easy on me if I say something stupid. I built this pedal, plugged it in, got sound from when it was bypassed, turned on the pedal, got sound when turned on, then turned off the pedal and got no sound when bypassed/turned off. Then I turned it back on and got sound with no problem. Here's the weird thing, when I unplug the cable coming in to my amp and plug it back in I get sound when the pedal is bypassed but as soon as I turn it on and then turn it off again no sound. I'm really confused here.

    Do I have a bad switch? I just don't understand how I have signal to the amp when the effect is not engaged but as soon as I engage it and then disengage it I have no signal.

    The unplugging the amp input and plugging it back in to make the bypass work throws me for a loop too. Is there a grounding problem? very confused.

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    1. Just to clarify I have zero problems when the effect is engaged. Works like a champ and sounds great.

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    2. If it works ok but you're getting an intermittent problem in bypass then it has to be the switch, maybe a sticking contact. The good news though is that there's really nothing else that could be the issue, because if it was jack soldering or something like that then the problem would also be noticed when the effect iis turned on, so it has to be the switch. Just swap it and try to solder the lugs in fairly quickly so heat isn't applied to the switch lugs for too long.

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    3. Thank you. I ordered switches yesterday.

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    4. Just check your soldering on the link on the switch before you desolder everything. A cold joint there could give the same problem, so reflow the solder first just to make sure.

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  23. Turned out it was a bad switch. Thanks for the help.

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  24. Hello)
    Made this scheme, but not enough gain... It sounds like classic overdrive...
    What could be the problem?

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    1. Doesn't sound like a problem to me, that's exactly what I would expect it to sound like. You're never going to get super high gain with a single stage. If you want more use your favourite booster as a new gain stage in front of it, that will give you lots more gain.

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    2. I agree with you) But in video gain stronger then I get...And I think maybe mistaken.
      Will try booster
      Thank you)

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    3. HAH!!!
      Connect to 12v)
      Sound became much more interesting)

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  25. Has anyone tried the Subcaster version of this (12v with 6111 tube)? I'm thinking about doing both in a single enclosure....just because I'm a little crazy.

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  26. The "output effect" is the Volume 2 ?
    When I am trying to plug the 3pdt in the system I need to use the Volume 2 how Output Effect?
    Insted of the output goes from the board to the 3pdt switch the output will go from the volume 2 to the 3pdt output ?
    that is it ?

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    1. check the offboard wiring posted on the site:

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

      it will help you see where each of the wires need to go from the board and jacks to the switch.

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    2. Hello,

      Both output and input jacks are mono ?

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  27. build it!
    but i could use an opinion from people who know more about tubes...

    the reason i've build it though, wasn't just that i always wanted a tube overdrive.
    i wanted to check some 60(?) years old tubes i got from an old philips radio
    you can see the post i did in forum here
    http://guitar-fx-layouts.42897.x6.nabble.com/need-help-could-these-be-alive-td13491.html

    unfortunately only ecc83 worked with this...
    all others you can see had the same problem..(even the ecc85)
    when i put them in the socket, there was always a short with 9v and ground.(pins4&8 and 5)
    of course i didn't knew if those would work with this circuit anyway, but i tried them cause i was curious..!
    hope they just didn't survive all these years...and not been burned by my stupidity...!!!
    thanks guys!

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  28. Hello! Is it permissibile to put the tube horizontally?

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  29. you should have no problem mounting it horizontally. the 12AX7 will work in any mounted position, so as long as the tube isn't touching anything you should be good to go..

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  30. Thank You!!!

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dOU2YkYw_bY/VC6FAbHiX8I/AAAAAAAACOY/QYgRM5rDwKQ/w434-h578-no/valvecaster-1.png

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-T9QUGoSDj14/VC6FAvfwZKI/AAAAAAAACOc/NUSsZ648GbI/w770-h578-no/valvecaster-2.png

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-E8qiMpV-Chs/VC6FDW3MRMI/AAAAAAAACOw/HTO7cnb3Pvo/w771-h578-no/valvecaster-3.png

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    1. Looks great. Nice job man.

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    2. Yes, very nice. Thanks for the pics

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  31. Hello,

    I made this pedal and everything is OK. The sound remains only clean with a booster. Is there any kind of modification to get a little distortion on the sound ?

    Thank you very much !

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  32. I have some 12AY7 and ECC83. Can be used with this Layout ? Or I have to change some values ?

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    1. Those have the same pinout as 12AU7 so they are compatible. However, 12AU7 is the only one that is designed to be used with 12V plate voltage. While others may work with this circuit, i doubt they'll sound the same. Wikipedia article has a nice list of all the tubes in this family. And their differences. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12AX7

      You could just build it and try those out. If it doesn't perform in desired manner, then get yourself a 12AU7.
      +m

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    2. Thanks mirosol.
      If I understand, the 12AY7 is more difficult to sature with 12V. I have these tubes (12AY7 and ECC83) from an old hi-fi preamp, so I try to used them, for a guitar pedal (preamp, or overdrive). But it's maybe not the right choice for this use.

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    3. Like i said, both will work. But i'm not sure if they will sound good. You could try those tubes with the Boob tube tagboard layout, which includes a charge pump.
      +m.

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    4. Thanks for the link.
      This Boob tube it's maybe a better choice for my 12AY7..

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  33. I made this pedal, but it stopped working after 20min.

    I changed the electrolytic capacitor and it returned to work.

    The problem is that the pedal stopped again!

    Why this capacitor is stopping suddenly ???

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    1. PS - I plug the SHO in series with the valvecaster. Could it cause any problem like this ?

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  34. hello everyone,
    I have built this pedal with the help of that mojo layout. I used a 12ax7 tube but something is strange, because the pedal is humming. I can turn the volume down and up, but gain and tone won't work. I have no clue what to do, because I am some kind of a noob..
    Can anyone help? maybe I can post some photos?

    regards,
    Chris

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  35. Hello, some suggestions to add a bass boost switch?

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  36. Hey guys do you know if I could use a 12au7a ? couldn't find much info about the difference between the 12au7 and the one with de "a" at the end
    Thanks

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  37. I found a 9au7 tube for 5$ on the bay. I've been trying to find more Info on using this tube instead of the 12au7 since the 9au7 is more meant to run off 9v. Would I need to change values of the resistors and caps to use the 9 with this layout or do you think it would be good

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  38. Ended up using the 9au7 sounds pretty good I tested the circuit board with a 9v battery but I'm dying to hear it with a power supply. I did read something that it might require more ma so I'm gonna test it out after I box it up and start using wall warts

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  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  40. So can I just run this circuit off a 12V adaptor with no changes? And is this the latest schematic? Ie no backwards controls? Using a 12AU7 :)

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  41. And also, would this layout work? (http://i.imgur.com/Ui0HC1C.png?1) I've got some small turret board laying around :) The colour scheme is the same as the mojo layout

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  42. hey guys . im having HUM trouble with this and its my first venture into valves so any advice is appreciated ...
    was running it on a 9v regulated to test it seemed ok . but aft i connected to a 12v ( Trex Fuel tank) i have a clear hum ..unusable at loud/ stage levels
    the hum is not there if the tube is removed.
    the hum is much lesser at full gain ...
    pls help

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  43. Hi guys, please first let me thank IvIark and the gang for all the info/schematics hanging around here. I read the Valvecaster thread so many times now! Made one, work great!

    Only problem, the sound is very faint/quiet. I have to pump both Vcaster, guitar and amp volume a lot to hear it. The sound is nonetheless very rich and warm, I love it. With the true bypass I would have to always drop the volumes before hitting the stompswitch. I read that some people put a SHO in front, is this the best/only solution for this? Couldn't find anything else on the forums. Thanks for any reply!

    Mat

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    1. Perhaps you will find this interesting...

      http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=63479.msg838224;topicseen

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    2. Thanks for the reply, but it's note quite the problem.. I am running it from a 9V battery. I have no problem with hum or noise, it's just that the pedal cuts so much of the input I have to crank all the volumes high... I will double check the voltage to make sure.

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  44. Hi guys, i want to build a new Valvecaster with this mod taken from diystompboxes. I want to add a hard clipping stage, with two options for clippling, one with asymmetrical ge diodes and another with symmetrical leds or silicon, i don't know at the moment.

    Can anyone have a look at the vero??

    https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=E90F6600A38D2D40!2887&authkey=!AEMtlM6OJWm48uE&ithint=folder%2c

    The new cut doesn't really do nothing, I know

    Thank you very much

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    1. I forgot to mention that the SW is an SPDT of off on switch.

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  46. What resistors would I need to change to get a higher gain out of this? I've listened to a lot of samples people put out for this pedal but I want to give it more gain so it's more suitable for my style of music. I also plan on changing the first capacitor, 47n to a 68n so that it sounds better with my baritone guitar. Hope to hear from you guys soon.

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  47. Hey guys wondering if someone could help me with this...

    Build it all using a JJ 12au7.

    I used the 'DPDT daughterboard' that is on here somewhere too to make the wiring easier, and that is the ONLY difference I have made.

    The tone and drive do nothing, I have no crunch at all, and when set at maximum volume (which does work), it is just at unity, if not slightly under. Bypass works fine. Tube glows and is warm. Using 9v boss power.

    Has anyone got any ideas? Really realllyyyyy want this to work.

    Going into a '65 Princeton Re-issue

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    1. hey got the same problem here, did you find out what it was?

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  48. Hi guys,

    I did one of this long ago... Now I'm trying to add a clipping stage, but the last time I tried to I notice a relevant lost of volume when the clipping section was on. To solve this someone told me to add a resistor to the output. So the layout should be something like this:

    http://1drv.ms/1GQAEO1

    With a 3PDT on-off-on R5 should increase the volume in case you turn on the switch up or down. In middle position the clipping stage is off.

    Please, can someone verify?

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