Thursday, 10 April 2014

Dice Works Muff Diver

Info from Kit Rae about the discontinued but much sought after original:

DICE WORKS MUFF DIVER modified Triangle Big Muff clone - A discontinued boutique clone made by Eric Holden, circa 2005, of the an original Electro-Harmonix V1 Big Muff circuit shown on page 1 (PNP Triangle 72 #2), with the addition of switchable coupling caps at C4 and C5 to make it sound more like the custom Big Muff known as the P-1 that Pete Cornish made for David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) in the late 1970's. In reality, it sounds nothing like the P-1, but resembles something in between the Cornish P-2 and G-2 tone. It makes for a very versatile Big Muff. One of my favorites. Another version of the Muff Diver included a switchable input cap setup identical to the Cornish/Original switch in the standard version, switchable Ge diodes in the first clipping stage, and a switch to remove the Si diodes from the second clipping stage. 

More info can be found at Kit Rae's bigmuffpage.com.

Like the original I have used BC327-40 PNP transistors here and have included the voltage inverter daughterboard so it can have a negative ground.  I'm not sure whether the same was true in the original or whether it had a positive ground, but either way, it makes sense to have a home built version as compatible as possible with most of your other effects.  I have included two clipping switches though which will allow you to have silicon or germanium diodes in either/both stages, or lifted in the centre off position for a maximum range of sounds.

Like some other Big Muff's and variants, the base sound with this is scooped, but if you would prefer flatter mids then increase the 3n9 cap at Q3 collector to 10n which will make the frequency response very flat.  Or you could always add another switch if you want both options available to you.







26 comments:

  1. Will that voltage inverter work on any positive ground 9V pedal?

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  2. On the sound clip pix there are 4 mini toggles. I get confused easily. Is one of them for a +/- v selection or something else?

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    1. That's the Finale version where he may have added something else, I haven't even read a description for it so I couldn't guess what it is. If I was going to add something useful to it, I'd probably have that extra switch adding caps in parallel with the 3n9 cap at Q3 collector, then you could have additional scooped, flat and boosted mids modes.

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    2. Hi! I'm looking to try this build, and I'm wondering how exactly you would add that extra switch? If I understand correctly, you would wire it so that the switch, when put in the right position, would add caps in parallel to the 3n9 cap at the C lane on the 3rd transistor? Is this as easy as soldering a wire to both the leads of the 3n9 cap, and connecting it to the switch? Two of the settings would then have additional caps (which cap sizes would you recommend for this?), but I'm not sure how I could wire a way which does not add any extra caps (in parallel).

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    3. The switch is like this:

      1---4
      2---5
      3---6

      Put a 1n2 cap between 1 and 4, a 2n7 between 2 and 5 and maybe a 22n between 3 and 6. Then also connect 2 to Tone 3, and 5 to Clip 2-5.

      That will give you a more scooped setting in the top position, the stock setting in the middle position, and a mid boost in the bottom position. Or alter the cap values to get the best selection to your ear

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    4. Wow, thanks for the fast reply! I looked at the layout again and realized I wouldn't have to solder the wire to the cap-leads itself, I could just solder it to empty spots on the lane (one to the left of the bottom lead, and one to the right of the top lead).

      If it's not too much trouble, could you maybe explain how the middle/stock position of the switch works? This might be a dumb question, but I don't understand exactly what the function of the 2n7 cap is, nor the extra connections to tone 3 and clip2-5.

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    5. The 2n7 is always in circuit, so the middle position gives you just 2n7. In the other positions the cap values are summed, so in the top position 1n2 + 2n7 gives you the 3n9 in the original. In the bottom position 22n + 2n7 will give you 24.7n.

      This all assumes you've removed the 3n9 from the board, but if you swap that for a 2n7 instead, then you can just solder the 1n2 and 22n on the switch which will be a little tidier.

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    6. I'm sorry I keep bothering you with questions, but after brushing up on DPDT on/off/on switches, capacitance and transistors, I'm still confused.

      In the version where you omit the 3n9 from the board, the wires from the switch to Tone3 and Clip2-5 replace the lane on the layout going from tone3 to 3n9 to clip2-5, right? However, doesn't removing the 3n9 cap altogether, and wiring the switch to those other switches bypass the transistor? Is this not a problem? Am I misunderstanding something, or should the 5-pole on the new switch be wired to the left of the C-lane of the transistor?

      Wired this way, the top position then gives you the stock sound (2n7+1n2=3.9F) , the mid position the scooped sound (2.7nF), and the bottom position the mid boost (2n7+22n=24.7nF), right?

      Your continued help is much appreciated!

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    7. If you look at a muff schematic that cap is between the transistor collector and the tone pug lug 3. Clip 2-5 is connected to the collector so that's where we get the feed for the switch. So the 2n7 will always be between collector and Tone 3, and whatever caps we switch in the circuit wih the toggle is then put in parallel with it so the cap values are summed

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    8. Oh alright, I guess it doesn't really matter if you connect the extra switch to the board itself, or to other switches/pots which are connected to the same lanes you want to add your new switch to.

      I drew up a wiring diagram to clear things up for myself: http://imgur.com/be7qW34 I removed the 3n9 cap from the board and added another on/off/on DPDT switch with the new caps that you recommended. Is this the correct way to wire it? I'm sorry I keep bothering you with this, but this is only my second build (first one was a box of rock), so I'm still fairly new to this.

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  3. Hi there,
    I found a link that shows the dice works included with a Jack Union fuzz.
    Ivlark, do you alsof have a vero of the Jack Union, so I can duplicate the link example?
    Greetz Axel


    http://www.effectsdatabase.com/model/diceworks/fuzzepic

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    1. I've never seen a schematic for the Union Jack Fuzz, but I'll certainly do a layout if I ever see one

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  4. Anyone have a chance to try this one out? Seems like a pretty great modded BMP.

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    1. Excellent, thanks for that matey

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  6. Started this build and just realized I don't have the 560p caps. Is there any substitution for a more common value that could work?

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    1. 470p is often used in that position in muffs

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    2. Awesome I'll give it a go. Thanks for the quick response.

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  7. according to kit rae schematic, q1 emitter resistor is also 835Ω, not 150Ω

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  8. I tried using the older, smaller voltage inverter with this build and I'm not getting anything. Is there a reason it needs the particular one shown with the layout above? Also I'm using BC337's instead of the 327's. My research led me to believe it would work fine, if not does anyone know of a different subsitute that works well. The only place I can find 327's is EBAY and I prefer to not buy through there anymore.

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    1. well your first problem is that you're using NPN transistors when you should be using PNP. some subs for BC327's would be BC638, BC640, 2SB647,
      BC177, 2N5086, 2SA854, KT3107B. i'm sure there are others, but i can't think of them, i know there's a BC5** that should be PNP and subbed.

      tayda has BC327's for $0.04 each
      http://www.taydaelectronics.com/bc327-bc327-25-transistor-pnp-45v-0-5a.html

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    2. Zach, Wow thanks for the quick response! How have I never noticed that Tayda sells those. I'm sure I checked there but it might have been months ago.

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    3. no problem buddy, just glad to help get your build up and running. just as a side note, always remember to check if a transistor is PNP or NPN when looking for equivalents. there have been tons of times that we find suggested substitutions for transistors that end up being the wrong type. i found out when i looked at the datasheets.

      it's finny, the only reason i knew tayda had them is that this is on my list and i ordered a bunch awhile ago. i went looking in my stash to find them and they still had the tayda sticker on them. lol

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    4. btw, the ones from tayda are BC327-25, which are identical to BC327-40 that the layout calls for, except in the BC327-25 has a max of 400hfe, and BC327-40 has a max of 600hfe. with muffs typically the lower the hfe the bassier it can be. it doesn't mean that it's going to be like a bass muff, but something to be aware of. if you really want BC327-40 here's a link to a bunch of auctions on ebay

      http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=BC327-40+&_sacat=0

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