Friday, 4 July 2014

Earthquaker Devices Monarch Overdrive

30th October 2014 - Put on hold pending investigation :o)

Info about the original:

The Earthquaker Devices Monarch Overdrive is an FET, all discrete dirt machine that will get you some truly vintage and organic overdrive. The Monarch Overdrive is based on a certain UK hard rock amp's input stage that shares the same color as the Monarch's brilliant design. This pedal provides high gains that are largely compression free, for a truly organic and natural sounding overdrive tone that really gets the sound of an overdriven vintage amp. The treble and bass controls are essentially frequency boosters, and not simply the run-of-the-mill roll off filters found in most all overdrive pedals. These controls are centered in the preamp section and really provide some depth to the tone and overdrive characteristics of the pedal. This provides you with a solid bottom end and clear and crisp top ends for rich harmonic overtones that ooze vintage overdrive. This is the overdrive pedal to get for larger-than life fat chord work and a thick and significant bottom end. The Earthquaker Devices Monarch Overdrive can also be used with higher voltages to yield more headroom, a fatter and more focused tone and a wider gain range.

The Earthquaker Devices Monarch Overdrive is one thick and meaty overdrive. Taking the best elements of a vintage UK rock amp, this pedal delivers some balls-out tone. As with other Earthquaker Devices, you have some real control over the tonal characteristics of this overdrive, by boosting frequencies rather than rolling them off. The Monarch Overdrive gives you some real vintage overdrive, but also some real tonal variety when you call for it.

Features:
    Gain: Controls the amount of overdrive
    Level: Controls level of output
    Treble: Boosts highs
    Bass: Boosts lows
    Power: Regulated 9-18v power supply with negative 2.1 mm center barrel







44 comments:

  1. A couple of values have been changed, so if you're building it get the latest version

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    1. I don't see any diff. What changed?

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    2. Yes.
      As it is/was it lacks something for sure. It works but very little dynamic change to tone. I used 201's and 5457's with very little umph.

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  2. Man!! How am I supposed to keep up with YOU?!?! This is next. I have the SLO 100, Carvin Leegazzy and Openhause built ( waiting on some parts for each). I'm gonna go broke building these things. I'm gonna send you some pix. I have about 50 of your designs in my 'man cave'. Wife does not understand. What's to understand??
    The Mutron is unbelievable. I'm close to being proud of that one!! The 4 knob rat was the hardest thing I've built so far. Perfect day here 75, sunny....have a good one.
    jeff

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  3. Do you recommend an 18v charge pump?

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    1. Yes I'd always try 18V with any circuit. I made a small box 9 to 18V converter with just two DC sockets so I can put it inline with the supply to any pedal and see how it works at 18V

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    2. Cool. I'll put one together.

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  4. ^ wow.. such a simple but great idea

    I'm going to need to build one for myself now :) they sell the really small Hammonds at a local store

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  5. I'm also attracted to the idea of a switchable charge pump built into the pedal, where you can just toggle between 9V or 18V

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    1. Yes it's one of those little Hammond boxes I've got it in, like a half size (ish) 1590A. A switchable supply is a great option and will often give you two completely different sounding and reacting modes because of the headroom difference, but it's definitely nice to have the little box so you can test it before committing yourself because a charge pump can be pointless with some circuits.

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  6. Yep that's why I'll have to do both :P

    I bet one could sell a ton of those 9V to 18V converters :o

    Real quick build too, but not as exciting as a good fuzz or something

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    1. I was going to make a power supply with each output having a switchable 9V, 18V or -9V mode which I though some people would like. Especially people with a few PNP pedals because they wouldn't have to change anything. I never bothered because all the effects in my chain run off 9V or I've put a charge pump in them so I didn't want to waste the space on a power supply when I can just use a daisy chain perfectly well.

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    2. I would love to see a layout for that ;)

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  7. what about to drop a charge pump with toggle selection on utilities section

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  8. Thanks! i was just about to re-jig johnk's layout with new values and try to reduce the number of splayed ceramic caps but you've done it already.

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  9. I have already built this from johns layout. can somebody tell me what values changed, and the location of those components on johns layout? thanks

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    1. Q4 source resistor should be 1K and the only 47K resistor should be 470K. I'm pretty sure John will have updated his layout so if you have a 1K and 470K in there somewhere you've already done it.

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    2. thanks for the quick reply mark. I built this a while back, when I first saw it, so I'm sure it was an older layout, as I don't have any 1k or 470k on my build. the source resistor on his original was a 100ohm, correct? if you are looking at his layout, q4 is the one bottom center? thanks

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    3. I haven't got it in front of me, but yes it was 100 ohms, and there was only one 47K in the old schematic so if you change that one to 470K that will be correct

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  10. Is the pix above the latest/corrected version?

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  11. Replies
    1. Top man, thanks Andy :o)

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    2. Hm... And how does yours sound? I've just finished mine and it doesn't have nearly as much gain as on the PGS video. With the gain pot turned all the way up I barely get the gain level of the Sweet Honey Drive. Tone stack and volume seem to work fine and the output level seems to be ok too, though not too high.

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    3. Mine doesn't sound particularly aggressive, but I haven't boxed it and played it through a good amp, just tested it out through my bench amp. Almost nothing sounds "good" through my bench amp.

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    4. Andy - did you ever get this sounding right? Mine is pretty blase / quiet actually.

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  12. Anyone have a schematic for this? Trying to debug and couldn't find anything on fsb.

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  13. http://johnkvintageguitars.homestead.com/Effects/Fuzz-ODs/Monarch/monarchschemo-04.jpg

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  14. Hi guys. Love the site. Long time follower. Built dozens of pedals from your layouts.
    I built this and I agree with Andy Miller. I have lower output than I would expect from an Earthquaker pedal and also there is almost no gain to speak of. Not sure what the problem is. Of the ones built from John's layout: was the result the same?

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    1. Having the same issue after building the V2 build. No gain, pretty quiet, kind of farty even.

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  15. Interesting thing happened - after having the same "too quiet" issue that Steve E and others have expressed, I switched to BS170's and it was slightly better. However, even with the 2n5457s, if I crank the treble I get really bad clipping if I bare down on the humbuckers. Thoughts? Increase the pot value?

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  16. Mine works, not so much gain... but when strumming hard (les paul, humbuckers), the sound cuts out and disappear.! Is there a way to put a zener to protect the FET?

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  17. I shelved this one for a while as I worked on some other projects. Playing with it again today, I tried reducing the source resistor of Q1 a bit to see if I could get more gain. The answer is yes, but I killed another innocent BS170 in the process, even 200R is just too low. Back to the 330R resistor there, because even 270R seemed prone to feedback. Even with the 330R, after jamming for a few minutes, it starts cutting out and Q1 starts to get warm.

    So yeah, I guess I'm the one who claimed to have verified this one, sorry about that. Although it works, strictly speaking.. . . it seems to have some issues in common across a few separate builds. It might be considerate to unverify it, to protect new and unsuspecting readers from undue frustration.

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    1. Mine works fine but only until Ive either played for a while or used to much gain as well as treble/bass at the same time. Then it cuts out and even goes silent. Ive added bypass cap and reservoir cap for the 9V but that didnt help. Sounds good but no help when it cuts out.

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  18. Any news on this one? Build it with the same issues as above... ;-(

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  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  20. Hello all. New to the group and was definitely interested in getting this model to work. I made a SPICE schem on SIMETRIX (what program does everyone use for spice around here?) to do some simulation and signal analysis and junk, off of the schematic given by Andy Miller (wasn't sure if I needed to change some of the R values, mismatched to current wiring layout). As mentioned like everyone else, I haven't been able to produce any simulations with good clipping/distortion, but I'm also not sure if I'm making a correct guitar signal in the program (usually 50-100mV sine?). Also a little confused on Andy's schematic where the Ali-G and G1 connections go.

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  21. Monarch: seems there´s a mising cut, inbetween 10M resistor and Q1 (G).

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    1. The schematic shows Q1 gate has 1 x 10M to ground and 1 x 10M to drain which is correct in the layout. If there was a cut there it definitely wouldn't work because the input cap wouldn't be connected to the gate :o)

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  22. Has anyone had any luck with this one?

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  23. Thought this one was verified but apparently not. I have the same issues as stated above. No solutions yet?

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  24. http://effectslayouts.blogspot.be/2015/02/earthquaker-devices-monarch.html is this the same layout? Maybe a solution?

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  25. hi all.
    any updates on this?
    I 'm afraid there's a curse around all these "orange" sounding pedals . Monarch, catalinbread supercharged etc , lol.

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