Saturday, 6 September 2014

Nick Greer Green Giant

Request.  Sorry Zach (rocket88), I was in the mood to do a quicky and this fit the bill nicely :o)
This is very close to the Ghetto Stomp and probably could be thought of as a cut down version with saturation control on the diodes.  Oh another pedal that used it before Fuller's ridiculous patent!
Anyway, a nice quick one for anyone with half an hour to kill.

Info about the original:
One of Nick Greer's personal favorites. Formerly built by Greer Amplification for endorsers only. A basic distortion unit with a limiter between the output of the signal and the clipping section of the diodes. The knob is labeled clean mix and allows the user to limit the amount of signal being distorted, resulting in a sound much that of the clean signal being mixed in on top of the distorted signal. Great for country players and rock and blues players who want good sounding distortion with the ability to dial the amount of hair. 





49 comments:

  1. Good one IvIark - this should take all of 15 minutes to make :) Looks like the clean mix modifies the effect of the clipping diodes, as with Jack Orman's saturation control. This would be worth exploring on other effects which use clipping diodes to ground after the gain stage.

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    1. Yes it's definitely worth testing with other shunt diode circuits like a Rat, Dist+, or even something like a Crunch Box with its LEDs. It should allow a lot more dirt control alongside each pedals own opamp gain control.

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  2. Funny, I thought this was a take on the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive. Is this another Electra Drive variant? Like Sean at LovePedal, I know Greer uses that one often.

    I'll tell ya' a little secret having lived in Athens, Ga, and dealing with Nick directly, and a lot of hands on with his pedals. Everything he does is a variation of something else. Not a rearrangement of the building blocks, but just a given circuit with a few twists.

    I've been curious what his much vaunted Light Speed is variation on.

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    1. Yes, this is an Electra Drive with a saturation control for the diode clipping. I had put side some parts for the EQD Speaker Cranker (another Electra-based circuit), so I may build that and put in the saturation mod.

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  3. I just tried building and couldn't get it to work. Probably something simple but it's late and I'll take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks for the quick turnaround.

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  4. Can i connect this circuit to the place where the diodes at a bigmuff are? Will it work as a kind of diode distortion-blend there?

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  5. I haven't built this on vero yet, but I built it on breadboard using your layout as a guide (before I found the schematic). I'd never heard of it, but it seemed like a good way to spend an hour on a Saturday morning.

    I don't have a 2N3904, so I tried 2N5088 and MPSA18. Both sound good, but of course I can't compare them to what it would sound like with a 2N3904. I'd say it's creeping into fuzz territory with either of these transistors, and the clean mix turned all the way down/off.

    I get a slight octave-down effect when I dig into low strings, with the clean mix turned all the way down. When I put a Timmy in front of it, it helps boost enough to enhance the octave effect. It's REALLY COOL -- I'm going to try changing some component values and see if I can enhance it some more (without needing another pedal to drive it). It's easy to dial it out just by turning up the clean mix.

    Thanks for this, and all the other layouts!

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  6. Don't we miss Clean Mix 2 + 3 to ground here?
    Thanks for this one !

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    1. the notes say volume 3 to clean mix 2, I presume clean mix is acting as a variable resistor between clipping diodes and volume control

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  7. I couldn't get this one to work, so I tried rocket88's version (no offense intended, Mark) and it fired up right off. Sounds really good like an Electra variant should.

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  8. I built IvIark's layout yesterday and it worked for me. I also built the EQD Speaker Cranker on vero since they're both small and based on the Electra. Some comments...

    The distortion on both is fairly similar. However, the "clean mix" on the Green Giant was rather subtle and there was a minor loss of volume as you turned the clean mix control off (full distortion mode). I played around with the clean mix to make it more like Jack Orman's saturation control, but that only showed a minor improvement. Overall, I'd say I liked the Speaker Cranker better between the two, as the "More" knob does a better job smoothly increasing volume and gain.

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    1. I know I did something wrong on IVIark's layout. Just how you screw up a <10 component project is beyond me, but i managed to do it.

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    2. Sorry Frank, totally missed this. You need to start verification posts with a capital VERIFIED!!!, or I get confused :o)
      Thanks for verifying matey

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  9. My clean mix was not subtle but there was a significant volume loss and the diodes were engaged. It turned into a nice boost at the other end. There are a few nice settings in between I don't know how much has to do with my use of a 20k pot as opposed to a 25k one, though.

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    1. Well, the distortion on mine was not subtle (the effect of the diodes was apparent) and it cleaned up OK with the pot fully engaged but it wasn't as dramatic as I would have thought. And it really isn't a "clean blend' - more of a "less clipping" effect.

      By the way, since I had built both this and the Speaker Cranker, I decided to have some fun and wire them up with the Green Giant output going into input the Speaker Cranker's input. Instant fuzz! :)

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  10. The "less clipping" thing makes sense now that I think about it. I need to try that speaker cranker.

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  11. It makes sense that you would loose volume when you add the diodes in, cause they're going to clip the signal an cause volume loss. When it's completely clean it's like a boost because the diodes aren't in the circuit. Btw, I'm glad the circuit I designed worked. FYI, still don't know why I appear as johns when I post comments on the main page.

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  12. Sounds great with an MP38 transistor and D9k germanium diodes. I've upped the 680r to reduce the amount of fuzz - I'm still working on the best value.

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    1. dude, that's a great idea. i didn't think about subbing the Si transistor with a Ge, i bet it adds some nice warmth. it might be a good idea to replace the 680r resistor with a trimpot to help with biasing. i'll make another layout and post it in the usual place with the other layout i made for this.

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  13. As long as your modding, I would also consider adding Jack Orman's SWTC2 to permit some tone control:

    http://www.muzique.com/lab/swtc.htm
    (the last circuit on the page)

    I've found that it can add some sparkle to your tone when fully engaged, or you can smoothly roll back the trebles if needed. Use the resistor/pot values suggested by Jack. Have fun!

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  14. Are there any vero layouts of the SWTC? I see the schematic, and it seems easy enough, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around translating to a layout.

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  15. Should be easy enough to do (if you want, you can just wire the components to the tone pot itself). We can move this discussion to the Contributions-->Layouts section of the Forum.

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  16. I just noticed that rocket88 is planning on amending the green giant layout with the SWTC in the contributions section

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  17. well, it's all ready and posted. :D. and i still have to figure out why i show up as johns in the comments. i mean you all know my name anyway so i guess it doesn't matter now does it. lol

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    1. also i made 3 more layouts, 1 was a suggestion the others were my own thought. 1 has switchable diodes, the other 2 are PNP with on board inverter one with the SWTC and the other has the SWTC but with switchable diodes as well.

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  18. Question, and it's a question I've had for awhile, what would be the difference in changing the bias resistor on the Collector vs the Emitter? Is there a difference?

    So instead of placing a trim pot in for the 680r using a trim pot for the 47k...

    Thoughts?

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  19. nowhere. i think it's used as a variable resistor, so you don't have to solder anything there.

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    1. Exactly. That pot sets the amount of signal being clipped by the diode pair by altering the resistance between signal path and the diodes. Only two lugs are needed to do that. But if one's OCD needs it to be connected, it can be connected to clean mix 2.
      +m

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    2. Just built this and my ears are ring.... WOW what a little demon.....put it through my Fender Rampate and nearly blow the house down

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  20. Hi all I was wondering if you could be of any assistance. I am unsure of how to connect this board to the external components (the Jacks, 9volt battery supply and the 3PDT switch) I am a complete noob to this and any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks in advance
    Dan

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    1. Check here Dan:

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

      Good luck!

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    2. thanks for that @tinkerfreak. I managed to suss it out and complete my first ever pedal. I realised also that i had placed the items on the board the wrong way around so started again. This circuit fits snugly into a tobacco tin with plenty of room for a 9v battery. if i build this one again i am going to try it in a larger enclosure for added mains input.
      Thanks again
      Dan

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  21. Simplest of boards to make but guess how fucked up! Managed to put the vol3 wire accidently on the row below. Never seen a pot smoke before (pardon the pun). I presume everything apart from the caps and resistors are now going to be fried?

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  22. hola, me pregunto si seria posible colocar un potenciometro para controlar el tono en este circuito, y que valor tendria ese potenciometro. Gacias!

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    1. if you add a tone control to this you will lose too much output, and will need to add a gain recovery stage. there was an attempt at doing this but when it was done it just didn't work out.

      si agrega un control de tono a este perderá una salida muy alta , y tendrá que añadir una etapa de recuperación de ganancia. hubo un intento de hacer esto, pero cuando se hizo simplemente no funcionó .

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    2. muchas gracias por tu respuesta, mis conocimientos no dan ni como para intentarlo pero me has aclarado bastante, se me hace un poco opaco el sonido quizas probare cambiar el condensador de entrada o salida o los dos jejeje muchas gracias de nuevo!

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    3. no worries man, just glad to help. we all learned over time. what most of us did was change the input and output caps to match what we wanted to get out of it. i use mine for bass mostly, and changed the input and output caps to 470nF, i think beaker changed his to 470nF input and 100nF output, but i don't remember. there's a thread on this under contributions section of the forum. we really made a bunch of changes to this and made something special out of it.

      sin preocupaciones hombre , contento de ayudar . todos hemos aprendido con el tiempo. lo que la mayoría de nosotros hicimos fue cambiar las tapas de entrada y salida para que coincida con lo que queríamos salir de ella . yo uso la mía para el bajo en su mayoría , y cambié los tapones de entrada y salida de 470nF , creo que cambió su vaso a la entrada y salida de 470nF 100nF , pero yo no lo recuerdo. hay un hilo en este bajo la sección contribuciones del foro. que realmente hicimos un montón de cambios en este e hicimos algo especial fuera de él.

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  23. eso si me atrevo a hacerlo jejeje aunk ahora lo pongo mezklado kon una distorsion lovepedal superlead y ya me gusta komo suena, de todas formas seguro que lo probare, muchas gracias de nuevo!

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  24. Hi!
    It's my first attempt at building a pedal. I'm confused by the wires-pots connections. Could someone post a drawing that clarifies these connections? Thanks

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    1. first welcome. now as to getting a drawing of the wiring of the pots, it's probably not going to happen because of the time to make it and its something you need to know how to do for each effect you plan on building, but each pedal will be different.

      to explain for wiring the switch you'll want to read the offboard wiring section.

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

      you'll see that there's a diagram of how to wire the effect to the on/off stomp switch, which will pretty much be the same as every effect. you will also see how the lugs of the pots are numbered, which is always the same.

      now to help explain how to wire the pots for this effect. you'll see that there's 2 pots, volume & clean. if you look at the bottom of the layout you should see the notes that tells you what the pots are, additional wiring that's not shown on the board, transistors and/or IC's, diodes, etc. every layout will have notes on the bottom with this information.

      now lets look at the volume pot. on the board it has a wire that says "Volume 3," which means that you need to have a wire go from that point on the board to lug 3 on the volume pot. it also says in the notes "Volume 3 to Clean 2," which means that you will need to have a wire that connects from lug 3 of the volume pot to lug 2 of the clean pot. in the notes it says "Volume 2 to Output," this means that the output from the board to the switch comes from this location, so you're going to need to have a wire go from lug 2 on the volume pot and will go to the switch (check the offboard wiring to see where on the switch it goes). it also says in the notes "Volume 1 to Ground," which means that you're going to have a wire that goes from lug 1 of the volume pot and connect to a ground location (like the input/output jack).

      now lets look at the clean pot. you should have the wire that runs from lug 3 of the volume pot and connected to lug 2 of the clean pot. on the board there's a wire marked clean 1, so you will have a wire that runs from this point on the board and connects to lug 1 of the clean pot. since there's no mention of "Clean 3" you will leave it unconnected.

      good luck, and if you have any more questions just ask.

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  25. Hey guys, I've build this and worked great! Also works great as a clean boost! I've managed somehow to mess with the power fed to it through a supply I tinkered with. Now something is off. It is just giving me the same amount of fuzz no matter where the mix pot is. I think there is a slight change of tone when I turn the mix pot. Volume works as it should. I already replaced the transistor but nothing changed. So my next guess is the pot got totaled. Can anyone think of anythink else before I dismantle it?

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    1. After a few tries I managed to measure the resistance of the pot and seems to be working ok. So, any other guesses?

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    2. I'm pretty sure there is no fuzz control. It's just volume of the main effect and a blend of that between clean and fuzzy.

      Check this link out too: http://effectslayouts.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/greer-amps-green-giant.html

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  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. Hi! I built it today but i have two problems:
    -The volume works good from 0% to about 80%, if i turn it more the effect volume decrease to 0.
    - I must to set my guitar's volume knob to the max, if i decrease it even a little i hear no sound.

    Where i did wrong?

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