Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Human Gear Animato

A Bass/Guitar distortion pedal made famous by Christopher Wolstenholme of Muse.
For infos on this project check the original threads on DIY and FSB 
(If you build it for bass you should add a blend circuit to improve the sound)






27 comments:

  1. Going to have to give this one a go soon. Brilliant as always Alex.

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  2. Built it up with an AC128/176 pair and 5088's and it works like a charm. Haven't had a chance for a proper play with it yet but you can tag it verified if you don't mind the transistor subs. Watch the pinouts if you use 2N5088s!

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  3. Thanks Robert!
    How does it sound?

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    1. Only had 2 minutes testing on guitar, so far sounds like your average muff. Eager to try it blended on bass though.

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  4. I'm having trouble finding the transistors :( any help with substitutions would be greatly appreciated

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    1. It looks like you can get the NTE102 and 103 from Allied Electronics, but they are expensive. I had no better success finding the AC128 substitution suggested above.

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    2. Those are quite scarce ad even more here in europe. One could go with any germanium NPN/PNP pair. AC128/AC127 should be a nice sub.... Perhaps a low gain Si could do the trick too. Something like 2N2369 paired with 2N2907. That won't sound like the original (or AC128/AC127 subs), but it'll work.

      As for 2240, that's just pretty basic NPN small signal transistor with slightly higher max voltage rating. (http://alltransistors.com/transistor.php?transistor=12934)
      As it has forward current transfer ratio (hFE gain) of 200-700, the suitable subs would be 2N2222(A), 2N3904, 2N5088, BC239, BC550 etc. Basically any NPN Si. Voltage ratings do not matter much here as the circuit is run with 9 volts. Sockets and experiment what sounds the best for you?
      +m

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    3. Regarding the transistors, I tried a few germanium combinations for the input pair and AC128/AC176 were the best by far. They're plentiful on eBay thanks to the fuzz factory and the like (though avoid "aberdeencd", totally useless). I tried low gain silicons and they were just awful, really dull and farty. The 128/176 pair gives a really grindy, sharp attack on bass which is just lovely.

      As for the 2240s - I can't believe I'm about to type this, but I noticed a marked improvement in tone over the 5088s I had in before. Normally I'm a steadfast member of the "all equivalent spec transistors are created equal" anti-mojo crowd, but it just seemed livelier with the 2240s. I did get a really good batch that all had pretty much the same hfe, which may be the reason, but they're not massively pricy (I think I got 10 for £5), so I'd recommend giving them a try.

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  5. Built this using an AC128/AC176 pair and I can confirm it sounds really great on bass!
    Blending with the original signal is definitely a must.

    I still consider myself a beginner in pedal building so maybe I did something wrong but :
    1) I had to swap tone 1 and tone 3 to have it behaving like an usual tone pot (meaning CW -> more treble, CCW -> less treble)
    2) I had to reverse the position of the NTE102 transistor (so the emitter points in the same direct as the NTE103)
    Can anyone who built this confirm?

    Now I just need to figure out what I am going to build with all those 128/176 pairs I ordered from different sellers on eBay...
    Thank you so much for this layout!

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    1. Hi Lucas!
      I'm glad you like it!
      I love it too on bass (with the added blend).
      I don't remember what I did with my Tone pot when I've built it.
      It is supposed to get darker CCW.
      The NTE102 collector connects to the NTE103 emitter to form what is called a Sziklai pair.
      You can see it on the original schematic:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7Lx-E88bAtET1ViT3J2UEFpYUk/view

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    2. Which blend do you guys recommend? Thanks!

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    3. I've used the Split 'n' Blend circuit:
      http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.fr/2012/02/split-n-blend.html

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  7. Hi,
    I wonder how to settle the 10K trimm pot.
    How do you do that ? Thank you

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  8. Hey all built this one and having an issue with the volume/gain. The volume is very low and when I reduce the drive below about 3/4 I loose all volume. Since the gain is a blend I'm assuming I'm not getting the clean part of the signal.

    Also not sure what to do with positions 3,6 on the switch (left them empty), switch doesn't seem to be doing anything, not sure if the two issues are related.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

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  9. I think I may have solved my issue, I was using NTE102A and NTE103, looks like 102A drives less gain.

    I find that to get mine working even with low volumes I have to change the orientation of 102 like Lucus above, I'm pretty new to this so may be making a/some silly mistakes, any advice would really be appreciated.

    Thx

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  10. Had a good build using AC128/AC176, identical problem to Lucas M though, had to flip NTE102 to get it to work. Very confusing... my multimeter agreed that I had the pinouts correct, but I still had to flip NTE102! I'm not good enough with electronics to work out if my multimeter was giving me a reverse pinout, but I did try every pin combination for both of them, getting the highest gain reading in the "correct" pinout. Tried a fair few pin combinations on the board too, all sounded like crap except the NTE 102 reversed, and NTE103 with correct polarity. Most confusing!

    Overall not bad, but I think I'll build a second with far more exacting transistors. I find mine doesn't have the same level of gain as I've seen from other builds (not that it needs that much more, but useful to have for Muse type tones), even with the trim pot maxed out. I used 2N3904 instead of C2240 too, so I'll leave nothing to chance next time! Absolutely worth it for the Muse fan, nails Hyper Music with a Palmer Y-box giving a DI to work with :D

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  11. I built this. It sounds great. Just wondering where I should set the trimpot?

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  12. Hi,
    I am having problems with wiring the DPDT switch - I already spent a lot of time checking the original schematic, but at last I could not figure it out - I wonder, where I should solder the Sw3 and Sw6 pins. Might be a basic question, but I'd still appreciate the info :)

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    1. 1 4
      2 5
      3 6

      Sw 1 & 4 are connected together.
      Sw 3 & 6 are not connected at all.

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    2. Thank you very much for such quick response!

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    3. I built the effect - sadly I get nothing but static humming when I switch it on (I used a DPDT footswitch, bypass works fine), and I can hear quiet, clean notes of my bass guitar in the background of this constant, loud noise. I can alter this hum with the Tone, Vol and Dist pots, and with the DPDT switch on, I get an even louder humming...
      I already triple-checked all the things written in the "Fault Finding" section: cuts, transistor pins, soldering, bridges, etc. My patience is almost infinite, but I ran out of ideas and as I have only really limited electrical knowledge (being a mechanical engineer..), I would be really thankful for any help, what to do now.
      I built the circuit with C2240s and an AC128-C2240BL pair (I know it is not perfect, but the schematic-writer guy wrote that it will give decent result with an AC128/2N5088 pair and I could not acquire a 2N5088 -> C2240BL was advised); cheramic caps (I do not know if not-using film caps makes any difference) and I tried to use it with a battery, so unclean source can be (I think) excluded.

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  13. How would I wire this without the switch?

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  14. Hi guys. Could someone explain what the CLR at the LED+ is please . Cheers

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