Sunday, 30 April 2017

Hornby Skewes Shatterbox

The Hornby Skewes Shatterbox is another stupid rare fuzz/booster made in the 60's, need I really say any more? In case I do, info is not really available on this monster, but here's what I found:

Skewes Shatterbox Produced in Leeds circa 1966, the unit combines two effects; The JHS Zonk fuzz and a Treble Booster circuit, the original unit was produced in exceptionally limited numbers and was famously used by Mark Bolan T-Rex.

Layout 1: Original PNP

Layout 2: NPN Version

Way Huge Purple Platypus

Not a lot of info on this one, so here is what I found out about it:

Uber Rare Way Huge Purple Platypus Octidrive only about 120 or so made. Essentially, this is a Red Llama Overdrive and an octave effect similar to the Green Ringer.  A very specialized pedal,  its best use is to push your already driven amp into fuzz while doubling up on the upper octave. Discontinued way back in the late 90's, and no reissue set for release.

I will add one more thing. On the schematic there's a 27k resistor that seems to go nowhere coming off Drive 1. I've looked over the PCB a million times, and despite the thought it has to go somewhere I'm certain it's a dead end. Maybe to make a possible tracing more difficult.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

BYOC Crown Jewel

Here is a layout for the BYOC Crown Jewel (minus the boost).
The boost is an independent circuit of your choice in serie with the main circuit.
There is also an extra switch to select if you want the boost "Pre" or "Post" the main  circuit.
You can find all infos and schematic on their website here.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Way Huge Saffron Squeeze MKI

A modified Ross Compressor. Two simple controls sustain and level. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a video for the MKI, but as we all know if it's been modified by Mr. Huge it's going to sound great.

Note: There's a cut under D3 to the left of the 1nF cap that's hard to see.

Way Huge Tone Leper

Once again, not much info on this one, but was made way back in '92 and for a limited run. It's a booster that's more of a midboost/cocked wah tone. Unfortunately, there's 0 videos I could find of it, but once again if it's a Way Huge pedal it should be awesome. What's interesting is that it's really just an Anderton Frequency Boost.


Note: You can change the 2 22nF caps to one of the other value options from the Super Tone Leper if you choose to change the frequency of the boost.

Figure while I was at it I might as well do a layout for the Super Tone Leper that Mr. Huge had made for Queens of the Stone Age back in the day. Same effect, but with 5 different frequency selections.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

DAM Buzzotron

I was just reminded of this one on FSB and although there are already vero layouts available, I thought it was worth adding to the library for the sake of completeness.  Positive ground so watch the daisy chaining or try the voltage inverter.

David Main's words:

"This circuit is a little different to a stock Buzzaround. You can still nail those Crimson tones with ease but this Buzzotron circuit will give you a little extra extension of frequency range and a little more of a tailored fuzz tone. The hand selected original transistors will have very much the same character and tone of the original pedal. Giving you great tonal break-up and control from truly ear splitting high gain to garage-y overblown decay!"

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Way Huge Angry Troll

So I randomly stumbled across the schematic for this one over at FSB and as always thought it would be a nice addition. Just like any other Way Huge pedal I think it sounds badass.

From the Source:

The mighty Angry Troll Linear Boost Amplifier from Way Huge Electronics serves up generous portions of volume and gain to pummel the input of your amp with up to +50dB of gain. It adds bite and punch while transforming your mild mannered tone into a beastly sonic onslaught! The Angry Troll's two controls interact like a vintage mic pre amp. The Anger knob-a rotary switch with six Fists of Fury positions-adjusts the amount of gain created by the Troll's op-amp, while the Volume knob regulates the overall output level. High grade components are used for a precisely tuned circuit that works like an extension of your amp. Another tone monster from the mind of Mr. Huge!

Layout 1: Stock Normal Layout

Layout 2: Was kinda requested below. Modded to remove the fist switch, which controls the gain, and replace it with a pot. Quick note about this is that the way the switch is wired when it's at position 1 it has the most resistance allowing a clean tone. according to my calculations at Sw1 there should be 62.5k resistance, and since there's no 62.5k pot you could use a 100k or 50k pot. Nice thing about doing this is the board shrunk, all pot wires are connected to the board, will give more options for grit, and it should be a stupid simple build.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Schaller Treble-Bass Boost

Not much info on this but, it's a rare West German Schaller vintage “Treble-Bass Boost” from 1968. It typically goes for over $400usd, so fairly desirable. It's a 2 transistor based booster, with a five position switch that controls the the frequencies being boosted. There's 2 treble settings, 2 bass settings, and 1 mids setting. Seems like it also gives a little bit of drive too, which is a nice addition.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Electro Harmonix Knockout Attack Equalizer

"The Knockout is a powerful two-filter combination that can make your Les Paul sound like a Strat and your Strat sound like a Tele. Its secret...the Knockout has a 7 pole filter for sculpting the low end of your mids and a 6 pole filter to shape the top end of the mids. This provides incredible tone shaping. Use after distortion to bring out the heavy weight punch of the metal masters. The Knockout is also truly amazing on Bass."
Original FSB thread and schematic available here.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Suzy-Q Harmonic Clipper Fuzz

John Fogerty's fuzz sound in a box.
Can find original thread, schematic and sound clip here.

John Fogerty
John Fogerty
John Fogerty
John Fogerty

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Jen Double Sound Fuzz Wah

Couldn't really find a good description of this pedal other then it's a Fuzz-Wah produced in the 70's by Jen. Here's my take based on the schematic. Just like many of the other fuzz wahs I've seen and working on layouts for this is essentially a classic inductor wah with a fuzzface type fuzz. There's a few differences I've noticed compared to a lot of the others. First, there is no control over the amount of output of the fuzz, ie it's set. Second, unlike a lot of the others this one has the fuzz in front of the wah, instead of behind the wah. From the video I found of it, I'm defiantly digging the fuzz and think the component changes gives it a little something different that would be nice as a stand alone fuzz, and the wah has a nice sweep to it as well.

Quick Note: The fuzz should be wired in front of the wah.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Colorsound Fuzz Wah/Fuzz Wah Straight/Wow Fuzz

The Colorsound Fuzz-Wah, or to be exact the Colorsound Wow-Fuzz! A new version of a funk-tastic old timer. The original 1970’s two transistor silicon distortion stage delivers the fuzz and the classic inductor based Colorsound wah circuit gives you the wow! Ah, the inductor based circuit you say. Been awhile since Colorsound did that, right? That’s right and who better to achieve time machine like accuracy on such a wah circuit than monsieur Castledine of Castledine Electronics fame. From the reproduction circuit board to the custom wound vintage specification inductor, this is a genuine and bona fide Colorsound wah in everyway. The huge soaring sweep, highs that level mountain tops and low mids that sink ships. Fast reacting prono soundtrack like cool, nothing chukka-wah’s like a Colorsound. Buddying up along side this specially falvoured wah circuit we have the authentic fuzz stage as featured in all the early Colorsound Fuzz-Wah’s. Voltage feedback family ahoy. This transistorized silicon fuzz circuit is biased for a smooth and mellow fuzz tone. Rich with heavy density that gels perfectly into the wah stage once engaged.

Independently switchable stages. In other words one switch to engage each circuit. It may seem a little odd at first having both mounted at the front of pedal but it does work surprisingly well indeed. After a little bonding session with the pedal it becomes quite easy to select the circuit you desire or even engage/disengage both simultaneously. It is most certainly not rocket science but a little introductory time is never a bad thing. 

You want to use DPDT switches to turn each effect on and off, unless you're going to put LEDs in to see what's on and off, and the wah comes first in the circuit.

A quick note: The original transistors have a pinout of BCE top to bottom on the flat side, but since they can be rather pricey these days I decided to make the layout using the more common CBE pinout. So if you decide to hunt down the original transistors be aware that you will need to twist 2 of the pins. Not a big deal, but can be kind of annoying for those of us that are a little on the meticulous side.

Also, the description I posted is for the Sola Sound reproduction made by the captain. He switched the 5k trimmer to a 47k, so you can put a 50k no problem.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

21st Century Big Muff

Mictester's version of the Big Muff.
You can find the original FSB thread and schematic here.
I've used the updated schematic on page 2.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Lovepedal Champ

This should emulate a Fender Champ sound.
You can find original FSB thread and schematic here.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Shin Ei 8TR Fuzz Wah

Can't find much info on a description of it, but what I do know is that it a superfuzz  running into a wah. There's literally 1 component value difference in the superfuzz, the rest is straight up identical to the standard superfuzz.

Quick note about the wiring. Just like the Shin Ei 6TR Fuzz Wah I posted the other day, the fuzz comes before the wah, so you'll wire it up according to the dual effect wiring as shown in the offboard wiring tab. You'll notice instead of making this on 1 massive board I opted for 2 separate boards. This will give you more options for placement in an enclosure, by preventing it from being 1 massive board.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Shin Ei 6TR Fuzz Wah

From Retro-Tone Junkie:

This is a very cool and underrated offering from the king of nasty vintage fuzz. This one is Kent branded but has the shin-ei stamp inside. It is widely known that the wah in these is less than desired. This is definitely not a funk machine and you will not channel your inner Hendrix here, but the fuzz really makes up for it. These are 2 transistors short of being an exact superfuzz circuit (TR-8) and in my opinion lie somewhere between the fy-2 and the fy-6. 

It has 2 knobs for volume and fuzz adjust, as well as a fuzz tone selector switch that changes from hard to soft. Very much like the superfuzz it basically goes from a scooped, darker sounding tone (soft) to a cutting midrange sound (hard). It also has 2 stomp switches, one of which will turn the fuzz on or off. And one that works just like a standard wah would, employed by the treadle.

I got this pedal for (what I would call) a steal, and these (non-superfuzz) versions can be had for very cheap on ebay or the forums. They are well worth it in my opinion, even though this version is known for a severe volume drop and doesn't meet unity gain in most situations (very much like the fy-2) it sounds really great. This is the chainsaw fuzz your friends warned you about, to me its like the superfuzz without the octave up. I'm glad I chose not to follow the hype and took a chance on this one.

This is supposedly the fuzz tone used by Jesus and the Mary Chain back in the day on Psychocandy.

Quick note about the wiring. The fuzz comes before the wah, so you'll wire it up according to the dual effect wiring as shown in the offboard wiring tab. You'll notice instead of making this on 1 massive board I opted for 2 separate boards. This will give you more options for placement in an enclosure, by preventing it from being 1 massive board.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Univox Uni-Comp

Not much info on this one, but basically it was a compressor made by Univox in the 70's as part of their "foot" series. Seems to be loved by many and was recently requested. In addition to the schematic posted in the request section I found another schematic posted over at FSB, so I made 2 different layouts.

One thing to note is that the original didn't use an LED & LDR, but used a Vactrol labeled MCD527. I'm not quite sure what color LED and LDR range you should use. I would start with try a red LED and socket the LDR and try different ones to get a good range. If you were to try a vactrol maybe a NSL32 or VTL5C3 which have bee used on many different optical compressors.

Don't forget if you're using an LED & LDR to cover them in shrink wrap to block out any light and increase their efficiency and effect.

Layout 1: Based on the Schematic in the Request Section

Layout 2: Based on the Trace ad FSB of a Uni-Comp Model CO-105

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Lovepedal Hi Vol

"The Hi Volt is a mid- to high-gain dirt box, with a fully saturated effect that is internally charge-pumped to 16VDC, and brandishes a high headroom, custom-tuned 3-band active EQ. This high-voltage configuration allows for very flexible and potent sonic possibilities, ranging from blues to metal and everything in between.
With its generous low-end wallop, the Hi Volt creates amazing depth and three-dimensional mass with an amp or rig of any size. Now your compact combo amp can sound like a towering full stack, simply by engaging the Hi Volt’s unique circuitry.
As you increase the Hi Volt’s “Bass” control, you can add warmth and body to your tone without the signal getting loose or tubby. The Hi Volt is a very tight effect and responds to rapidly changing playing dynamics, just like your favorite tube amp would.
With the gain knob set at around 9 o’clock, you get a tight, British clang that nails your favorite 70’s classic rock riffs. Set the gain at 1 o’clock for more saturation from signing lead tones to 90’s grunge riffage. Setting the gain around 3 o’clock will deliver some of the most brutal tones to ever come out of a stomp box."
Original FSB thread and schematic available here.
14/04/17Layout updated! Connected D1 to pin 8 instead of 7 and changed 820K resistor to 882K!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Sunn Buzz

Basically this was Sunn Amplifiers take on the Maestro FZ-1A, but with Silicon transistors instead of Germanium. Best description I found of the tone was this.

Depending on the setting of the effect control, it can go from classic "fuzz face" sounds and beyond - achieving the sustain of a big muff. It's a three stage, high gain, low voltage solid state amplifier circuit.

I was unable to to find any videos of it, but as soon as I saw the words Sunn and Fuzz together I knew I had to take a crack at this pedal.

The circuit runs off of +1.5V, just like the FZ-1A. The problem with this is that we would need either a dedicated power supply or run it off a AA battery, and you wouldn't be able to wire up an indicator LED. So what I've done is made a board for the original, and did some digging to see how to get +1.5V from a +9V source.

What I found was that using an LM317 regulator you can get the voltage down to +1.5V with the right resistors. After doing some calculations with the regulator board you should get +1.516V. If my calculations are right, that means you can run it just like any other pedal and have an indicator LED.


With Regulator:

Vintage Wah Extravaganza

Well as promised I've taken the and made layouts for 7 of some of the most desirable vintage wahs. You'll notice that they all look damn near identical, and that's because they're all based on the same circuit with some component differences. So instead of doing my usual description for each, I figured I'll let the videos speak for themselves.

Original Thomas Organ CryBaby


Vox Grey Wah

Vox v847

Shin Ei Wah

Maestro Boomerang BG-1


Maestro Boomerang Wah BG-2

One note about the BG-2 that makes it different from all the others. The switch allows it to go from a wah to a volume pedal.

Colorsound Wah-Wah

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Dunlop Dunlop GBC-95 Modded Crybaby

For those that are just never satisfied by whats out there in the land of wahs I took the standard Dunlop GBC-95 Crybaby and added some features based on common mod points. So how's this supposed to work?

Voice Pot: Changes the voice of the the wah by changing the sharpness and making it more "vocal." The larger the value the more "vocal" the wah sounds.

Gain Pot: Really this controls the overall bass and gain of the wah. The lower the value the more growl and bass you'll get.

Sweep Switch (SW): This controls the sweep range of the wah. The larger the cap the more bass sweep you'll get. For instance the common value is 10nF, which i put on the board already, and the bass wah has a 68nF. Personally if I were making this I would start with the stock value and increase using values I liked up to the bass value, but hey, that's just me.

Sweep Pot: This will control the range of the week of the wah pot. No different then what you find on the Dimeback or Cantrell Wah.

R1: This will set the volume of the wah, the smaller the value the more volume you'll get. Typically it's 68k. So you can mess around with it and get as much or as little volume as you liked.

Mantic Effects Vitriol

Here is a layout for the Mantic Effects Vitriol, a variable high-gain distortion with low and high pass filters.
Thanks to Bobbass4k for creating a schematic.
You can find his original FSB thread here (should read it before you build it).
I've drawn 2 versions: the original and one with an added Mids control.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Dunlop DB-1 Dimebag Crybaby

The original Dimebag wah, not the newer one, which will take a while to get done cause the board is completely different and based on the newer Q535 crybaby.

Dunlop JC-95 Cantrell Signature Wah

From the source:

One of the most influential guitarists to come out of the Seattle rock scene, Jerry Cantrell's epic riffs and searing tone have been the driving force behind Alice in Chains since the late 80's. His melancholy wah-drenched melodies in modern classics like "Man in the Box" and "The Rooster" left an indelible mark on a generation of guitarists. Jerry favored wah-wahs with a wider, darker response, and Dunlop has painstakingly replicated that moody sound to create his signature pedal. It's custom-voiced for a tight, punchy heel-down tone and a rugged side-control knob lets you fine tune the toe-down frequency. And with its antique, oxidized "road worn" brass casting and custom Alice in Chains tread, this is one pedal that looks as great as it sounds.

Dunlop ZW-45 Wylde Wah Crybaby

Figured while i was at it, since there are a few signature wahs that are the based on the same board with a few changes, why not just make post a few other layouts.

First up the ZW-45 Wylde Wah.

From the source:

Modern Cry Baby Master Zakk Wylde and Dunlop have joined forces to deliver the toughest, meanest wah pedal on the planet. Built from the ground up with great tone and rugged durability in mind, this pedal can stand up to the crushing stomp of metal's reigning king of lead guitar. The Wylde Wah features a heavy-duty raw-metal casing and road worthy components to withstand years of ass-kicking abuse. With guts that have been finely tuned to Zakk's specs, this wah is specially voiced to deliver an extra thick and cutting tone.

Dunlop JH-1 Hendrix Wah

I was asked if I could make a layout for the hendrix crybaby, so here she is. not a whole lot different from a regular crybaby. There are 2 additional caps, resistor change, and different value pot. You may be wondering what these changes do, and in short it moves the sweep range lower.

I have one, it was my first wah, which I got used for $30, and personally I like the lower sweep. I've also compared it with a few others I've built, Colorsound Fuzz Wah and aVox, and I feel there's a nice sweet spot with this one when playing single coils. I know there are those that aren't crazy about it, but hey not everyone has the same tastes.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Earthquaker Devices Black Eye

From the source:

This ll discrete, MOSFET based circuit provides nearly 30db of unadulterated clean gain boost with a minimum amount of tone coloration. Note that you can also use this as an attenuator by turning the Boost knob counterclockwise away from the noon position. It can also be used as a powerful buffer with an input impedance of around 5M Ohms and an output of around 1K Ohm, best used after your effects chain. This device does not create distortion or overdrive on its own. However, it can be used to drive your favorite amp or pedal into singing distorted sustain. Simple, yet effective. Top notch components and circuit design assure that your signal arrives to its destination in a truly pure state.

When you look at the circuit you can see it's basically a modified SHO.

Italian Jen Wah Clyde McCoy

Had this sitting in my completed layout folder and completely forgot to post it. The legendary Italian Clyde McCoy Wah from 67-68. 

Dunlop GCB-100 Bass Crybaby

Dunlop's classic Crybaby Wah that was modded for use with bass. Not much else to really say about it.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Frequency Central Promiscuous Girlfriend

Another tube booster/overdrive created by frequency central over at FSB, schematic.

What does it do? Well it does clean boost with the Gain set at minimum, flick on the Dirt switch and you get some nice diode clipping too. Turn up the Gain and you'e into overdrive territory with diode clipping, flick the Dirt switch off and you get even more overdrive. All with some nice tonal variations courtesy of the tonestack, typical Big Muff Pie Tonestack. You can easily tweak the tonestack to taste.

You can also try different diodes for D5-D6, keep in mind when they are engaged you will loose some output, but there should be more then enough output with them engaged. What may be a nice tweak is to change the Dirt switch to a pot so you can control how much of the signal gets clipped by the diodes.

I opted to have the power on a separate board to help avoid issues with interference with the rest of the circuit. Make sure you are rated at least 50V due to the increased voltage from the doubling at the powerboard, which gives out approximately +35V. Also, on the power board you'll notice that I have 2 connections for the heater pins of the tubes, pins 3 & 6, but you can just run 1 wire to tube 1 then have a wire connects to the pins of tube 2.


Another submini tube based booster/overdrive pedal created by himister over at FSB, schematic. Make sure you are rated at least 25V due to the increased voltage from the rectifier. An additional mod you can do is replace the trimmer with a 250k pot so you can control the distortion produced by the tube on the fly externally.

 A quick note about the power. In the schematic it states that the voltage is +9VAC, not +9VDC, but if you read through the thread himister states that he used +9VDC to test it and the pedal worked fine and correctly, which is why I put the voltage as +9VDC.

Modded with asymmetrical clipping diodes to provide some more distortion, and a gain pot that controls how much the diodes are in the circuit, similar to the Germanium Giant, as well as a basic tone control.

Modded with symmetrical clipping diodes to provide some more distortion, and a gain pot that controls how much the diodes are in the circuit, similar to the Germanium Giant, as well as a basic tone control.

Same layouts as above with the change to the power section. I decided to not include an onboard charge pump as it's just as easy to add one offboard with the available charge pump layouts on the site.

Non-modded layout:

Modded Layout with Asymmetrical Diodes:
 Modded Layout with Symmetrical Diodes:

Frequency Central Red Star Drive

A real nice booster/overdrive that's basically has a submini tube that replaced the transistor create by frequency central over at DIYSB, schematic. Make sure you are rated at least 25V due to the pedal running +12V.

Version 1: Symmetrical Clipping Diodes

 Version 2: Asymmetrical Clipping Diodes