Saturday, 3 March 2018

Vertex Steel String

Original info:
"The Steel String Clean Drive faithfully recreates the tonality and feel of the iconic Dumble Steel String Singer amplifier in a stompbox format. Designed alongside a real Steel String Singer (#001), this 100% analog tone tool will do it all from Overdrive, to Fat Boost, to Compression, to EQ shaping and more. Get the unmistakable Crystal-Clear Overdrive and Fat Clean Tones from albums like "Texas Flood", "Venus Isle", and "Continuum" through any clean amp platform"
You can find Bugg's PCB and schematic here.


49 comments:

  1. Nice layout! Will try on the breadboard...

    The advertising copy makes me laugh - "this 100% analog tone tool will do it all from Overdrive, to Fat Boost, to Compression, to EQ shaping and more...." = 2 x muamps plus a BMP tonepot

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    1. The advertising is just to explain the price tag($200)! :)

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    2. I said the same thing on the official vertex yt demo and it got deleted almost instantly.

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  3. So, snarky comments aside, this sounds quite nice on the breadboard for low gain OD sounds. Maybe not $200 nice, but I'll probably build one.

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  4. Man, in a gear world full of bullshit artists, Mason at Vertex takes the cake. Perfect example of a pedal I would clone and sell the shit out of with no moral hang ups whatsoever. How he's still in the pedal biz after the BBE wah debacle, I'll never understand.

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    1. I totally agree. People are weird man. However good this pedal is, I would never give support this guy staying in business.

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    2. And to think this is still a modded "free circuit"...

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  5. Thanks man.
    Been slightly interested in this one for a few months and if it lives up to hype I might keep it as my new "always on" pedal.

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  6. Verified! Sounds pretty good. Signal is very clean. Wouldn't say it was anything special though.

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    1. Thanks, Gavin. I'll proceed since it's verified. Now, we just need the Ultraphonix layout.

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    2. Cool! Thanks Gavin! Does it sound close to the video?

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    3. Very similar as far as listening to vids go. I've been playing this for a couple of hours now and i'm really enjoying it. It does have a really nice quality to it. I used SMD J201s, as always, which i think helps.

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    4. Hi Gavin, how do you manage soldering smd transistor on a vero ?
      Thanks

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    5. I use the Jfet adapter boards from here, there the best in my opinion. http://www.diyguitarpedals.com.au/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=286

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  8. Hi mate you have to solder them first to a daughterboard.

    (https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=140_151_154&products_id=3144)

    Paul @ DIY Guitar Pedals has a tutorial on his channel too.

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    1. Thanks for the info ! There's a lot oF pedals that uses J201 but the old J201 are becoming rare... It will be my next challenge !

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  9. I built it up last night, its very sensitive to which transistors are used. Pn4117a in q3 and q1 made it really crunchy and the lower vgs j201 I have sounded ok. I settled with a hot set of j201 in the q1 and q2 and went with 2n5485 set in the q3 and q4 .It still gets kinda crunchy with gain dimed out but its just loud and clean(ish) for most of the gain rotation.

    I'm wondering if masons using this same layout for the ultra phonix and dynamic distortion .With a few component changes its a bsiab2 and we all know that shit gets rowdy. Just a thought

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    1. Arent mu amps supposed to be less sensitive to what jfets you use?

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    2. The Ultraphonix sounds like a Zendrive to me, just sayin'...

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  10. Hi guys! Nooob quesgion: Why the out comes from the volume pot? Doesn't It come from the 3pdt?

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    1. Hi there. It's the output of the circuit. It goes to the 3pdt.

      See it like this: Your guitar signal goes from the input jack to the 3pdt. When the switch is off, it goes straight through the switch directly to the output jack. You bypass the whole circuit (therefore True Bypass).

      When the switch is on, it takes a detour. Instead of going through the switch, your guitarsignal goes to the 3pdt, and then from the switch to the circuit. That is the IN on the circuitboard. It goes from the switch INto the circuit.
      After all the magic happens into the circuit, your guitarsignal has to come back to the switch. That goes through the OUTPUT wire of the circuit. In this case it comes from the volume pot. After the signal's back in the switch, there is another wire from the switch to the output jack.

      So the wires from the input and output jack always go to the switch. Your signal just takes a detour or not.

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  12. Going by the schematic - is it really necessary to create two effectively independent +Vb's going to both the top muamp tranny's 1M resistors (R5 & R13)???

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  13. How much overdrive can this pedal produce? Can it replace a tube screamer, or is it more or less a clean boost? I think of building a dual pedal, with the Vertex in front of a Friedman BE-OD

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    1. on my build it has pretty mild clipping on its own with the gain maxed its like a tubescreamer at 9 oclock. definitely more of a clean boost in my experience. maybe i built it wrong? anyone get more gain than me?

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    2. Nope you're dead on. Its a clean boost. The q5 from the BSIAB really makes a difference as we see here without it makes more or less a clean ish boost even with controls dimed. I do like how the so called tone knob blends in bass. I'm keeping that for a future idea .

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  14. Great job, thanks for sharing, what type are the red capacitors?

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    1. Use what you want or have. The type isn't all that important.

      Red image depicts a panasonic metal film caps. Those are quite nice caps :)
      +m

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    2. Just one quick question, the resistor labelled "CLR" what value is that one?

      In advance thanks
      Erik

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    3. Current limiting resistor. Sets the brightness of your led. Lots of guys on here use 4k7 resistors.

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    4. One last question from the noob, I'm short of the 68nF polybox (between the 1u cap and 1M res), if I use a 47nF cap instead would that be disastrous?

      Thnaks
      Erik

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    5. ....or could I put a 22nF and a 47nF in series instead?

      In advance thanks
      Erik

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    6. Sorry for the spam, just googled it, I'll be quiet now.

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  15. Also verified! Built with generic j201s. Sounds nice! It'll be a great low gain overdrive Thanks for the layout!

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  16. Look for the Jack Orman AMZ dual booster. It 90% the same as the ssscleanboost. Sounds very very nice and subtle in front of a Tubeamp. In front of a ss amp it is just a boost.

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  18. Hey everybody,

    I am new here. Built just my 3rd pedal, the Vertex Steel String. Now I am finished and have a strange problem: Pedal works, bypass is okay. But in action the pedal is very softly/quietly, I have to turn both volume and gain full for a usable level. Then I mentioned the Filter behaviour: turn completly to the left, there is no signal at all. Turn rightwards the signal gets louder and has more high frequencies, but sounds not nice. It seems to figure as a second volume knob. No more or less bass is adjustable.
    I checked the board and cut all lines between the copper stripes with a knife. For the bypass and footswitch I used a pcb from Musikding, which is foolproof (everything is named very good). I carefully soldered the pots, so I have no idea where to search for the mistake. Anyone has an idea for this behaviour of the Filter pot?

    Thanks very much, i love this site and the community here!
    Morte

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    1. Supplement: The J201 I used are in the correct direction. Even if I crank up all knobs, I get no overdrive, just loud.

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    2. Hi. Triple check your build. Knife the gaps again to make sure there are no shorts anywhere. Tiniest short or a bad trace cut could explain the filter pot behaviour. Reflow all solder joints in case of a bad joint. Measure voltages for the transistor pins. Triple check the 2n2 at filter connection. If that is shorted, it could explain the behaviour.

      How are your J201s? There have been a lot of cheap chinese fake JFETs flooding the markets since through hole ones were discontinued 8 years ago. If you got yours through ebay from asia, they are most likely fake and thus could be the reason for your behaviour.

      Use an audio probe to check if there ia a heavily boosted signal at Q2 drain. If not, then you have an issue with the first muamp-JFET pair.

      Hope some of these will help...
      +m

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    3. Thanks! I will do the things you told. I got my J201s from uk electronic in germany, so they shouldn't be fakes. ;)

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    4. So, I got it!
      After going through the whole thing I finally found out: the lugs 1 and 2 of the filter pot were sticking together because of the pressure of the board above it. Did't see it because of all the wires ... ;)) Now I repaired it and have a nice sounding little cream machine here. Not much gain, but lot of volume reserve. I like it! Thanks for help, miro!

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  20. One more question: During error search I tried to measure the 2M2 resistor on the left. DMM showed only "000" in the 2000k area. Other resistors are just normally with their values if measured. Tried it different times, but no other reaction. Is it possible that the resistor is broken? Is this a influence to the sound of the pedal? Because it works now ... Should I swap it?

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