Saturday, 23 March 2019

ThroBak Strange Master

From the Source:

The Strange Master treble booster now includes both Germanium and Silicon transistors. These transistors are switchable so the user can now get classic Dallas Rangemaster treble booster Germanium tones and higher gain Silicon treble booster tones from one pedal!

ThroBak guitar effects pedals offers another classic Signature Sound effect with the Strange Master Treble Booster, a recreation of the Germanium Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster used by Eric Clapton, Brian May and Tony Iommi.

In keeping with our ThroBak Guitar effects pedals Signature Sound philosophy Strange Master treble booster offers user adjustments to shape the sound of this effect. Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Brian May had Roger Mayer and Peter Cornish customize their effects to create their own signature sound. We give this control to you.

As far as we can tell we are the only company offering a Dallas Range Master clone with a bias adjustment. This  allows you to change the character of treble boost from loose to tight. Switchable range allows treble boost and mid boost germanium distortion. Recreate the Clapton Beano tone or the singing overdrive of Brian May to the growl of Tony Iommi with this pedal, its all in there.


Basically, the Strange Master is a Rangemaster with a switch allowing you to selecting between 2 input caps (Treble and Full) and another switch to select between transistors (Germanium and Silicon), and a bias pot to adjust the bias either between the germanium and silicon transistors or give it a little grit.

Keep in mind that the gain of the transistors is going to be paramount in getting it to sound good. I would suggest looking for gains in the 100-120 hFE range for the germanium (just like a regular rangemaster), and something around 250 hFE for the silicon. Also you can play with the input and output caps to get more or less bass. You can also change the Hi/Low switch for a pot to give you a sweep between the 2 input caps.






41 comments:

  1. Hey Zach, looks like Hi/Lo 2 connection on the board might want to go to lug 3 instead? I haven’t seen the schematic but it’s just a cap blend similar to tone control on the Fuzzsound, right? I may reverse the electrolytics and give this a shot with a some PNPs.

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    1. Oop. You’re right it should be lug 3 not lug 2. Yea, just you’re standard input cap blend should work, and making it PNP shouldn’t give you any issues. I’ll make the change when I get home later.

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    2. Does Output come from the 10nf on the left hand side?

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  2. Hey Zach,
    This is just what I’m looking for to checks out some old school GE transistors I found recently.

    Where does that 2.2meg resistor on the second row, 3rd hole from the right terminate? Right now it appears to go nowhere.

    Thanks,
    Andrew

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    1. On further review, it looks like it might want to go to ground but I’m not 100% sure.

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    2. I reckon that must go to output looking at schematic, correct me if i'm wrong.

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    3. nope, i forgot to move it when i was shrinking the layout to get it as compact as possible. you'll also notice the output was missing from the board too. layout's been updated and should be good to go.

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  3. Shouldn't there be a cut at D5? Under the jumper next to the emitter of Q2

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    1. yep. added it and updated the layout.

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    2. was wondering if you would consider doing a layout for the fuzz section of the schumann pll. theres a decent amount of people nowdays that love the fuzz section from the schumann. also what about a true pitch vibrato like the malekko, vb-2, tc shaker, diamond vibrato

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  4. Flip Boost 1 and 3 and tag it. Built it PNP with a 2N2097A and OC42N. Gotta give it a play through and I’ll report back. Thanks Zach.

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  5. I also used a B100k pot instead of the hi/low switch and used a 22nf instead on the 10nf input cap and 15nf for output, the 15nf was because I ran out of 10nf caps though. The 22nf was for more range.

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    1. Red Rooster actually uses a 2u2 cap instead of the 22nf for the blend pot

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  6. I’ve been looking at other layouts for this because I can’t find a schematic but if I’m not mistaken that 220pf cap should be connected between the input (on hi/low 2) and ground, not on the bias control. I’ve been looking at the layouts here: http://effectslayouts.blogspot.com/2019/01/throbak-strange-master.html

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    1. It’s not connected to the bias, the 220pF cap is connected to the base of both transistors and ground in the layout.

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    2. Also Bias 2 goes to ground, which is attached to the same row as the ground wire.

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    4. Not loving the commenting tools tonight, LOL.

      So, to clarify... In the layout I referenced, the cap in question goes between the input and ground.

      In your layout, it goes between the base of the transistors to ground and the bias is also connected.

      My question is, since I can’t find a schematic, which one is correct?

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    6. Zach, I found a schematic and indeed on that schematic, the 220pf cap goes on the input to ground before the hi/low coupling capacitors. On your layout the 220pf cap goes after the hi/low capacitors. It does the same thing on both layouts but I wonder what if any effect there is having it before or after the coupling hi/low capacitors.

      On a related note, I populated my board last night. That’s a really tight layout and it looks good too. I’m using a 2n3904 for the silicon transistor and a new old stock 50’s Sylvania 2n229. I’ve also got a couple of Raytheon PNP’s CK722 if I decide to build one for PNP. That’s all I have for germanium transistors.

      I’ll post back once I’ve got it up and running.

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    7. There should be no difference between where the 220pF cap is and if it’s right after the input, as all it does is a roll off some of the highs right before the signal hits the 1st gain stage. If you’re really that concernEd you can always put a cap on the input jack directly from the tip to ring lug of the cap.

      Side note, I wouldn’t compare 2 different layouts, if you’re going to work through a layout use the schematic. There are some changes that won’t make a difference and some that will, and depending on who’s making a layout will flip components that the order doesn’t matter for space reasons. Also, ground is ground, regardless of what’s connected to it, so it’s easier to just think of it as ground.

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    8. Thanks Zach. Yeah once I got the schematic I could see what the difference was. I've installed the 220pf cap as per your layout.

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  8. Regardless, the layout works and sounds great. Thanks again Zach.

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  9. Works great! Nice layout. It's not much bigger than the size of a postage stamp but boy there's a lot of boost!

    I'm using a 2n3904 for the Si side. I'm using an early 50's 2n229 (date code 330) that I inherited from my dad's electronics stash. Its got an hFE is at about 119 until you warm it up with your hand then it starts to climb. It's as unstable as I've heard they are but it sounds glorious!

    Thanks Zach.

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    1. Dude sounds awesome. Glad you like the layout. Always glad when people double check layouts, makes sure nothing stupid is missed, so hope you don’t think I was coming at you.

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    2. Whey Zach,
      No worries at all and no offence taken. Thanks for answering my questions and I’m really glad to see the layouts you’ve posted in the last week or so. Now that I know you’ve cornered the marked on germanium pedals, I’ll be looking at more of your layouts.

      Cheers,
      Andrew

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  10. Hi everyone, I've just finished building one of these, it works well but despite being at the highest level, the output volume is anyway lower than the volume in bypass

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  11. That doesn’t sound right. This thing should have gain to spare in both Silicon and Germanium.

    It’s a pretty tight board so it’s really easy to get a little solder bridging. Did you go off the latest layout (it has 4 breaks) and did you run a razor or utility knife between all of the traces to ensure that there are no tiny bridges?

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  12. I am going to make one of these but put a 100KB range pot on there ala D*A*M red rooster instead of a toggle... Thanks for the great layout!!!

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  13. I used a pot with mine and it works great. I only bumped the 10nf cap up to 22nf. I thought that anything higher was too much for my liking at least. I usually have it dialed up half way or a bit right of center. Also mine uses a 15nf output cap as I don’t have any 10nf at the moment. I’m most likely leaving it as is because I think it sounds great.

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  14. Une pure merveille ! Merci ! Thanks !

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  15. Such a great blog – bright and informative. Thank you for your opinion and helpful articles. https://speedypaper.com/discounts

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  16. Nice layout! Just a couple of questions:
    - lug 1 of the bias pot is not connected, is that right?
    - the B250K bias pot seems almost useless, I'm not hearing any sound change and plus, when I turn it to 100% the sound goes off. Is that correct?
    Thaaaaanks

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    1. Same thing happens with my build. Not sure if that is normal. Yes, lug 1 is not connected to anything.

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  17. Replies
    1. OC44 is a PNP transistor and will work as long as you use a PNP silicon transistor for Q2.

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  18. Hello,
    Works great but big poc when passing GE / SI, I used a Dptd footswitch and I wondered if someone had also had this problem and eventually find the solution.
    Or maybe it's related to my footswitch dpdt.

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