Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Mid-Fi Electronics Clari(not)

This is a layout for the Mid-Fi Electronics delay/fuzz/vibrato/modulation/unstable tape simulator/weird noise thing.  Modified to include a switch to turn off the fuzz, leaving you with a clean weird noise thing :o)

Geiri's quick demo:

Little Angel Chorus - Rick Holt (frequencycentral)

Another great sounding circuit here from Rick.  His explanation:

I've had the idea to try a PT2399 chorus ever since I modded my Clari into a Clari Cubed. The challenge with the PT2399 is to get the delay time as short as possible while still having some wiggle room for the LFO injected into pin 6. I've tried PNP, NPN, FET and LDR - fail! The delay time is either too short for the LFO to have any wiggle, or too long and latency is obvious.

So, screw using pin 6, just ground the MF for the shortest possible delay time and instead modulate the vref at pin2. Shortest possible delay with as much LFO wiggle as you want. In fact it has to be tamed down or you're into tape wobble type effects.

Those familiar with the PT2399 family of delays will recognise homage to Rebote and the Clari in the input buffer and output section respectively.


Version 2 incorporating anti-lock fix and noise reduction measures.

Version 3 incorporating anti-lock fix, noise reduction measures and Space/Warbler switch.

Version 4 incorporating all of the above, and a Chorus/Vibe switch.

Hornby Skewes Treble Booster


The transistor may be difficult to get hold of but you can try other PNP silicons in its place.  The datasheet suggests the hFE of the 2N4061's was 90 - 330, but check the pinouts of your replacements and insulate/twist the pins if necessary to match the layout.

The filter created by the 1n output cap and 100K resistor will cut a lot of bass (after all it is a treble booster), but consider socketing it so you can experiment to find the values that best suit your style and gear.

Monday, 27 February 2012

HAO Rust Driver - from updated schematic

A few people built the Rust Drive using my original layout (and other layouts which used the same schematic) and thought that it didn't sound quite like it should and saying that there was a lot of noise.  Aegert at FSB got a new one and traced it himself, coming up with an updated schematic, so this layout is based on that.  Thanks for your work on it aegert.

Causality 4 Phaser MkII - Rick Holt (frequencycentral)

I usually opt for PCBs for larger circuits because I don't think vero lends itself particularly well to overly complicated schematics, but wanted to put a phaser layout together that was something other than a Phase 45 or Phase 90, and this one looked like a fantastic option as it is a great sounding and versatile phaser designed by Rick Holt (frequencycentral).  I went straight to the MkII version for the extra controls and this should fit in a 1590B if you can squeeze it in with 5 pots, but it may make more sense in a 1590BB or at least a 125B which has slightly larger dimensions than the 1590B (which would no doubt come in handy).  Get making links! :o)

Info from Rick:

Here's the latest design out of the frequencycentral fun factory. Designed to be an easy build, so no FET matching or hard to source parts - just build and phase! It's a four stage OTA based phaser with two fixed stages and two swept stages.

MKII Changes:
Width pot added, this defines how broad an LFO sweep the OTA's see
Shape pot added, waveform now continuously variable from upward sawtooth through triangle to downward sawtooth
The original Depth pot has been re-named as Range, and defines where in the audio spectrum the phasing happens

Here's a comprehensive demonstration video from keto:

Modification: Optional "wet only" switch detail added.

Modification: Optional "Speed" switch:

Sunday, 26 February 2012

BJFE Honey Bee - layout 2

I thought I'd post a separate thread about this with it being a totally new layout to avoid confusion during comments in the thread.  A few things about the last layout irked me and so I've done a fresh layout which ended up 1 column narrower and so makes it less tight in a 1590B.  There are also less links required, includes the reverse polarity protection diode and supply current limiting resistor found in the original but which I omitted from the first layout, and makes better use of the space IMO.  Anyway, now you can make whichever layout you prefer.

Information from the builder:

This very mild overdrive was inspired by an old Supro amp, there is special kind of warm mild overdrive that you can't find from any other amp (or pedal what so ever).
Works very well with other pedals or distorting amp giving this fat and warm overdrive character.

The pedal is also super dynamic, from clean to overdrive just by using different touch of your hand. 

Gearmandude's comparison between the BJFE Honey Bee and the Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive. This could help you decide which one to build using the layouts here:


Mad Professor Fire Red Fuzz

How many Big Muff variants is this now? :o)

Manufacturers info:

BJF design versatile fuzz pedal

Hand-made in Finland premium quality fuzz pedal.  Mad Professor Fire Red Fuzz (FRF) is a fuzz pedal that is easy to play with long sustain and lot of tone variations.  The pedal has a compressed, deep effect to allow equal sustain throughout the fretboard.  Tone control was specifically designed to allow tones from mellow fuzz, through slight midcut to thin bright fuzz

The FRF is not another variation of a classic fuzz design but an unique pedal with its own character and extremely versatile Tone control.  It is great for recording different layers of Fuzz tones from haunting dark to cutting thin bright.  What ever setting you use the tone is always very musical and controllable.

Like all Mad Professor pedals FRF is hand made in Finland using only premium components, to give years of trouble free operation with superb musical tone.


VOLUME: Sets the level of distorted signal

FUZZ: Controls fuzz depth from just slight to heavy fuzz

TONE: controls EQ of fuzzed sounds: mellow to CCW rotation, slight midcut in mid position and thin fuzz to fully CW rotation.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Blackout Effectors Musket Fuzz

I wanted to make this one suitable for a 1590B, but thinking about it, not many people are going to put a 6 knob effect into a 1590B. Still it will fit and I'll be very impressed if anyone does it and posts a pic! :o)

This is a great take on the muff and at a reasonable price, so as with others, support the builder when you can and if you don't fancy building a 6 knob effect yourself, then buy one.
Blackout Effector's info:


The logical progression from then to now, the MUSKET is based
on one of the raunchiest, best selling fuzz circuits of all time
- taken three giant muffy steps further. With the addition of the
PRE, FOCUS & MIDS controls, the MUSKET is able to traverse
the decades, the continents and the many iterations of the
classic 4-stage fuzz circuit - from emulation to beyond. If you
need fuzz and you need it to be massive...
And bass players, look no further. The Musket brings the
thunder to perfectly compliment your lightning. You'll
find the Musket on pro bass player boards
the world over. 


fakcior on FSB made a few corrections to the schematic.  He wrote:

I noticed couple of mistakes during comparison with pictures. Tried them in IvIark layout and worked pretty amazing (no volume drop in tone knob).
At revised schematic:
R27 470k -> 10k (weird mistake)
R17 10k - 56k (also weird mistake, it's clear that's 56k - green/blue/black/red)
C6, C9 47n -> 100n
C11 100n ->47n

So the following layout should clear up the issues some people have had with the tone control volume drop:


Crap-Fi Delay

I thought the delay freaks may like this interesting alternative to the pristine digital delays that you see all the time.  This was put together by allesz at freestompboxes, and below is his description of the circuit:

"It is the results of my experiments with the ultra famous pt2399 chip.

It is a simple circuit and it works good but: the mix and repeats pot are a little interactive in quite a strange way (anyway they work different from a standard echo: to turn off the delay you don'use the mix pot, but you turn to zero the feedback pot) and the on off is a little bit noisy (the clip is recorded at low volume and you will hear kids (always noisy) and clicks so, mostly, the clicks are from the mechanical sound of the switch, but a little noise makes it to the amp too) in order to minimize the clicks the input is grounded on bypass.

The major differences between my schem and the others pt2399 projects I know are that I didn't use the opamp between pins 14 and 13 and I didn't put a cap between pin 2 and three (repeats sounded cleaner to me this way).

I put a small switch to select between long and short delay; the long delays are quite dirty

Anyway this is a dirty cheap crappy fi delay, so if you mind noise and fidelity look elsewhere; I know it can be perfected but for me it is good as it is."

Allesz clip can be heard here.  To wire the switch so the input is grounded during bypass, use the method shown in my offboard wiring post.

Geiri's demo of his build:

Friday, 24 February 2012

Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive

Mad Professor's "Honey Bee"-esque offering.  Manufacturer's info:

Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive (SHOD) is a super touch sensitive medium gain overdrive pedal.  This pedals is now offered as lower priced pcb-model or hand wired pedal. Both share the same specs and tone.  It is designed to overdrive distorted amplifiers and give dynamically controlled light overdrive on clean sounds.  Distortion level can be controlled by pick attack and pickup strenght. Harder picking for overdrive and softer for cleaner tone.

With the unique Focus control you can adjust the feel and dynamics of the pedal as well as overal EQ.  Turning Focus CCW you need to play harder to get distortion and the tone is softer, great for jazz and blue.  Focus turned CW gives a slight treble boost and earlier distortion.

This type of overdrive has previously only been found in the BJF Honey Bee but is now presented in Mad Professor version. The Mad Professor SHOD has a tighter sound and is more versatile as it was designed to work with all kinds of guitars and amplifiers.

This versatile pedals stacks well with all kind of other pedals and suits for huge variety of different music styles.


VOLUME: sets the output volume
DRIVE: controls the amount of overdrive.
FOCUS: Controls how easily the circuit distorts as well as adjusting overall EQ. Turning CCW gives less distortion and a mellow effect, turning CW gives a slight treble boost and earlier distortion. Good starting point is 11 o’clock.

Oops, I think the LEDs should be red which should give more distortion and compression.  Try this one, and consider socketing the LEDs so you can experiment to see what you like best:


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Xotic EP Booster

And the original version.  You can supply this with 18V if you want the extra headroom, but if you are likely to do that make sure you choose appropriately rated caps.  Xotic's info:

What do the tones of renowned guitarist such as Page, EVH and Johnson have in common? They all used the legendary echo machine EP-3 as a pre-amp.  We've captured that magic in a new Xotic Effects pedal, the EP Booster.

We've used the highest quality parts available with a discrete FET design and low impedance output, the EP Booster provides up to +20dB of unadulterated boost with multi-dimensional, shimmering highs and lows, and no ear fatigue. The internal DIP switches let you choose the boost frequencies, and EQ settings.

Update: I noticed I had a cut in between the JFET drain and the 8K2 resistor which shouldn't be there.  If you've already made this then make a solder bridge over that cut and it should work, or if you want to build it use the updated layout below

Xotic EP Booster - Briggs Modded

Requested.  This is a modified version of the Xotic EP Booster, done by Fred Briggs and seen on his blog La Révolution Deux.  Have a look around there and you'll find some really interesting articles and information about many modern and classic effects.  This version includes the voltage converter to provide 18V from a 9V supply.  Cheers Fred.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

DAM Grease Box

Dave's blurb:

So any huw. The Grease Box. It is at heart, a MKIII/MKIV Tone Bender. Its bare bones and the circuit blue print are very Tone Bendery. The idea here was very simple indeed. What if Colorsound still made the Tone Bender MKIV in 1981. What would that sound like?

Okay so, gibberish aside. The Grease Box is a fuzz box that thinks it’s an overdrive. It has a lot of midrange cut and a good amount of clarity. It is responsive to pick attack so comes over as quite dynamic for a fuzz box. You’re not gonna get the transparency of a TS-808 or other such things; it is a fuzz box at heart. Remember that. It’s kinda like a Distortion + and extra gooey Tone Bender MKIV meeting somewhere in the middle. The ‘Level’ control has a linear taper so retains a good dose of the highs as it’s rolled off. The ‘Overdrive’ control will darken the tone somewhat as it’s rolled back. The nature of how both of these controls react will give you a lot more scope than you’d think from a two knob fuzz box. It’s Greasy, ay.

Compact layout:

Mojo layout:

MI Audio Blues Pro

Manufacturers description:

A low/medium overdrive with lots of gain and a subtle fuzz mode.

The MI Audio Blues Pro Overdrive Guitar Pedal's no-nonsense circuitry offers effects that are very 'immediate'. There are no internal trimmers, so that with the Blues Pro you get a very easy-to-use pedal, with the classic configuration of Gain, Tone and Volume. The MI Audio Blues Pro is a bit compressed, which gives the pedal a bit of extra punch. Blues Pro is an overdrive that also sounds throaty in high gain settings.

In the Fuzz mode the tone control becomes more of a 'sponge' control. With the tone all the way up, the Blues Pro pedal sounds like a louder version of the original. As you turn the Tone control down, the response time of the Blues Pro increases. This sounds particularly cool on chords. Turn the MI Audio Blues Pro Overdrive effect's Tone control all the way down, and the tone takes a second or two to settle.

Mad Professor Ruby Red Booster

A nice versatile booster here by Bjorn, with switchable buffered or true bypass switching.  I have kept the buffer separate so those who just intend to use it true bypass don't have to bother with the extra components or board size.

Manufacturers info:

BJF design guitar booster/treble booster pedal with master volume

Mad Professor Ruby Red Booster (RRB) is a combination of two boosters and a switchable buffer.

The two boosters are based on the much sought after BJF Little Red Trebler and Red Rooster Booster, connected in that order and with a master volume control.

The RRB can be used as a treble booster, a clean boost or an overdrive unit or any combination of the above. Inside the pedal there is a switch for a high quality buffer. You can set the pedal for true bypass mode or "buffer on" in bypass mode. The Treble Booster is a fine-tuned booster for just the right treble frequency with carefully designed bandwidth and an optimized slope of bass cut.

The booster circuit is designed to overdrive the amplifier inputs from nice shimmer to heavy overdrive, thanks to the massive 40dB of boost. The booster is tuned so that it produces musical distortion by itself on higher boost settings.

You can control the total level of the two boosters with the Master Volume control and also use the Master Volume to achieve distortion from the unit.

The easy to use Mad Professor Ruby Red Booster must be the most versatile high quality booster on market. Build the Mad Professor way: small footprint and big tone.

Monday, 20 February 2012

ROG Supreaux Deux

Runoffgroove's stompbox emulation of the old Supro 16T amps and so potentially a good one for the BJF Honey Bee fans.  This one needs 18V and so will require an appropriate power supply, or maybe make yourself a voltage converter like this one.  Info from the website:

Supro was a budget brand name for amplifiers produced by Valco in Chicago, IL during the golden age of tubes. The same model of amplifier could be sold as a Gretsch, National, or Airline brand (through the Montgomery-Ward catalog). Valco manufactured amps are now highly sought after and have increased in price accordingly. Jimmy Page reportedly used a Supro amp while recording Led Zeppelin's debut album and other guitarists have also employed the small combos in the studio for searing electric blues. In April of 2002, these amps were featured in the ToneQuest Report.

The original Supro 16T circuit design is similar to other single-ended Class A amplifiers from the period, but subtle differences are present. The filter network following the first stage rolls off bass and treble content where the tonestack of a Fender Champ or Princeton normally resides. The Supro's single Tone control is placed after the second pre-amp stage. Thus, more high-end signal is present to drive the second stage. Also, there is no use of negative feedback to reduce distortion. This circuit produces a wide range of sounds that do not sound much like the Fenders, Voxes, and other famous names; it has it's own character and identity. 

More information about the circuit can be found on the Runoffgroove website.

Voodoo Labs Overdrive

Voodoo Lab's info:

This vintage overdrive circuit, originally built in the early '70s, delivers singing sustain on leads and crisp, tight bass on chords. Turn the gain down to provide tons of clean boost for overdriving vintage tube and non-master volume amps. Medium gain settings add tube-like harmonics for fatness and warmth. Higher gain settings produce rich crunch tones. Cleans up nicely when you back down the guitar volume.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Third Hand / Helping Hand Alternative

I get really fed up using the helping hands.  They're really needed sometimes but any pressure and they go sliding off, so I got a PCB vice, but it is a bit big and unwieldy and I often couldn't be bothered messing with it.  Then when I was perusing eBay I saw this great little mini vice.

The base is metal and quite heavy and of course much less top heavy than a helping hand, there's rubber feet for added friction, but there's also holes so this could be screwed to a board or table top to keep it really secure. The size would be perfect for just about any effect build.

Place your resistors, put another board over the top so they won't fall out (same height so it wil be held in place by the vice), turn the boards over and clamp into place, then solder all your resistors in one go.

It may not have the range of movement of the helping hand, but it holds the boards much more securely.  So now I can just use the helping hand for the magnifier whilst the board is held firmly in place.

A useful tool and all for a massive ......... wait for it ........

£3.18 including postage!  Look here.

Update: Thanks to Aaron for sending me a link to a US seller of this vice for anyone wanting to buy it in the good ol' US of A.

Fulltone OCD - All versions

The OCD V4 for me is my most underwhelming and disappointing pedal.  It was hyped up to the max and so I was expecting drive Utopia, but instead I got a thin, brittle sounding effect that seemed to suck all the meat out of my signal.  I'm sure the pedal reacts differently with different guitar and amp combinations, but I can safely say that for me, with a Gibson Les Paul, Marshall 6101 or Engl Thunder it sounded pants.

So I sold it thinking that I would have preferred one of the earlier versions that had a bit more girth.  So if you too want one of the previous versions, I think this pretty much covers what the changes were.  If you have any further info about differences I may have missed or other changes that may have happened, then please let me know and I'll add the different variations.

Revised layouts - March 2014

I have redone all the layouts because I could see they could be made slightly smaller, require only a single ground connection and make better use of the space.




V4 (meh!)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

MXR ZW44 Zakk Wylde

OK you may not like the guy but this is a great sounding overdrive/distortion pedal.  A modded and souped up Boss SD1 with no output buffer.  I've added a clipping switch that will allow you to switch between the stock 3 diode asymmetrical arrangement, and a second arrangement of your choice.  I've included 4 diodes to give a more compressed symmetrical clipping but put in there whatever you like, germaniums, schottky, LEDs, MOSFETS etc.  I really like this pedal and have an original but will probably still build this up at some point anyway for the extra clipping options and because I hate the fact that the crappy bypass on the original meant that your signal chain was permanently connected to the effect input.  Tsk!

Black Arts Toneworks Pharaoh

Lots of mileage left in the Big Muff yet!

Marketing spiel:

Fuzz for the discerning tone seeker.ᅠ The Black Arts Toneworks Pharaoh is capable of tones ranging from a clean-ish boost to a good articulate OD, but the Pharaoh thrives in bringing open hairy fuzz to a clean amp. The Pharaoh's dual tone control is specifically designed to retain your guitar's tone and maintain the character of your pickups. There is no volume loss with this pedal's tone circuit, no drastic cuts or boosts leaving you wanting. The Pharaoh will leave your tone intact and add the soul-stealing doom you need to push your sound into the next world.

The fuzz control alters the amount of clipping. From a clean boost to a slight overdrive all the way to feedback mayhem the Black Arts Pharaoh covers all the bases. The Hi/Lo Input switch controls the first stage of headroom and clipping. With the switch in the Lo position the headroom increases, in the Hi position the clipping increases providing you all the growling fuzz tone your heart desires. The bottom switch is a three-way toggle to switch diodes (germanium, no diodes, silicon) adding even more versatility. With the silicon diodes in the circuit the pedal will add clip with less volume or add the germanium With the diodes out, the headroom increases with less clipping. The Black Arts Toneworks Pharaoh was designed with specific signal capacitors which pass all frequencies so none of your sound gets left behind.

Update: I missed a cut from the vero so anyone already building this should put a new cut 2 rows directly below Q2 as shown in the updated layout.

Split 'n' Blend

I like these little "utility boxes"

(Please take note! This circuit will not work as a blend for pedals that invert the signal polarity (or phase). For a few examples of such pedals; the likes of Dyna Compressor/Ross Comp and their derivatives and Marshall Bluesbreaker among others. The symptom of inverted signal polarity (phase) will be significant drop in level when the blend pot is set near its middle position. This is caused by two polarity phases cancelling each other out. If you need a way to control the phase, then you need to address this accordingly.)

Friday, 17 February 2012

Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive

The ultimate souped up and mojo'd TS808?  Comes with free absolution with every pedal, and don't forget the carbon comps, Tropical Fish caps and silver solder!

Stock version using 2SC1815 (BCE) transistors:

Version using more modern and easily obtainable CBE transistors:

Updated 12th August 2014
New more compact layout added using the more modern CBE pinout transistors

Skreddy Lunar Module Deluxe

A great modern take on the classic fuzz pedals by Skreddy:

Edgy, Aggressive Silicon Fuzz

The Skreddy Pedals™ Lunar Module  was designed for "that" certain silicon fuzz tone guitar solo I fell in love with on a best-selling 1973 album.  I intentionally voiced this thing aggressively so it will cut through any mix.  Very satisfying and addictive "vintage" fuzz tone.

Unlike typical silicon fuzzes, which can sound thin and raspy, the Lunar Module has a dark, brooding character.

Classic late 60's/early 70's fuzz tones with extra control, versatility, and added noise reduction. Using 3 transistors instead of 2, a pre-distortion bass control, and a post-distortion treble control, the Lunar Module yields a multitude of uses.