Thursday, 29 March 2012

Man-cave back up and running!

Not everyone will be interested in this, but this post is for those who are, and the people I've been discussing this with! :o)

OK so I don't have any excuses any more not to start verifying at least some of these myself, I've finally got a load of junk moved and a little workshop built up in the garage so I can leave everything permanently setup so I can work on builds whenever I get a chance without having to dig through all my components, get the soldering iron setup on an office desk etc.  It made builds hard work because I had to be extra motivated just to be bothered hauling everything out!  So hopefully I'll be able to start verifying a few more of my own again! :o)

 (empty unit for axial caps)

Skreddy Cognitive Dissonance MKIII

Updated 11th May 2013: I wasn't happy with this layout and so re-jigged it a bit

Marc's description of the original:

Classic Smooth, Creamy Distortion

Powerful and high gain while fairly tight and articulate, this fuzz pedal's versatility lends it to many different musical applications; it's not voiced after any particular genre or artist.

Even while creating a wall of fuzz, the Cognitive Dissonance MKIII retains excellent string separation in chords. Lower sustain knob settings are articulate; not too mushy, doesn't destroy your attack.

Sounds so good, it's addictive

Kick it on and you'll instantly be inspired by this vintage-style, 4-silicon-transistor distortion/fuzz/sustain stompbox.  The Cognitive Dissonance's™ meaty tone comes as a result of years of research and experience in fuzz design evolution, and it features parts you probably won't find in other pedal-makers' boxes.

The Scoop/Flat switch shifts the midrange content from lightly mid-scooped to just enough more mids to fill in the vocal frequency range in a natural way without altering the fundamental character.

Geiri's build:

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Devi Ever Disaster Fuzz / Krackle Fuzz

Request.  It's all noise to me, but some of you lot seem to like them! :o)

Info from Devi about the original Disaster Fuzz:

Why would you like the Disaster Fuzz?  Because fuck you that’s why.  The disaster fuzz is filled with rolling waves of oscillation… or metal gates.  Depends on what you are looking for.  I guess that’s why there is a handy dandy flip switch to give you the option of one or the other.  The Disaster Fuzz is the little brother of the Truly Beautiful Disaster.  It has just the options you need to make noise, or fuzz love.  It’s only too bad the controls aren’t labeled FUCK and YOU because that’s exactly how you’ll feel when you run a guitar, bass, or vibrating sexual device through this little fuzz.  Demons expel from your fingers.  Cum for days.  This pedal is fancy and amazing.  Don’t feel like a handsome dapper lad after using this pedal?  Then you aren’t doing it right.  Please refer to the manual if you have any problems.  Oh right, there’s isn’t one.  WHO THE FUCK IS FLYING THE PLANE THEN???

So there you have it!

The SPST will switch between the Disaster Fuzz and Krackle Fuzz.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Tanabe Zenkudo

With a name like Zenkudo it should be pretty obvious what this one is based (very closely) on.  It's a great sounding circuit though and at least Mr Tanabe hasn't (as far as I know) said it's a totally unique product based on 2 man-years worth of R&D or other such nonsense like some of the other boutique companies have claimed about their ripoffs innovations (Mr J and Mr F, put your hand up if you recognise yourself in that statement).  Tanabe has also added what I suspect many will find a useful feature with his Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive style clipping selector switch to add a few extra flavours.

Still I must admit that I'm glad I spent my money on the Hermida original and supported the real innovator behind the circuit.  Especially after seeing a gutshot of the workmanship in this one!

The rotary switch (or a DP3T switch if you can find one) will allow you to make an exact copy including different LED colours based on clipping selection, but if you are happy to miss out on the bells and whistles then you could do exactly the same thing with a 3 position SPDT toggle switch.  Gain 1 to centre lug, and then the other 2 lugs connected to Sw2 and Sw3 shown in the layout.  Then the centre (off) position will give you the "Dumble" clipping, one position will give you the "Zenkudo" clipping with the mosfets and germanium diodes, and the other position will give you the "Marshall" clipping mode with the 3 red LEDs.  Of course you won't have the trendy tri-colour LED but all the sounds will still be there. 

ZVex Box of Rock - Complete

I've already posted the dirt side vero so I thought I'd redo it for the complete one with SHO.  This ended up pretty compact so will easily fit in a 1590B.

Updated 5th Jan 2014 - ground link added to avoid 2 ground connections to board. LED current limiting resistor also added to make use of available space provided by the additional column.


Friday, 23 March 2012

100th Verified Layout

The Little Green Wonder has become the site's 100th verified layout, and I'd like to thank everyone who's helped out with the first hundred!

With a wife, kids and Labrador to keep me busy (oh yes and work :o), I don't get anything like as much opportunity as I'd like to build all these things and verify them myself, so a really big thanks to all of you for helping make the content as complete as it is today.   It has, in my opinion, created a really useful resource for effect DIY enthusiasts from your efforts.

Now onto the next hundred! :o)

All the best

Devi Ever Hyperion

Information about the original from Devi:

The Hyperion is everything the Big Muff wishes it could be.  It can cut through in a loud, live, band setting.  It has a gorgeous sustain that full of harmonically rich tonal characteristics that doesn’t require much tweaking of your amp, guitar, or pedal board to get just the right sound you are looking for.  The gain control is incredibly interactive allowing for intense over the top octavia-style leads, wooly gainy rhythm, or pulled back all the way gives you just enough grit with out being too gated.  The Hyperion is also the first pedal to have the honor of being stolen and cloned by another pedal company (and sold for twice the price no less!).  So while most people are cloning and tweaking the Big Muff… it looks like some people are beginning to find it more useful to clone and tweak the Hyperion… and rightfully, because a modern age, deserves a modern high gain fuzz worth imitating.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Schaller Tremolo

Request.  I've already done the Hearthrob but someone asked for this, and you can never have too many tremolo options I suppose.  Some of those transistors look like they may be difficult to get hold of, so I'd probably just use 2N5088's which work fine in the Hearthrob.

If you do use other transistors make sure the pinouts of your build match the pins shown in the layout.

Mad Professor Stone Grey Distortion

Info about the original:

BJF design distortion pedal for guitar

The new Mad Professor - Stone Grey Distortion (SGD) is a modern high-gain distortion pedal with unparallelled clarity and definition.

This pedal was developed for high gain applications and specifically for clarity at heavy distortion levels.

The Stone Grey Distortion is unique in that it has razor sharp dynamics and high gain intensity. It's ready for drop tuning, 7 string, and modern rock players who are seeking extreme gain with intense "string to string definition".

Play a chord and hear each note distinctly, instead of it turning to "mush" like many other high gain pedals.

With the gain turned down, the Stone Grey Distortion approaches overdrive-like textures and responds to the player's touch and dynamics like our other Mad Professor pedals do.

Build the Mad Professor way: small footprint and big tone.


VOLUME: sets the output level of the distorted signal

DISTORTION: sets the level of distortion - lower levels more overdrive-like textures - higher with heavier distortion.

TONE: sets the critical treble response for use with various amplifiers.

Here's an alternative layout for those who want to use mosfets instead of JFETs:

Now verified and here's Milkit's pics showing the double links, just as an added visual guide:

and Geiri's demo of his build:

Monday, 19 March 2012

Tone Bender MkII - PNP with negative ground

Request.  This will allow you to use the better quality PNP germanium transistors, but keep a negative ground so it can be daisy chained with all you other NPN effects.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Ersatz Verben psuedo reverb by culturejam

Designed by culturejam on FSB and CW, this is what he wrote:

Inspired by the Crap-Fi Delay by allesz, I decided to see if a similar simple circuit would work at lower delay times for reverb and slapback. It does.

Once the basic circuit was up and running, earthtones helped me refine it and make it much nicer. He's wicked smaht like that.

Delay time range is about 40ms up to about 140ms. As delay time is increased, more highs are rolled off by C4 (that was ETA's idea). So it's pretty much hiss/noise free no matter the delay time. 

He posted a demo here, and it sounds pretty good to me.  Something different to do with those PT2399s you've got.

Geiri's quick demo of his build:

And another clip with 100K as delay pot for longer delay times...:

Friday, 16 March 2012

Demeter Tremulator

Requested by a few people.  This uses a vactrol but it might work with a roll your own LDR if you want to give it a try.  The spec of the VTL5C1 is 600 ohm on resistance and 50M ohm off resistance.

If you would prefer a tempo rate LED instead of a standard always on LED then take a feed from IC1 pin 7, and you will need to include a limiting resistor in series.  I didn't add this to the board because it would add an additional column which I didn't want to do if the feature wasn't required by most people.

Info from Demeter:

A hybrid of vintage sound and state-of-the-art quality, the Demeter Tremulator is designed for years of trouble-free operation.

Designed to emulate the classic Fender tremolo effect (or vibrato as it is often referred to), the Tremulator features "lopsided" amplitude modulation with a rounded off traingular modulant waveform. Suffice it to say, the Tremulator sounds like the classic effect found on many vintage amps, but with less noise and hum and a greater range of speeds and depths.

Operation is fairly straightforward. There are two inputs on the front side of the unit: a 1/4" input jack on the right and a 1/4" output jack on the left with a battery-ground switch on the input jack.

There are two controls on the unit: Depth and Speed, plus a footswitch to bypass the effect, and an LED to indicate effect operation. On the side there is a trim pot to set the bias for the optical unit.

Depth affects the amount of amplitude modulation on the signal or the amount of effect. The tremulator design incorporates a small amount of gain (approx. 1dB) to allow for proper "tremulation." Also, by turning the Depth all the way off, the TRM-1 will function as a low noise volume boost. It's low-impedance output allows it to act as a line-drive, eliminating signal loss on long cable runs.

Speed increases and decreases the frequency of the low-frequency oscillator, enabling you to time the effect as desired.

Trim pot sets the bias of the optical tremolo unit. It effects the signal on and of time ratio. Turned up to height it will squeeze the signal, low it will loosen it. The unit comes preset to Ry Cooder's preferred setting.

Youtube demo showing good examples of the range of sounds from the pedal:

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Klon Centaur - Bare Bones - True Bypass

[Updated 4th July 2014 - correction to treble control resistors] 

And an even simpler version using true bypass switching, and so omitting the buffer components.  Verified.

Klon Centaur - Bare Bones

[Updated 4th July 2014 - correction to treble control resistors]

This is an easier build and is perfect for someone who wants the Klon tones without having to mess around buying charge pumps and curing squeals.  This came from a thread on FSB where earthtonesaudio wrote the following:

The charge pump in the Klon seems a bit unnecessary to me. The only logical reason it should be used is to keep op-amp U2 from clipping.
But here's the thing. When the gain pot is at maximum, the only signal hitting U2A has already been clipped by the diodes, so a typical Ge diode will limit the signal going to U2A to under 1V p-p. For this signal U2A has a gain of about 8.3. Granted, this would clip a TL072 with a 9V single supply. BUT, if you used a rail-rail op-amp, then you'd get no clipping.
That would ensure no signal coming from the distortion stage could cause clipping in U2A, even if you used +9V and 0V as the rails.

From U2A the signal goes into the tone section, where the maximum treble boost gives a gain of about 8.2 to the highest frequencies. Again referring to the situation where the gain pot is at max, that means the signal coming from U2A into U2B is about 5V (.6V p-p signal times U2A's gain of 8.3), so U2B will try to make the highest frequencies into a 40V p-p signal. The power supply can't reproduce anything (even with a rail-rail op-amp) greater than 27V, so the op-amp clips.

Another useful scenario to analyze is when the gain is set to minimum. For high frequencies, the maximum gain from lug 1 of the lower half of the dual gang Gain pot to the output of U2B is 266. An average guitar signal (especially if boosted) can easily make a .1V p-p signal, which would cause op-amp U2B to clip if the gain was set to minimum, and the treble at maximum. Of course, before the signal gets to the that lug of the gain pot, it is attenuated by the input voltage divider as well as the network at the output of U1A.

Anyway, my point is that there is some op-amp clipping possible in the Klon at normal settings, even when using the charge pump. To me, the whole point of using a charge pump is to avoid op-amp clipping. But the Klon uses a charge pump and still clips the op-amps. So why not just ditch the charge pump and use op-amps that sound better when distorted (or will operate at their rails to minimize the amount of time they spend in clipping)?

For those people that would like to fit a Klon into a smaller package (though that is of course limited by the dual gang pot and other hardware), or those who just want to use fewer of the Earth's resources in their pedal building, I think it would be nice to have a Klon alternative which operates from a single supply, with no charge pump.

And mictester very kindly produced a schematic based on the discussion.  Thankfully there's some very clever people on FSB to keep us busy!

Youtube demo:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Frantone Peachfuzz

Information about the original from Frantone:

This 3-knob Peachfuzz fuzztone has all the great classic sound with 50% more gain than the classic 2-knob model.  It has been hot-rodded with super quiet circuitry and the addition of a rockin' tone control.  Truly the finest in lead-guitar tone and second to none in performance, the Peachfuzz is a must for all serious players.   Looking for a screaming cranked-to-ten amp-in-a-box, smooth singing fuzztone, and overdrive distortion all in one?  Well, this is for you!

FuzzBoxGirl demo

The first layout I posted was fine, but there was an unused row and so I managed to make it slightly more compact:

Updated layout from the Rev 5 schematic:

Monday, 12 March 2012

PT2399 Tap Tempo daughterboard

Update 10th September 2014: I had dropped this layout from the blog because there had been instances where people had been unable to get the IC, but more importantly I think there are other methods to do this now that are cheaper, much more compact and the kit comes with the required IC AND a PCB which I think is a glaring omission considering the price of the Taptation.  But I am leaving this here now so the information remains available for anyone wanting to build one. 

For anyone starting a new project I would recommend looking at a product like the Tap Tempo kit from UK Electronic which is considerably cheaper, smaller and comes with all the parts you require in a single kit.

This is a daughterboard for the Taptation kit you can buy from Aron at here (which includes the Taptation and digital potentiometer ICs), and will allow you to add tap tempo capability to any PT2399 delay pedal.  A datasheet for the Taptation chip can be downloaded from here, and notes about interfacing to the PT2399 can be downloaded from here.

You will need to remove the Delay/Time pot from your effect, and the daughterboard then connects to pin 6 of the PT2399 to control the delay times.  Manual Time and Depth (modulation) controls are dealt with on the daughterboard and so switches are included for modulation, double time and delay scale, along with the tempo clock control (tap tempo using a momentary footswitch).

So get your Deep Blue Delay tapped up for ultimate TGP mojo points! :o)

Example of the tap tempo chip in action:

Video of Geiri's Deep Blue Delay with Tap Tempo:

Really Cheap Compressor

One of mictester's circuits from FSB, very transparent compared to Dynacomp or Squeezer's so definitely one to try for the compressor fans.

Mictester's description:

The original idea was to replace the old fashioned way of getting compression - connecting an LDR across the volume control of your amplifier, then illuminating it with an incandescent lamp driven from a tap on the output transformer. The louder the signal, the brighter the lamp, and the more the audio was shunted to earth at the volume control! It was the very simplest compressor, but along with some nice second harmonic distortion introduced by slightly changing the bias voltage to the screen grids of the output bottles, you ended up with a very "loud", very lovely sounding amplifier that would give fabulous sustain to any guitar.

The Really Cheap Compressor is a minimum parts design that was meant to be a replacement for the simple valve amplifier modification outlined above. I've built several of them (which reminds me, I need to make another one this week), and everyone who's used them, likes them. If you use a good quality dual op-amp (a TL072 is OK, but the LM833 or NE5532 are slightly quieter), you won't hear any added hiss, and no added distortion. This compressor is entirely clean, and doesn't have any part of the LEDs (or any other diodes) in the signal path, so there's no clipping (unlike with the rectifier circuit in the Dynacomp). The LDR is slightly slow to respond, so the attack of the guitar note is retained, but the squeeze is nicely applied to the decay portion of the note - just where you want it. This is one of those "is it on?" effects, but you really miss it when it's off!

and a version better suited for bass guitar:

Sunday, 11 March 2012

ZVex Machine

Zach's info about the original:

I designed this new distortion generator, Machine, with some different limitations. Like try playing chords through it. Hmmm. But put it in front of any string of fuzz pedals, and try to make it disappear. Machine is actually a dual frequency-tripler circuit that uses crossover distortion for the first time in any pedal, ever. It generates the distortion of the wave in the sloped part of the cycle, instead of the peaks and valleys like all other distorters and fuzzes. In other words, it distorts when your guitar string is in the middle of vibrating, while it's swinging, not as it's turning around. That's the same place where your speaker cone is sort of coasting, between all the way in and all the way out. Where nothing is happening, this pedal happens. With Machine you can leave your favorite distorting pedals on and still add a new element of energetic grind.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that this pedal basically sounds horrible. It's primary purpose is to cut through. But like a wild man with a machete, it is not nice.

Knobs are In, which is drive; Limit, which clips the original waveform off at about the same size as the harmonics (if you want); and Out or Volume, which is output level. If the Limit knob is set to the right, the signal remains unclipped.
You'll notice the dynamic response is higher than most pedals. If you put a tremolo pedal set smooth in front of it you'll hear it sweep through it's wild frequency multiplying stages, or if the trem is set for square wave it will jump back and forth between crunchy harmonics. Conversely, you can get ringing harmonic effects using a dynamically freezing pedal in front of it like a compressor. The biggest drawback to this pedal is that of anything in your arsenal, it's the most likely to get you kicked out of the house by your mom, girlfriend, boyfriend, or wife. Or roommate or Dad. Or Grandma. Even your dog. Whine.     Keep in mind that this pedal needs to see a sloped wave in order to do it's thing, so an undistorted guitar signal going into it will allow it to generate the strongest harmonics.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Dr Boogie

ElectricTabs emulation of a Mesa Boogie Dual Recitifer Solo Head.  I haven't even attempted to keep this one down in size (width) because with 6 pots no one is going to be putting this in anything smaller than a 1590BB, so you should have plenty of room in there with this being a relatively shallow layout (in height):

And V2 of the layout based on gaussmarkov's improvements:

Video of Geiri's build:

Hearthrob Tremolo

Now fixed and verified

MarkM's tremolo based on the Schaller:

Geiri's demo of his build:



Thursday, 8 March 2012

Paul Cochrane Timmy

This has been requested by a few people and although I was in two minds about posting this, it's pretty well documented that the Lovepedal Amp11 is a blatant rip off and as the layout for that one is on this site (and I strongly encourage anyone considering buying the original of that pedal to build one instead), it seems pointless to hide the Timmy layout away, especially seeing as there are other layouts available out there for it.

This is very much an effect that I would encourage people to buy though, as I have.  Paul is a good guy and the original is very reasonably priced.  It's also one of the best overdrives out there at the moment IMO, and the best stacking overdrive I've used (Zendrive into Timmy is an excellent combo).

This one is verified:

Gearmandude demo:

More compact layout:

Updated 5th September 2014 - Even more compact layout



Colorsound Wah

This seems to be a really nice sounding wah, and without having to hunt for some hard to find and expensive inductor.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Dunlop Q-Zone QZ1

Based on Analogguru's schematic, I really don't know much about this other than it's supposed to be a cocked wah effect but it was a request and looks like something a bit different.  At least it's a bit of a detour from the usual dirt pedals! :o)

I couldn't find many demos out there either but here is one I found on Youtube: