Sunday, 28 October 2012

Barber Dirty Bomb

This is a great sounding effect by Dave Barber, modified to put the Sub Bass pot external.  Dave sells effects at great prices and their build quality is second to none, so this is one of those builders that everyone should support where possible.  So if you get an opportunity to buy any of his other effects at any time then do it, you won't be disappointed.

Info about the original:

Extremely versatile, high gain distortion, provides wider range of stellar tones.
From ultra chunky, to scooped and back to thick again.

Toggle switch selects mid range character for
three distinct modes.
Sweet and powerful Vintage two band E.Q.

Internal adjustable
Bass Boost for powerful sub frequencies.
True bypass footswitch delivers clarity when bypassed.

All hand wired in the USA, traditional award winning Barber layout and wiring. Cascading FET circuit, with MOSFET distortion for incredibly realistic tube quality sounds. 

Group Name
Resistors 91R
Resistors 1K
Resistors 2K2
Resistors 3K
Resistors 10K
Resistors 13K3
Resistors 91K
Resistors 100K
Resistors 220K
Resistors 470K
Resistors 820K
Resistors 1M
Resistors 2M2
Capacitors 100p
Capacitors 120p
Capacitors 1n
Capacitors 3n3
Capacitors 3n9
Capacitors 10n
Capacitors 56n
Capacitors 100n
Capacitors 220n
Capacitors 330n
Capacitors 2u2
Capacitors 47u
Capacitors 100u
Diodes 1N4148
Transistors 2N7000
IC TL072

Friday, 26 October 2012

Emma ReezaFRATzitz RF1

Requested by a few people.  Horrible to do a layout for because of multiple cascading stages with close connections from a 14 pin IC which means you can quickly run out of space, but managed to work my way through it eventually.  At 22 columns wide it will just fit in a 1590B if you file the sides down (or use a bench grinder like me), but would be more comfortable and with more room for wiring with a 125B.  Turn it 90 degrees though and it would probably fit more comfortably in the 1590B, even with 22 columns to accomodate vertically,   This has a built in buffered bypass and so only needs a SPDT stomp, or DPDT if you want to include LED indication. If you would prefer to use a 3PDT stomp and conventional true bypass switching, then the Stomp 4 connection becomes the output, you can omit the Stomp 6 connection completely, and also ignore the 2.5mm pitch 150n and 470K at the top right hand side.

Info about the Emma original:

A unique type of  OD/dist. pedal that was designed to emulate as faithfully as possible the distortion characteristics of a real tube amp.

With the inclusion of a bias control the user is allowed to adjust the inner workings of the amplifier from class B ( far left) to class A ( far right) and anywhere in between, altering the harmonic structure of the signal and providing a much wider  variety of tonal options than your standard OD/ dist. pedal.

Additional controls for Level, Gain,and a Hi Cut/ Hi Boost tone circuit allow the user to fine tune the Reezafratzitz to taste.


Resistors 120R
Resistors 10K
Resistors 22K
Resistors 27K
Resistors 100K
Resistors 150K
Resistors 470K
Resistors 1M
Capacitors 47p
Capacitors 100p
Capacitors 1n
Capacitors 6n8
Capacitors 47n
Capacitors 150n
Capacitors 100u
IC CD4069
Transistors BC549

Modified version with additional Bass and Mids controls


Capacitors 47p 5
Capacitors 100p 2
Capacitors 1n 2
Capacitors 2n2 1
Capacitors 6n8 4
Capacitors 47n 2
Capacitors 150n 4
Capacitors 100u 3
Resistors 100K 4
Resistors 10K 6
Resistors 120R 1
Resistors 150K 2
Resistors 1M 4
Resistors 22K 4
Resistors 27K 1
Resistors 470K 6
Resistors 47K 2
IC CD4069 1
Transistors Q1 1

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

MXR M-173 Classic 108 Fuzz

Only ever heard good things about this one, so it had to be added to the collection.  Not very good timing though as Vince has just bought one! :o)  I have done the main fuzz and buffer circuit separately so those who just want to build the fuzz can do so.  If you do want to include the buffer put it in a true bypass loop with a toggle before the fuzz circuit so you can bypass the buffer if you want to.

Guitarists of all styles will dig the familiar late-Sixties/ early-Seventies crunch delivered by the new MXR Classic 108 Fuzz. We've taken the guts of our BC-108 loaded Fuzz Face, placed them in a more pedal-board friendly shape, and added the modern conveniences of a battery door, optional AC operation, and true bypass with LED. The Buffer switch eliminates the audible oscillation caused when some wah-wahs are placed in front of a Fuzz Face. The Classic 108 Fuzz comes in a heavy-duty Phase 100-sized box with a sweet hammertone turquoise finish.

And here is the buffer for people who want to build the whole thing.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Death By Audio - Soundwave Breakdown

One for the Fuzzynoise-ophiles.  Description of the original:

The Soundwave Breakdown takes the idea of a screaming fuzz pedal and turns it inside out. It uses specially matched transistors turned backwards to get it's bombastic sound. The one knob controls extreme biasing of one of the transistors and the other controls intense filtering. Although this sounds simple the results are perplexing. The combination of allow a vast universe of fuzz | distortion | overdive | buzz | grind | bleeps | synth sounds | harmonies | and soundwave manipulation. The exact positions of the knobs yield completely different sounds for endless great insane fuzz tones.

Video of the 2 knob version, this layout for the 3 knob version with additional volume control.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Rocktron Austin Gold

On hold until we can get the schematic checked out.

Considered by some as "The Poor Mans Klon" (almost certainly because of the colour and form, they were obviously expecting a rip off), this is another effect which may not be the most fashionable, but sounds great to me.  And you never know, if someone puts the effort in it may be a good base to start from for the next "big thing" if people can ignore Tubescreamer or Big Muff clones for a while! :o)

Buffer into gain stage into buffer means that at least circuit-wise it's nothing like a Klon, but definitely worth a build.

Info about the original:

It dishes out a superb blend of light overdrives that enhance, without changing, the sound of your amp. A unique "Pre-Bass control eliminates problems with too much fuzzy bass, or the opposite problem of being a weak, thin-sounding overdrive. Drive and level controls offer further shaping options. It's like having an entire arsenal of overdrive pedals in just one box. Add an entirely new dimension to your amp with a maximum 30dB of gain without overprocessing.


    Light overdrives that enhance, without changing, the sound of your amp
    Unique "Pre-Bass control eliminates fuzzy bass and weak, thin-sounding overdrive
    Drive and level controls
    30dB of gain without overprocessing

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Wampler Paisley Drive

Another excellent pedal by Wampler, and Brad Paisley's signature overdrive.  Info about the original:

Since late 2009, we discovered that Brad Paisley was using Wampler Pedals. He started with the AnalogEcho, then got an Ego Compressor and then had the Underdog overdrive.

Everything was great until his tech at the time, Chad, mentioned to Brian that Brad still was not quite settled on the overdrive sound he was getting from his live rig… could Wampler maybe look at making a pedal …??

Brads requirements were quite “simple”… it needs to be clean but get crunchy with some “beef” to it. It needs to have a fluid tone when soloing. I needs to add a little hair to the tone but then but then has to be able to give flat out ball busting gain, oh… but please do not wreck the tonality. It needs to have everything, in a pedal format, but do not make it sound like a pedal...!

Over a period of months, Brian made some circuits and sent them off, there were a couple of “tweaks” here and there to be made and then finally, when official “proto #2” landed it went straight into the live rack and out on the H20 world tour.

That prototype has now been made into the Brad Paisley signature “Paisley Drive” and goes with Brad wherever he goes. When you see Brad live, or performing live on the TV, and you are blown away by his overdriven tone, it’s the Paisley Drive.

The truly great thing about this pedal is that it’s not only Telecaster style guitars that it works so well with, it brings the best out of your Strat or anything you may have loaded with humbuckers. You no longer need to have individual pedals for your guitars; the Paisley Drive will make each one sing.

The inbuilt tonal controls, the presence and mid contour switches, will make this pedal the single most versatile and complete overdrive pedal you have ever owned. In fact, we believe it might be the last one you ever buy...

Brad Paisley:-
“...we actually recorded this (pedal) in the studio, you know, trying it out. I turned up a Trainwreck Amp that I've got and compared the sound of the distortion and it was very, very similar. And that's a very good test because any time a pedal can mimic a great overdriven amp then you're on to something...”

And the bill of materials:

Group Name Qty
Capacitors 51p 1
Capacitors 100p 1
Capacitors 22n 1
Capacitors 220n 3
Capacitors 470n 1
Capacitors 1u 4
Capacitors 220u 2
Resistors 100R 3
Resistors 200R 1
Resistors 220R 1
Resistors 240R 1
Resistors 300R 1
Resistors 1K 4
Resistors 2K2 1
Resistors 10K 8
Resistors 511K 2
Resistors 1M 1
IC JRC4580 1
Transistors J201 2
Diodes 1N4148 2

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Astro-Tone Fuzz

I don't know a lot about this other than the fact it seems to be virtually identical to the Sam Ash Fuzz, Analogman sells a clone, and there is an original for sale at the moment on eBay for $3250!  So you can build this if you want to save yourself $3245! :o)

Info about the 1967 original from the manual:

The new Astro-Tone distortion generator is the finest, most flexible, most durable unit of its kind available. One look at the heavy-duty cast housing will tell you that this unit is built to last. The hardest professional use will not affect the Astro-Tone.. The semi-conductors used in the Astro-Tone are all silicon. Many distortion generators still use germanium transistors, not the Astro-Tone. Forget about temperature changes altering the sound quality. Forget about maintenance. Most of all, forget about buying a replacement; you won't need one. This unit will last and sound better than any distortion generator you have heard before.

The Astro-Tone is turned on automatically when a cable from the guitar is plugged into the input. It will stay on until the input is unplugged. This makes it pretty hard to leave on accidentally when you put it away. The output cable simply plugs into the normal input of any guitar amplifier. -There are never any compatibility problems with the Astro-Tone.

The distortion is switched on and off by pressing the button on the face of the Astro-Tone. This alternate-action switch is designed for the hard use of foot-switch service. When the distortion is switched off, none of the three controls have any effect. When it is switched on, each control has a very different effect which makes possible an unusually wide variety of tone colors.

The volume control adjusts only the loudness of the distorted signal and is usually turned up high enough to provide a dramatic increase in volume when the distortion is switched on.

The tone control adjusts the form of the distortion and can alter the tone color of the output signal to mimic the sound of almost any unit on the market. Almost all of the available distortion generators can alter the amount but not the type of distortion which is generated. The great advantage of the Astro-Tone is the control provided over the form of the distortion which can be adjusted from rich to bright. The Astro-Tone provides a wide range of expressive tone colors which can be adjusted to fit the mood of the music itself.

The attack control adjusts the amount of distortion, but not the type of distortion. It is usually left almost at maximum to provide a clearly distorted signal, but may be turned down to soften the sound. If the attack control is turned to zero, no signal reaches the distorter and the distorted output vanishes. To insure enough drive to the distorter, the output of the guitar should always be set near maximum.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dan Armstrong Blue Clipper

Request, to give Miro something to do with his morning :o)

Info about the original:

The Blue Clipper is an excellent fuzz-tone with incredible sustain.

They're back! The legendary Dan Armstrong Sound Modifiers are now available again and they're better than ever. These units are now 100% USA made and are hand-built to authentic 1975 Dan Armstrong specifications by Grafton Electronics.

Dan Armstrong Sound Modifiers are a range of simple, compact, and rugged accessories that can be used with any electrified instrument. They are designed to plug directly into the output of a guitar or bass guitar to give the player fingertip control of the sound, but they work just as well plugged into an electric keyboard or the output of any electronic accessory. Any musician, who wishes to use these units at the input of the amplifier, rather than at the instrument, need simply interchange two colour-coded wires inside the box.

All six units are built in a heavy duty aluminium casing, using only the finest quality components available. Overall dimensions are 59mm wide x 59m high x 70mm deep (including plug). The unit only protrudes 43mm from the face of the guitar. Weight is only 41/2 ozs, including battery.

Each unit has a specific effect or function, but several of them can easily be combined by plugging one into another to produce more complex effects. For recessed output jackplates (e.t.c Strat) adaptors are available to facilitate use.

All units come complete with a 9 volt battery already fitted, so all you need to do is plug in and play!

Unpleasant high-order harmonics are eliminated by a low-pass filter leaving only a full, rich, distorted sound. When the Blue Clipper is switched on, the instrument's volume control adjusts the amount of distortion. The output level of the distorted signal is adjusted internally to balance the fuzz loudness with the normal output of any instrument. The Clipper produces a super-stinging fuzz effect when combined with a Green Ringer. Input Impedance is 110 k Ohms. Output Impedance is 3 k Ohms, and the Signal-to-Noise ratio is 82db.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Wampler Triple Wreck

Request.  I've done the main board and booster separately so that you could potentially put the main board in a 1590B or preferably a 125B (5 pots and a switch are totally do-able in a 125B).  If you're more sane than that and want to put this in a 1590BB then you can build the booster on the separate daughterboard or even experiment with the booster of your choice.  It has been mentioned that this really benefits from an 18V supply, so consider adding a little charge pump daughterboard in there too, with maybe a switch to select between 9V and 18V operation.  As noted by John, leave the booster at 9V all the time, 18V for main board only.

Info from Brian about his excellent original:

The Triple Wreck high gain distortion pedal... When this pedal was thought of, it was decided that we would take no prisoners, we would produce a pedal with so much gain it would wipe the floor of anything else

This pedal is probably one of the tightest, thickest highest gain distortions you have ever heard... Many people have told us that it sounds more like a 5150 amp to them than a distortion pedal, that may very well be - All we know is that Brian designed it to just to be an ass kicking distortion pedal, heavier than everything else, meaner than everything else, and it is.

With a solid three band EQ (total control allowing you to scoop out those mids without it peeking out the lows and highs like so many other pedals) you can emulate some of your favorite high gain tones, but as this pedal is so versatile, you can easily find a distinctive tone all of your own. There is so much control over the tone your distinctive sound is waiting for you. Believe it or not, even when the gain is backed off, this pedal is still useable, it still sounds great.

There are two distinct voices in this pedal, Hard and Brutal. The Hard gives you that warmer thump high gain where as the Brutal allows a little more sparkle to creep in, giving it that more recent, full audio spectrum feel.

So, we've already put in loads of gain, maybe more than you need, so let's stick in a boost switch. What...? Putting a boost switch on an already high gain pedal may sound crazy but you'll be amazed at how well it works. it gives you two options via the Boost Contour blend control. With the boost on and it dialed round to counter-clockwise, your distortion is multiplied and you have the solo sound you have always wanted. Pinch harmonics are just there, in places you've never found them before. With it dialed round to clockwise, your pedal turns into a fuzzy monster... Tweak the EQ and you can get tone that will remind you of the Smashing Pumpkins right round to some Pink Floyd kind of fuzzy solo tone. It's all there, waiting for you.

Think about your favorite high gain tone. Is it a high gain with the mids scooped out, or is it roll your hand across the knobs to get that in your face, fuzzy, brutal attitude-melting distortion. Whatever you are looking for, this is probably the only pedal on the market that can satisfy all of those options. This pedal should come with a public health warning.

Video of rudeez' build:

And as promised with these more complex circuits, here's the BOM from DIYLC2.

Type Value Qty
Capacitors 100n 2
Capacitors 100p 1
Capacitors 100u 1
Capacitors 10n 2
Capacitors 10u 1
Capacitors 1n 1
Capacitors 1u 7
Capacitors 220n 3
Capacitors 220p 3
Capacitors 2u2 1
Capacitors 330p 1
Capacitors 33n 1
Capacitors 470p 1
Capacitors 47n 4
Capacitors 4n7 2
Capacitors 560p 1
Resistors 100K 2
Resistors 100R 1
Resistors 10K 7
Resistors 1K 6
Resistors 1M 3
Resistors 33K 2
Resistors 470K 5
Resistors 47K 5
Resistors 47R 1
Resistors 4K7 1
Resistors 680K 1
Transistors 2N5089 1
IC1 TL074 1
IC2 TL072 1
Diodes 1N4148 5

Colorsound One Knob Fuzz

Request, this one will fit in a 1590A if you're feeling brave. Info about the (re-issued) original:

Non-harsh-oscillating-processing. For a relatively high gain silicon fuzz circuit this thing is smooth, like real smooth, a soft smooth you could say. Make no mistake this blue cyclops will fart-out a chewy smoke laden fuzz cloud you can really get your teeth into but will do so with a degree of etiquette. Bourbon as mouthwash holes punched through corrugated cardboard kinda tones but delivered to your ears with an air of refinement. No mad spazzed out oscillation and no frying eggs soundtracks going on in the background. In other words, it's a smartly designed circuit. Very simple, but thoroughly thought out. As cliched as it will sound it is a very germanium sounding silicon pedal. Not that silicon can't or doesn't sound warm or smooth but, to me at any rate, this degree of refinement adds much greatness to the whole idea of having a circuit so simple in design and function that sounds so well balanced. It'll easily trip on freaked out garage riffage all day long but happily chow down on the heavier 70's vibes.
One knob, many flavours. The Fuzz Box's refinement also makes this a very interactive tool. It stacks well with other noise makers and gels beautifully with a heavily overdriven amplifier, no sag no control loss in the low end. Clean up, you are not going to get clean up from the volume control on your guitar but what you do get is tonal variation. What is there is musical and most definably usable.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

A million hits

I had to post this because it's another site milestone.  317 verified layouts, 7600+ comments and we've finally got to a million hits.  Here's the stats page from the admin panel which show how much traffic has increased nicely since the blog opened in 2008.  And look at the top posts, all ZVex! 

Thanks guys and gals!

Friday, 5 October 2012

ZVex Woolly Mammoth - Cut Down Version

Vince on here asked me if I could adapt my layout to make a 2 Knob Woolly Mammoth with just Pinch and Volume controls.  He wanted me to remove the Wool pot simulating it being set fully clockwise, and  remove the the EQ pot and simulate it being set dead centre.

The Wool pot was easy enough, it just takes the 100u cap from the emitter of Q3 to ground in the clockwise position, so I could connect that directly to ground.  The EQ pot was 10K and so I used two 4K99 resistors from where lugs 1 and 3 of the EQ pot would have connected, and taking the other side of both resistors to the same row simulated the centre setting.  If you want to alter this slightly just socket them and change the ratio between the two resistors, maybe try a 6K8 and 3K3 for instance if you want slightly more treble or swapped round for more bass.

I think it sounds great so I had to post it here just in case anyone else fancies making one too.  Vince's excellent demo:

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Emma TransMORGrifier

Info about the original pedal:

A compressor pedal incorporating the best attributes of classic pedals while simultaneously eliminating the shortcomings common to such vintage designs.

Included are controls for the adjustment of Attack, Release, and Ratio that allow the user precise and continuous variation to their sound. These controls offer the ability to custom tailor the effect to match the job at hand. No matter what style or instrument, the perfect amount of compression is easily dialed in with minimal coloration to the original signal.

The CA3080 is a discontinued IC, and although it is still available from a number of sources it will get more difficult to obtain as time goes by.   After the discussions below, the circuit was tested by G5120fx with an LM13700 replacing the discontinued IC and it worked fine.  Unfortunately this IC is 16 pin instead of 8 because it is 2 channel and includes buffers, but if you find that you can get the LM13700 cheaper or more readily then you can use the following daughterboard to allow you to use that IC.   Just solder the wires to where the CA3080 pins would be on the main board.

This daughterboard can be used with any of the effects in this blog which use the CA3080, including the MXR DynaComp, Ross Compressor and Keeley Compressor.

ZVex Fuzz Factory - compact layout

A more compact layout for the Fuzz Factory using radial caps, so I thought I'd add a new post rather than add it to the old layout, to avoid confusion as this one obviously isn't verified yet.

Info about the original:

This is a five-knob fuzz using two new old-stock sixties germanium transistors. The circuit is not modeled after any classic fuzz design, but should have been around when Leary was still lucid.
Although the five knobs are named for the parameters over which they seem to have the most control, please don't hold me to it. They are controls for various operating levels and biases, and basically shape you a personalized fuzz. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Catalinbread Galileo

Info from ProGuitarShop about Catalinbread's original:

In January of 2012 I began speaking with Nicholas from Catalinbread about making us a dual overdrive pedal. I didn't have anything specific in mind. I wanted to begin the discussion of putting two of his drive pedals in one box. After a couple of meetings and many cocktails we agreed that it would make a great deal of sense to put the CB30 and Naga Viper together in one box and go after a cranked AC30 with a treble booster sound. A sound made famous by many Vox users of the 60's.  We then began to think a bit more of a specific sound that we were looking for and the Galileo was born. Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the Fandango?!

Magnifico! Plug into the new Catalinbread Galileo and your brain may see stars. Catalinbread has created a hotter upgrade to their already phenomenal CB30, added a dedicated, fine tuned treble boost, courtesy of their Naga Viper circuitry, and housed it all in a single majestic gold pedal decorated with the well-earned insignia of rock and roll royalty. The Galileo delivers the regal, operatic sound you would expect from a wall of AC30s with all of the controls you need to rule your own creative realm. In addition to controls for Volume, Bass and Treble, the Gain control gives you a broad sweep of that singularly expressive overdrive while the Top Boost control lets you dial in all of the high end definition that will take your breath away. Two footswitches give you the flexibility to operate without the high-end augmentation, or opt for true bypass of the whole pedal.

Update: Oscar Jr below let me know the circuits are independently switched which makes the description bizarre.  They are both apparently independent and the Naga is first in the chain from the input socket. 

Update 2: It has been suggested that the 100K resistor at the bottom right near Q3 should be replaced by a 51K which inproves the sound.  It may be worth experimenting here to see which you prefer.

Passive Bill of Materials:

Group          Name    Qty
Capacitors     100n     1
Capacitors     100n     1
Capacitors     100p     1
Capacitors     10n      1
Capacitors     10n      1
Capacitors     1n       1
Capacitors     1n       1
Capacitors     220n     1
Capacitors     22n      1
Capacitors     22n      1
Capacitors     22n      1
Capacitors     22u      1
Capacitors     2u2      1
Capacitors     2u2      1
Capacitors     330p     1
Capacitors     470p     1
Capacitors     470p     1
Capacitors     47p      1
Capacitors     47p      1
Capacitors     47u      1
Capacitors     47u      1
Capacitors     4n7      1
Resistors      100K     1
Resistors      100K     1
Resistors      100K     1
Resistors      12K      1
Resistors      1M       1
Resistors      1M       1
Resistors      1M       1
Resistors      1M       1
Resistors      1M       1
Resistors      220K     1
Resistors      2M2      1
Resistors      2M2      1
Resistors      390R     1
Resistors      390R     1
Resistors      470K     1
Resistors      470K     1
Resistors      470R     1
Resistors      47K      1
Resistors      4K7      1
Resistors      4K7      1
Resistors      4K7      1
Resistors      4K7      1
Resistors      56K      1
Resistors      68K      1
Resistors      8K2      1

Effect Component Kits

I get asked frequently about where to buy components from, and I know a lot of people, like me, have got together a huge stash of parts so they always have the right resistors and caps at hand.   But others still seem to be buying the exact components as and when they need them, sometimes from multiple suppliers and so I thought it would be a good idea for these people if we could put some sort of kit together for the effects so that you can buy everything you need from one place.  So I had a word with Bob at Bitsbox who sells electronic components at great prices and I know a number of people already purchase from him from all over the world, and he has agreed to put together kits for these layouts which will include all resistors, capacitors, transistors or opamps, diodes, pots, DC adapter, stomp switch and even an appropriately size stripboard. 

I know some people have their own favoured parts when it comes to boxes (size or colour of your choice), indication LED (colour of your choice), input and output sockets (quality and type of your choice) and knobs (design of your choice).  With that in mind, these parts haven't been included in the kits so you can still stamp your own mark on the build, but everything else you need is there.

I'll just add a link to the layouts that have kits available as and when they are available, but if there is anything you want to see then let myself or Bitsbox know and we'll try to get some order of priority in putting the kits together.  I'll update this post as and when new kits are added so that there is a master list to refer to if you're wondering what kits are available.

All Bitsbox kits can be found HERE.

Update 24th April 2014
Kits now available for sale in the US.  Check out:
And contact David about what you would like to see next

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Analog Bit Crusher

From a schematic on the Experimentalist Anonymous forum, this is what they wrote about it:

This simple box realizes the common sample rate reduction effect in analog form. Sample rate reduction is essentially very low quality analog to digital conversion. A snapshot of the input signal is taken every so often and outputted. The effect comes in when the frequency of snapshots is at an audio frequency. The resulting sound is a lot like a ring modulator. This box is sort of a little brother to the Digital Lo-Fi Box. The sole knob controls the sampling frequency - no frills here!

A sound clip can be heard here, or more information including pics can be found on the EA website.

Geiri's build with 1M pot...

Analogman King of Tone

Lots of people have asked for this so here you go.  Rather than internal dip switches I've made the diode switching external using toggle switches for a bit more on-the-fly versatility.  For even more versatility make the switches 3 position centre off and put a set of your favourite diodes or LEDs across the other side of the poles to give you two choices in the flavour of the dirt from each switch.  The diodes are almost certainly going to be difficult to get hold of so I'd suggest experimenting and using your favoured combination in there rather than paying daft prices for something that probably won't sound any better than 1N4148s.  Switch 1 is TS type diodes in the feedback loop, Switch 2 enables shunted diodes similar to the Rat or Distortion + (except to vbias rather than ground).  You can request a high gain version of this pedal which I believe is just a 250K Drive pot instead of 100K so that's worth bearing in mind if you're using this as a basis for your own ideal pedal.

Info about the original if you want to wait 17 months to buy one:

Analog Man, in collaboration with Jim Weider, have come out with the pedal we have been looking for for many years - the King Of Tone (KoT). There are many overdrive pedals on the market, but none of them have been quite right, preserving the tone of the guitar and adding the right amount of overdrive without compromise. There are some good clean boosts available, but they just don't have enough drive to really give your amp the distortion you often want. There are some newer OD pedals that have a great frequency response, but to me they sound too DRY, sterile, and cardboardy. That is where the King Of Tone pedal comes in - it has enough warm overdrive but still preserves the tones of your quality guitars and amps.

Jim had been using an original TS-808 for well over 20 years, it's now housed in a 1980s TS9 case after Rick Danko stepped on it at a concert that THE BAND played. Jim likes the tone of his TS-808, but has always found it loses some low end and is a bit too heavy in the mids. I also love TS808s and have sold thousands of TS9s with our TS808 mods. But sometimes I have wished for a less compressed, more open and natural sound with more of the guitar's actual tone, or as Jim says "you can hear the note better". A Tube Screamer makes it easier to play and sound good due to the compression and vocal midrange boost, but a master player like Jim would often prefer less coloration to allow his techniques and superb tone to get through.

The King Of Tone overdrive was designed to take an amp at reasonable settings, and make it sound like it would sound if it were naturally driven to pure, smooth, tube distortion. It was fine tuned with Jim's 1960s Fender Deluxe Reverb amp to duplicate the sound when his amp is singing, but at lower volume settings - to simulate the natural tube amp distortion of preamp and power tubes. It does the same thing on other amps like Vox, Marshall, etc, making them sing in their own voice. Jim's amp was modified by our good friend the late Cesar Diaz, and is about the best sounding Fender amp I have heard. Later on, I tested the KoT on my own 1966 Deluxe Reverb amp. My amp is stock, and does not sound that great when it's cranked up. It gets loud but not very warm or singing, a little harsh. My amp sounds MUCH better using the KoT for overdrive, then it sounds very close to Jim's amp.  

Original version

Original version with external Presence


For those who want that little bit extra switching versatility.  This version has two separate volume pots which are switched by the second footswitch.  This is a nice feature which will allow you to have a rhythm and lead boost setting from the same pedal.  The extra switch (3) selects whether or not you want the feedback loop diodes being put in circuit when Volume A is selected (red channel) which can give you extra grit in the red channel if you want it, irrespective of the position of Switch 1.

If you want to go the whole hog then V4 includes two complete circuits in one box with 3 pots each side and diode switching on internal dip switches.  You could make it with any combination of external switching you want, but this definitely has the potential for a 4 stomp switch, 6 switch, 8 pot monster if you include all the version 2 options twice.

Video of Geiri's build:

Monday, 1 October 2012

Xotic BB Preamp

I really love the sound of this one.  I've seen two different diode arrangements, one with just two back to back which would be more compressed, and one with two series pairs, so I've included a switch so that you can choose either, and also have a centre diode lift mode for a cleanish boost. Info about the original:

The BB Preamp offers awide variety of sounds. It's capable of a 30dB+ clean boost with an adjustable ±15dB two band active EQ which adds a wide range of harmonic content to your ideal sound.
The BB also utilizes a pre-gain stage which allows the Pedal to go from a very pristine clean to a very smooth,compressed, overdriven sound.

Xotic RC Booster

Xotic write about their original:

The RC Booster offers a super transparent 20db+ clean boost with an adjustable ±15dB two band active EQ which adds a wide range of harmonic content to your ideal sound. As a clean boost, it can enhance other pedals, such as "overdrive and distortion pedals", or you can crank the gain for a "crunch" sound. But, the RC Booster is an extremely transparent, where many player's find they leave it on all the time.

And you can save a couple of rows if you want to by making up your own diode wrap rather than placing them individually on the board.  If you'd prefer to do that make up two 3-series 1N4148 diodes, wrap them in tape or shrink tube and solder them in as shown below.

Xotic AC Booster

Info from the manufacturer:

The AC Booster is a natural sounding "overdrive" pedal. Not "heavy" distortion, but a sweet thick overdrive with an "open" non-compressed feel. It's capable of a 20dB+ boost with an adjustable ±15dB two band active EQ which adds a wide range of harmonic content to your ideal sound