Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Prescription Electronics Yardbox

Info about the original:

The Yardbox™.  A faithful sonic copy of the original Sola Sound Tonebender, purportedly the only distortion pedal used on Led Zeppelin's first two albums. The pedal has no similarity to Jumbo, Supa, or the Vox Tonebender. Wide variation in tone and smooth dynamics at all volumes.

Madferret Germageddon

Madferret's amazing and complete overhaul of those circuits that use low gain Ge transistors in darlington configuration to achieve fuzzy germanium bliss. This baby consumes 6 of your low gain/low loeak germaniums and adds not-completely-unlike big muff tone stack plus a recovery stage to keep the signal loud. Not to mention three different pots to tune it to your liking - including Choke control, Pregain and first stage Iintensity controls. It has six knobs, so you might want to use a big box for it. Or if you're feeling adventurous, you can always try it out with 9mm pots and fit it in a 1590B :)
This one uses negative power supply, so wire it for battery only or use appropriate charge pump.

From Madferret: Credit where credit's due by the way, this was based off the Germocide layout by Dragonfly, with ideas taken from all over the internet from places like DIYstompboxes, AMZ etc but especially from Mark's blog as I seriously wouldn't have a clue about making pedals if it weren't for all the information from this site and all the input from everyone that uses it. Go team!

Possible mods:
-To get more gain from the recovery stage, decrease the value of 3K3 resistor coming from Q7 emitter, or increase the value of 15K at the Q7 collector. Or do both.
-If there's too much fizz, try upping the 100p cap to 220p or 470p
-Lowest settings of Pregain and Intensity can be tweaked by swapping the 18K resistors for something like 4K7 or 10K.

(update 18.10.2019 - On the layout, there is a 100K resistor missing from the Q7 base to ground. This resistor can be fitted to get the circuit running as intended. I lost my source files in '16, so to remedy this, i'd need to do a redraw. I may do it soonish... However, the layout is otherwise verified. Thanks to ColoradoSynthDoctor for verifying it and noticing the error!)

Madferret's demo:

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Zombie Chorus

Original design by John Hollis, this version has been modified slightly to have a second vbias network specifically for the LFO IC with same value resistors as per Mark Hammer's suggestion in an attempt to solve the ticking problem some people have experienced.

Tweakers may want to add a Chorus/Vibe switch, and if so you can do this by switching out the 10K resistor directly to the left of IC3.

Video of Geiri's build of this layout:

Original version

Modded version with Chorus/Vibe switch

Modded version with Chorus/Vibe switch and 3 speed Mode switch

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Fulltone Soul-Bender

Request.  A Tonebender set of transistors should do very nicely in this, aim for somewhere between 50 and 80 for Q1 and Q2, and 100 to 130 for Q3.  This is a positive ground effect and so can't be daisy chained with your negative ground effects, so consider using a small Negative Voltage Inverter daughterboard for your supply to solve the issue.

Info about the original:

Our Soul-Bender is based on the legendary Colorsound and Vox Series III ToneBenders made by Sola-Sound/England in the late '60's that was used by Beck and Page on much of their circa 1968-70 recordings.

Equipped with 3 gain-matched germanium transistor for a FAT, searing lead tone, I also made the Tone control response and range more usable and much less shrill sounding... Full clockwise is SMOOTH sounding.

The Soul-Bender cleans up when you back-off on the guitar's volume control. This pedal has tons of tonal character and even harmonics and of course, true bypass w/ LED is included with every one.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Fulltone 70

Info about the original:

Ever played an original FuzzFace from around 1970? (HINT: Not AT ALL the same sound as ones with the same namesake being mass-produced currently.) Ours has two intentionally mismatched (for harmonic content) silicon transistors that snarl and spit... not for the meek! If you put the "Fuzz" on 10 you will rip, and you might get all sorts of oscillation and weirdness... but that's Rock. Don't try using it with a wah wah... you can't, and neither could Jimi, without it screaming and howling. You want polite and quiet? Go elsewhere. You want art in a box? Come on in.

Housed in a 16 gauge steel box and powder coated deep blue, this pedal is a bit unruly but with some warmth... ideal for older 4 input Marshall amps, it has much more FUZZ than the '69 Pedal and includes a Mid control for extra clarity and cut.

I got my hands on Eric Johnson's Blue Fuzzface that he used from Tones through Ah Via Musicom period (now owned by Ian Moore) and incorporated a few of its tonal secrets into the '70 pedal with staggering sonic results!

Product Updates:
In December 2009, after 15 years of production, the 70 was discontinued. However, I recently found/bought a couple thouusand excellent BC108C transistors, so am happy to announce the return of the 70 pedal... this time, in a small (OCD-sized) housing. These transistors sound outrageous! This model 70-BC still has the secret-weapon "Mid" knob which will allow you to do something other Fuzzfaces won't let you do.... be heard in the mix. ;)

Monday, 18 February 2013

Roger Mayer Voodoo Bass


Germocide Fuzz

One more from the Dragonfly archives. This one is a must for us who have tons of low leakage, low gain germaniums on our hands. The name is describing the circuit well, as it takes 4 germs to get one ripping fuzz running. Note that this is "positive ground" circuit. You can always use a suitable pump to chain with your other boxes.

The Germocide Fuzz was something I designed when a forum member asked about what he could build with some low leakage, but very low gain (less than 50hfe) PNP germanium transistors he had.

Roger Mayer Voodoo-1

The bass version was requested, so i thought i'd draw these both, as only main difference between the two is the tone stack.

Demo of Geiri's build:

Dragonfly Fuzz DFZ-1

Continuing with the Dragonfly schematics archive.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Jimi Photon Suzy-Q MKII

There was a bit hassle with this one, but now it's verified and working. Comments on the post are a good read if you're building this. Thanks to Mr. Photon for his amazing work, and special thanks to Pete who verified this.

Mind the notes about the transistors. This is drawn from schematic marked as revision G (The Maestro of Rock version).

More info from DIYSB-thread. Jimi's demo video:

AMZ Super Buffer


There are situations in which very long cable runs are necessary from the pedalboard to the amplifier, or a more powerful driving circuit is needed to the heavy load presented by devices in parallel. A good buffer box is the solution.
The best buffer board will present a high impedance to the input while having a low impedance output. This insures that the maximum clear signal will pass through unchanged to the output, and a low impedance drive can send the signal through long cables without losing much strength or response.
There are numerous special purpose chips that are designed as buffers for driving very long lines and/or capacitance loads. These ICs can be difficult to find and expensive. A simple solution for stompbox purposes is to parallel opamps and thereby boost the output drive. With attention to a few details, this is a simple project to build.

Dragonfly El Diablo

Friday, 15 February 2013

Colorsound Tremolo

This is per the original schematic, not a reissue. I made the transistor pinouts to match your basic transistors and i think that 2N5088s should work just fine in there. Original units have 2SC945s in them, so mind the pinouts and twist the legs if you want to use those.

Medferret's demo clip of his build:

Esprit de Fuzz v3

Another good looking Effdub design. One could pretty easily mod this for "smooth" switch (by making the 2n2 cap from input to ground switchable) and giving it a "fuzz" control by replacing 1K resistor from Q3 emitter to ground with 1K pot. Thought i'd draw this to the spec, as some people seem to like one knob fuzzes a lot :)

Didn't see a sound clip for v3.. So, Tagboardeffects crew calling Geiri to the controls, Geiri to the controls...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

ZVex Super Hard On - Compact Layout

Request.  The vero version of this that I already posted included axial caps, this keeps the size down by using all radial caps and will be more handy for someone wanting to add a small boost board to another effect for instance.  Includes details for adding a master volume pot.

Geiri's build of this layout in A box:

Dragonfly Valentine

Happy valentine's to everyone. Please remember to care for your missus or girlfriend between builds too...

Blue Plate Special

Simple NPN germanium booster that looks like a nice addition.... From the Dragonfly schematic archive.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

eje Filter Mark 1

Here's a new one. Our user eje posted his filter design on the request section of the forum and asked us to draw a layout for it. The frequency graphs show that it cuts about 5db in 100-200hz range, peaks for +7db at ~2.5khz and cuts everything off from 500khz up. Cuts and boosts of 5-10db will make a difference, so this circuit may be very useful as addition to many dirt circuits - and why not just for getting a custom tone for your clean. I added polarity protection (1N5817 diode) and ripple filter caps for both, the main power supply and vref network. All the rest is eje's handwriting :) So here you guys go:

NE555 Voltage Inverter

Here's a cheaper-to-build alternative for MAX1044/ICL7660 voltage inverter charge pump. According to the documentation, this puppy is capable of 30mA of output current, so it'll be enough for any stompbox use. Circuit isn't as small, as using NE555 timer chip will need couple of resistors and caps to get the job done. Still, simple and small enough. This one is for you guys wanting to get your PNP germanium fuzzes daisy chainable. (and i copied part of the text from the doubler post :))

NE555 Voltage Doubler

Here's a cheaper-to-build alternative for MAX1044/ICL7660 voltage doubler charge pump. According to the documentation, this puppy is capable of 30mA of output current, so it'll be enough for any stompbox use. Circuit isn't as small, as using NE555 timer chip will need couple of resistors and caps to get the job done. Still, simple and small enough.

The Crank

From Mark Hammer's Ampage projects.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Dragonfly Saturn Five

EZ build 60's style fuzz that can get fairly smooth at one extreme and lots of "splat" at the other.

Geiri's dual build (splat knob is fixed on the layout as of now):

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Hexe Night Train

Hexe Guitar Electronics' Night Train overdrive. Nothing too ordinary here. Original Hexe demo and layout feature the 3 knob version of the design. NPN/PNP pair should be low gain and matched to approx same hFE/beta.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Escobedo Idiot Wah


The Idiot Wah is a simple building block Bridged/Twin T filter giving a resonant low pass response. It's specifically designed for electric guitar, for simplicity and useability, making it a bit different from similar designs.  The input resistor helps the input from loading down and attenuates the input signal.  The Darlington transistor has enough gain to keep the output at about unity.  Biasing helps keep the distortion down. And most unusual, the unequal capacitors in the T network give a more useful, more musical range than the typical matched values.

VR can be a pot, an LDR, or any type of variable resistive element. Being a resistor to ground allows many different schemes to be used to control the cutoff frequency for the filter.

A quick example of the idiot wah being controlled via an LDR rather than a pot:

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Colorsound Phazex

This is a great sounding phaser so I thought I'd still do it even though it probably doesn't fit with my philosophy of when I would and wouldn't use vero.  Similar in some ways to the Phase 90 but I haven't seen a layout for this one and so decided it would be a good addition.  Like the Phase 90 this is going to work best with 4 matched JFETs and so it may be worth buying 4 matched rather than buying in a greater quantity and having to mess around.   The internal trimmer sets the bias point and so tweak that until you get the sound you want.  The original also had the Depth control as an internal trimmer but I thought it made much more sense to have that control external to make it a bit more versatile.

If you mount this one sideways it should fit in a 125B but a 1590BB may be the order of the day if you don't want to have to squeeze everything in. Thanks to Analogguru for the schematic.

Image from effectsdatabase:

And a revised layout making better use of the space so it could fit more easily in a 1590B, and based on 2N5457 JFETs for their availability.

Bill of Materials:

Group Value Qty
Resistors 6K8 2
Resistors 10K 10
Resistors 22K 4
Resistors 47K 3
Resistors 100K 1
Resistors 150K 3
Resistors 470K 2
Resistors 680K 1
Capacitors 180p 1
Capacitors 10n 2
Capacitors 47n 6
Capacitors 2u2 1
Capacitors 10u 1
Capacitors 33u 1
Diodes 1N5817 1
Diodes 4V7 Zener 1
IC LM1458 3
JFET BF244A or 2N5457 4
Trimmer 1M multi-turn 1
Pot 10KLog 1
Pot 470K Rev Log 1
Pot 1MLin 1

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Vulcan Overdrive

And the BJT version for those who prefer them to JFETs

Version without trimmers which allows you to keep the board size down:

JFET Vulcan Overdrive

Great circuit by Joe Davisson, but should probably be called a distortion rather than an overdrive because it is apparently quite high gain.  The trimmers should make biasing the JFETs easy so don't let inconsistent JFETs put you off.

In terms of mods, Joe said of the circuit:  For higher gain, change the 2.2M/100pF to 470k/470pF
and conversely if you increase the resistor you should get less gain if you so desire.

Danelectro French Fries

Quite a nice sounding and simple AutoWah.  Thanks to Bernardduur on FSB for the scheme.

Short but sweet:

It's a '70s style auto wah like you haven't heard since you tossed your bell bottoms. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Roland AF-60 BeeGee

I personally enjoyed the AF-100 BeeBaa design a lot, so once i noticed that this existed - i just had to draw it up. Slave to my own habits, i "modernized" the transistor pinouts to match those everyone have in their drawers. Original has 2SC1000GRs in them, so your usual suspects should work just fine in there - 2N5088, 2N5089, BC549, BC550, MPSA18 and so on. The opamp in the original unit is metal can version of TA7504 - which is very close to LM741, but you should be able to get it right with almost any single opamp.

Maxon OD-01 The Driver

Here's something quite interesting. A switch to toggle between TubeScreamer-like, and a Rat-like mode. Basically this could be the basic tool, think swiss army knife, of overdrives and distortions. I omitted the in/out buffers from the layout, but used the original JFET pinout.

I built the layout, and noticed that with my batch of NE5534s i got lots of squeels in distortion (rat) mode when tone and gain were set high. So i checked it around and noticed that NE5534 do have both, balance and compensation. So i added 3n3 cap for compensation and it worked great - much closer to the demo than with the original one. While i started modding it, i changed tone pot value for 50K linear, as the original 100K's first half was just dull and muddy. Also i think linear taper on the gain pot gives much better feel to it. I must admit that this is very good and versatile circuit. Some of these days i'm going to build two of these and put them in the same box with stomp switches for Dist/ODs as well. Recommended build indeed. So. Here's the modded layout:

DOD FX53 - Classic Tube

Tufnel Distortion

From Beavis Audio Research: Finally something that actually does go to eleven. I love the 386 power amp chip. It is incredibly versatile. As the engine behind the Ruby, Little Smokey, and Noisy Cricket amps, it is the best bang for the buck single-chip amplifier.
But it is more than that: it is also used widely in distortion effects.

Ibanez MT10 Mostortion

Request, without in/out butffers.

DOD FX52 - Classic Fuzz

The FX52 Classic Fuzz duplicates the sound of the early 60s distortion boxes, such as the Fuzz Face and the Fuzz Tone. A must for musicians looking for a more nostalgic sound.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Friday, 1 February 2013

Blackout Effectors Fix'd Fuzz Deluxe

Yay February.  Just 111 to beat this month Miro :o)

I think I'm going to get a few questions about this one, although a look at the front of the Deluxe at the graphical links between switches and pots will probably give a good clue how this one works if you aren't already familiar.  A quick overview though, this is by no means a Muff, but it does have certain similarities, ie 4 "stages":

Booster > Gain > Gain > Tone and recovery

but with this the stages can be removed individually.  So you could have just a booster with tone control if you like by bypassing the two gain stages.  Or a spikey gainy monster by removing just the Tone stage.  Or any combination that takes your fancy.  I'm sure the offboard wiring will be a pain, but no pain no gain eh!

In the meantime, info about the original:

FIX’D FUZZ DELUXE, the hydra-headed dragon of handmade fuzzboxes, boosts & overdrives. Replete with two polar opposite fuzz tones, as well as a fullrange clean boost through heady overdrive and a (wide) tone sculpting stage. It delivers BIG diversity in sound - all in a small footprint package designed specifically for the cramped pedalboard.

The Fix'd Fuzz Deluxe picks up where the old stock Fix'd Fuzz left off and adds more tweakability, like the version used in the Twosome.