Sunday, 30 June 2013

G2D Cream Tone

I used a quad opamp to keep the size down, so this should fit in a 1590B.  Solo Switch is a second stomp to give you a volume boost when soloing (funnily enough) and only a SPDT stomp is required for this, but use a DPDT if you want LED indication showing the "channel" you are on.

Oh and I omitted the 2200uF filter cap.  Because ... just why?

Info about the original:

The Cream-Tone is a blues players dream come true with a wonderful almost transparent tone through to a slight midrange bump for being heard in the mix. Strat's take on the "Texas Tone" while Tele's can pull off open string runs with sparking clarity.

Our aim was to develop a pedal geared towards vintage tone freaks. Each pedal is hand-made using the finest quality components and tested to ensure that it preserves the guitars natural tone.

The Cream-Tone features true bypass as well as a Solo switch for volume boost when you are soloing.

    Volume sets the balance between your clean sound and the pedals sound.
    Tone is our unique design, it adds fullness to single coils and has the ability to make humbuckers sing.
    Solo sets the amount of volume boost and adds warmth without adding extra drive.
    Drive ranges from clean* to a singing mild overdrive, without losing string definition or pickup charactor. (*depends on internal switch settings).


  1. Must... stop.. building... overdrive pedals.

    Ah piss, no use in trying. This is going on the to-do list.

    1. Everyone needs at least 70 overdrives :o)

    2. Ohhh I could get my teeth into this... anything blues goes on the list... needs to order some bits though....

    3. Mark, this point reminds me that I need MORE autowahs. I've nearly finished with this web selection and Sabro's one. Need moooooooooreeeeeee

    4. 70 overdrives (at least), 40 fuzzes (no less), 14 distortions (just about), 8 delays, 5 wahs and envelope filters, 4 tremolos, 2 reverbs and 1 really good solder gun.

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    6. Meanwhile in, 2016 I’ll finish to build one and it works great, and if I may say so it looks nice too. I’d like to have just a little more drive, so I’ve altered the 10k resistor on the inverted in-output from the TL074 and changed to 15K. Also replace the 10K volume pot to a 25K, to get a wider adjustment range and I used a two-color LED instead of two separate LED’s.

  2. I'm having trouble NOT putting too many ODs on my board.. I think I need at least a delay + reverb!

  3. This sure does sound nice, it based off anything?

    1. There are certain sections of the circuit where you can see bits of Rat/Dist+/DOD250 but it's far removed and so by no means any sort of clone. Like most circuits, it uses tried and tested blocks seen in other effects, or generic cascading electronic stages, but the final circuit doesn't seem to be a re-hash of something existing.

  4. Also, what is this internal switch it speaks of?

    1. I assume a later version of the pedal, after the scheme this was done from, has an internal switch to bypass the 1K resistor at Drive 3. That sets the minimum gain so if you want to fine tune it to your own tastes just socket the connections and experiment.

    2. From their website:
      A few "175", "335" players have asked us for a "low drive" mod, so we added a couple of switches inside, so you can customise the Cream-Tone to your guitar and playing style.

      Cream-Tone Switch Settings
      Less Bass, Less Drive Factory Default
      More bass, Less Drive More Bass, More Drive
      Switch 1 changes the bass Switch 2 changes the drive
      Applies to serial numbers 815 onwards.

      Less Bass, Less Drive
      This setting would suit the humbucker player, who is looking for a mild overdrive with a warm vocal quality.

      Factory Default
      The factory default setting is the original "Cream-Tone sound" that has made it one of the most sought after pedals.

      More Bass, Less Drive
      This setting would suit the cleaner single coil player, who is looking for mild overdrive sound.

      More Bass, More Drive
      This setting would suit the Tele player looking for a fat overdrive sound, or a humbucker player looking for that early Boogie sound.

  5. Built this up tonight, all i`m getting is a fast motorboating that increases in speed as i decrease the drive pot. checked all component placements and orientation are correct, no continuity were there shouldn`t be, no cold joints. Probed it and the signal turns to shit where the 6n8 cap meets pin 3 of ic1.
    voltages are: ic1
    1) 4.32 14) 1.99
    2) 4.31 13) 1.99
    3) 2.14 12) 4.33
    4) 8.51 11) 0.00
    5) 4.22 10) 4.35
    6) 4.43 9) 4.38
    7) 4.37 8) 4.37

    1) 4.30 8) 8.51
    2) 4.30 7) 7.92
    3) 4.22 6) 7.92
    4) 0.00 5) 0.00

    Will look over the schematic later, for now I`m going to discuss the matter with my old mate Jack Daniels :-)

    1. I've just been over it again and nothing is jumping out at me, although sometimes you can't see the wood for the trees when doing these things. Your voltages don't look too far away, although I'm always suspicious of IC pin voltages that look quite far away from 4-4.5V (excluding ground and supply of course). It's not always unusual of course but I'd certainly be checking around IC1 pins 3, 13 and 14.

      Pins 5, 6 and 7 of IC2 shouldn't be a problem, I just grounded the non-inverting input and linked the inverting input and output as suggested for unused channels. But you could put a cut between 4 and 5 and snip the link if you want to rule that out.

      A JD sounds very nice right about now! :o)

    2. Will putting a cut between 4 & 5 not take the rest of pin 4 track off the ground rail?

    3. Yes sorry I meant to mention that too. The link will need moving

  6. Strike that, I am a complete tw@t, three times I went over this and made the mistake of comparing my board to the layout instead of vice versa, somehow I managed to miss the 22uf cap, 4 fucking times.
    Works perfectly and really is a fantastic blues pedal, really quiet too which makes the 2200uf filter cap even more of a mystery. jD is now my favourite debugging tool :-)

    1. Awesome I'll get it tagged. 2200uF is massive overkill in my opinion, the 220u is plenty big enough, especially for a low gain effect.

  7. Gentleman Jack when I can afford it, Single Barrel if/when I ever win the lottery.

  8. I literally just built Harold's layout of this. Gonna build yours Mark to compare with the mods -- any idea what they would need a 2200uF cap for? I ordered some up just because, so I'll finish Harold's layout with and yours without and see what the diff is :)

    1. I think he's just gone for the biggest cap he could find but I really can't see the point for a low gain pedal. It's it was a high gain monster then I could see at least some motivation for it, but even then it would be too high for me.

      220uF on it's own is plenty big enough for this.

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  10. I'm into triying to build this one, but I have a motorboat sound too, I've reflowed soldering, checked before every component value, as always.. Then I changed IC1 and 2, and then checked that everything is in the right place, now I'm going to do an audio probe, any advice? Too soon for a JD,)

    1. I usually go with an audioprobe first. :)
      Let us know how that's working out, this pedal is on my short 2do list.

  11. I,ve followed signal path, and first 1k and 6n8 right, then the 1M resistor at 10th strip starts with the noise, reflowed all that strip but still the same.. Ive taken voltages from ICs and are like that

    1: 4,83 14: 3,93 So I suppose I should be looking for pins 3, 12,
    2: 4,77 13: 3,94 maybe 6 and 8 too, or are these tolerable values?
    3: 2,32 12: 1,95
    4: 9,16 11: 0,00
    5: 4,02 10: 3,96
    6: 4,92 9: 4,03
    7: 4,45 8: 3,99

    IC2: I see nothing wrong with this one..

    1: 3,95 8: 9,16
    2: 3,95 7: 8,56
    3: 3,81 6: 8,56
    4: 0,00 5: 0,00

    Thanks a lot!

    1. My build was making noise at the exact same spot, my problem was I'd totally missed the 22uf electrolytic, assuming you haven't done the same, you might want to check you have the polarity of the 22uf correct.

  12. Thanks, Dexxy, I think Im closer to the solutiom, resoldered IC1 pins with voltage problems, and now ic has right voltage, motorboating dissapeared and I got volume, (although it doesnt reach higher than unity)
    Tone, and solo volume, ( doesnt make a great difference too, at least by the moment) but i got no gain dirtiness at all, i've measured the only components i didnt measure supossing they would be right, pots, and between drive 1 and 3 it doesnt measure even 1 k.... Well, ) I ll change it, but then I audio probed it again and at the same point, 1M Resistorv10th strip, it stops sounding, with capacitors being well placed, just a questio, do you got audio with the audio probe in ALL the circuit?
    Thank you!

    1. I was in the same boat as you - wired it all up and got motorboating problems. Checked the circuit 10 times over, knifed all the gaps between the strips, double checked off board wiring, replaced the chips. Was beginning to think that it was a problem with the layout and then - boom - noticed a leg of the first 1 meg resistor was one strip too high! I have a pedalboard full of effects built from here, this must be like my 50th build in total and I go and do something daft like that ...

      So as a word of encouragement, it's often something really simple that you'll end up kicking yourself for. I must have looked at that resistor placement 100 times before I realised it was out!

      By they way, I joined you all in a whisky last night to celebrate. Not a JD - I'm a bit of a single-malt snob, so I went for a lovely bit of Caol Ila 18 year old instead. :)

    2. Thank you all, people! Finally got it running! My faulty place cap was the 2u2 at the opposite Gain pot, now it sounds how its supposed to! So nice!D A big thank you!

    3. Well done Sergio, debugging can be a pain but it can also be very worthwhile.

  13. Anybody else's build have a lot more gain than they thought it would? Built this successfully, but I can't seem to get the low-gain overdrive sound that they have around 1.40 of the demo video. The gain knob just goes from medium-high to high gain. The pedal tone is great, it's just a little more aggressive than the demo vid.

    I'm thinking of adding another pair of diodes in series to tame down the gain a little, anybody else got any suggestions or comments?


    1. I'm also wondering the same thing. I bypassed 1K resistor on Gain3, but still having some gain. Playing a humbucker through this pedal with drive all the way down still sounds like overdrive rather than a clean boost. Is it natural?

  14. I've been wanting one of these for a while but couldn't come up with $300 to buy the real one. I'd love to build this, but I am new to it and I need some help. What are the best components to use on this project? Anything in particular?

  15. I'm sorry again for the newbie post, but does this list look right to somebody?


    1K - 7
    1M - 2
    47K - 1
    10K - 6
    100K - 2
    4K7 - 2
    22K - 3
    6K8 - 1


    2u2 - 4
    22u - 1
    220u - 1
    6n8 - 3
    22n - 2
    220n - 1
    47p - 1
    680p - 3




    1N4148 - 2

    And I need 2 DPDT switches with LEDs, 4 10K Lin pots, and two jacks? Is that complete? I apologize for the newbie-ness, andask your patience and help. :)

    1. Can't really count components on my tiny phone but I'd go with a dpdt for solo switch and 3pdt for true bypass with led.
      it is also somewhat important if you are going for dc+battery, only battery or only dc. you might need a dc jack or a battery snap and depending on your target configuration you might need one stereo jack instead of mono.
      oh, and get sockets for your ics.

  16. Hello,

    I have very strange problem with this pedal.

    First, it worked great, sound was great, and then just stopped working. I hear sound but with interruption - when it gets low or high level from guitar it just mutes, levels in between I hear sound.

    I tried to track problem and found out when I desolder 47k resistor there is no interruptios any more but level and gain are too low. I tried everything, changed IC, almost all caps, some resistors, checked everything and it seems everything is ok. It is strange because it was working and suddenly problem occur, I didn't solder or desolder anything.

    I hope I explained well and someone can help me.


    1. If the sound is intermittent then it strongly suggests a bad solder joint somewhere. Post a pic of the back of your board and we can see if anything obvious can be seen

    2. Yes, it is intermittent, but depends only on guitar signal, it cuts of when weak or strong signal comes from guitar. Here is picture:

  17. Hello all, I'm new to electronics and I've just built that one and have a problem with it, in bypass mode the sound level is ok, but as soon as I turn it on I loose volume and the sound coming out the amp is low, It looks like working but at very very low volume, would somebody be kind enough to give me hints on where to look, Thanks

    1. Low volume is often caused by an unwanted short between tracks (or in cuts) or cold joints, but the first thing to check with any effect that isn't working as intended is the voltages of the ICs and/or transistors. So if you can measure the DC voltage between each of the two IC pins and ground, that will give us a really good indication what area the problem may be in.

    2. TL074

      1- 3.94 8- 8.0
      2- 3.94 9- 8.0
      3- 3.54 10- 8.0
      4- 8.93 11- 0
      5- 3.91 12- 3.86
      6- 3.95 13- 3.86
      7- 3.95 14- 3.86


      1- 1.27 5- 8.93
      2- 5.53 6- 8.22
      3- 1.17 7- 8.22
      4- 0 8- 0

      Thank you very much your work here and your help is appreciated

    3. It doesn't matter her because I can see the positioning, but the numbering goes like this:


      And the same order for the other IC. The ones that look suspicious are in the TL074 which you have marked up as 8, 9 and 10 but are really 12, 13 and 14. Those shouldn't be as high as 8V so check around that area for anything misplaced. Check the links and soldering are all ok, and check for any shorts across the tracks. Something there isn't right

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  18. G2D Morpheus please, i wanna build it with vero. Thanks :)

  19. Hello and nice greetins from austria. I already built the overdrive this weekend. Great sound, but i have a massive volume boost if i turn on the volume pot. At almost closed volume i get the same volume level as my clean volume, and second, if i activate the boost switch i just get a slightly boost and on maximum boost it adds a little bit of harshness. As a beginner of building effect, i hope you can help me out. Best regards Gerry

    1. Then you have probably incorrectly connected the boost switch. Go from the Solo Pot (middle pin) straight to the Solo switch connection one.

  20. Hey Mark (or anyone), what could I mod on this circuit to get a little more bass? Thanks.

  21. Hello:) can anyone hellp me Ive concted the 2pdt solo switch but I don't know how to put led indicator?

  22. Hi from italy ;)
    there is a photo of the finished pedal... vero wiring ecc... thank you so much

  23. I recently built this pedal and it sounds great. But I was wondering how I would go about getting less bass from the pedal. I have the tone to 11 and it is still a little too bass heavy for me.

    1. EDIT: I figured out what went wrong. I was double checking the values on my layout. and I noticed that my 6n8parts were mislabelled and were actually 68n. I didn't have any 6n8 so I placed some 5n in and the pedal is much better. Super happy with this build.

  24. is it possible to make the boost section before the drive instead of after. or even have an order toggle for it

  25. I built this and works apart from the boost CCW around 5% boost I get a loud velcro sound fully CCW turns off all sound ,the boost only works at 90% CW cant figure out how to fix it.

  26. incredible pedal !!! everything works, the increase of the solo key is great to give a shine and increase in the right measure IMHO. thank you, greetings from brazil !!!