Wednesday, 18 March 2020

EarthQuaker Devices The Warden

Original Info:
The Warden is an optical compressor with a feature set usually reserved for studio grade units. Built with high grade components and internally powered by 18v, The Warden has loads of gain and sustain on tap. With complete control over attack, release, sustain and ratio, The Warden will allow everything from a heavy squash with fast attack and release to “barely there” subtle compression. Optical compression has a reputation for having more character than a VCA or FET based compression and The Warden is no exception. 

There was already an old post for this pedal that had been put on hold.
It was easier to start a new one to avoid confusion
I've used the schematic from pedalpcb for this layout.


43 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting! I haven't seen a new post on here in a while =)

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  2. Good to see you back! Going to give this a crack in the next few days

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  3. Thank you for the update, the EQD Warden seems very interesting !
    Glad to see some new layouts posted, too :)

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  4. Cool! Something new to build! First post of 2020, thanks Alex!

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  5. I swore off compressors.. until this came up.. I like the optical ones.. now I have to build this

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  6. Hello. Thanks to the layout.
    I tried to track it with the schematic. It's ok, except a pair of thing.

    1. The less important is a missing of a further 100nF filter cap in the power supply. It's easy to include it, if we want, in parallel to the 10uF to the extreme left.

    2. In the schematic the pin 5 of 1044 goes to the ground, in the layout is isolated. Is it a mistake or it's fine just like that?
    In case, we can fix it moving to left the cut track next pin 5 and under the 1004, to get it closer the pin 4, and using a jumper from the pin 5 under the 1044 to three stipes down (the seventh one) and connect it the ground.

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    1. 100n is not necessary.
      I've never grounded pin 5 but if you want it can be done the way you've suggested.

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  7. Thanks for another great layout Alex!
    I was just about to build the Keeley 4 knob comp, could I ask which one people think is the better?
    Take care all, crazy time in history we're witnessing atm..

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  8. Thanks for the layout Alex.
    Just finished building this one. Everything appears to be working correctly. It feels completely different than my Engineers Thumb which is on my board currently. Not in a bad way, just different. Have to spend some time with it, can't wait to see how others like it.

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    1. On my build with the pedalpcb board, I think the ratio knob is not really effective, and on yours? Cheers

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    2. The ratio pot seems to be working correct. In so far as full clockwise is max compression and compression is reduced as you turn it counter clockwise. The change is subtle but I don't really have anything to compare it to say if it is working correctly.

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  9. Couldn’t you theoretically save yourself some time and clip the legs off of the 1044 chip? It would only save a few cuts, but still

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  10. Hello,
    Is it still unverified?

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    1. KG, I have built this and it works great. Alex, can we tag this one verified.

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    2. Excellent ! That's very good to know : thank you Ithop :)
      You built it stock, with no mods?

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    3. I also built it just like the schematic here and it works great, really happy with this one

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    4. KG, my build only change was I used a 7660s in place of the 1044.

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  11. Thank you both for the further information and feedback

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  12. Hello,
    I built it today : it's a nice, full-featured compressor.
    I tried with a 7660S, and could hear whining. I swapped it for a 1054, and it was really silent as expected.
    My only concern is the tone pot which doesn't seem to do much...

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    1. Great to hear! What ldr combo did you use? And how is the ratio pot?

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    2. -I wrapped my own 5mm white led+ LDR in heat shrink tube, and it did the trick perfectly.
      -It's hard to talk about the ratio pot out of context : i have found every parameters to be very "linked", so it is a matter of setting them up all together. What I can tell is that i have found that compressor to be more of a "gooey" type than a "smashing" type, if that makes sense...

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  13. Well, if it works, it works :)

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  14. Hi
    How would one do to add a gain reduction indocator led?
    Thank you

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  15. I have a real unit I borrowed from a mate for comparison. When maxed out, the sustain knob on this layout adds a fair amount of unwanted distortion, which I noticed disappeared when the LDR detected light. The real unit has a very bright white indicator LED on the front which I suspect allows light inside the enclosure. I added a white LED inside the unit and directed it such that it takes the edge off this distortion perfectly.
    The only other snag is that, when fully counter clockwise, the attack knob adds a ticking noise - I would never use this setting and so I have decided to live with it. All other settings are extremely close to the original unit (LDR is from Tayda).

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  16. I third the white LED... I'm still testing but this works great with a TL082 I may like this better than the really cheap compressor.

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  17. Would that be a good candidate for Gilmourish clean strat sounds ?

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  18. Do I need to do anything special with the LDR or LED? Or just solder them like any other component?

    I recall seeing something from another circuit about heatshrink tubing and positioning the LED relative to the LDR. Is anything like that required here?

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  20. You're essentially making
    A vactrol from a led and
    Ldr for this fx ?

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    1. Pretty much. I've done it a bunch. Works well

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  21. It works.... built it as per schematic. The only issue I had was that the + side of the white LED was 17.6v, so had to put a 470Ohm resistor on the led otherwise would have blown the LED.

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  22. Hi!! Is it a problem if I use some 16V electrolytic capacitors ???

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    1. Hi, As far as I know, yes : the 1044 IC is a charge pump, which means it converts the 9V input into 18V.
      Therefore, you should use capacitors rated above 18V (25V, for instance).

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  23. I would Like to know how the Led acts If everything works right🤔
    I build my Warden With the ldr and Led combined to one Part. I mean i flattened the Led, Sanded and polished it. I Glued it onto the ldr after that and fixed everything With a light poly clear coat.
    For now the Led Lights Up as soon as i Plug in the 9v. It doesnt Matter If the Pedal is engaged. The light or better the brightness depends to the Release Pot but what ever Happens (for example playing guitar or increaein/decreasing Volume) it slowly fades away. Sometimes when its engaged there is a small glimpse. The Pedal kinda works, but i am Not sure it works right and would Like to know how that light should act or better how it acts in your builds🤔

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  25. There's a new version at pedalpcb called "Boneyard Edition" https://www.pedalpcb.com/product/pcb339/
    Could somebody explain the difference please?

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    1. There are some improvements by Chuck D Bones:
      https://forum.pedalpcb.com/threads/delegate-warden-upgrades.3044/

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  26. I'm trying to build this right now. I only have electrolytic 1uf caps. If put the positive leg connecting to TONE 3 will it work? Also assuming for the 1uf cap at the input I should out the negative leg to the input?

    Or do they have to be non polarised caps for the circuit to work?

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  27. Fantastic - especially when I can not buy the PedalPCB in Europe.
    But I'm wondering; what are the yellow 1u and 22n, and the Burgundy 100n and 100p? Are they nonpolarized capacitors?

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  28. can i use 2 100pf ceramic caps instead of the 100pf mylar capacitors?

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  29. and am i able to use another 2n5089 instead of the mpsa18?

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