Sunday, 28 May 2017

Darkglass Microtubes B3K

"The Microtubes B3K is an unusual tool - a perfect combination of brutality and clarity. It delivers defined and powerful saturation in an intuitive format. There are no rules and no limits, so dig in and unleash your tone.

Level: Sets the volume of the overdriven signal.
Drive: Sets the amount of saturation in the overdriven signal.
Blend: Mixes the clean input signal with the overdriven signal. The clean signal remains at unity gain while the volume of the overdriven signal is set by the Level knob, allowing for fine control of the blend ratio.
Grunt Switch: Sets the amount of low frequency content to saturate by selecting between three different bass boost levels before the clipping stage.
Attack Switch: Sets the amount of treble content to saturate: The œBoost setting emphasizes the treble content extra clarity and presence. The œFlat position leaves this register untouched while the œCut position will reduce the amount of high frequencies being saturated. This new addition helps to keep the treble portion of the signal under control, specially useful when playing with new strings and/or cabinets with tweeters.

You can find the original FSB thread and schematic here.

The layout (like the Friedman BE-OD) has been verified as "working" in the forum section but the original has been built using SMD components and there's been some "guessing" in some of the values.
I don't know how close it is to the B3K (it may be 100%) but this is the best schematic we can get at the moment.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Locobox Mysto-Dysto Distortion Unit

Very little info around on this late 70's / early 80's unit. Check the FSB thread for details. I snatched the image off from fxdb...

Now. What's this all about.. The way i see it, we have a buffered OD250/Dist+ gain stage (including clipping diodes shunt to ground), followed by a sort-of active BMP tone stack and an output buffering. It may not sound all that great as it is, but there is a lot of room for your own improvements. First of all, one could up the input cap for 47n or 100n and up the 47n coming from distortion control for 220n or even 470n to get a lot more lows through. Next, the tone stack is quite abysmal. I would probably double the cap values there too. Then the unity amplifier making the tone stack active is what it is - an unity amplifier. Either lower the input resistor from 100K to 47K or up the feedback resistor from 100K to 220K. That should make the circuit roar. Also, for added stability, up the filter caps to choice. And finally, try on a few different diode setups for the clippers. Not all of these may be required to nail your new favorite tone, but most of them should be worth a try. Anyway. Maybe you should try and have your way with this one.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Noah'sArk Distortion "M"

Not much info around of this japanese "Marshall in a box" type distortion. It does sound pretty good though.. Junko seems a bit nervous on the demo.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Catalinbread Katzenkönig

Damn i like this brand. Cool, great sounding designs and lots of them. And i was surprised the schematic was up at their site. I only have a few originals, but i'm strongly tempted to get more..

Info from Catalinbread:
We combined the best elements of a Tone Bender MkII fuzz with a Rat distortion to create something that sings like a fuzz but is tight like a distortion. It loves humbuckers and single coils. It loves your cranked amp and your super-clean amp.

Katzenkönig was tuned to offer a huge range of response – from a really beautiful singing tone, to tight, harmonically-rich crunch, all the way to fuzz mayhem.
A simple, four-knob control scheme allows you to dial in your sound quickly and without much fuss:
INPUT – Controls the input sensitivity. Turn it down when using higher output pickups and humbuckers or to dial in your wah sound (more on that later). Turn it up for lower output pickups or for when you want to go over-the-top!
GAIN – Controls the gain of the second gain stage. It is not a conventional gain control, rather, it controls the amount of negative feedback in that stage. What does that mean for you? It means you get a wide ranging gain control that sounds great throughout it’s entire rotation!
FILTER – Allows you to dial in your final tone from smooth and creamy all the way to bright and cutting. You can quickly find the sweet spot for your rig with this control. If you are familiar with the Filter control on a Rat then what you’ll find is that this is an even better version of that idea!
VOLUME – Standard volume control. You’ll find that Katzenkönig sounds great turned down quiet or cranked up and loud!

To get familiar with your new Katzenkönig, let’s begin by plugging it straight into your amp set to a clean sound with no other pedals in the chain.
Set the controls as follows: Volume – noon, Filter – noon, Gain – minimum, Input – minimum.
Now play a bit to get a feel for how it responds. Go ahead and mess with the Filter knob to see how it works. You’ll notice that unlike most fuzz and distortion pedals, Katzenkönig sounds great at minimum gain settings.
Now go ahead and start experimenting with the Gain and Input controls. You’ll notice that they both increase gain but in different ways. Leave one at minimum and start turning the other up. Then leave the other at minimum and turn the other one up. And yes, cranking them both up leads to extreme fuzz, sustain, and saturation!
At lower Gain and Input settings, Katzenkönig’s response is tight, like a great distortion pedal. You can play chugging, palm-muted riffs that you wouldn’t be able to get away with on a standard fuzz pedal. But turn up the Gain and Input, and you can get those epic harmonic blooms that you normally associate with a great fuzz pedal!


Monday, 15 May 2017

Friedman BE-OD

"Designed by tone-guru-to-the-stars David Friedman, the BE-OD overdrive pedal faithfully captures the sonic impact of Friedman’s legendary BE-100 amplifier–known in some circles as the Brown Eye, and favored by serious musicians the world over.
The BE-OD overdrive delivers authentic tube amplifier sound from a compact pedal with the controls needed to shape your tone, including volume, gain, tight, bass, treble and presence. These responsive knobs will take you from light, slightly broken-up overdrives to straight-up gain nirvana"
Original FSB thread and schematic available here.