Sunday, 31 March 2013

Casper Electronics Echobender

Something weird to do with your extra PT2399s. From Casper Electronics :

The Echo Bender is a mix of multi FX pedal and noise maker.
It can process external signals like guitars, keyboards, mics and drum machines or it can create complex sounds on its own.

It can function in several different stand alone modes: 
-Warm analog sounding echo.
-Highly adjustable distortion.
-Ring mod style feedback.
-Complex noise generator.
-These modes can be used on their own or it can all be mixed together to achieve effects ranging from melodic and dreamy to chaotic and screamy.

The noise generating capabilities are especially interesting. The echo rate range has been set much lower than the standard echo pedal. When the rate is turned WAY down, the sound breaks up into blipping squeals and screeches. Combine this with distortion and feedback tones and a reverse decay setting and you’ve got a lot of variety and tonal complexity.

Video demos and additional information on the Casper Electronics site.

Runoffgroove Azabache

As requested. A long time ago. Size of the board tells you why it wasn't drawn up earlier....

From ROG:
More than a year ago we set out to revise and improve the Professor Tweed. Several approaches were pursued, but we were unsatisfied with the results. One of the downfalls was the high level of interaction between the tone and gain controls. Just as in the original Princeton amp, the tone control became ineffective when gain was set close to maximum. In addition, this arrangement was adequate only for a very specific type of sound.

We decided to step away from the inspiring amp's circuit and concentrate on developing a solution superior both in tone and usability. Builders may notice that the design does not correspond to any particular existing amp or pedal circuit. Though the use of a modified "Big Muff Pi" style tonestack is apparent, it is placed before the overdrive sections as opposed to its common location as a final tone shaping device.

The result is a circuit that is much more flexible and refined than its predecessor, and in our opinion it captures a wider variety of Fender-like tones. We have named this new circuit Azabache, which is the Spanish word for "black amber". The duality of its name recalls the Blackface and Tweed aesthetics.

This pedal has a very effective and flexible Tone control that varies the sound from fat and warm when set fully counterclockwise, to full at the center, to thin and bright at the clockwise end. In addition, two switches further expand the tonal possibilities: a Bright switch adds a glassy character to the sound, while a Scoop switch reduces the midrange around 400Hz to achieve more clarity. The different switch combinations produce several sounds which we have loosely named as follows: 

Bright OFF / Scoop OFF: Blonde mode
Bright ON / Scoop OFF: Brown mode
Bright OFF / Scoop ON: Silver mode
Bright ON / Scoop ON: Black mode

As for the Gain knob, it can adjust the sound from almost clean, to a warmed-up light overdrive, to a medium overdrive, to a quite gainy overdrive. Each stage is set up to produce a moderate amount of gain while avoiding hard clipping in the JFET itself. The result is a refined overdrive with a natural note decay that reacts very well to the guitar's volume knob.

Finally, the tone shaping that takes place at the end is essentially modeled after the distinct frequency response of a Jensen P10R speaker, with its bright tone and deep 400 Hz notch. We think of this part of the circuit as a mini-Condor Cab Sim because the frequency response is akin to the Condor, however adapted to take into account that another amp and guitar speaker will follow afterwards.

Overall tone was optimized for solid-state amps that are moderately bright. If using a very bright guitar and/or amp it may be desirable to tame overall brightness a bit by changing the 1n capacitor between Q4 and Q5 to 1n5. Conversely, a bit more brightness could be achieved by replacing said capacitor with 680p. For best noise performance, it is recommended to use metal film resistors and replace the drain trimpots with fixed resistors once the necessary value is determined. Good wiring and shielding techniques are also encouraged.

Video of Geiri's build:

And according to discussion below (and the ROG post on DIYSB), the excessive treble content on the tone control can be cured by just lowering or shorting the 47K resistor at tone pot lug 1 connection. So here's a "fixed" version of the layout. I used 4K7 for this resistor, which should be  low enough to achieve better tone control. But you can go even lower or replace that resistor with a link if you want to.

Behringer VT911 Vintage Tube Overdrive

Now that i'm back home, i thought i'd post a few more big ones for this month. You know. There's 31 days in march and we only had 28 layouts out.. So here's couple more to match the number of days. :)

I never thought i'd draw up a Behringer original, but once i saw this it just made sense. IC pinout is matching the TL074, as there's not that much easily obtainable info around about the original "Coolaudio Quad Opamp". I'm just guessing that the pinout matches with TL074. Anyway.. This is quite nice and relatively simple 9V tube circuit. You should probably try out other pin-to-pin equivalent tubes in there too.

I'd really like to see this one done in 1590B with a tube socket on top :P

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Pearl OD-5 Overdrive

Do not start building this one yet as it contains errors. Norwichbadger's amazing footwork on the comments will tell you how to fix yours, if you've built it already. I'll be fixing the layout or redrawing it at some point...


Olav's relentless requesting took a few things before i got it done. First, he stated that he's happy with the PCB layout he found on the internet. :) And about four months. Told you it was going to be huge.

Transistor pins are once again made for modern everyday transistors like 2N3904, 2N5088 and so on. Original unit has 2SC2240s in it, so if you want to use those, just mind the pinout. Anyway. Here it is. Let's just hope it is correct. And happy easter for everyone!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Danelectro Fab Tone

Since we're having a streak of big boards... :) Guess i'm getting old too since it's been over 15 years since this appeared on the marked.. This layout is without the input, output and switching buffers. Should still go nicely in B box. The transistors were 2SC1815GR on the original, but i've tweaked the layout to accept more commonly used pinouts. If you want to use the original ones, just mind the pinout. There's room to get the BCE transistors in neatly. But you should be golden with any NPN, like 2N5088, 2N3904, BC549 or BC550.

Fab distortion from the Tube Pioneers.

Danelectro pioneered tube amps in 1947. This hot little box delivers the definitive vintage distortion. Its tonality covers a range far superior to most popular distortion units. 2 tone controls offer infinite variation.

*Edit! There were two wrong cap values on the layout - now fixed! (2016/07/16)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Citrus Graphic MKII

*Errors at the tone stack section have now been fixed...
*Errors in the schematic (
coupling caps at 0.068µ and not 0.68µ) have now been fixed on the layout...

As requested. Paul Nelson's Orange Graphic MKII stomp box adaptation. I knew this one will get huge the minute i saw the schematic, but it turned out a lot more compact in the end. Even got it nice and relatively symmetric. The FAC switch is a 2 pole 6 position rotary. If you're not familiar with how to wire those, check out Mark's layout for Rangemaster with switchable input caps to get a hold of it. 2N5457 and J201 were suggested for transistors, but you could try out any JFETs you like. Trimmers are used to set the the Drain voltages for ~4.5V.

I've tweaked the FAC cap values for not chaining all the caps after each other, so that part is not 1:1 with the schematic, but the values should be close enough.

With a rotary switch and 5 pots, this won't be a simple task for fitting it in 1590B, but i think it may just barely be doable :P

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Boss BD2 Blues Driver

Requested by loads of people. I originally thought this would be a job for PCB, but after several more requests I had a think about it and estimated this may just about fit is a 1590B if I was careful.  It turns out it will fit more comfortably than I expected.  It will probably still need to be mounted with components facing down, especially with the dual log pot, but it'll still be fairly comfortable IMO.

Info from Boss about their original:

The BD-2 Blues Driver delivers the creamy, yet crunchy sound associated with great blues guitar. This popular pedal provides instant access to the kind of warm overdrive and emotive distortion usually reserved for 30-year-old tube amps.

    Classic "blues" guitar tones with tube amp simulation
    Warm distortion and overdrive
    Responds to nuance and volume changes 

Montarbo Sinfhoton

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Bearfoot Baby Pink Booster

Info about the Bjorn designed original:

The Baby Pink Booster is a booster with clean transparent boost and very fine Line Driver in bypass position. It sports adjustable and switchable boosts ranging from unity to approximately 8 times or +18 dB, which is the practical limit with the signal levels and supply voltage range used in conventional effects-empirically derived.

Baby Pink Booster was designed to do just the transparent natural clean boost, there is no overdrive or distortion options, to include an overdrive with Clean Boost one would have to compromise one or the other, we recommend Baby Blue OD or Dyna Red Dist for distortion. The unit doesn't have even Tone knob because it doesn't alter your tone, it just boost your signal and doesn't color your tone at all.

And with it's 180 degree phase bend you can even use it to connect the two channels of your vintage Fender amps (more about this later).

Baby Pink Booster doesn't have a True By Pass but a very well designed Line Driver (buffered output).
It is good to have one pedal with buffered output or you would loose some signal and high end even with best cables if you drive two cables and few short one between pedals.

Original version:

True Bypass with Boost/Buffer toggle switch:

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Gaspedals Dumbbell

Request. This is a demo of the single knob version, the layout is for the 3 knob version.

Video of Geiri's build of this layout:

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Kendrick Buffalo Pfuz

Geiri's demo of his build:

Dwarfcraft Devices Robot Devil

Maestro FZ-1S Super Fuzz

For some reason i reckon that the world was a lot cooler place 41 years ago.... :)

Boot-Leg JBK-1 Jawbreaker

From manufacturer:
-Heavy bottom. Rich harmonics. High tone which is not too peaky. JBK-1.0 is what all guitarists have been waiting for. In today's music scenes, players are often required to make all kinds of sound with given amplifiers. JBK-1.0 will help you in such situations.

-It covers quite wide range from soft and delicate crunchy overdrive to rock-crushing hard overdrive. Set it as a hard driver with a clean setting amp. Set it as a clear booster with a overdrive setting amp. You will feel sharp sound coming out of the P.A. system at your body.

-Today it is naturally required for professional guitarists to control the color of sound with adjusting the guitar volume. You are lucky! With this JBK-1.0 you feel as if you were controlling the distortion directly with your guitar volume.

-Try it in loud, anyway. You can get the chopping sound even with a clean amp. You can also adjust the "HEAVY" knob to change that chopping feeling.

-This new lineup of Boot-Leg, JBK-1.0 can be used as an amp simulator. This is a big news!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Harrymatic Stutter Distortion

Request. This one comes from Harrymatic's project. Check out the page for more information and demo clip with keyboard. This one has really low part count, but tons of links keep the board pretty big...

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Tremulus Lune

Original design by Dan Green from Commonsound and now a very popular DIY project, this version based on the Tonepad schematic and corrections.  For optional Symmetry pot to give you a sawtooth LFO in each direction, take a feed from Speed 3 and inline, solder in an anti-parallel pair of 1N4148 diodes.  1 of the diodes will go to Sym 1, the other to Sym 3, then Sym 2 links to Smooth 3 or Fine 1 & 2.  The 4ms versions removes the Fine pot if you opt for the Symmetry pot, but there's no reason you can't use both if you want to.  The Symmetry pot would be 500K.

The LDR ideally needs to be wrapped with D1 (black heat shrink tubing is great for doing that) or at least mounted facing each other.  I purposely placed only links and thin leads between the two components and I have left enough separation so they can lean into each other, lie flat and be wrapped comfortably.

3 knob version without Fine and Spacing control as requested:

4 knob version without Fine control, but with Symmetry control and Spacing trimmer:

Monday, 11 March 2013

Mr Black Boost Tiger

Info about the original:

Young grasshopper: to feel the boost, you must learn the way of the tiger.  To feel the tiger, you must learn the way of the boost.

Roaring out over +20dB of powerful, clean tiger-boost, the Boost Tiger breathes life, vigor and super-tiger-powers into your tone.

WARNING:  This pedal is extremely powerful.  Mr. Black is not responsible for any damage to other pedals, amps, guitars, ears, people or medium to large prey affected by its use.

Geiri's demo of his build

New version, revision B1 from schematic provided by Jack Deville

Greg Fryer Treble Booster Deluxe

Well built simple Brian May signature booster. And the original unit is reasonably priced, goopless box - so you should concider getting one. Basic info from manufacturer's site:
" Powerful, rich, good treble detail"

• 35 dB gain 
• Punchy rich sound 
• Balance between fatness and treble definition
• Evokes the BM sound of mid 1970s Queen albums "Sheer Heart Attack", "A Day At The Races" and the Brian May 1980s live concert sound.

Adding volume control to the output may be worth a try... (that's 100K log pot, board output to lug 3, lug 2 is your new output and lug 1 to ground...)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Fromel Death is Gain

Info about the original:

Death is Gain - Low to Medium Gain Overdrive.  This pedal is an articulate overdrive that is very responsive to pick attack and playing dynamics. The controls and circuit on this pedal are familiar, but the end result is anything but. 

For starters, there is no mid-hump and the tone control is usable and musical at all settings.  When cranked, the pedal has a rich, creamy tone that hits you in the gut with tight, full bass response.  “Death is Gain” also works especially well for filling out single note passages and stacks well with other drives and boosts.  Every guitar has a sweet spot that can be dialed in by the pedal’s gain control, where light picking will be clean and bell-like, while playing hard will produce overdriven bliss.  From mild, dynamic gain to moderate crunch, “Death is Gain” will take you to tone heaven!

And a video of Geiri's build with a Deep Blue Delay in the same box:

and one on its own:

Saturday, 9 March 2013

BBE Free Fuzz

Modern adaptation of the classic Fuzz Face. Nothing too special about the circuit, except for the fact that it uses biasing methods side by side with the fuzz pot. Original units have two resistors in parallel from Q2 emitter to ground, but i've replaced those with a 22K trimmer for this layout. There's a lot of power filtering going on, and i suspect that the 1000µ may be a slight overkill. You could omit it altogether or try something like 470µ, 220µ or even 100µ in its place.

The manufacturer doesn't list this one on its site anymore, but there seems to be a few aroung the interweb in pricerange of 80-180 usd/gbp/euro...

Friday, 8 March 2013

Colorsound Jumbo Tonebender

A few people were after this one and as it's pretty close to Colorsound Bass Fuzz, i decided to tweak the layout for a Jumbo. Notes on Phillip Bryant's schematic note that this circuit is apparently 1:1 with Colorsound 3-knob Tonebender re-issue..

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Vemuram Jan Ray

Info about the "original" modified Timmy:

A firm natural overdrive with a pleasant silky sustain. An easy to handle overdrive with great sustain without any unnatural compression. It keeps the characteristics of the tones that the guitars naturally produce. The Jan Ray reproduces that great sustaining punchy clear tones of the blackface Fender amps from the 60's. The tone is crispy yet the low is warm and mellow.

And it only costs £300 here in the UK for a blatant rip off!  Bargain!  And so I strongly suggest anyone considering buying one gets themselves a Timmy instead or makes it themself.

[Update 17th July 2014]
I like the compressed setting on the Timmy and so have added an updated layout which includes an additional switch to choose between compressed and uncompressed symmetrical clipping.


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Runoffgroove Professor Tweed

A request. Info from ROG:
One of the often overlooked Fender amps is the tweed-era Princeton. They are excellent guitar amps, especially for blues playing. The major drawback was the 4.5 watt output wasn't enough to keep up with a band. Again, using the technique pioneered by Doug Hammond, we decided to try to capture some of the sound of this little amp in pedal form so it can be used with a band.
The circuit we chose is the 5F2-A Princeton, one of the so-called "narrow panel" amps produced from 1955 to 1960. It was a very simple amp, using one 12AX7, one 6V6 power tube and a 5Y3 rectifier. Since we used 9V DC power, we left out the 5Y3. We used JFETs to replace the two halves of the 12AX7 and the 6V6 power stage.

We took the 5F2-A schematic and copied it part for part using MPF102 JFETs in place of each tube stage. Each tube Grid was replaced by a JFETs Gate. The tube Plates were analogous to a JFET Drain. Finally, a tube Cathode was replaced with a JFETs Source. We used a 100k trimmer for the plate resistors on the schematic due the fickle nature of JFETs and the much lower power supply involved.

Our "artistic license" is in the choice of the last JFETs output cap and the setting of the dual Low Pass Filters. Our goal was to produce the sound of a Jensen speaker. These are typically a little broader in frequency response than something like a Celestion.
Using all MPF102 JFETs, there is a great range of sounds available. No, you won't be playing "South of Heaven" with this pedal, but some classic blues, country, surf and rock sounds live here. The cleaner sounds are compressed and have an edge to them. As you wind up the Volume knob, you'll hear the dirt level increase. At full Volume, there is plenty of nice overdrive that never loses its dynamic feel. Even at full tilt, the circuit can clean up very well.

Possible mods:
Try using a J201 in the first stage. You'll notice the overall available gain increase and the sound will darken a bit. We preferred the sparkle of all MPF102s, but if you use sockets (as is always suggested) for the transistors, you can experiment until you find the combination you like best.
Socket the cap in the feedback loop. It is the 1uF cap connected to the output cap on one end and the 22k feedback resistor on the other. In this socket, try any value from 2n2 to 1uF. The sound will "open up" most around 10n and will "close up" as you get closer to 1uF. Try different values here to find the sound you like most.

Another possible area for modding would be the Tone control, specifically using different values for the 4n7 and 470p caps. The Tone control works well in its stock form, but you may find something interesting by substituting different values here.

Video of Geiri's build:

Monday, 4 March 2013

D*A*M 1966 compact version

Request. For Vince.

Vox Tonebender compact version

I was doing a request, and this one was so close to the one requested, so i thought i'd draw it up too. Mark has published this in the past and that one fits easily in B, but the one i'm posting now should be doable even in A... :) This also features a trimmer for nailing the bias just right for your transistors.

It may sound a bit thin to someone's liking, so upping the 4n7 for 10n, 15n or maybe even 22n would give you much more bass responce.

First up, the PNP version (this uses positive ground, so a inverter circuit as a addon, perhaps?):

And the NPN (to be daisy chainable):

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Boot-Leg JZF-1 Jazz Fuzz

The "Vintage" control looks like something that is new to me...

Video of Geiri's build:

Friday, 1 March 2013

Analogman Sunface NKT275

Positive ground effect so as usual consider using the negative voltage inverter.  Info from Analog Mike about his germanium original:

We are now making these in our own cases, as the Analog Man Sun Face . They are hand-built in the USA in small gold boxes, with our own USA made SUNFACE circuit board, which was made small enough to fit in almost any enclosure. As you can see in the picture down below a bit, this is a VERY high quality board of the same type used on our other pedals. It is better quality than almost any other fuzzface clone you will find, with shielding, plated through-holes, etc to meet military specs. It also has an internal CLEAN trim pot (white knob). This trim pot acts just like turning down the VOLUME knob on your guitar, to clean up the fuzz. It can be used to preset the sound as with the volume knob rolled back a bit. It also allows easier control of the volume knob on your guitar when the white CLEAN trim pot is turned a bit. It can also be used to kill Radio Frequency Interference, which may be a problem on high gain pedals in some areas, by turning it down a hair. like all our handmade pedals, the Sunface has true bypass, so when off they do not alter your sound at all. The CLEAN trimpot will also allow the sunface to work better after a vintage style wah pedal, without having to use a foxrox wah retrofit.

2012 Sun Face : in 2012 we started using a brighter, shinier gold box for the smaller Sunface pedals, as seen on the pedal on the right. I like the gold color better. The Z VEX power plate will fit these cases well too. 

I'd probably suggest using a 10K for the Sundial.  5K + 2K2 doesn't even equal the usual resistor in that position in a Fuzz Face (8K2) and so I think you want to give yourself a bit extra.

Revised 13-03-2014 to use common single turn trimmer.

Analogman Sunface BC108

Info from Analog Mike about his silicon original:

We have some BC108 and BC183 silicon transistors, and have been making silicon Sunfaces for several years now. The BC108 are in small metal cans while the BC183 are plastic. Silicon fuzzfaces came out in about 1969. Dallas Arbiter used both of these types in their Fuzz Face pedals. The silicons are fuzzier than the germaniums, and brighter. The silicon transistors have much higher gain. They don't get totally clean by turning the guitar down like the NKTs but they do clean up quite a bit and are sensitive to your dynamics. Check out the sound sample below to hear this.

We can make a SUNFACE with no extra charge for silicon. There is a small extra charge for modifying and converting an existing germanium fuzz pedal to silicon. The sundial is not really needed, as the silicon transistors are not temperature sensitive. But you can use the sundial knob to dial in different sounds if desired. We do put the BIAS trimpot on the inside of the two-knob sunfaces so you can still tweak it if desired. The Sundial knob may cause more noise on a silicon (high gain) sunface, due to the extra wires, so it may be best to not order the sundial if you want to keep the noise down.

Silicon fuzzfaces are negative ground, so you can use almost any power supply without fear of melting it down. But it still may sound better with an old style battery. The FUZZ knob on the silicon version usually sounds and works best if you turn it down a bit (on the germanium I usually like it up full).

The BC183 transistors we got in 2011 are my favorite for a silicon fuzzface. They are a little warmer than the BC108 and still have plenty of fuzz. We got a large box of these, each individually hermetically sealed in a foil pack, with the same paint stripes on the back that they used in the original 1969 Fuzz face pedals. I think Eric Johnson has BC183 in the red fuzzface that he used for years, and the new 2012 Dunlop Eric Johnson signature Fuzz Face seems to use these too.

Jon Carin (Floyd, The Who, Roger Waters, etc) contacted me in 2012, looking for a fuzz that sounds like the giant lap steel on One Of These Days by the Floyd. I recommended the BC183 Sun Face for him and I think he likes it!

I'd probably suggest using a 10K for the Sundial.  5K + 2K2 doesn't even equal the usual resistor in that position in a Fuzz Face (8K2) and so I think you want to give yourself a bit extra.

Maxon OD808 Reissue

Info about the Maxon reissue:

Originally released in 1979, the Maxon OD808 was one of the first tube-amp overdrive simulators to hit the market. Its smooth, creamy crunch tone caught on quickly, and helped to launch a long line of predecessors as well as imitators. Today, the OD808 design is without a doubt the most used, most imitated and most lauded overdrive circuit of all time. The reason for this is simple ­ tone. Simply put, the OD808 provides the natural, mild overdrive of a tube amp without sacrificing your guitar's original tone. In addition, it can be used as a clean booster to provide increased gain without compromising the sound of your amplifier.

The secret behind the legendary "808 tone" lies in the amplifier section of its circuit. Rather than having an amplifier stage followed by a clipping stage, the Maxon OD808 uses a signal-distorting diode (Panasonic #MA150) that is located in the amplifier stage's negative feedback loop (which also contains the JRC4558 IC chip). Therefore, the Maxon OD808 distorts signal in the amplifier circuit itself which yields a smoother, milder, more natural sounding distortion than a separate clipping stage. This is also the reason that the IC type used in the circuit has such a large impact on the unit's tone. Maxon developed this unique design more than 20 years ago, and while it is commonplace nowadays, back then it was an industry first.

It should be noted that the Reissue Series OD808 uses different output resistors than the original version. After the unit's initial release it was discovered to have a high susceptibility to noise due to static electricity buildup. To improve performance, the positions of the output resistors on the reissue OD808 were reversed and their values increased in order to reduce noise levels. This circuit change has no audible affect on the sound of the unit, save for reducing the noise levels.

Whether it's used as an overdrive or a booster, the Maxon OD808 is the closest you can get to the classic sounds of 1970's rock guitar in a compact effect pedal.

Geiri's build of this layout: