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).

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pink Jimi Photon's Transmission OD

Incorporating couple of cool ideas, here' one from the man, Pink Jimi Photon. Note that the master volume control is optional and anything smaller than 1M will probably hurt the output level. The level should be within reasonable limits without it.
Here's the original description:
Positive it's been done a gazillion times before. but one little twist... i added a simple control to be able to "pan" between the two clippers... one made with 1n4001's (slower clipping for the lows) and one with 1n4148's (faster clipping for the highs)... it works, kinda sorta.. it's more noticeable at some settings than others, it's mostly useful for dialing in "touch sensitivity"..
the tone control is what it is, fairly simple and crude... but for one freekin' transistor, it actually works pretty well!! at least i think it does..
i didn't put a master volume on it. you just crank up the gain to where ya want it. unity gain is about 8:00, above that it just kinda gets more saturated (and a bit louder)...

how does it sound? kinda like a tube screamer. ::) which wasn't what i really expected at all... it's a kinda nasal middy overdrive, cleanish, but enough to bump an amp into a really nice natural overdrive sound.

Monday, 24 June 2013

EHX Bassballs

Little something more for the bassists.. Should work nicely on guitar too.

Sekova FA-II Fuzz

Check out Tonemachines blog post for this 1969 japanese beauty.
Apparently, this is exactly the same circuit that can be found inside Apollo Fuzz and Crestwood Fuzz boxes...
The circuit uses "positive ground" with PNP Ge transistors. Mind the power supply or use a charge pump.

Now verified. Different transistor models/individuals will affect the output level, so it's recommended to use sockets to find out the perfect set. Or you could tweak the board and replace collector resistors with trimmers.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

HBE Hematoma

You bassists on here are pretty speedy builders, so who will build this first? :o)

At 22 x 14 this will fit in a 1590B if you file the sides down a bit, but with it being a two stomp effect you'll probably want to put it in a 1590BB or at least a 125B anyway.  But it could be squeezed in a 1590B, Box of Rock style, for someone brave/masochistic enough.

Pre Input and Pre Gain 2 are the connections for the Preamp stomp, Input and Level 2 for the main effect stomp, so each can be switched independently.

I have done this as per the scheme of the original, but a few mod suggestions for those that way inclined from D-Day on FSB:

The only way I could get the gain right was to put the tone section before the second op-amp exactly as a regular TS. It also seems to sound better without the 1M from the base of Q2 (mpsa18) to VB. I decreased the 1.5K from pin 1 to 5 to 1K and preferred it. Lastly it seemed to sound best with .47 coming from the clipping arrangement to ground instead of VB.

To use a regular TS style tone control, you would take the Tone 3 connection straight to Level 3, and you would need to remove the EQ Shift switch and the 100n and 3n3 which connect to EQ Shift 1 and 3.  Then pins 5 and 6 of the IC connect to Tone 1 and 3 respectively (you will have to alter the row you use for the Level 3 connection), and Tone 2 connects to ground via a 220n cap and 220R resistor in series (or alter the values based on the frequency response you want).  We have enough dead on TS clones though which is why I've left it as per the original, but there's the info for those who like to play. :o)

Info about the original:

The Hematoma is a two channel bass guitar pedal consisting of a Pre-Amp and an Overdrive.  Pre-amp and Overdrive can be used independently or combined.  Carefully constructed circuitry allows the original bass tone to pass through unaltered.  No loss of low end.  Pre-amp Features:  Pre-gain control for up to 5db boost.  Overdrive Features:  Gain, Level, Tone and EQ Shift toggle which changes the sweep of the tone control and provides a warmer smoother tone when engaged. True-Bypass Switching.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Arion MMP-1 Metal Plus

Here's something cool. The design reminds me of something else a lot - i think some of you may want to take the diodes on a switch with red 3mm LEDs :)
Original unit has NEC C157C metal can IC in it, but NEC's own cross reference guide says that this particular IC has been obsolete since around 1975 and it's exactly the same IC as LM301AN, a PDIP-8 chip that is still quite a standard. Original output buffer is marked as 536 in the schematic, so i guess that would be 2SC536 or 2SC5368. Nevertheless, it's still just an output buffer, so i used your average everyday pinout. This way you could use something like 2N3904 or 2N5088 in it's place.

Very little info available. Other than one near mint unit was apparently sold for $250 couple of years ago...

Now verified. I swapped 68p for 470p to tame oscillation, and there were couple slight issues (one cap was typoed to 330n instead of 33n, tone was in reverse, pot tapers felt wrong as those are not stated in the schematic). All those are now fixed. This is in fact very nice Rat alternative. I also used 1N4007s for clippers. Recommended build.

Ibanez STL Super Tube

Doron! I think you meant this one and not the MSL :P

To add a few words, the clipping diodes are placed neatly where you can easily take them on the switch and have your way with them. I would probably go with three position two pole switch and have the middle as diode lift, other end as four 1N4148s (two in series and two of those in parallel for more volume) and other with 2 or 4 1N4001s or LEDs.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

DOD Overdrive Preamp 250 Reissue

Got an early 90s unit recently, the chinese reissue with JRC4558 chip. I'm still really surprised how good it sounds. So i do think this is very neglected and underrated pedal. I've added polarity protection diode and pulldown resistor for the input. The chip is stated as KA4558 in the italian reissue schematic i found (and some random gutshots from the web confirm that), but you could try any dual opamp in there. Now you can build your own with true bypass, indicator LED and standard power jack!

Ibanez TS10 Tube Screamer

Edit 31.7.2016 - There was still one crucial error on the layout, which made the board defunct. Fixed and tweaked a few things around to accomodate the polarity protection etc. *Should* finally be safe to build. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Banzai Coldfusion

Request.  Hmmm, I'm spotting a few similarities to something else here! :o)  But true bypass switching and so without the famous buffer.  It does have a lot of changes though and some of them will undoubtedly make a difference and affect the final tone, so worth a build for you Klon fans. Note the two required ground connections, just daisy chain the connection or add a column and link if you prefer.

Info about the original:

The Cold Fusion Overdrive is a true overdrive that naturally melts with your guitar and amplifier rather than just changing your sound. The pedal has two distinct fields of application: If the Gain control is set at zero the Cold Fusion is providing more than 25dB of clean boost - more than enough to seriously overdrive the preamp tubes of your amplifier and get a natural cranked amp tone.

When you turn the Gain up past 9:00 you can gradually add more and more distortion. The Gain control is a dual pot that controls different parts of the circuit simultaneously, to produce a transparent, warm overdrive at any setting. The Gain knob and the Tone knob are useable throughout their whole range and are capable of producing many shades of overdrive. The spectrum extends from "touch of dirt" to "bluesy tube sound".

Unlike other overdrive pedals the Cold Fusion Overdrive doesn't have that nasty nasal, mid-rangey taste to it and it doesn't lose bottom end when cranked. An impressive crystal clear boost and fat, dirty overdrive sounds are the hallmarks of the pedal. The active tone control lets you cut or boost different parts of the frequency spectrum with no loss.A true bypass with LED indicator instead of a cheap input buffer and a 2,1mm barrel jack 9V connector are standard features with Banzai.

Revised layout based on the updated Klon layout.  The choice is yours.

Nobels DT1 Distortion

Not too much info around on this beloved cheapo pedal, but it seems to be of fairly good design. For the layout, i've omitted the input buffer to keep the size down. The output buffer has 2SK30-style pinout for couple of reasons. First, the original (schematic states K222E) is not that common. Second, it's just a buffer, so you should have exactly the same results with any NPN BJT in its place. Third, some of you might really want to try this with a BJT instead of JFET to preserve the stock they have. I thought about omitting the output buffer too, but the tonestack has vref voltage in it, so there has to be something to put that out before the output.

Straight-as-straight-can-be Distortion. A must-have for every Hardrock or Heavy Metal player.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Knight KG389 Fuzz Box

Originally sold as a kit, this seems like a nice adaptation of Sam Ash/Astrotone fuzz. Not sure about the original transistors, but my best bet would be on the 2N2222 and other relatively low gain devices. Original also has 50n caps, but i think most of you have stock of 47n caps...

Andrea notes on the comments that the transistors in original ktis are likely to be the ceramic BC108C with golden leads. Updated the layouts transistor notes accordingly.

Update: The transistors in original unit are in fact 2N3391As, as clarified by the awesome Tonemachines blog. And by looking at the datasheet, those are rated at 250-500 hFE, so 2N2222s should be just fine - unless, of course, you can find a batch of 2N3391s somewhere...

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mountainking Electronics Megalith

Request.  To save space I did this using a 3 position on/off/on toggle instead of the rotary switch.  You will get the same selections, 10n, 22n and 33n.  Well you'll actually get 32n with my toggle but it's close enough, although if you do want it with exactly the same values you could always hand select a 22n cap that is closer to 23n :o)  If you want a smaller box than the original, this has the potential to be mounted sideways in a 1590B if anyone is feeling brave, Box of Rock style.

Info about the original:

Create an unstoppable wall of fuzz and vibratory energy, capable of conquering all in its pathway. Its versatile filter circuitry allows for a wide range of tones and textures that allows the Megalith to work well with both guitar and bass.

The MORE HEAVY feature will allow you to cause localized disturbances in the Earth's magnetic field and may cause temporary blurred vision...

So there you have it ... BROOTZ!