New DIY stuff day (Pedals and things)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by mnemonic, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Here is my Bluesbreaker clone. I got it all put together today also. This is a nice low gain OD pedal. I think it has less gain than a Tubescreamer, and don't have the mid boost of a Tubescreamer. I would say it is kind of flat, but maybe has some extra crunch in the highs. Pretty fat and chunky boosting something else that is high gain, like a Boss BD-2 or similar would. Kind of reminds me of a low gain Rat or BD-2 type pedal. I know the Bluesbreaker, Guv'nor, and Shredmaster were all kind of in the same family, with each adding more gain and EQ.
     

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  2. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Cool, maybe there isn’t anything wrong with it then. It can get a bit above unity volume, but the BE-OD for instance is way louder so I was wondering if something was wrong. I checked all the parts and everything is right, no shorts anywhere. Maybe a different taper on the volume pot would be more ideal.

    My eq was set mostly flat, I’ll try turning it up higher later.

    That tightmetal sounds cool, if not a bit of extra work haha.
     
  3. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Anyway, here are some pictures.

    When painting the box I had some issues getting the paint to stick. I did it black first, then taped the sides and did the top metallic silver. It turns out my silver paint really didn't want to stick to the black that was on the top so it went all bumpy. Once I did get it to stick all over, it gave it a bumpy texture, which I kinda like though. Its a bit different from the other stuff I have.

    Here it is before I put a very light coat on so it didn't separate again. My first coats were probably too heavy.

    IMG_0634.JPG

    Populated:

    IMG_0637.JPG

    IMG_0640.JPG

    completed:

    IMG_0644.JPG

    IMG_0645.JPG

    IMG_0646.JPG

    most of my parts are the right size but as you can see, I couldn't find any 100u caps to fit in that little space. That is the smallest 100u cap I could find.

    I honestly haven't spent much time playing it yet, maybe 10 minutes. I was mostly trying to figure out what I had done wrong given the pedal's volume, but apparently thats just the way it is. From what I did play, it sounds pretty cool, though less recto-like than I was hoping. So far, my AMT R2 sounds better for recto tones. I will play with it some more after christmas though.
     
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  4. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, my BE-OD and Tightmetal clones are WAY louder than the Wreck. I don't know why I assume maybe the active EQs suck up more db of signal. I have a ton of pedals where unity is around 2 o'clock, so I guess it just seemed normal to me until you mentioned it.
     
  5. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Looks good! Yeah, whenever I painted, the first color was always fine. When I tried to add something on top, like a clear coat, that is when things went to hell. Even if I waited weeks in between layers, I would still have wrinkling issues. I know mine are kind of boring, but buying a painted enclosure and then just using paint markers is pretty easy. I do have more waterslides though I will probably use in the future for when I buy more expensive kits, and want them to look nicer.

    I have a bunch of 100uF 25V caps. I have been buying 50v since then, so those are the lowest rated I have been using. They should be high enough though. I have had more issues getting the 50V ones to fit. You can see all the yellow ones I have used in the last few. They are 50V, non-polarized electrolytics I got.

    Yeah, I don't know if I would call it a Recto emulator. More like a good high gain distortion. Kind of like a high gain Rat with a flexible active EQ after it. I think it is cool though, because it isn't trying to be super tight and bright, like many of the others. It is darker and chunkier.
     
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  6. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Here is my Tightmetal clone. The Scoop knob is still doing that weird thing I described above, but I decided that it is working 9/10 of the dial, so I am just gonna let it go. It is too much of a pain in the a$$ to take apart in the hopes of finding something. I honestly have not been able to find anything, so I think it will just stay. This has 6 pots, with multiple layers of cardboard so nothing shorts, then the power plug barely doesn't touch the top IC. I had to twist it just right, then there is all the jack wiring... don't wanna take this thing apart without a clear idea, lol.

    It sounds pretty good. It is similar to the BE-OD clone with the tight control at like 3 o'clock, the bass about 11 o'clock, and the treble and presence about 3 o'clock. The Tightmetal clone is still more aggressive in the mids, but that puts it in the same neighborhood. The Tightmetal clone is quieter with the gate. It also runs internally at 18V with a charge pump, so there are still many differences. It almost reminds me of an ENGL or something. I will have to try it with an EQ after it eventually because I wish it had much more bass. Since the original is black with orange writing, I had to go with orange with black writing... although now it looks like a Boss DS-1, lol.
     

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  7. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Agreed, it wasn’t what I was expecting since the description made it sound like it was gonna be some super gained out recto / 5150 mashup, but your description is closer.

    I played around with it some more before heading to my parents for Christmas Eve and there are some cool tones in it, but it doesn’t really do anything that my other pedals don’t already do better, so I’ll probably give it away to a friend.

    Speaking of paint, I think it separated as drastically as it did because I layered it on too heavy at first. The first silver coat was kind of moderate in thickness and it did get the fish eyes in it, but not really that bad. The second coat I did heavy, and that one is the pic above, real heavy fish eyes where it separates from the black. But I did get it covered by putting on a very, very light coat of silver and after that dried, painting like normal.

    When I eventually do the vh4 pcb, I wanted to do two-tone again so I’ll experiment a bit more, maybe if the first couple coats of the second colour are extremely light until I have coverage, it won’t fish eye.

    Also, I really like using a label maker for some reason. It feels very utilitarian, and I kinda like it that way. But I also like black guitars and I’m not a fan of fancy figured wood, so maybe it’s just an aesthetic thing.
     
  8. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Nice, that’s a lot to cram into a 125b. I think the real deal is in a bigger box than that, right? Then again I saw some be-od clones made entirely of SMD that were somehow jammed into 1590A’s, complete with all 6 pots, jacks, stomp switch, etc.

    I think the BE-OD has become my benchmark now for distortion or preamp pedals, it sounds so good.

    If you still haven’t run your other pedals like the be-od and dr boogie at 18 volts, and you don’t want to buy a new power adapter, try making a charge pump in a small box like a 1590a. Stuff like the BE-OD definitely benefits from a bit more headroom.
     
  9. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I dont know if any of these pedals do anything other gear I have dont do, but it is still fun to experiment with them. :) I like the Wreck, but like I said, it is 98% the same as my Caline Red Devil, so I was already used to that tone. Speaking of the VH4, I wish he would get that doc posted. I want to start it, but hate to, in case there is some error that is found, like the Wreck. I think that is the last high gain PCB I have. I like most of my stuff looking very plain also.

    I kind of find all the TL072 distortion pedals to have certain things in common with the tone. They all have similarities. My Dr. Boogie sounds and feels a lot different since it is JFET based. It is probably closer to your AMT R2, since they are JFET based.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  10. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, an actual Tightmetal is a pretty large pedal. Especially the Pro version with all the loops and EQs and such.

    I think the BE-OD clone is my favorite out of all the high gain pedals I have built recently. I like how it can be fatter, or tighter, and has more than enough gain (I keep the trimmer about 3/4 the way up, which is 9 o'clock on mine, because it works backwards....). I think it would be perfect if it had a mid scoop knob, and some more bass. It seems to be better about being able to dial in qualities the others have. I plan on building one of those Dirty Shirley OD clones also when I order some more since I like the BE-OD clone so much.

    Yes, I have ran the BE-OD and Dr. Boogie at 18V! I have a Joyo power supply with multiple taps, including 12V and 18V. I do think the BE-OD clone sounded very good at 18V. The Dr. Boogie sounded pretty good also, but it also added some highs I am not sure I loved.
     
  11. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    That’s true, makes me want to experiment with op amps. I guess op amp based will be different from jfet based, no matter the op amps used.

    I have a few NE5532’s here but I haven’t been bothered to swap them into anything.

    And yeah, with an axe fx I don’t necessarily need any pedals, but having them I can get sounds I maybe wouldn’t know how to look for in the axe. Like the BE-OD I like more than the be/hbe model in the axe fx. I could probably tweak them to sound close but that would be spending ages tweaking a model that takes me 30 seconds to tweak on a pedal. Different form factor and limitation in controls can change how we approach stuff so that is cool. Also, fun hobby, so why not.

    I may email him about the vh4 build docs in the new year. He’s clearly been working on this stuff as he’s got a bunch of new pcb’s up.

    I’m considering the dirty Shirley pedal also. Though I have some TL074’s laying around that I don’t know what to do with, so I’m considering the veroboard layout. Maybe a stupid idea given all the knobs. But the layout on tagboardeffects does group all the wires for the pots together on one side of the board so maybe it would be easier to deal with.

    I was looking at his be-od / dirty Shirley mashup pcb where you can build a dirty Shirley with a tight knob (rather than switch) or a be-od with a mids knob, but after further reading on the dirty Shirley, apparently the mids control is additive only and doesn’t cut, so set to 0 is the equivalent of the be-od mid response.

    I’m happy with the be-od mids, so I guess if I wanted less I’d just have to stick an eq after it.
     
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  12. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    So much free time today, I love the holidays. I was able to start and finish a Marshall Guvnor clone. Circuit of the original one, but with a clipping switch so I can switch between asymmetric diodes (1N4148), no clipping diodes, or symmetric LED's. I like LED's best.

    populated:

    IMG_0661.JPG

    IMG_0664.JPG

    The circuit is actually pretty simple, however as it has 5 knobs and one switch, the hard part is yet to come.

    I forgot to order the 3n9 capacitor so I socketed that position and used the closest value I had, which is 4n7.

    IMG_0666.JPG

    Hard part begin. I know I said I would stop putting things with more than 4 knobs into a 125b, as the MXR CMBOD was a pain to cram all the wires in... but I really like how compact these enclosures are, and I kind of knew what I was getting into this time.


    Completed:

    IMG_0669.JPG

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    I really like how it sounds, its nice to make something that isn't high-gain for once. It has a strong mid response and is boxy compared to the normal high gain stuff I use (which is more hi-fi and a bit scooped) but it the mids do sound really good from this pedal. Its pretty tight and clear sounding, sounds amazing with my Les Paul, into the ODS clean model in my axe fx into my 2/50/2 poweramp.

    Overall a great sounding pedal, recommended.
     
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  13. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I remember I tried a bunch of Opamps years ago in different pedals, but always liked the 4558 in Tubescreamer types, and the TL072 in higher gain types. However, that was probably 10+ years ago, and could probably experiment again. I still have a bunch of different ICs from back then I could play with.

    That is one reason I like pedals. I always try to explain to others who are like "If the Axe can dial in anything, why mess with pedals...". Yes, technically it can, but there is something fun about the limitations of having little boxes with 2-3 knobs on them. I can get lots of good sounds out of a 2-knob chorus, and it is more fun than dialing in 20+ parameters on the Axe where half the sounds are crappy. Once you get enough parts built up, and all the supplies, you can crank out a pedal for around $25, which is cheap enough to just have fun with it, as long as you got the space for having pedals laying around.

    Yeah, he has a bunch of them, but that one is old enough I am not sure why it isn't ready. I would be more annoyed if I didn't have 10 others to do, lol.

    I will do a Dirty Shirley eventually. It seems like it would be a cool overdrive... even as a booster. I am not sure about the mashup. I am always leery when people try to cram stuff together that was not originally today. Yes, if it only adds mids, then it wouldn't really be useful combined with the BE-OD.
     
  14. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Looks good! I would just suggest cutting the wires down to length so they are as short as possible. For example, that grey wire coming off the LED and going to the right side of the PCB looks like it could be like 2"-3" shorter.

    I wanted to do a Guv'nor originally, but then I picked up a cheap Danelectro Daddy-O Overdrive, which is suppose to be an exact copy, minus a cap and resistor on the output (so it would be slightly brighter). However, I do kind of find it fuzzy, so maybe an original would be more crunchy and less fuzzy? I didn't see the sense in building another. I think I would rather do a Shredmaster, which is the same circuit, except it has contour instead of mids control.
     
  15. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I was looking at layouts of the various old Marshall pedals and the Drivemaster is almost exactly the same, a couple component changes. The Shredmaster actually looked quite a bit different, but again I’m not great at reading schematics. It used two dual op amps rather than a single dual like the guvnor / drivemaster, that’s what stuck out to me first. I may try that one later on some day.

    I wouldn’t say the guvnor sounds fuzzy at all, more crunchy. Real nice Marshall tone to be fair.

    And yeah, I need to get better at wire management. The LED was the last thing I wired in, so I was paying less attention to wire length. All the wires there were pretty much the minimum length to still allow me to pull back the board and see the bottom. Maybe I need a new method, like wiring the board with all the wires before soldering to the pots. At the moment I wire like two or three wires at a time to the board and then solder to the pots, I start on one side first.

    I’m looking at the layout for the dirty Shirley and I think I will try it on verobord into a 125b enclosure, it shouldn’t be any harder than this guvnor was. In fact it should be a bit easier as the tegboardeffects layout has grouped together pot wires, so all 3 wires for each pot are all next to each other, so I should be able to twist them all together.
     
  16. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    The Gov'nor was the original. Then it was replaced years later by a series of 3 pedals, the Bluesbreaker, Drivemaster, and Shredmaster. The Drivemaster was the replacement to the Gov'nor, so it is pretty similar. The Shredmaster has the contour control instead of the mids control (The Gov'nor has a typical Marshall BMT type tone stack). Since the Contour is an active mid sweep sort of thing, it needs another Opamp. That idea was carried over to the Valvestate amps. The Bluesbreaker was lower gain, and had less clipping diodes and such.

    I wonder if I should look at one then. I owned a Shredmaster years ago, and I remember it was very crunchy, but this Dano is more fuzzy than crunchy. Maybe I should just upgrade some parts.

    I typically wire all of the wires to the board first. I just put long wires on it. Then I cut to length when I connect them wherever. I typically hold the wire with some pliers, and then strip the end so it doesn't strain the solder joint. That is one reason my wires look crinkled on mine.... from where I held it with pliers.

    Personally, I don't wanna mess with Vero any place I can get a PCB, lol. It is a much larger PITA. I will do more Vero in the future, but only on things I can't get a PCB for.
     
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  17. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I actually don’t mind veroboard. It also feels more ‘DIY’ to me. PCB definitely looks more professional and is a hell of a lot more clean. I need to find another source for PCB’s, from someone reliable who makes other things.

    I already have pcb’s for pretty much everything I was interested in from pedalpcb.
     
  18. zilla

    zilla Grand Poobah

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    Check out madbeanpedals and the links on his page if you want more diy stuff

    Also stew Mac has recently started selling diy kits of some jhs pedals.
     
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  19. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Rully has the ChuggaPre PCB back in stock today. I just grabbed one.

    I know of Madbean, Lectric-FX, and Aion Electronics. Oh, and BYOC, and General Guitar Gadgets, and Tonepad.
     
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  20. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017

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