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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    Aren't those suppose to be be fairly clean, SS amps?
     
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  2. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I have been sick over the last week, so I haven't built much, but did get a BYOC Green Pony kit for Christmas that I put together. Not my best soldering, but not too bad. Only tried it for a few, but it is a pretty cool Tubescreamer type pedal. More dynamics due the the 18V charge pump, you can dial in the amount of low end with one switch, and how much saturation clipping with the other switch. It seems like it is a clean booster with the drive on zero, and then as you turn up the drive, it is like it mixes in the treble~y crunchy tubescreamer sound like a balance control on a mixer. Kinda weird, but kinda neat. You have to turn the drive up to about 9 o'clock to get the typical Tubescreamer drive on zero sound.
     

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  3. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Yes, really clean, but also some light drive available. Really interesting eq setup too. Not gonna lie, like 75% of the reason I’m considering it is because it looks like a cool challenge. Maybe in the summer as all the parts will be expensive.

    Nice, sounds like the drive knob might be something similar to how he OD820 and Klon work, with the dual pot.
     
  4. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    It would be cool to find a completely SS amp kit that sounds good.

    Yes, it has the dual gang drive knob. The Green Pony IS a clone of the OD820, with extra clipping and bass options.
     
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  5. Refuge

    Refuge SS.org Regular

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    I just finished my version of the integrated preamp with an integrated charge pump at 25 V and some half-assed enclosure design ;-). It does indeed sound quite djenty with the bass low and clicky/transparent even with high distortion. With the roadster I can also get into Death Magnetic territory. So not necessarily a nice or desirable sound, but quite different from my other boosts (modified tube screamer to the right).
    I noticed one odd thing, tough: when I play through my six-strings, down to drop C, everything is fine. On my Schecter Hellraiser C7 when I hit the low B, the pedal starts to drop its volume. Maybe it exceeds its headroom or is somehow not able to amplify the high energy note any more... Do you think the charge pump at 33 V might help?

    IMG_4285.JPG IMG_4286.JPG Hi!
     
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  6. zilla

    zilla Grand Poobah

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    I did a PCB layout of the integrated pre amp and etched it earlier this week and put it all together last night. Sounds amazing!!
     
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  7. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I like mine at 33 volts but there is little gain in headroom over 18 volts. You get a bit more headroom when really slamming the strings with high output pickups and low tunings, but only enough to tell when direct into a power amp or something. Into a drive channel, you probably won’t hear much difference between 24 volts and 33.

    What is happening does not sound normal to me, if you run it into a clean channel with the level set low as to not clip your preamp (or just direct into your fx return) what does it sound like? At 24 volts it should be very clean, so if it sounds distorted then something is wrong.

    My first thought would be that the three LED’s may be drawing too much current if you’ve put them after the charge pump, depending on which one you’ve used. The integrated preamp circuit should only draw like 5ma, but three LED’s would draw a lot more. Something like a MAX1044 or ICL7660 is only like 10ma until the voltage sags, that might be the problem? LT1054 can do around 100ma from what I understand but requires slightly different wiring.

    If your LED’s are before the charge pump then forget this.

    I had a problem with the first integrated preamp I made, i was grounding something on the board on the housing of the pedal, causing it to distort, but insulating it from the back of the pedal enclosure fixed that.

    Luckily I haven’t had to do much troubleshooting on pedals, I’ve just been careful when putting things together. If it were me, I’d check to make sure all parts are in the right place in the right rows, the correct value, and for polarised parts like electro capacitors, diodes, transistors, etc. that they are the right way around.
     
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  8. Refuge

    Refuge SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the suggestions! After some testing, I think it's just the amp that goes intro extreme saggynes when pushed to hard... I am running it into my tube-town tone-hound, another diy kit that's a reactive load box. So in real life, the amp would probably be beyond ridiculously loud... ( I am also running it without master volume / hard bypass of the effect loop).
    The LED's are before the charge pump. The pedal itself sounds very clean, only the LEDs are too bright ;-)
     
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  9. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    That may be it then, high boost, low tunings, and high master volume setting giving a lot of power amp sag.

    It’s a very loud pedal so at around 1:00 or 2:00 on the level control (when the bass is set low) is similar volume to an overdrive with the level on 10.
     
  10. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    It must be Integrated Pre week, lol :lol:

    Everyone is building one. I plan on building one next week once I get my PCB.
     
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  11. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I would try it into another amp to see if it is the pedal, or the amp. I have my doubts that a pedal could sag that much to be that noticeable on low notes.
     
  12. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I finished my TC Elec Integrated Pre clone today. Sounds pretty cool. Unity seems to be bass about 10 o'clock, treble about 12-1 o'clock, and level about 11 o'clock or so. Pretty quiet even with the level cranked. Very evil sounding boosting my Triple Recto with the bass around 9 o'clock, treble about 1 o'clock, and level about 3 o'clock, especially with a guitar tuned in B. Very aggressive for rhythm. Not as smooth for leads though as a Tubescreamer.

    Only weird thing is if I have the level cranked, and then crank the treble, at the very end of the treble knob the entire sound loses a ton of gain and volume, and just sounds weak. Like it just cuts out. I don't know why I have issues with the last 5% of pots, lol. However, that setting pretty much sounds like a$$, so I am not gonna worry about it.

    I go back to work on Monday after having a month off, so I probably won't make them as fast. I counted that I made 10 clones in the last 6 weeks or so, lol. Not sure what I will do next. Most of what I have left is chorus, phaser, vibe, etc.... I might do the chorus next.
     

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  13. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Looks good! Glad you like it.

    Weird about the treble pot. I’ll have to try that on mine, I don’t think I’ve cranked the treble before. I remember turning the treble down all the way sounded like it kinda boosted the mids a bit, so that may be a knee in the low pass filter or maybe just sounding like a mid boost by virtue of cutting a lot of highs.
     
  14. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I finished a couple pedals recently. This is my EQD Sea Machine Clone. This one was a bit of a pain, but I figured it out pretty quickly. This is a pretty whacked out Chorus pedal. At first the effect was very weak, but basically sounded like it should with a very low mix. I looked up some schematics and found that one connection was different. I decided to cut a trace and hardwire a jumper across the board. After that it sounds pretty close to the Youtube videos, so I assume it is working right. I think it was just a schematic error. This one is pretty complex with a lot of parts.

    It is pretty hard to get "normal" chorus sounds on this pedal, but I was able to find a pretty good "Come As You Are" sound with the knobs turned down. When you start turning them up, it excels at weird, UFO landing underwater type sounds. It does all kinds of weird reverb~ed vibrato sounds.
     

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  15. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Here is my EQD The Depths clone. This is basically a Vibe pedal. This one is kind of weird because it uses LDRs, and a LED. The LED blinks, and the LDR pickups the light to create the pulsating sound. If you test it without the cover on it wont do anything, lol. That is why I covered much of the inside of the enclosure with electrical tape... to cut down on reflection.

    The one is is weird in a few ways. The Voice knob only seems to do something on like 10% of the travel. The rest of it doesn't do much. However, in Youtube videos they dont move this knob much, so maybe this is kinda normal? I can't hear any difference with the Throb Knob (lol), but the original pedal has the same complaints, and they say it is normal to not hear much unless you use a bass guitar with it. Oh well. the other knobs work well. For me, a Vibe is basically Pink Floyd's "Breathe" tone, and I can get something pretty close to that, so I am happy.

    I have another Phaser type pedal, but it has a crapload of parts, so not sure if I will do it any time soon.
     

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  16. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    Very cool, modulation and time based effects are still a bit outside my skill to deal with, but maybe one day I’ll give them a try haha.

    Good work, looks nice
     
  17. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    I haven't made anything in a while, I've had a few expensive months in a row. My toilet, fridge and TV all broke in the course of about a week, and then I also bought a new amp, so I've been trying to avoid fun purchases. I still have a PCB for the VH4 pedal that I haven't ordered parts for yet, but I'll probably make that this month.

    However in the meantime I did order one of those cheap class D, TDA3116 preassembled chip amp boards off ebay for £10, so I could have a small, clean poweramp for my Axe FX II. Not really much of a project since it was like 5 solder joints and three holes in a plastic box, but hey it was cheaper than buying a premade poweramp.

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    It sounds pretty good! Though unfortunately I can’t compare it against much... I’ve been using a tube poweramp until recently (nothing wrong with that, just wanted a change) and the only other solidstate poweramp I have to compare is the amp out of a really cheap Kustom PA speaker (TDA7294 chip amp, which appears to be pretty old tech). It sounds loads better than the TDA7294, that old chip amp sounds pretty dull and gutless to me.

    The TPA3116 is apparently 100 Watts (technically 50 Watts per side stereo but this is a bridged mono board), not sure if that is peak or RMS. probably peak.

    I’m happy with it, punchy and clean, amp models sound clear to me. I just lost about an hour and a half to the IIC++ model, I haven’t made it sound this good in a while.

    I don’t know how it would hold together at gig volumes or anything, I’m just playing at loud bedroom volumes right now. I set the volume trim pot on the board at half way and I’m just using the axe fx’s output level to control volume (at about 15%). Also into a 16 ohm cab so that also reduces some output. I got a big fat 15 amp (way overkill) DPDT switch so I can make it switchable between 4 and 16 ohms, but my speaker cable isn’t here yet.

    The wire, jacks, and box I all had spare so this cost me £10.89, which is money well spent for me. Still under £15 if I had bought everything. If you can work a drill and soldering iron I would recommend giving it a shot. I bet it’s comparable in sound to a 44 magnum or that Mooer baby bomb, if you opened one up I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re using this chip (or maybe the lower wattage version).

    I was considering getting that Seymour Duncan Powerstage, which is also a class D amp poweramp, but it is kind of expensive and I figured I'd try something cheap first. I wonder what chip they're using in that, and if there's anything special about the circuit. A lot of these chip amps, it seems manufacturers just use the example circuit in the datasheet and mass produce it.


    edit - it works on something like 5 volts to 26 volts, I'm just using an old 19 volt laptop power supply, which is kind of noisy with some pedals, but its dead quiet with this, so that's a plus. I'm not really sure what amperage this chip draws so I didn't want to use my usual power supply. The laptop power supply can supply up to 4.7 amps though so that is plenty.

    The powered PA speaker I have which is basically spare at this point, I may just gut and turn into a normal 1x12 cab. It has a center tapped 56 volt transformer in it, so I may try making a power supply from that. I figure I can take one tap which would be 28 volts, rectify and filter, then regulate down to like 24 volts or something.
     
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  18. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    Looks cool! I also wonder how it compares against something like the Mag44. You could probably replace the trim pot with a pot wired on the outside to make it more similar. You could probably even put 2 in a larger BB case, and have true stereo with one power supply. You could also attempt to put a Baxandall BT EQ in front of it, inside the enclosure to approximate depth/presence controls. Hmmm....

    I haven built much either. I have a bass preamp PCB built, but just haven't had the time or motivation to drill the enclosure and finish it. I still have the VH4 PCB, and a complicated Phaser. Thinking about ordering a Buxom Boost PCB also. I have kind of been more into guitars lately. I have been thinking about picking up a new one. I also have been into programming the Axe-FX since 9.04, and I got a GA-FC footcontroller for my Katana, so that has been fun to play with again.

    Speaking of big low end.... I got to check out a Deizel Herbert a few times last week. That is a pretty thick sounding amp at low volumes. I have been out of town, but definitely want to spend some time with the Herbie model on the Axe this week, and a "mid cut" approximation.
     
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  19. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    These options could be cool to add if I weren’t using it with an axe fx. I’m considering a stereo board (or two mono boards) and picking up some passive floor speakers used locally, and then having a £50 home theater system. We controls for sure would be useful then. The speakers on my TV aren’t really that loud.

    The buxom boost looks pretty cool and I’d also like to give that one a try. I made a list of a bunch I’d like to try, I just have to complete existing stuff first haha.

    I’ve heard some cool clips of that amp and the consensus seems to be huge low end. But a lot of clips I don’t really like it’s tone too much. I feel the same way about the axe fx model so it must be accurate, so I assume I’m just not a big fan of the Diezel tone.

    The mid cut is a cool feature though. Cliff said you can approximate it with the PEQ, with (IIRC) a q of 1.4 at 400 hz. Useful for many amps.
     
  20. Petar Bogdanov

    Petar Bogdanov SS.org Regular

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    Wow, you're really getting your mileage out of that label maker! :lol: Which model do you use?
     
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