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Thread: DIY guitar pedals

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    aaronmcoleman's Avatar
    aaronmcoleman is offline The truth is out there!
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    DIY guitar pedals

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    Anyone else here make your own pedals? I started a while ago and I'm getting some really cool stuff. I just built an OCD v3, a SHO, a killer gated fuzz, vibrato and loads of others. They're all really nice and I've shocked myself at how easy it is and how many I've been able to make (and how much money to save).

    So, what have you all built? Anyone want anything custom made (haha)?
    Ron Paul 2012

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    Lt. Bob's Avatar
    Lt. Bob is offline Spread the Daf!
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronmcoleman View Post
    Anyone else here make your own pedals? I started a while ago and I'm getting some really cool stuff. I just built an OCD v3, a SHO, a killer gated fuzz, vibrato and loads of others. They're all really nice and I've shocked myself at how easy it is and how many I've been able to make (and how much money to save).

    So, what have you all built? Anyone want anything custom made (haha)?
    where ya' getting your kits/plans?
    If you know the secret codes you can get by the mastering boss on level 8.

  3. #3
    aaronmcoleman's Avatar
    aaronmcoleman is offline The truth is out there!
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    I just find the schematics on the internet and order parts from electronics stores like mouser.com, drill and sometimes paint my own enclosures.

    I've built a few clones of popular circuits, and now I have a couple of "original circuits" that are modified or influenced by versions of popular pedals. For example, I've built a few oscillating fuzzes that were just to wild in their stock form, so I modded the capacitor values and other parts of the circuit to calm it down. I also made a modified OCD (even though I really like the original) that basically has a wider tonal range, and a wider gain range (i.e. can go lower and higher). And, my favorite is a boost that's basically a range master (high boost) and a MOSFET (clean boost) in one with a blend knob so I can blend the two boosts or on either extreme, engage one boost or the other.
    Ron Paul 2012

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    TASCAM MAN is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronmcoleman View Post
    I just find the schematics on the internet and order parts from electronics stores like mouser.com, drill and sometimes paint my own enclosures.

    I've built a few clones of popular circuits, and now I have a couple of "original circuits" that are modified or influenced by versions of popular pedals. For example, I've built a few oscillating fuzzes that were just to wild in their stock form, so I modded the capacitor values and other parts of the circuit to calm it down. I also made a modified OCD (even though I really like the original) that basically has a wider tonal range, and a wider gain range (i.e. can go lower and higher). And, my favorite is a boost that's basically a range master (high boost) and a MOSFET (clean boost) in one with a blend knob so I can blend the two boosts or on either extreme, engage one boost or the other.
    IM IMPRESSED DUDE !!! I still remember when i think it was Craig Anderton?? offered kits to build electronics and I never got around to getting any of them but it always intrigued me although Im mainly a drummer,Ive always wanted to do this kind of stuff !!!

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    the guitarist in my band has followed a very similar path to you aaron; building pedals from schematics on the net and then tweaking them to his own designs. He's built me a couple of great little boxes, a Fuzz that's based on the fuzzface but smoother sounding (imo) and a sonic maximiser clone but with more input and output options. I've not spoken to him in a while but the last couple of things he was working on were a blue driver inspired distortion and a stack-in-a-box clone.

    Another friend doesn't so much build pedals, but he mods/glitches a lot of pedals to get some whacky, and some not so whacky, results. infact, i gave him my broken Art Tube MP a couple of weeks ago and i've told him to try and turn it into some kinda valvy distortion box. He also made me a little variable voltage starver that goes in line between the mains and the plug socket. On distortion boxes it's incredible as you can achieve the half dead battery sound without having to carry a huge stack of half dead 9v batteries. i've not played with it on anything else but he assures me you can get some awesome sounds out of standard stomp boxes but just starving the voltage a bit (although he tried it on a some crappy casio keyboard he was glitching and he managed to fry it after a couple of minutes of the most ludicrous, messed up sounds ever)

    I wish i had the patience/skill to do this kind of stuff, but as i don't i have a lot of time and a lot of respect for the people that do it
    In the world of music there's no right or wrong, however there is "tried and tested" and "experimental"

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    mnordbye is offline Newbie
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    Been doing this for some years now too. It's great to know how your pedals work, and to save some money in the process!

    Lt. Bob: Here's some useful links to projects and kits:
    GGG
    Tonepad
    Parts: Smallbear

    Also, for those who don't know, this is the goto place for everything DIY pedals. Many projects and a lot of helpful people at that board! DIYStompBoxes.com

    Magnus

  7. #7
    aaronmcoleman's Avatar
    aaronmcoleman is offline The truth is out there!
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    I think if anyone wants to start building, a great place to start is building cables. Very simple, very minimal soldering skills neccessary. I just ordered parts for 4 pedals (clones based on currently produced pedals, so I just make them for myself). All together the parts cost $106...the pedals cost over $700! It's great to have some really nice stuff for really cheap...and I can make them sound EXACTLY like I want them to.

    But, yeah start with some cables if you want to learn. Then hit me up and I can help you make some simple boosts or fuzzes (they're the easiest). Honestly, the hardest parts are finding parts, and making the wiring neat.

    Oh I've also built a couple API and Neve pres, and, my pride and joy, an 1176 compressor...total cost for 2 channels of each and a dual mono 1176 - $1250!
    Ron Paul 2012

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    Justsomeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronmcoleman View Post
    Oh I've also built a couple API and Neve pres, and, my pride and joy, an 1176 compressor...total cost for 2 channels of each and a dual mono 1176 - $1250!
    That's amazing man! that's the kind of thing i'd bloomin' love to make. My plan for this year is to get my basic soldiering skills up to scratch (as they're shoddy at best) and look into some small projects (even if it's just a kind of "paint by numbers" sets) I've fixed and made up cables before but i'd love to get more into mic modding and making some gear clones
    In the world of music there's no right or wrong, however there is "tried and tested" and "experimental"

  9. #9
    Blue Jinn's Avatar
    Blue Jinn is offline Rider of the ARPocalypse
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    Buy Craig Anderton's Electronic Projects for Musicians. This has a bunch of projects, and equally important, explains things like, this is a resistor, this is a capacitor and explanations like your guitar plugs in here, and the signal goes to opamp IC1 which amplifies 10x based on the ratio of R1 to R2, C2 cuts off the frequency above 50kHz, this then goes to IC2 which ....

    One problem is that he frequently uses an opamp that can only be found at the end of the rainbow. It can be substituted just fine, but the PCB's will be wrong because the pinout isn't duplicated by any other device AFAIK. I think someone used to make an adapter and PAIA used to sell kits for all the projects, now only a select few that don't require the 4739 opamp. The projects are still valid, just only a few kits, and you have to etch your own pcb's or build them on perf board. GGG also has a PCB layout for his compressor using a different opamp. But that is an etch your own proposition. Etching isn't for me.

    PAIA does have other kits, other pedals, and even a full blown synthesizer. I've built several of the CA-EPFM kits, and rack mounted them. I also built PAIA's parametric EQ and the "Hot SPrings Reverb" -- they also sell some of the kitsrus kits. I bought the two transistor preamp. I'm going to stick a transformer in front of it, and see how it does as a solid state, non-IC mic preamp.

    Also, the white market at groupdiy. There is a guy in Denmark especially who produces PCB's for some of the projects, for example the "Bo Hansen DI" or the "DLA-2A. "

    There are a bunch of projects over there, and PCB's for sale. They aren't exactly "paint by numbers" but there are a lot of really solid and helpful build threads, and a lot of amazingly knowledgeable and talented folks who post there.

    As for mic modding, that's kinda my passion at the moment, and I've modded two MXL 2001's, a 2006, I'm going to mod a 9000 and I've just got all the parts for modding the HST-11a (the OEM version of the Apex 460) I've posted a few things in the DIY section here. As for modding other gear, check out the 6N3 buffer thread. Also at some point I want to get Tonepad's "Dos Ochenta" board, and well, mod it based on something I got on the internet....

    ***SHAMELESS PLUG*** I also had some PCB's made for a circuit that combines the G7 with the "Royer Mod" and have some left over. PM me if you're interested.
    Last edited by Blue Jinn; 09-28-2012 at 13:01.

  10. #10
    aaronmcoleman's Avatar
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    Learning to read schematics isn't even necessary anymore, though it is highly suggested. There are sights with layouts that make it kinda like tabs vs reading music.

    tons of cool projects here, plus he's already done the layouts and explains the offboard wiring:
    Guitar FX Layouts
    Ron Paul 2012

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