My latest thirty dollar score.
1980 distortion + from his original owner.
Just found your blog. I'm really enjoying the look and ideas behind your pedal builds; would you mind doing a little walk-through of your build process? I've been building pedals for a while and am always curious to see others' methods! Keep on building great stuff!
Hey, thanks a ton! Your stuff looks rad too!
Here’s my general process. Its long and tedious and usually takes several months until I’m completely happy.
- find a circuit to build (usually something “classic” that people love but I hate)
- breadboard the stock circuit
- swap/remove/add as many components as required until I’m satisfied (usually literally all of them)
- make sure to take notes on satisfactory component swaps
- take breadboard to jam space and continue swapping. I’ve got a little breakout box that’s just a bypass switch and some pots with a ton of wires coming out of it to plug into the breadboard. The zvex inventobox, although very expensive, would be perfect for this.
- compare to other classic benchmark pedals that I love and use.
- build modified circuit on vero. Components that make a big difference get socketed for further experimentation.
- use and evaluate the pedal during jam sessions, live shows, and with as many guitars and amps as possible.
- its probably a good idea to start over from scratch again…
- build on pcbs and loan/give/sell to local friends who’s tone you trust. Always offer to mod or rebuild for free at this stage.
- go see those guys play live for further evaluation
- inevitably make a few more tweaks
- tell the internet you’ve got some sweet pedals you’re gonna sell and then get sick and/or lazy and take several months to build anything again….
- keep promising they’re coming with no results…
No seriously guys they’re gonna be ready very soon!
My favourite Moog+pedals+looper=this (at Hartsook Residence)
It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
"Darrell my small clone is broken"
Ok how’s that?
Replaced awful/breakable stock wiring, added 2.1mm dc jack, depth pot, and chorus/pitch vibrato switch.
This thing only took a few minutes to make me fall completely in love.
Quirky yet incredibly flexible looper.
Glitchy time stretched loops? Yes please.
And for forty dollars? I guess so.
I’ve got all these other guitars but I just can’t keep my hands off my ‘68 Bronco…
I got this weird fender pawnshop reverse jaguar bass the other day because it was super cheap and I’ve had this strange idea for a short or medium scale bass kicking around in my head for awhile.
I’m thinking of adding a “bassist” to SISSYS which has always been a baritone/drums two-piece but a standard bass would end up getting played fairly high because of the range I always end up writing it in. I also generally dislike the tone of a five string or b tuned bass guitar. So this is my possible solution…
I’ve basically got it set up as a 4 string baritone tuned up to b-e-a-d with skinnyish strings gauges 34-72 from a bass vi set. The 32 inch scale and higher tuning add a lot of snap and punch to notes and it still sounds quite like a bass guitar. I might even call it twangy with the bridge pickup. Chording is very interesting and there’s not nearly as much muddiness as with chording on a standard bass. Dirt pedals sound huge and even with my smallish piggyback stack it’s got a super thick and gritty low end. It’s definitely very interesting and inspiring in this tuning and I plan on keeping it as is for the foreseeable future.
Ok I’ve gotta go try it with some bigger amps and a bass amp now. Bye
This thing is super wacky but I like it. Sorta fenderbirdish? The neck is dreamy with that 32 inch scale length though. And for $300? Yes please.
Fairchilds Meet Maude is finally on my board and I can’t stop playing with her.
When I picked it up I also tried the moog minifooger delay, dba ghost echo, and dba echo dream 2. This was the clear winner although that moog delay is a near perfect “normal” analog delay.
Here’s a breakdown of what makes this analog delay so unique and special…
1 - there’s a compressor in the delay path.
This means that runaway self oscillation does not get obnoxiously loud and make you worry about blowing speakers. You can also play right through self oscillation without having your clean signal completely drowned out. You can play one chord and let it feedback for a bit, play a new chord, and then actually hear the old one fade away as the new chord fades in. This, as far as I know, is completely unique in the analog delay game. It’s almost sort of like a “ducking” delay. If you’ve got a delay with an effects loop it might be worth trying a compressor in there?
2 - the modulation rate and depth are both completely random.
The modulation toggle selects between off, light, and heavy. On both the light and heavy settings the modulation is gorgeous, somewhat subtle, and very natural. Sometimes you’ll hear very quick and intense jumps in pitch followed by slow and mellow wobble. It completely reminds me of dudes that use subtle/random trem bar or neck bends with their delay.
3 - cv/effects loop
There’s a jack next to the output jack that can be configured as a cv expression jack for delay time, feedback, both delay and feedback together, or used as a trs effects loop. I’m running a little external switch I built to toggle between short and long delay times.
Literally my only complaint is the stupid side mounted jacks. I’ve told you I hate side mounted jacks right?
So why do I need another analog delay next to my incredible deluxe memory man?
Because I’ve got the 1100 and while it is amazing, the additional delay time means that shorter delays are much more clear and defined than other memory men. It doesn’t do that sort of atmospheric, wash of delay thing that the deluxe memory man is known for unless it’s set for much longer delays. I actually thought about trading it for the shorter delay time of the 550 model but I love those super warm yet very defined delays the 1100 does. The Fairchild delay does the atmospheric wash of delay thing so good and complements the memory man remarkably well. Both of them at the same time is unbelievable.
Back from honeymoon.
Built myself this bypass box yesterday with two loops for switching the back row of my board. I somehow managed to cram six quarter inch jacks and a mini dc jack all on the rear of a 1590s which is a bit smaller but taller than a 1590bb. It’s super tight but as long as it’s on the edge of a pedaltraiin row with space underneath it works. Side mounted jacks are stupid. This thing takes up less space than the MXR single loop box I was using before. Did I mention side mounted jacks are stupid?
Also bypass boxes boxes are an incredible and simple way to practice off board wiring.