EHX Deluxe Memory Man (MBP Dirtbag Deluxe)

Happy new year everyone! Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog in the last year, and I can promise you I’ll have some interesting projects in the works for 2013.

First, a little bit of a confession. When I first starting building pedals, the Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man was a pedal I knew I wanted to build, but didn’t think I’ve ever have the skill/patience/luck required to build one. However, as my builds started to get more and more complex I decided to bite the bullet and order the parts required for this legendary analog delay.

I found out that MadBeanPedals sells a PCB for the DMM that they call the Dirtbag Deluxe. A nice thing about this board is that you can use CoolAudio v3205 BBD chips and you don’t have to build a time machine or sell your house to get a pair of rare M3005 chips (which is the chip used in the original DMM). While the v3205 chips don’t quite sound the exact same as the M3005, I’m plenty happy with how my build turned out.

Using the power of the internets I found some original artwork for the DMM, and I modified it using GIMP to suit my build. While this pedal will fit (snugly) into a 1590BB enclosure, I decided to go a bit larger as to closer match the insanely large footprint of the original. Here’s how she turned out.

Dirtbag Deluxe

Look familiar?

The pedal sounds fantastic. The vibrato and chorus are lush and deep, and the delay is pure analog goodness. The delays do distort slightly if your input signal is too hot, but that’s just part of the charm. I’ve got to say this is my favourite build so far, and by far my favourite delay pedal.

Dirtbag Deluxe PCB gutshot

If you plan on building this pedal please do your research first. Read through the great PDF file located on the MBP site and understand that this pedal will take some time to complete. I believe it took me several hours just to populate the PCB. The pedal did fire up right away, but it did take a fair amount of time to properly calibrate the unit. Enjoy!

Ampeg Scrambler

Here’s another oddball fuzz circuit. The Ampeg Scrambler is a very unique sounding fuzz pedal that I thought I would build, even though I really have very little use for it. Its sounds range from a mild mis-biased overdrive to a really bad (in a good way) squawk to 8-bit octave up sounds.

Here’s the vero layout I used. Thanks Sabrotone!

Ampeg Scrambler Vero

The pedal features just two controls. One for Blend and one for Texture. The blend allows you to mix the “wet” signal with your guitar’s clean tone, and the texture simplies adds more insanity to the sound. I thought about adding a master volume to this pedal, but then decided against it. My favourite sound is using a neck pickup (with tone on zero) and playing higher up on the fretboard. This allows the octave up sound to really shine through, and sounds great with a dash of delay and reverb.

Ampeg Scrambler Gutshot

For the paint I used a combination of anodized automotive paint, and a wire brush attachment on my dremel to get a bit of a flamed maple look to the enclosure. Once again, I created the artwork using GIMP. Here’s how she turned out.

Ampeg Scrambler

I thought about using the Ampeg logo originally, but I like the way the pedal turned out.

Bazz Fuss (For The Elwins)

Here’s one of the easiest fuzz circuits you can build. This simple circuit contains 5 parts yet sounds great on both fuzz and guitar. I built this pedal for one of my favourite bands, The Elwins. They’re a great Canadian indie rock band from Newmarket(ish), Ontario. I’ve been lucky to share the stage with these boys several times, and they always put on a great show. Here’s how it turned out.

Bazz Fuss Gutshot

A Battery clip?? Gasp!

)If you check out this webpage Bazz Fuss Fun, you’ll see that there are a few different variations on the circuit. As this pedal would be used for mostly bass, I decided to go with Revision 3. This version features a huge input cap (4.7 uf) and a single Darlington transistor (MPSA13. Here’s a layout for those interested.

Bazz Fuss Vero

Please note the v.3 that I built uses a MPSA13 transistor, NOT a 2N3904 (too gated for my tastes).

I also added a very large electro cap (47 uf) across the power rails. This helps filter out ripple from the power supply (or so I’ve been told), and helps out a bit when the battery starts to die. However, since it’s such a simple circuit I imagine a 9V battery will last a very long time.

Bazz Fuss

Birds courtesy of The Elwins’ album cover.

I couldn’t decide on what colour LED to use, so I placed several in a bag and chose a random one. We ended up with pink, which oddly enough, looks pretty good on this pedal.

And there you have it. It’s a great first build, and great for modding. Enjoy!

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