Archive for February, 2012

Danoboost (Modified EHX LPB-1)

Here’s another easy build for you. It’s a “clean” boost that uses a single 2N5089 transistor. I use the word clean in quotations as this pedal does add quite a hearty boost to your signal and will cause your amp to clip into beautiful overdrive. This pedal is based off of the Electro Harmonix LPB-1, which was one of EHX’s first designs. Instead of being a pedal, it was a small box that plugged directly into the guitar. It was first released in 1969 and still is sold today as part of EHX’s Nano series. Here’s a gutshot of my build.

As you can see it is not a complicated circuit as it consists of only a few parts. The major modication I did was add the option of switching the input capacitor to limit the amount of bass to pass through the pedal. While the original LPB-1 was limited to being a full frequency boost my version can operate as a full, mid, or treble booster. This allows the Danoboost to get anything from that nice Rangemaster scream to a full boost for punishing your amp. It took me several tries to find the right cap values (sockets are your friend!) but once dialed in I think this pedal will compliment any tube amp. Finally, here’s the final product. the artwork was done using GIMP. D’LAY

This week we’re looking at another PCB build. This time we’re building a PT2399 based delay. While it is a digital delay it is still capable of sounding quite analog in nature. The PCB is high quality and very reasonably priced. The beauty is that there is plenty of room for modifications with this circuit. After reading up on what others have done with this circuit I made up my mind on what I’d like to implement into my build.The first mod I added was a lofi/hifi switch. While in the lofi position the repeats are much more grainy and can get quite unstable sounding. In the hifi mode the delay times are slightly shorter but the quality of the repeats are greatly improved. The other modification that I added was a “hold” switch that allows infinite repeats. The schematic suggests using a momentary switch but I chose to use a latching switch instead. Here’s a shot of the populated PCB. After switching a few resistors a couple times I decided it’d be much easier to just add sockets. This way I was able to fine tune the circuit to my specifications.

And here’s the completed build. Orange wire for TEH TOANZ.

So the most problem I had with this build was getting the decal right. Using clear decals on a black sparkle background can be a frustrating experience. Here’s what happened when I trying applying the chosen artwork for this pedal.

Looks a little bit dark on the black sparkle background. Without any white decal paper in stock I was forced to improvise. I taped up the sides of the pedal and did a light coat of white paint on top so the decal would appear better. Here’s the final build!


Madbeanpedals Firebomb (ZVex Super Duper 2 in 1) & Gretsch Controfuzz

So I just started on an Ontario/Quebec tour with my band so this may be a quick post. First build today is a Madbeanpedals Firebomb. It’s a high quality PCB that won’t break the bank. I have a feeling I’ll be ordering from them again sometime in the near future. One thing I really like about PCBs is that you don’t have to cut traces like you have to with Vero board. Anyways, here’s the completed gutshot.

You’ll notice that I chose not to add a battery jack to this build.  I found that I rarely use them, and with the added time/cost of installing a jack, as well as the environmental factors involved with batteries I’m simply opting to not install them. The only exception to this rule would be some fuzz circuits as a fuzz face simply sounds better with a cheap dollar store battery. It’s science, can’t argue with that.

I also switched up the way I wired the footswitches on this build. I used what I like to call the “Skreddy” way of wiring. To be honest I don’t know which method I prefer more. Anyways, much like the Zvex pedal that the Firebomb is modelled after, I chose a yellow LED for channel 1, and a red for channel 2. Oh yeah, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this pedal or the pedal it’s based off of, it’s a two channel boost pedal. Each channel has an available 25 db of gain for a whopping 50 db total gain boost (I feel bad for my amp). The first channel has just one knob with controls gain while the second channel has controls not only for gain but has a master volume as well.

It’s a pretty powerful pedal, and since I love the overdriven sounds of my amp this pedal is the perfect booster for it. It’s just not a apartment friendly pedal as it works best when you run your amp wide open.

Next up is a Gretsch Controfuzz. It’s a weird circuit as it combines a very high gain fuzz with your clean signal. It’s a very simple build with low parts count.

It was a quick and easy build. I used vero (my board of choice) and I was done the pedal in about 2 hours time. Here’s a gutshot. Once again you can see that I omitted the 9V battery snap and I used brown wire for teh mojo.It’s an interesting sounding circuit. At first I didn’t really like it with my guitar, but I find running an OD into it completely changes the nature of it. Even better was running my synth through it on an organ patch. I was able to get a nice dirty sound while still retaining the original tone of the patch.

Finally here’s the artwork I did for the pedals. Originally I meant to talk about waterslide decals in this post, but that will have to wait until next time. Enjoy!

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