Thing-A-Ma-Bob (Atari/Nintendo/Gated Fuzz)

When I first got into pedal building this was one of the first builds I ever made. To be honest, it’s the perfect first build. It has a very low parts count, will fit in a tiny enclosure, and doesn’t require any “mojo” parts that will cost you an arm and a leg. Here’s the vero layout I used (Thanks to FUZZZZzzzz from DIYStompboxes/ for creating this circuit and sharing the layout)

Thing-A-Ma-Bob Vero LayoutUpon first building this pedal the first thing that I noticed is that it is LOUD. I added a volume control to somewhat “tame” this pedal. I did this by simply adding a 100KA pot to the end of the circuit. Lug 3 connects to OUT, lug 2 to output (on the footswitch) and lug 1 goes to ground.

You’ll have no trouble fitting this board into a 1590B enclosure. Once again I chose not to add a battery snap (no use for it anyways) and you can see how small the circuit actually is.

Thing-A-Ma-Bob Gutshot

It sounds much like an old Nintendo system. It’s gated, dirty, and very “8-Bit”. The one knob acts as a gate. You can have the pedal set wide open and you’ll get oscillating noise but as you turn it up it’ll gate the sound, making it sound sputtery or like a fuzz face with a dying battery. For such a simple build it has some very unique sounds that you wouldn’t be able to get out of other fuzz pedals. It’s not polite sounding, but be warned if you use it at a gig people will ask you “what pedal is that??!?”


Klone-Trooper (Bare-Bones Klon Centaur & Skreddy Mayo)

So this is the first time I’ve combined two effects into one enclosure. It was an interesting process and the only real difficult part was fitting both circuits into such a small space. The original Klon Centaur circuit can take up quite a bit of real estate (view my other post on the Klon Centaur) and I doubted that I would be able to fit it into the same enclosure as a modified big muff with mids switch. Luckily, I was able to find a vero layout for a Klon Centaur that omits some of the features of the pedal, but greatly reduces the footprint.¬† The schematic that I used can be found at, which is a fantastic educational resource for learning about the why and how of pedals.

So what did I lose by using this bare-bones Klon layout? First of all, you lose the charge pump. I won’t get much into it here, but many say that the charge pump is crucial to the “Klon” sound, while others feel that it is unnecessary and by simply swapping the other op amps in the circuit you can still retain that Klon tone. As well, I used a true bypass system in this build. While the original Klon features a buffered bypass, while considering the amount of space (or lack of) I was working with, I felt that true bypass was a good choice. As well, some pedals are finicky when they are fed by a buffered signal, and I was unsure of how the “Mayo” side of things would sound with a buffered signal pushing it.

Klon Centaur Skreddy Mayo Gutshot

Even though I was using a deeper enclosure it was still somewhat of a challenge to fit both of these pedals into the same space. I think perhaps if I had used solid core wire I would have been able to clean up the wiring a bit, but at the cost of (IMO) reduced durability. I find that while solid core while retains it shape much better stranded wire is a bit more “giving” and can be moved around more.

So anyways, after the usual debugging/cursing it’s all ready to go. The “Mayo” side has quickly become one of my favourite Muff circuits. The addition of the mid switch gives me the option to boost or cut the mids while still giving me the option for the “stock” sound. I’d have to say I prefer this over the usual tone bypass switch that I’ve put on other muff builds. I used standard 2N5088 transistors as I could not find a decent source for NOS 2N5133 transistors that were in the right hfe range for a “reasonable price”. I kind of feel that spending over $10 a transistor is a little bit silly (feel free to disagree) when the clipping diodes are doing most of the work.

The Bare Bones Klon, on the other hand, I’m still impressed with, but it does lack the output of my other Klon Klone. I find the bare bones circuit to be a bit less versatile, and while I’m not the biggest fan of using it with my amp set up clean it sounded amazing boosting it when already overdriven, or boosting another pedal (like the Mayo!)

Klon Centaur & Skreddy Mayo
A note on the LEDs. If you’re planning on using white LEDs make sure that your CLR (current limiting resistor) is a larger value that what you would normally use. While on most builds I’ll use something in the 4-6K range with a blue or red LED, with the whites I find I must use a value of 22K, and even then they still are fairly bright!

Klon Centaur (the meme episode)

Where to start when talking about the Klon Centaur? You know, the one that fetches literally dozens of hundreds of dollars on the Ebay?

Me when I found out much used Klons are selling for.

Whelp, I wanted to find out what all the hype was about, without having to sell my car to do so. I ordered a couple Klone PCBs from Aaron at (Great guy to deal with and sells very high quality pedals).

Pretty much the exact E-mail I sent to

So anyways, the PCBs are of superb quality and his instructions are very clear. With this board I could choose to use a buffered bypass or a true-bypass switching setup. I’ll save the differences between the two for another day, but part of the Klon’s reputation is based on it’s glorious buffer, so I decided to go that route.

Using PCB-mounted pots and skipping the battery jack installation this build didn’t take too long to build at all. The PCB sits at an angle in the enclosure so the electros don’t prevent the base from being secured properly.

For a sometimes over-hyped pedal I have to say I’m impressed with it’s sound. I really like it with the gain low at around 10 o’clock and the treble control just past noon. It really compliments my setup and my other overdrive pedal (a LP Eternity clone). It’s very transparent and doesn’t really take over the sound of my amp, but boosts it juuuuust right.

No centaurs here.

So do I think the original Klon Centaur is worth the price? Tough call. I don’t think I could ever justify spending several hundred dollars on a pedal, let alone thousands. It’s a great pedal and it’ll part of my rig for a while (great for those Wilco cover tunes) so it might be worth it for some, but for people like me I’m more than happy with a clone. Here’s something that I think sums up the Klon rather nicely.

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