Posts Tagged ‘ EHX ’

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!

Electro Harmonix Op Amp Big Muff and another Lovepedal Purple Plexi 800

Hey everyone. After a crazy few months of starting a new job I’m finally back to building pedals. Today we’re going to look at one of my favourite variations of the Big Muff as well as my (current) favourite Marshall-in-a-box pedals with a few surprises along the way.

I think the Op Amp Big Muff is my favourite because of its uniqueness. Instead of the usual 4 transistors this version features two small IC chips. Well how does that affect the sound you ask? Personally I think it provides the muff with a bit more gain and mids, both of which are wanted in my opinion. I built this pedal almost a year ago, but I thought I’d like to revisit it as I recently found out that the Op Amp muff was used by Billy Corgan on the Smashing Pumpkins’ album Siamese Dream. Here’s what mine turned out to look like:

I stole that graphic from a Middles Ages textbook that I have kicking around for some odd reason. The uneven surface texture on the enclosure is a result of a brass brush on a dremel, and the font is the same font used on older Big Muffs. It all makes the pedal look somewhat “Doomy” but I like it.

You’ll also notice a little toggle switch near the top of the pedal. That’s the tone-bypass switch, which was a stock feature on the 1978 Muff. Basically it takes the tone control circuit out of the pedal and provides you with a less-fizzy more middy sounding muff, which I find cuts through the mix of a band.

On to the PP800. I built this for a friend in Montreal. He requested a modification to enhance the bass response. Going back to my training in pedal-building 101 I experimented with changing the value of the input capacitor to fine-tune the amount of bass response I was able to get two values that really work both for single coils and for humbuckers. Here’s a few pics of the completed build.

Improved PP800

The enclosure looks much more purple in person. After using a very nice DSLR at work I’ve decided to upgrade from a crappy cell phone camera to something more legit. If you have any camera recommendations please let me know!

I finished the pedal with Silver Marshall knobs and a frosted white LED.

Finally, here’s a a little tip when building a PP800. I’ve noticed that quite a few people’s clones have a very annoying high pitched squeal when the gain is turned up to 11. My solution to this problem is to replace the 10R resistor connected to lug 3 of the gain pot with one of a slightly higher value. I use a 47R resistor in its place and I get none of that squeal, even at higher gain and volume settings.

Next up will be a pair of KLONES and a Tube Screamer of some sort. Stay tuned!

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.

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