Posts Tagged ‘ Lovepedal ’

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!

Lovepedal Woodrow (Electra Distortion)

Today we’re going to look at a Tweed-amp-in-a-box pedal called the Lovepedal Woodrow. It’s based off of the Electra Distortion circuit, which you can see below.

As you can see, it’s a simple one transistor design that uses two diodes for clipping. The original circuit calls for a silicon 1N4148 diode and a germanium 1N34A diode. But as you all may know there are countless options for clipping diodes, and this is a great circuit to experiment with (Once again, sockets are your friend). And here’s the vero layout I used.

Lovepedal Woodrow Vero

Socket those diodes!

The Lovepedal Woodrow is one of the many Lovepedal designs based off of the Electra circuit, but has several component changes. It was designed to emulate the tone of a cranked Fender 5E3 Tweed Deluxe amp. While I don’t think the pedal matches that description accurately, it does have some tweedy characteristics and is a great OD pedal that works with your amp to get that ragged glorious tweed tone.

Anyways, back to diodes. By adding sockets to the veroboard changing diodes is a snap. I tried out 1N914 (1N4148 is very similar) silicons, BAT 46 schottky, 1N4001 rectifier, 1N60 and 1N34A germaniums, and several different types of LEDs.

Some of the diodes used in my Lovepedal Woodrow

After spending an afternoon testing out diodes and watching hockey I decided that I preferred a silicon germanium combo (1N914 and 1N34A) and that BAT46 and LEDs really do not mesh with this circuit. It’s funny how the pedal took around 90 minutes to build and I spent far more time tweaking it with different diodes. Here’s a gutshot for those interested.

It’s a nice clean build that would even fit into a 1590A enclosure. Finally, for the graphics and pedal design I wanted to keep it clean and nice and tidy (much like the insides!) Using my high tech paint studio (unheated garage and rattle cans) I used silver hammertone paint. Originally I planned on using a graphic of Gordie Howe from the Simpsons (internet high five if you get the reference) but alas I finally decided on just adding my name at the bottom. A stupidly bright blue LED completes the pedal. As for naming it I think the Woody Laboratories Woody would be a little bit odd, so we’ll just call it Tweed.

It goes to 11 (Lovepedal Purple Plexi 800)

I just finished watching one of my favourite movies of all time and I thought I’d show off a build I did for 11/11/11. It’s a Lovepedal Purple Plexi 800 clone. The pedal is a typical Marshall in a Box. Being 386 based I thought this pedal would be fairly buzzy but I was suprised at the tones this pedal is capable of. Here’s a pic of the guts. I didn’t add in a battery clip as with the way the pedal is laid out there isn’t enough room for a 9V. Also since my pedals are always on a pedalboard with a dedicated PSU I felt it wasn’t really needed.

As you can see it’s not the most complicated build out there. While it won’t make your 5 watt fender combo sound like a marshall stack it does an alright job. I made the artwork of sir Nigel in GIMP, which is a fantastic piece of open source software I highly reccomend. I finished the build off with some silver Marshall-style knobs and a recklessly bright white LED. It’s been on my board for a while, so I think it’s a keeper. Over the break I’ll post some more builds between hockey games (Go Canada go!)

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