DIY stompboxes

sundin4prez

Senior member
Messages
350
does anybody know how to build there own pedals............i have been searching for a while , but i cant find kits of any sort.................so....
 

jimh

Senior member
Messages
1,344
http://www.buildyourownclone.com/

check it.  I bought two pedals (they are doing a deal at the moment if you buy 3 you get a phaser kit free - or something along those lines) and had great clean boost (with 5 "sounds") built within about 2hours, and a 5-knob compressor the following day.  Great fun, and they come with lots of tweaks for you to tailor your sound.  And they are cheap.  And they use good quality components, and they are well built if you take your time.
There's a great forum for getting help and tips an tricks. A bit like this one, but for pedals.

Great stuff
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
I agree BYOC is a great place.  Other places for help or places to get stuff are...  Smallbear for just about any part that is used in a stompbox, or DIY Stompboxes for some good prices on 3PDT switches and strip boards.  DIY Stompboxes also has a great forum for questions.
Patrick

 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
I've heard some people knocking BYOC too.  I asked a friend who is a big gearhead and he said the BYOC stuff sounds just as good but the construction isn't as nice as on a Boss or similar.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
there's another place guitargadgets or something like that.. I've used their boards... they're ok~
 
I

ildar

Guest
I sometimes etch my own boards, or even better, just use perfboard and build from schems. PCBs are great if it's a complicated circuit (modulation, certain filters, etc.), but for dirt boxes, perf all the way.
 
N

neilium

Guest
I've built a couple things from generalguitargadgets.com. Nice kits, good instructions. I like both pedals very much.
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
thats the place

I built up a bluesbreaker box clone... then bought a bluesbreaker to see how it sounded compared to the original.

they were virtually identical - could not tell em apart

I ended up modding the clone a bit, then since Vic got the original, I modded his the same way
 
I

ildar

Guest
-CB- said:
thats the place

I built up a bluesbreaker box clone... then bought a bluesbreaker to see how it sounded compared to the original.

they were virtually identical - could not tell em apart

I ended up modding the clone a bit, then since Vic got the original, I modded his the same way

That's the beauty of diy'ing fx pedals from the ground up-you can build in ease of modifications, rather than a kit, in which you kind of have to stick to the formula. Unless you like soldering flying leads and daughter boards in a 3" by 2" box.  :laughing8:
 

-CB-

Senior member
Messages
5,427
Actually.... the flying lead thing is what I have.

The BB-Clone started life as, and still looks like, a Big Muff (Russian)

Long ago, I'd re-potted the russkie Muff, and did some other improvements.  I have this love/hate relationship with Big Muffs, so this one was on the hate list, and it got gutted.  Saved the pots, the LED, and the footswitch.  The rest is all new.

The "mod" I did was quite accidental.  As you know, the BluesBreaker is a rather low gain type of OD box.  It has its own tone, but its rather low in gain (the original that is... new hi/low ones might have the same mod I did!).  Well I was using the box... and stomped it and it went ungodly high gain.  I was totally amazed.  I stomped a few times and it crackled and went low gain, then high.. and I knew I had a loose or shorting connection.  Wire unsoldered.  Just left there in the hole in the board...  So I started to experiment, and saw that the wire really was giving negative feedback to the first stage IC, limiting its gain.  Ok, so lets "limit" the negative feedback for more gain.  And thats what I did.  Instead of an open connection.... which was too much... just over the top, I experimented with resistor values and found one that gave a nice smooth useful range from "barely driven" almost totally clean, to a nice grind.  And that was that.  After a bit, ol' Vic wanted it too, so I hadda figure out how to do it on his box - which was factory original.  Turned out to be an easy trace cut, and solder a resistor across the place you just cut.  Now he has a clone of the clone!
 
I

ildar

Guest
I've got a Bluesbreaker clone as well. I like it quite a lot as-is. If I needed a high-gainer, I'd try that mod out, sonds cool...and easy.

+1 for BMPs. I've got a US one that I've just modded the life out of, and I don't like it any more now than I did new out of the box. I had a few over the years that I liked, one that I loved, and a few I've hated.
 

JTM

Active member
Messages
51
Perfboards are ok but they can be a pain to solder and even more to cut the lines on the lined ones, you're never quite sure if the thing is actually well cut or if there is still some contact.
Etching PCBs is quite easy to do as well and much cleaner to solder.
I built a 12ax7 overdrive some years ago, it sounded good but a bit noisy.

I find the biggest problem with DIY stompboxes is building a good case.
In my valve overdrive the valve was just sitting on top of the stombox ! No way the thing was going anywhere near the ground :)
 

Ted

Senior member
Messages
526
ildar said:
-CB- said:
thats the place

I built up a bluesbreaker box clone... then bought a bluesbreaker to see how it sounded compared to the original.

they were virtually identical - could not tell em apart

I ended up modding the clone a bit, then since Vic got the original, I modded his the same way

That's the beauty of diy'ing fx pedals from the ground up-you can build in ease of modifications, rather than a kit, in which you kind of have to stick to the formula. Unless you like soldering flying leads and daughter boards in a 3" by 2" box.  :laughing8:

:doh:

You "stick to the formula" because thats how the original pedal was built!

If you want to mod certain elemets like bass, more gain etc, you can do this with a kit as easily as building from the ground up.

I'd recommend BYOC to anyone interested in learning more about pedals. I've built quite a few and often these require no mods as they sound so good.
 
I

ildar

Guest
Ted said:
ildar said:
-CB- said:
thats the place

I built up a bluesbreaker box clone... then bought a bluesbreaker to see how it sounded compared to the original.

they were virtually identical - could not tell em apart

I ended up modding the clone a bit, then since Vic got the original, I modded his the same way

That's the beauty of diy'ing fx pedals from the ground up-you can build in ease of modifications, rather than a kit, in which you kind of have to stick to the formula. Unless you like soldering flying leads and daughter boards in a 3" by 2" box.  :laughing8:

:doh:

You "stick to the formula" because thats how the original pedal was built!

If you want to mod certain elemets like bass, more gain etc, you can do this with a kit as easily as building from the ground up.

I'd recommend BYOC to anyone interested in learning more about pedals. I've built quite a few and often these require no mods as they sound so good.
Really?
Suppose you want the input stage from a Tube Screamer, tonestack from one of the Runoffgroove so-called "amp sim" circuits, and the output stage from a BMP? How about adding a comp circuit in there somewhere?
What I said was mods and customization is much easier when you go from the ground up. But go ahead, drop $70, $80, $100 on a clone circuit and I'll build pedals the way I want them for about $25 a piece.
 

Ted

Senior member
Messages
526
ildar said:
Ted said:
ildar said:
-CB- said:
thats the place

I built up a bluesbreaker box clone... then bought a bluesbreaker to see how it sounded compared to the original.

they were virtually identical - could not tell em apart

I ended up modding the clone a bit, then since Vic got the original, I modded his the same way

That's the beauty of diy'ing fx pedals from the ground up-you can build in ease of modifications, rather than a kit, in which you kind of have to stick to the formula. Unless you like soldering flying leads and daughter boards in a 3" by 2" box.  :laughing8:

:doh:

You "stick to the formula" because thats how the original pedal was built!

If you want to mod certain elemets like bass, more gain etc, you can do this with a kit as easily as building from the ground up.

I'd recommend BYOC to anyone interested in learning more about pedals. I've built quite a few and often these require no mods as they sound so good.
Really?
Suppose you want the input stage from a Tube Screamer, tonestack from one of the Runoffgroove so-called "amp sim" circuits, and the output stage from a BMP? How about adding a comp circuit in there somewhere?
What I said was mods and customization is much easier when you go from the ground up. But go ahead, drop $70, $80, $100 on a clone circuit and I'll build pedals the way I want them for about $25 a piece.


Suppose you want the input stage from a Tube Screamer, tonestack from one of the Runoffgroove so-called "amp sim" circuits, and the output stage from a BMP? How about adding a comp circuit in there somewhere?
And this is a clone of which pedal???
 
I

ildar

Guest
Exactly my point, it's not a clone. Back to my original statement:
That's the beauty of diy'ing fx pedals from the ground up-you can build in ease of modifications, rather than a kit, in which you kind of have to stick to the formula.
It's called being individual.
 

Ted

Senior member
Messages
526
OK my point is with a kit you do not have to stick with a formula. You can mod it.

Most kits I've seen are clones of older long gone pedals no longer in production or variations of popular production pedals, TS, Rat, FF etc.

The builds are prescriptive because they follow the original schematic - hence - your comment you have to stick with the formula. But, you don't...really. I've moded most of my pedals, but normally I just leave them stock because they sound so good...

I am not arguing with you about costs of kits, I know I can build a pedal for cheap and I am doing one right now (Jordan Boss Tone clone).

I just disagree about your comment about the inflexibility of kits.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
I'd also make the point that not everyone wants to build something from the ground up.  I guess I don't want to buy a guitar blank to cut the shape out, route the cavities, and finish the guitar body.  The kit takes care of a lot of those details I do not want to deal with.  You can still play with a ton of different modification without having to play with perfboard/stripboard.  I agree with one of your earlier posts that most dirt boxes do not require much, but some pedals do.  I would like a pedal I can kick around, and I have more confidence in a PCB on the more complex pedals.

That being said, I also have perf board and stripboard projects.  Noisemakers that no one else saw fit to try...  But for something like a chorus, I am buying a kit and modding it rather than building one from the ground up.  My $0.02.
Patrick

 

dbw

Senior member
Messages
4,531
Patrick from Davis said:
I'd also make the point that not everyone wants to build something from the ground up.  I guess I don't want to buy a guitar blank to cut the shape out, route the cavities, and finish the guitar body.  The kit takes care of a lot of those details I do not want to deal with.  You can still play with a ton of different modification without having to play with perfboard/stripboard.  I agree with one of your earlier posts that most dirt boxes do not require much, but some pedals do.  I would like a pedal I can kick around, and I have more confidence in a PCB on the more complex pedals.

That being said, I also have perf board and stripboard projects.  Noisemakers that no one else saw fit to try...  But for something like a chorus, I am buying a kit and modding it rather than building one from the ground up.  My $0.02.
Patrick
+1!!  Well said Patrick.
 
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