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Topics - desmondtencents

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Tech Help - Projects Page / Quieter than expected Tonebender
« on: January 14, 2018, 08:17:13 PM »
Sooooo, I built one of the 2017 Tonebender boards from the “classics” section of the shop. When I got it done and fired it up, it was considerably quieter than I expected it to be. I’m pretty sure I had a bad trimpot because the voltage jumped back and forth like crazy with just minor adjustments. I also thought changing R8 for a higher value might increase output. I listed a bunch of different transistors to try out too.
Now, some time has passed and I got back around to it. I replaced the trimpots and removed R8 and put in sockets. I already had sockets in for the transistors.
So, trimpots are good and I was able to easily and accurately adjust bias.
I played around with R8 and settled on 1k5.
I tried a bunch of different transistors in various combinations.
Still, it seems like this thing should be louder overall than it is. I have to set the fuzz control pretty high and keep the volume control close to max just to be a bit above unity.
It’s not even close to the first pedal I’ve built but it is my first Tonebender. Silicon or otherwise.
Is it just not that loud of a circuit?
Am I missing something?

Build Reports / Orange Phaser (stage fright)
« on: January 22, 2017, 10:20:04 PM »
Started this one a while back but was missing the LM13700's
It sat on the back burner for a few months but still finally got it wrapped up.
The decal ended up a bit to the right of center and the "n" of stun is a little bit under the washer for the toggle...... oh well, live and learn. It does sound great though!

Build Reports / Klon Centaur clone
« on: January 11, 2017, 02:25:21 AM »
Built this on an Aion Electronics board.
Turned out pretty great if I do say so myself!
Didn't get a gutshot but it's pretty clean. Two of the pots had to be wired off board to make the layout work. I wanted to go with a traditional theme with an obvious twist!

Open Discussion / Soft-touch relay switching
« on: December 28, 2016, 08:46:18 AM »
So I've built a few switching circuits that are available out there. I'm thinking about putting my own layout together. Before I order parts to start breadboarding I have a question.
The ones I've built use a 5V regulator and relays with 5V coils. There are similarly sized relays that have 9V coils. Why not just use the 9V relays and eliminate the regulator?
Most trannies or IC's that might be used in such circuits are rated for well known her 9V.
Why use a regulated 5V supply for these switching circuits?

Open Discussion / Has anyone used this supplier?
« on: November 28, 2016, 11:58:04 AM »

Someone shared a link on a facebook post.
Looks like there might be some good deals there if it's all legit stuff......
Anybody heard of em, tried em?

Open Discussion / Enclosures for loop switchers
« on: November 20, 2016, 08:29:15 PM »
Does anyone know where to find different sizes of these?
I've seen the 1032L types on Smallbear and the like.
What if I just want to build a looper with three loops/switches?
Or if I want to go bigger with eight loops/switches and still have reasonable spacing between switches?
Maybe I need to try some different filtering options over at Mouser........

Open Discussion / The good folks at Small Bear...
« on: October 18, 2016, 07:40:37 AM »
I ordered a White 1590B with my last order. The invoice was correct but they accidentally picked/shipped a Black enclosure instead.
I sent them a copy of the invoice with an email explaining the mix-up. I said I'd be happy to send back the black box if they'd send along the white one I wanted.
I waited a couple of days but didn't see a response so I figured I'd just send back the wrong one with the original invoice and hope for the best.
Before I could get to it, I got an email back from them with a tracking number for the new white enclosure. They apologized for the mistake and said I could keep the black box for the inconvenience!
That's good business! I've seen a few posts about having some trouble with orders from them as well as others. Overall I've had pretty good luck with orders from multiple vendors. I just like to take the time to point out the good stuff too.
So, thanks for taking care of me Small Bear!

now where did I put that list of pots I need to order............

Open Discussion / Creating new pot values......
« on: October 11, 2016, 01:44:51 PM »
So I've been thinking it would be easier to order a whole bunch of just a few values of pots then add resistors to come up with new values. This way, if I want to build something that calls for an odd value pot, I don't have to place an order and wait for a single item.

Here's something I've seen referenced here before. There are options for calculating new values for linear and tapered pots:

My question is, would this be a good idea or can anyone point out specific reasons/situations where this would be a bad idea?
Sure would be nice to just keep 2 or 3 values each for A, B and C pots then just make whatever value is called for......

Open Discussion / Small single conductor shielded wire?
« on: September 26, 2016, 07:47:58 AM »
Where can I find some?
Seems like whenever I search for the stuff, the best thing I find is smallish sized coax cable.
I've used some and made it work well enough but it's still way thicker and stiffer than I'd like.
I've installed new pickups and re-worked the electrics in plenty of guitars. I've removed some stock wiring that uses single conductor, shielded wire and it's not much thicker than comparable standard hook-up wire. So, I know the stuff exists.....
I haven't been able to find anything quite like it anywhere. I'm not sure if it's something that might be manufactured as a special order item or.........
I'd like to find a good source for this stuff so I can use it for my input/output connections just as an added precaution in preventing noise. Would also work well for some cases of off-board wiring. Anywhere the conductor would have to pass close to other parts of the circuit where noise could be induced.
So, does anyone else use SMALL shielded wire in their builds?
If so, can you point me in the right direction?
Many thanks!

Build Reports / "ATM" (Mimik & Ping multi)
« on: September 23, 2016, 09:57:16 PM »
Stuffed a couple of 1590G projects in a box along with a TH Custom soft touch relay bypass and a small piece of strip board for the power connections.
Planning wasn't perfect and the Ping board ended up a bit cocked.
Oh well, sounds awesome!

Build Reports / "Vowel Movement" Honeydripper build
« on: September 22, 2016, 04:00:00 PM »

I started this one forever ago. Finally got around to boxing it up with a pretty simple (I think funny) graphic.
Pretty cool circuit, definitely capable of bringing the funk!

Open Discussion / BLMS has good 1900H clone knobs!
« on: September 16, 2016, 05:59:39 AM »
Got an email from BLMS announcing a new item in stock.
I'm sure a lot of folks on here probably got the same email but, for those who didn't........!/Heavy-Duty-1900/c/20775137/offset=0&sort=normal

I love these knobs but HATED the cheap plastic ones available from most suppliers. They would deform when you tightened the set screw and the knob would appear to "wobble" when you turned it.
I posted links to a couple of synth related sites that had these with the brass inserts for good prices.
However, now that Lawrence is stocking them, he'll be getting my business for sure.
(already placed my first order of these)

General Questions / DIY Stereo effects?
« on: August 24, 2016, 08:52:19 AM »
I've seen a few things that have given me a couple of basic ideas but I'm interested in finding some more.
Anyone have any suggestions for some cool stereo effects?
Looking for things with stereo in and out that maintain separate signal paths.
I was looking at the BTDR-3 belton brick which has stereo outs but if you're running stereo ins, they're summed before hitting the single input to the brick........ bummer.
So, any ideas for delay, reverb, chorus, phaser, tremolo, etc. would be greatly appreciated!

Build Reports / Aion Electronics Cerulean w/mods
« on: August 23, 2016, 12:26:04 PM »

Aion Electronics Cerulean overdrive (Bluesbreaker) built to JHS Morning Glory specs. Added Bright cut mod, high gain mod, external presence control.
Used a Two-Knob-Job board from Barry at and implemented it in a unique way. I used it to have two gain pots (green and red) but I trimmed a little off of the edge of the board so I could stuff in a 4PDT stomp switch and use the extra pole for clipping diode selection along with changing the gain pot settings. Green setting uses four symmetrical 1N914 silicon diodes and the Red gain goes with a combo of germanium diodes (1N34A) and mosfets (2N7000)
Graphic is a waterslide decal over glow in the dark paint. Couldn't get a good picture of it in the dark but it turned out pretty great.
I'll have to update later with a gutshot. It's a bit messy due to all of the off-board wiring that was necessary for the layout.

Build Reports / Trem-O-Verb ended up in a pretty cool spot!
« on: August 23, 2016, 07:03:37 AM »

Tremolo into reverb in one box. I'll have to update with a gut shot later. Built it on strip board, only one little moment of panic. Had a direct short to ground from the +9v. Found a tiny solder bridge and got it cleaned up and put back together.

I built this as a gift for John Baizley of Baroness after having a chance to meet the guys before a show back in May. I delivered it to him at their Detroit show on 8/20 and he put it on his board, in the reverb loop of his gig rig for the show that night!
Pretty cool for any DIY hobby builder to have a build end up on the board of a pro touring musician....
But, this was extra special kick ass for me. Baroness has been one of my absolute favorite bands for a few years now. I've had the good fortune to meet all of the guys and see a couple of great shows.
Super good guys and they put on one hell of a live show!

First time I'm trying to link pictures from Instagram, hopefully I've done it properly......

Guess I goofed the Instagram links....

Do-over from Photobucket.....

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