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Topics - diablochris6

Build Reports / Wow, I actually worked on some pedals!
October 03, 2022, 05:13:02 PM
It's been a while! I walked the dark path of guitar building and practically forgot that I enjoy building pedals too! I finally got around to put the finishing touches on some completed PCBs in my pile.

First up are the delays. One is Madbean's Total Recall, and the other is lectricfx's DC Echo. Both are incredible sounding delays, and I kept with my Brainy Ape/Planet of the Apes motif. The small delay is an old Madbean Dirtbag Delay...sort was after Brian stopped making them and I was trying to teach myself Eagle, so I cloned the whole board! I had more spare time and energy back in the day, haha!

The other two are fuzzes. The Snafuzz is a rehouse of an older pedal I had and is based off the Clusterfuzz. The Sinister Calculus is an old version of Mask Audio Electronic's Black Math. Alec is a really cool guy, and I ended up with one of his PCBs as he was transitioning to SMD. The Black Math is pretty much a NY reissue Muff with an added boost stage and snazzy relay switching. Gnarly stuff! I tried to pay homage to his original enclosure work on this one.

Build Reports / Tone Virus
August 31, 2021, 10:27:27 PM
It's been too long since I showed off a pedal build, and honestly, the best part isn't even by me! This is Madbean's Tone Virus board which might be my wife's least favorite pedal to hear me play out of. So many weirdo sounds coming out of this. It's a simple and satisfying build, and it's even easier when the stellar enclosure is done by Bio77. Fantastic work, John! We went for a design scheme similar to the Sagan Delay. What took so long for me to post it? I never got a round to buying knobs for it...until now!

Build Reports / Charnauk Delay
December 31, 2020, 05:47:38 AM
I forgot that I built this over the summer and didn't post it. This is an idea I slapped together a while back but never put into an enclosure. I posted a video of me playing it on Instagram, and someone asked if I could build him one. I built him one, but it didn't work right, so I gave him my board that was functioning correctly. It's a delay that gets into weird warped territory because it has multiple LFOs to modulate delay time and echo filtering. One LFO is a ramp down triangle wave that only affects delay time (like most modulation on delays), and the other LFO is several square waves summing at different rates for a pseudo-random warble that controls delay time modulation as well as part of those summed signals affecting a HPF filter's frequency cutoff. There is also a gain stage to clip the delay signal and a switch to use one or two PT2399s in series. The guy that bought it from me also wanted a momentary switch to kick in the delay sporadically but also wanted it bypassable with a toggle switch.

The enclosure is bare with a waterslide decal and Envirotex over it.

And I managed to get a little demo of this oddity before shipping it out.
Build Reports / Postfontaine Drive
December 31, 2020, 12:26:32 AM
I made this Postfontaine Drive for a buddy of mine. It's basically has the heart of a Tubescreamer but has Klon-like buffers and a bass/mid/treble cut and boost with gyrators for ultimate tone tweaking. There is also a toggle to set the mid frequency cutoff as it goes into the clipping stage, whereas the bass and treble controls come after the clipping. There are also 4 clipping options: symmetrical TS-style, asymmetrical SD-1 style, red LED, and 2n7000/1N34A Zendrive style. Super versatile, and super fun!

I had a difficult time with the Tayda powdercoat, waterslide decal, and Envirotex, so I ended up torching and scraping it all off and drew on it with Sharpies and a good coat of clear enamel.

Build Reports / Somnambulist (Korg MS-20 HPF)
November 15, 2020, 09:43:21 PM
It's been way too long since I've finished a pedal! With the whole teaching and homeschooling my own kiddos due to pandemic, I haven't had much time to actually sit down and build anything for myself, which I'm sure many of you can commiserate. What pedal-building free time I had over the summer was mostly spent being semi-professional by designing PCBs for others and helping to develop an analog flanger for a company, and I rarely felt the desire to buy components to finish any of my own projects. I finally got around to finishing this one though; it's a high pass filter based off the Korg MS-20 that has two LFOs battling for filter sweeps and a spot for an expression jack, and I call it The Somnambulist. There is actually a spot for a switch to toggle between LPF and HPF modes, but I wanted two distinct pedals to play around with this time. The background art is a color-inverted image of a watercolor painting my son did.

And side by side with its evil twin.
Build Reports / Build Report Bonanza
August 30, 2019, 10:12:27 PM
Haven't posted any builds in a while. I got real busy with medical stuff and changing jobs at the last minute as well as feeling my hobby focus move a little away from pedals and more into a guitar I am building from scratch. It took many months to actually box these up and a couple more months before I bought knobs for them, but here they are! They all use laser jet waterslides and Envirotex on top. I might go into more detail with some of the circuits later if I have the time.

Brejna's Warhead VH4 distortion
Wicked distortion to make my Tele get all chun-chunk! I still need to add a jack for the power amp output. This thing likes to squeal with higher gain settings, but the squeal will reduce when I touch the box with my toe, so there might be a grounding issue I need to take care of.

Brejna's Bass Preamp
Basically a Sansamp. I made the Ampeg graphic using Inkscape and gave it some chunky knobs. Too bad I swapped the bass and treble controls! I haven't added the XLR out yet, which accounts for the large hole at the bottom.

The Low Down
I took the basic concept of the chopped Boss OC-2 and added extra stuff. I changed how the octave and clean signals blend and added a square wave and octave down square wave to mix in as well. The standard octave down has an additional tracking, filter, and gain controls for more gnarly and out of control sounds.

Dminner's Optical Ring Modulator
What a wicked and simple circuit design! Gnarly mayhem. I tried to design an enclosure that was a marriage of our two styles.

The Somnambulist
This is based off the Korg MS-20 LPF with two competing LFOs and an expression pedal jack. I have some other ideas about thing to add to it, so it is still a work in progress. I plan on adding a simple CV out to link it with a HPF version soon.
*EDIT: I forgot to mention that the basis of the artwork of this is a watercolor that my 4 year-old son painted a little while back. He was particularly happy that I put his art on one of my pedals.

Voight-Kampff Chorus
This is a three(!) PT2399 chorus loosely based on the Solina String Ensemble chorus unit. You can subtly adjust the influence of the clashing fast and slow LFOs, the depth of each chorus, and the amount of delay feedback for each PT2399. Super-cheesy sound but super-fun! The origami unicorns were made in Inkscape. To boost the insanity level, there are three interconnected PCBs in this build.

The Deadnought
A Big Muff with all the bells and whistles! Loosely based off the Violet Ram's Head, it starts with a tone control at the beginning to use as a focus control for more sludge. You can switch between silicon, germanium, or no clipping diodes for both stages (although the silicon sounds a little lacking at the moment...I might need to tweak a value or two still), and instead of a standard BMP tone stack, I use the EQ controls from a Colorsound OD. On top of that, there is a voltage sag and a switchable pregain LPB-1 more for mayhem. I used the artwork to create a mask to paint part of the background white before applying the waterslide over it. If you notice the stacked boards, that is the tone circuit. I didn't have time to breadboard it all, so I designed a couple variants and popped them in and picked the best one.

Open Discussion / NVGD
January 21, 2019, 05:23:42 PM
Last year, I started a new job, and the teacher I work with found out I played guitar. She said that she has her grandpa's guitar, and that it was Gibson...and it's been in her attic for years. If you don't know how Kentucky weather works, we have hot and super humid summers and below freezing winters. My heart crumbled, and I gave her crap for that. Eventually, she moved the guitar into the garage, which is kind of better. This past December, she brought it to school so I could see it, and she let me hold onto it for a while since she knew I would take care of it, and nobody in her house plays.

As far as I can tell, it's a 1952 Gibson ES-125, a student arch top. My coworker had it refretted before storing it, and the neck is surprisingly straight despite where it was stored. The binding is shrinking, the finish is checking beautifully, the pots and jack are a little dodgy, and the bridge has grooves from string pressure cutting into it. Playing it is a joy both unplugged and through an amp. Boxy without being too muddy. I might try to lower the action a tad and fix the issues mentioned above, but a great player!

Open Discussion / NBD!
September 23, 2018, 02:08:27 PM
Miles came into the world yesterday, and both him and Mom are healthy and happy. You can tell this is a collaboration project since he doesn't have all the knobs and switches that you'd usually see on my other projects. He also didn't come with an instructional manual, but seeing that he is my third, I can pretty much wing it this go around.

Build Reports / Busy Summer Build Bonanza
September 03, 2018, 12:11:06 AM
I haven't been on the forum a ton this summer, but I have built quite a few things. Without further ado...

I built three pedals for my uncle: a Vomit Comet, Postfontaine Distortion, and a stutter switch.

I also took a stab at VFE effects: The White Horse Compressor and Merman from Madbean

I also got my hands on a VFE Bumblebee board. Included is the chemical structure of the main ingredient of bee venom.

I also boxed up a couple of prototypes: the Mixtape Distortion evokes  the pre-amplification, frequency emphasis, saturation, frequency de-emphasis, and tone controls of a tape deck. It can sound sweet or trashy. The Cibola is my take on the Vox Conqueror fuzz heard on Beatles recordings. I allowed for the use of an inductor or small transformer to get the notched EQ sound. I fit it in a 1590B, but it would be better in a 125B since the transformer is a little too tall to fully close the lid.

Build Reports / Doppleganger & Cascadia builds
May 29, 2018, 10:09:59 PM
Completed a couple boards in my "Projects I'll Get Around To Someday" bin.

First up is a Gigahearts layout of the Lovetone Doppleganger that I won in a PIF. I originally had some ticking because the LFO 2 external jack was too close to the input signal, but a ton of copper and electrical tape fixed that problem. The art is a mix of a Schrodinger's cat doodle I made up and a watercolor painting that my 4 year-old (actually, today she turned five) created over a layer of white spray paint. She is pumped that I used her art on two year-old son is a little jealous and wants his painting on a pedal too.

I also finally got the correct diodes to finish up the Cascadia. This thing rips! I have a ton of fun playing this through the Doppleganger. I had fun creating the illustration for this one, but I unfortunately switched the labelling for the gain and volume controls and wasn't diligent enough at removing some of the paper from the enclosure before spraying the clear coat.

Open Discussion / What to do with 1N69 diodes...
May 02, 2018, 04:29:43 AM
I bought a few 1N69 diodes on Smallbear a while back; I think I meant to buy some 1N695s for my Cascadia build. They are from the '50s or so, and I can't think of anything that they could go in. Any suggestions?
Build Reports / Sagan Delay 2.0
April 12, 2018, 03:26:52 AM
I revisited and refined the Sagan Delay circuit I put together a few years ago. I added an always on preamp boost, improved the clipping and tone shaping section of the circuit, and added an onboard LFO for modulation. Gone are the individual delay volume and time controls, but I can add and subtract the delay signals from each individual PT2399. The effects loop changed a little as well; the two modes are now post feedback loop or within the feedback loop for some out of this world sounds. There are two trimpot controls that are accessible through the small holes on the top, a grit control that controls how much clipping occurs on the repeats and a sway control for some subtle LFO fluctuations. The arcade button lights up when the delay is activated and function as an instant feedback oscillation switch.

I designed the graphic in Inkscape and printed it at FedEx/Kinko's. I applied a thin layer of polyacrylic on the enclosure, laid the graphic on top, and rubbed the paper off with water after it dried. I think I found my new favorite way to apply graphics!

And here is the new build next to the original Sagan circuit. Thanks to the stacked boards, I can fit the new version in a 1590BB Tall and have board mounted pots!

Build Reports / Postfontaine Overdrive
March 26, 2018, 11:12:28 AM
I finally got around to putting this together. It's a circuit I designed that is a love letter to the Tubescreamer. It goes through a Klon-style buffer, then on the way to the clipping stage, the mids can be cut or boosted via a gyrator with a switch to switch between corner frequencies. The clipping stage has a rotary for symmetrical, asymmetrical, LED, and MOSFET options before the signal goes into the tone section, which consists of individual gyrators for bass and treble. I feel that this setup allows me to get that TS mid-hump or achieve a different sound altogether.

The board was meant to fit a 125B enclosure, but I miscalculated and have to put it in a 1590BB. The graphic was transferred to the enclosure with acetone. It starts to eat through the powder coat, but I layer of clear spray cleans it up well. I was, let's say, a little too vigorous in putting a knob on the rotary and popped out the ball bearing that clicks the rotary in place. It moves smoothly now, but I have to "dial in" the clipping settings, which isn't that hard.

Build Reports / Late to the Arcadiator game
February 10, 2018, 05:52:10 AM
I finally got around to building an Arcadiator with the extra modulation board, and boy was it worth it! This is a blast to play.

I designed a neat design for the enclosure using the cover art for Super Breakout, but the acetone transfer ate away at the Tayda powdercoat (I know acetone tends to destroy paint, but I got a good transfer with a Hammond-painted box once), so I sanded the top down and left the orange coat on the sides. After another failed acetone transfer on the bare face, I transferred the image via heat but at a cost of detail. I plan on putting on orange Boss or Davies knobs, but who knows when I'll get around to that...

And I had so much fun with this pedal that I made a little tribute video for one of my songs from one of my favorite games, using the Arcadiator almost exclusively a drum track and some delay was added).
Open Discussion / Tayda recently?
January 12, 2018, 10:45:07 PM
Has anybody experienced a lack of service quality with Tayda recently? I received an order this week, but it was missing 15 1uF monolithic caps. Instead, my order came with an envelope with 15 15pF ceramic caps, and the label said they were the 1uF ones. I sent Tayda an e-mail about it, and their only reply so far has been, "Can you look again carefully or at the bottom of the package. The package is very small and could be hiding. This will concern our staff evaluation." I seem to recall a mislabelled envelope in a previous order, but the values were what I wanted, so I ignored it.

After about four years of ordering from them, I never ran into these issues, but maybe its just the luck of the draw.
Open Discussion / Speed bump, muchachos
November 08, 2017, 03:01:25 AM
I have to delay PCB design/production for a little while due to my computer issue as of late.

1. I have a Mac laptop with an iOS of Leopard that runs some ancient version of Eagle (and seems to hate Madbean's libraries).
2. I have an ancient emachines PC that I did most of my PCB design on due to being able to run a newer version of Eagle. The caps on the motherboard decide to start leaking, so the majority of my work is trapped on those hard drives.

Due to this odd predicament, I won't be working on PCBs for a bit until I get a new computer (the missus and I were thinking about it for a Christmas present). When that happens, I'll kick some of my ideas into high gear!
Build Reports / Vomit Comet, Leslie cab in a box
October 14, 2017, 03:23:34 AM
After a heap of prototype boards and redesigns, I finally finished my Leslie-ish circuit! You can read a little more about how it works here. Basically, the audio splits at 796 Hz. The low end goes through tremolo and vibe circuits (anything under 80Hz is unaffected), and the high end has simulated Doppler effect and cabinet resonance with a PT2399 chorus and then a tremolo and vibe circuit. The two pathways can run on one LFO to be synched or can run on independent LFOs. Each LFO can ramp between two speeds, and the ramp rate is controlled by trimpots (they are accessed by the two holes between the speed knobs). It has stereo outputs that can run summed mono signals, one output for high frequencies and the other for the lows, or 100% output of one signal and 50% of the other. There is a slight tick to the LFO, but I bet it would be eradicated with a 470u cap in the power filtering stage. At the levels I play at, it isn't really noticeable, but I'll really take a look at it later. For now, I'm gonna enjoy this beast!

For extra fun, I used three 1776 relay bypasses, one for the bypass and two for the LFO ramp switching. This allows me to use arcade buttons for extra cool factor. For the enclosure, I designed the graphic in Inkscape, printed it out on a photocopier, and transferred it to a powdercoated Hammond enclosure by rubbing acetone on it. The toner just slips right off the paper and onto the box!

Build Reports / Russ Face, Fuzziest of Faces
August 15, 2017, 11:20:14 PM
Had a Hipster board around, so I tweaked it to be more like the Eric Johnson Fuzz Face. For a graphic, I needed the fuzziest of faces, so like a straight up creeper, I grabbed a picture of our very own dropanchor812 off of Facebook and slapped his mug on it. It wouldn't be weird if this was for him, but this goes in my personal stash. 

I could open an Etsy for Fuzz Face portraits. They make great stocking stuffers! Plus, you could put the portrait of someone you dislike so you have the pleasure of stomping on their face. It works both ways.

Haven't built a bunch this year so far; work was pretty intense this school year. I managed to actually box up a few builds. First up is the SNAFUzz which is essentially a Clusterfuzz. I built this up with intentions to fiddle around with values and transistors, but it rocks so well the way it is right now. I applied a green spray paint and gently sprayed gold over it for neat effect. Due to a miscalculation, I had to mangle the rotary switch so I could plug into this.
I also built a GuitarPCB Big Muff with violet ram's head specs and added ALL the mods: mid contour, diode selector, HPF, LPF, Tonebender diode cut, and tone control cut.
Lastly, I had my Tesseract Reverb boxed up in a plain enclosure and decided to spruce it up. I used a mix of light blue, purple, and gold spray paint for a celestial cotton candy look that is much more vibrant in person. I drilled the wrong side for my LED, so I added another so I know when it is powered and when it is activated.