Forum may be experiencing issues.

Main Menu

Show posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Show posts Menu

Topics - Timko

Build Reports / Serpopard Overdrive (#isaklon)
December 15, 2023, 01:18:30 AM
It's been a while since I've submitted any build reports.  I got pretty frustrated with building after my 3rd mess building DiabloChris' Dualin' Herbees filters (more on that white whale in another post some day).  But earlier this fall, I finished a recap and rebuild of an old Gibson G-105 solid state amp for me as well as an old Sunn Beta Lead for a friend.  Around the same time, another musician friend asked me to build him a Klon.  He's only recently gotten into effects, and found that the effect he liked on his Helix was a Klon patch.  I've built a few Klons, but I either didn't build them correctly or didn't understand them enough to figure out what all the fuss was about.  They were never that dynamic to give me a sound that seemed like unicorn tears.

So this time around, I spent quite a bit of time understanding the circuit, how the components fit in, and what tweaking components would do.  I wanted to build a big pedal, so I got some boards from Tonegeek, which mirror the ones that Ceritone sells in their kits.  I also wanted to use 24mm pots, which proved to be an adventure in sourcing the correct dual gang values.  I opted to pick up some Comos Tacos because they came in the values I was looking for, are well constructed, and just look cool! 

As for mods, I have a few that I added to this build that I think enhanced the overall sound and playability for my own style of playing.
* Audio Taper pot for volume.  This one, after comparing it, really isn't that big of a deal to me.
* Shift resistor network for a little more gain.
* A little more cleans on the clean channel and a little more balance between the clean/dirty channels.
* The common capacitor change to keep the pedal from sounding thin on treble settings.

As for diodes, I had some D9Es I threw in.  I tested a bunch, and I found that after doing these tweaks, I liked a diode with a forward voltage of .3 at 1mA the best.  It gave me the most control with my guitar volume pot and fingerstlye attack.

Artwork, as usual, is an etch by me.  A serpopard is a mythical creature.  It has the body of a leopard and the head and neck of a serpent.  I like the way the pedal turned out with the leopard spot background.  The pink one is mine (man is pink hard to paint and etch), the black one went to my friend, and the green one will be auctioned next month to support local food pantries in the Kansas City metro. 

So here's to hoping that this will renew my interest in building again!  I'm already beginning to toy around with applying some of the topology to the v2 of my Kansas City Prairiemaster boost pedal!  And I'm looking for some new challenges in some more complex builds in 2024!

Open Discussion / Klons and Diodes
November 19, 2023, 04:07:47 PM
Hi all! After spending the past spring and summer focusing on other things (I was 1/2 of the team running Disc Golf Pro Tour in Kansas City for those who are in the disc golf scene), I'm coming back to the pedal world this fall and winter!  I finally finished up a couple of projects on my bench and began taking on a few new things.  A friend of mine asked me to build him a Klon.  Now I've built a few at various points in my pedal building career but never really gravitated towards them.  I've been more of a clean/treble boost guy, so much of my research has focused there.  But since I'm building him one, I wanted to get a deeper understanding of the circuit and the topology.

So this is a question about Klon diodes, a question that's probably older than time.  I've done a bit of reading already, and saw 2 things mentioned that are directing me in my builds:
* The diodes should have a forward voltage of 0.35v
* Keith at BYOC found that D9E diodes are a very, very close match sonically

I bring these two points up because I bought a collection of Russian diodes off of eBay a few years ago which contains both #1 and #2 above, but I found out that the D9Es (along with the other D9's series I have) measure in the 0.5v, not in the 0.35v.  I'm going to socket my personal build to to see what I prefer sound wise.  And I tend to believe more in values and math, and will gravitate toward finding a diode in the voltage range rather than one that someone says is close in their opinion sound wise.  But from those on this forum who have done a number of Klon builds, what has been your experience here?  Have you found that as long as the forward voltage is in that 0.35v, you're getting the sound you're expecting?
A friend and previous patron reached out to me with a request for a pedal build for his son.  The request was for a very simple to use pedal for bass that would give some cool filter effects.  He asked about the Bassballs in particular.  I had built a Fluff Girl years ago, so I began looking to source some sort of PCB for the build as Grind Customs isn't selling things online anymore.  I was fortunate to find a board from PedalPCB that offered much of the same topology.  I ended up altering that to re-create the original design with only the sensitivity and fuzz external controls.  There's 2 trimpots on the inside for treble/bass response control.  I forgot how loud the fuzz on this things is!!

Graphics are homage to the class Mel Brooks move.  I really liked the big red knob.

Build Reports / Total Recall Delay (EHX DMM)
June 23, 2022, 01:19:38 PM
This one was a real struggle for me.  I started this project in the winter because I've wanted an analog delay in my collection for the longest time.  But after finishing the build, nothing worked right.   The delay sound was incredibly distorted for the longest time.  The voltages were wrong on the Compander.  The oscilloscope wasn't showing useful waveforms.  The biasing directions weren't getting me anywhere.  So I put it in my box of half finished projects with the intention of getting back to it later.  Fast forward a few months.  I had to buy a relatively nice signal generator to aid in fixing a friend's Sunn Beta Lead amp (spoiler alert - those things are LOUD).  Armed with a new tool (toy?), I used it to do a lot of audio probing through the board, thinking some components were at fault.  And it turns out, some of the resistors around the recovery stage after the BBD chips (around Gain2) were either defective or incorrectly connected as I was getting no effect out of that 2nd Gain control.  So that got fixed, and man, does it sound great.  It's brighter than I thought it was going to be.  It also doesn't have the expanse of Feedback options I was expecting.  But I set it for 3-5 delays, set the delay time to what I need (somewhere between 11 and 1), and it's like going to a whole new world.  I played this things for the past few days for hours at a time - it's easy to get lost in it and very easy to be creative.

Artwork is from the Total Recall movie.  Yay finishing project that you have to set down!

General Questions / Sourcing MN3005's for a Total Recall
November 22, 2021, 03:30:06 AM
I've had a Total Recall in my stack of boards for a few years now and wanted to pick it up as a holiday project.  However, I'm finding that the Xvive MN3005 isn't as readily available as it used to be.  Is my best source for these something like this eBay store, or is there another place I should be looking?
After some time away from pedal building to enjoy the winter months and my other hobby (disc golf), I got back in the saddle over the past couple of months to finish this.  The previous owner of my house is a pedal steel player, and after a series of odd coincidences, we met each other for the first time last year after he sold me my house 8 years ago.  He was interested in my pedals, and I said I'd build him something since we are both in the alumni of owners of this house and musicians :).  He wanted a delay, and after lending him half a dozen that I had built, we landed on the Abductor Delay from Dead Astronaut.  The pedal construction was pretty straight forward for me (I've built both Sagans, the Multiplex, and a few other PT2399 designs), but the off board wiring was a chore.  Thank goodness for ribbon cable!

This particular musician also photographs decommissioned ICBM sites in the midwest, and he wanted a military aesthetic for it.  In fact, we probably spent more time going back and forth on the enclosure design than I did actually building it.  The combination of the color, simple text, and those fantastic Neve console knobs from BLMS really knocked this one out of the park.  I ordered an extra board, and based on my experience with it so far, I'll be building one of these for myself.  They're a lot of fun if you like ambient delay.

I have 2 other projects in flight now and plan to try my hand at an EAGLE layout on a rework on an original(ish) design I did.  Let the fall/winter build commence!

Open Discussion / Delay Suggestions
May 22, 2021, 09:34:04 PM
As fate would have it, a pedal steel player sold me my house.  I found out he played steel nearly 7 years after my purchase, but he's found out that I build pedals, and he asked if I'd be interested in building something for him.  He wanted to start doing some ethereal soundscape stuff with them.  I lent him my 1776 Multiplex, DiabloChris Sagan Delay v1, and Culturejam Triton Delay.

He enjoyed the sound of all of them, and I believe I'm going to build him a Multiplex (primarily because you can't get boards for the other 2 anymore), but I wanted to see if there were any other wild delay PCBs out there I should look at.  Thanks!
Build Reports / Sagan Delay 2.0
March 05, 2021, 08:28:37 PM
I finished this up a couple of weeks ago, but I've been to busy enjoying it to post.  I got this 2.0 board from Diablochris a while back.  With the severly cold weather that came to the midwest earlier this winter, it was a great project to work on.  It has a MUCH smaller footprint than the 1.0 version I built.  And while it doesn't have the control than the 1.0 version has, it's considerably easier to get usable sounds out of. 

Artwork is based on the files that Chris supplied, changed into something suitable for pedal etching.  I highly recommend this one for someone looking for a new delay project.

Open Discussion / NAD (A Maggie Holy Grail)
September 17, 2020, 09:13:11 PM
Since I got into electric guitars 7 years ago, I have been on the hunt for a vintage Magnatone with the true F.M. Vibrato.  There's a great resource on old Maggies (, and while I have a little 5w Varisty from the early 50s that is a Tweed Champ killer, I've been longing for one of their big 2x12s.  However, living in the Midwest, these things are incredbily rare and difficult to source as Magnatones 1.) aren't that common and 2.) were mainly a West Cost amp.  As someone who has a 4 state craiglist search, I was very shocked to find a 1959 Magnatone 260A 4 hours from me.  On top of that, the seller's family was wanting to take a trip to the Kansas City IKEA, so he brought it down with him!

The 260A is from the origins of rock era (think Buddy Holly).  The 280 is the true stereo amp, but contains a wealth of tubes and weighs nearly 70 pounds.  This is a much lighter 40 pounds, and is a mono 2x12".

The thing was in GREAT shape.  The only knock on it was that someone had scratched settings into the faceplate which is really a shame.  But the tolex has very little wear, came with a ratty original slip cover, and  (most importantly) has the original manual.  The seller had even put in a vintage AlNiCo Jensen P12N, and is shipping me the other original Magnatone speaker!

The Tremolo is the thing these amps are famous for (and yes, it really is as good as people say), but the amp itself sound fantastic.  It loves the lower output single coil pickups on my custom Mary Kaye strat and Johnny Marr jaguar.  It can grind, but man, does it just ring when pushed just to the edge of breakup.

Outside of eventually buying a Hiwatt Custom 50, I may finally own all of the vintage amps I personally ever could want.

Josh Scott's "He's Got the Box" immediately went through my head when I got this gem with the amp.
One of the builders of my hardtail Mary Kaye Stratocaster from June asked me if I had a tap tremolo he could borrow.  I had build the v2.1 board of Dave Rolo's Twin Peaks Tremolo, and he loved it so much, he asked if I could build him one.  I was stoked to find that Delyk had traced the v2 circuit, and put it on 1 PCB!

If you've never had the chance to build this particular circuit, and you're a fan of tremolo, you're missing out.  I own a '63 Blond Tremolux as well as a '59 Magnatone 260A, and as an admitted addict to vintage tremolo, I can attest this thing really sounds fantastic.  Add in the tap functionality and wave shape, and this may be the 1 trem to rule them all.

Graphic design was at the request of my friend.  I tried to talk him into pitchforks and the font from Queens of the Stone Age's "Songs For the Deaf," but he liked this, and I think the etching turned our really well.

BIG thanks to Haberdasher for hooking me up with a TAPLFO2 chip; my TAPLFO3 chip showed up from Europe yesterday after ordering it in the middle of July ;).

The blue tape with a little loop at the top on white boxes with the recipient's name has become somewhat of a signature of mine.
General Questions / 24mm pots and a Mestro Phaser
July 29, 2020, 06:04:47 PM
My amp tech gave me a vintage Maestro phaser MP-1 to repair (the ones in the silver metal box).  He said the effect doesn't go slow enough.  And sure enough, the first part of the Speed pot has no change on the effect. I assume that the pot may be worn out and needs replaced.  For those who have worked on vintage effects, is this something that may be true? 

Also, the pot that may need replaced is a panel mount 24mm Reverse Audio 1M with a pretty long shaft.  I've been searching around for an exact replacement, but I've not had luck finding one.  Should I opt for a solder lug pot and connect it myself, or is there some place I could find something like that?

If I fix this, he said he'd tune up my Magnatone Varisty from the 50s, so I'm trying really hard to get it working for him :).

General Questions / TAPLFO 3 Backwards Compatible?
July 06, 2020, 12:58:04 AM
I lent a friend my Twin Peaks tremolo I built a few years ago.  He liked it so much that he asked if I could build him one.  I know that Dalyk sells PCBs for that circuit, but it requires the TAPLFO2 chip. I looked at the pinout on the new TAPLFO3, and I don't believe it's backwards compatible. Am I correct here?
Open Discussion / NGD! Blonde and Gold
June 30, 2020, 07:00:50 PM
I've joked during all quarantine that I managed to not buy a new guitar.  And it's still accurate - technically.  Seuf Guitars is a local custom shop run by the twin brothers Shaun and Marq Pencher.  They've been my go-to techs for nearly 3 years.  And they've done some awesome stuff for me from painting my Jaguar green to refretting a 70's Les Paul Custom.  However, their true passion centers around building vintage style Fender guitars.  And for the longest time I didn't have something I wanted them to build.  That changed early last year when I saw the image of a 1959 Mary Kaye Stratocaster.  The '59 was unique because it had a Rosewood neck with a mint pickguard (instead of the '57s you see with maple and white).  I thought this was the most amazing Strat I had ever seen.  And as an added bonus, it was a hardtail and ridiculously light.  So in early December, I sat in Shaun and Marq's house for a couple hours, discussing neck shape, body material, wiring, and paint, then handed them a stack of cash.  They told me it would take about 3 months to complete, so I'd see it in mid March.  Spoiler alert: The only thing I saw in mid March was my house. A lot.  My body arrived (an amazing 1 piece ash piece) prior to lock down, but my neck had a knot in it and had to be re-made (which didn't get done until late April).  For those familiar with Mary Kayes, you know that all of the hardware is gold.  We looked at a number of options, but we couldn't find a matching set of gold hardware we liked (we couldn't match a gold hardtail color wise), so we decided to order nickel hardware and have it plated locally.  However, the plating couldn't happen until mid May.

All of these delays ended up being a blessing though.  The Shaun got to really nerd out on UV aging and the closet classic relicing, and Marq spent a lot of time prototyping the pickups I wanted.  I wanted to have a Broadcaster style bridge pickup as well as an option for bridge+neck like a tele.  After a lot of experimentation, we ended up with a 9k pickup that's got plenty of twang.

So Saturday, I picked this up.  It's a svelte 6lbs, 7oz.  While I had originally asked for a 3 way switch for neck and bridge with a blend control for the middle pickup on the 2nd tone knob, Marq used a 5 way with a blend control that does a million things.  It's still all single coil sounds, but imagine getting the best from the tele and strat world. 

And that color?  It's tough to beat.  The relicing (a Seuf specialty) is really top notch.  It's a beautiful closet classic job.  Everything was plated (even the truss rod nut), then they wore the gold off on the screws where a player would have had their hands for 50 years.

Pictures by them, and really show off that great wood grain coming through the blonde finish.

They are supposed to update their website at some point soon, but if anyone is interested, you can find them at
General Questions / Waterslide Graphics
May 26, 2020, 05:39:21 PM
I finally got the artwork for my Lola Phase from DEFx designed.  It's in a massive 1550G enclosure, so I'm forgoing my normal etching style for a waterslide.  I have some Lazertran laser waterslide paper from some earlier projects, and tried to use that.  I had previously used the color printer at work, but since the office is closed, I went to a local Office Depot.  Their printer ate two piece of my paper.  I've been calling around to various print shops in my city, but no one knows how to print on it (and most don't even know what it is).

For those who print on waterslides, do you have any recommendations I could use to print them at a printing store?
General Questions / Fun Waterslide Question
May 09, 2020, 11:19:20 PM
Most of the enclosure I do are acid etched, but occasionally I do some waterslide.  In this case, I'm doing waterslide because the enclosure is so damn big (The Lola BiPhase from DEFx fits in a Hammond 1550G).  I wanted to try to do some things along all 4 sides as well as the top.  I've laid out a graphic in Inkscape for that, and was curious if it's more practical to put the graphic on as a single waterslide, or to waterslide each side separately as well as the top.  Since my decal work is minimal, I figure that someone has been crazy enough to try this with either great or awful results.
General Questions / Sourcing LDRs
April 18, 2020, 03:01:39 AM
The Duelin' Herbies has been my proverbial Waterloo. I burned out a board trying to troubleshoot one this winter.  But since I drilled the enclosure (and it was a lot of frilling), I ordered a new board from Chris, hoping to get this one right. After some more troubleshooting, I finally got the LEDs functioning like they should. But I still got not envelope effect. So I measured the LDRs I had sourced (some GL5528s), and boy are they off. The values are supposed to be around 10k with light and 1M with dark, but these were going over 10M dark. I tested about a dozen of the ones I got and all were about the same.

So I'm interested how people source LDRs to ensure they are sent a part in the specs they are after. I either ordered them off of Amazon or eBay (probably the latter). Are there particular eBay dealers that are more reliable than others?
General Questions / 18V AC Adapter
April 14, 2020, 05:22:52 PM
For the DE Fx's Mutron Biphase project, I need an 18V AC power supply.  After trying to figure out the correct search terms, it appears the Ring doorbells use these:

However, they all come with leads exposed instead of an adapter.  When wiring an AC adapter, there's no ground/power connections.  You would just connect the two wires from a barrel adapter to the power supply and be done with it, correct?  I'm pretty sure this is correct but wanted to check before I ordered something that would fry my build.
Does anyone have one?  I've had a populated board for a couple years that I never boxed.
General Questions / Rotary Switch Question
April 08, 2020, 06:01:09 PM
I have a 3p4t switch that I want to wire for 5 different selections.

No Option
Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4

This is how I thought I could wire it.  I connected inputs to pins 5-8, and the output to Pole B.
4 - Off (nothing is wired here)
5 - Selection 1
6 - Selection 2
7 - Selection 3
8 - Selection 4

I thought that continuity for the B Pole would only happen for selection 5-8.  However, I noticed that for selection 4, continuity between the B pole and pin 8 is also selected.  Similarly, pin 4 has continuity to the B Pole in position 1, pin 5 has continuity in position 2, etc.  I'm using this switch:

Should I order a 1p6t switch instead or is there a way to make this work with a 3p4t switch?
General Questions / Rustbucket Issues
March 26, 2020, 12:24:11 AM
I had mentioned in a post in the Shelter In Place sub forum that I am working on a Rustbucket.  I can essentially confirm that there's no effect signal making it out of the circuit as I can turn the blend knob counterclockwise and hear clean signal, then clockwise and hear nothing.  I would also mention that all ICs, transistors, and electro caps were acquired from either Mouser or Smallbear so at the moment I'm going to assume my parts are good.

Using my audio probe, I can confirm that I am getting signal out of pins 7 and 8 of the MN3007. 

I can also confirm that I'm getting signal through the portion of the schematic marked A  However, the signal gets very faint on the Q7 side of R50. 

I traced the audio signal down to D5.  On the anode side I hear signal.  However, no signal on the cathode.

Now for the voltages.  I'm only going to list the voltages of the things that are off as the voltages for everything else looks pretty much in line for the moment.








I noticed that IC7 was getting warm too which sure isn't good.  The voltages look to be a mess there honestly and I may try re-flowing all of the IC sockets and transistors that don't look right.  But rather than just re-flowing a bunch of parts, is there a particular place I should start looking in terms of the signal path?