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Topics - Timko

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General Questions / 24mm pots and a Mestro Phaser
« on: July 29, 2020, 12:04:47 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?
« on: July 05, 2020, 06:58:04 PM »
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
« on: June 30, 2020, 01:00:50 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
« on: May 26, 2020, 11:39:21 AM »
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
« on: May 09, 2020, 05:19:20 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
« on: April 17, 2020, 09:01:39 PM »
The Dueliní 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 Iím 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
« on: April 14, 2020, 11:22:52 AM »
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.

General Questions / Drill Template for Krypton Phaser?
« on: April 09, 2020, 02:51:22 PM »
Does anyone have one?  I've had a populated board for a couple years that I never boxed.

General Questions / Rotary Switch Question
« on: April 08, 2020, 12:01:09 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
« on: March 25, 2020, 06:24:11 PM »
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?

Build Reports / The Upsidedown Reverb (Tesseract)
« on: March 21, 2020, 07:22:00 PM »
The middle of March is when I began preparing for the disc golf season in Kansas City.  My guitar playing (and pedal building) normally take a back seat to the social aspect of disc golf through leagues and tournaments.  However, it's pretty obvious that 2020 is not going to be a normal year.  As an extrovert that lives alone, I've decided to finish up some half finished builds from the winter that I was going to slowly tackle over the summer because I'm going to need something to keep my hands and my mind busy.  First up is Diablochris's Tesseract Reverb.  If you're familiar with this build, you'll notice that I used a 3PDT switch and have an extra pair of wires connecting to the third lug.  There's a design quirk on this build that never lets the dry signal get totally dry when the effect is bypassed.  Chris worked with me to understand it and offered a suggestion on how to still allow the tails functionality while letting it eventually fade into a dry signal once the effect is disengaged.  The effect itself is pretty cool.  While it never gets totally wild, I do like how I can use it for shoegaze style sounds when you turn things up a bit.   I've normally used delays instead of reverbs but can see this being something that gets some serious time on my board.

Artwork was inspired when Stranger Things announced season 4.  Some of the etch didn't transfer completely (The B in Reverb) and I may try my hand at trying to hand cut that out with an X-Acto blade sometime soon.  I'll definitely have the time to mess around with it ;)

Up next is Madbean's Rustbucket.  I'm working on artwork now.

Build Reports / Derezzed Chorus (Aion BLueshift)
« on: March 10, 2020, 07:35:15 PM »
After 3 months of testing and debugging,  my Blueshift is finally boxed and on my board.  I do think one of my delay chips sounded a bit off during the initial build but once I replaced both of them (and their clocks) it really sounds fantastic.  My 3207's were from 2 different runs (the CoolAudio graphics looked a little different on each) and I think there may have been slight differences in the runs.  Gordo's description of a "slight modulation that never really goes anywhere" is perfect way to put the feel of this effect.  The chorus is expansive and unlike anything I have played with.

Thanks to everyone who replied to my troubleshooting thread.  One of the awesome thing about this community is it's desire to help each other when someone has a problem or doesn't understand something.  You learn a lot more when things don't go as planned :).  Also, Kevin at Aion did a fantastic job with the layout.  How he managed to cram this many thru hole components into a box this size is really a work of art.

The paint is a slight homage to the original.  It was my first time working with sparkle paint and I love the way it turned out.  The name and graphics also date back to the 80s with a nod to TRON.  I was having problems initially with the boards separating from their pins so I put a little yellow component wrap inside and it fits like a glove now.

VFE Projects / White Horse Gradually Increasing Hum Sound
« on: February 07, 2020, 01:15:26 PM »
I picked up a White Horse after hitting a dead end trying to correct Aion's Blueshift.  And would you know it; I've managed to find some other weird issue with a considerably simpler build.  I noticed that when I engage the pedal and am not playing, a hum that gets progressively louder comes out of the effect.  When I begin playing, the hum compresses down with the rest of the signal, so I think that the overall compression effect works. 

I used Lumberg style jacks so I didn't do the grounding ring thing connected to the footswitch.  That said, I'm going to make sure that there's adaquate contact between the metal enclosure and the jack later tonight.  I looked at the inside of the effect this morning and could see a little paint in there.  I don't think that's really the cause because the hum isn't near as present when the blend knob is counterclockwise, bringing in the clean signal.  But that aside, the fact that the effect gets progressively louder when I'm not playing seems odd.

I used a 2.6V white diffused light for the LED, and have maxed out the brightness of that light on the switching board.  All of the switch functionality works.  The voltages look about right on most of the pins, but I did notice on the pins that say "varies" on the TLE2074 the voltage is approximately 0.

I plan to do some more signal tracing this evening, but if anyone has encountered an issue like this (maybe it's not even an issue) I'd be interested to hear.

For some reason I thought I had shared this but apparently not.  This is the 4th Kansas City Prairiemaster I've built.  It's the first one in a normal 1590BB box as I realized I didn't need the extra height in the first two boxes.  I also did some control re-labeling.  This is also the first one in a "custom color" of hunter green. 

This one is really unique in that it's being auctioned on my Facebook page to help add to Kansas City Disc Golf's 2020 Ice Bowl donation to local KC food pantries to help fight hunger! Last year I donated one of Grind Custom's Supernature effects I built to a raffle, but felt that the auction would be better as non disc golfers would bid on it.  I'm really excited to let a few of my passions overlap like this!

Also, this one comes with sound demos!  And pictures by someone good with a camera!  The gutshot was by me and looks like crap, as expected :).  I had a lot of fun learning some of the ins and outs of recording guitar over the past two weeks.  I'm going to try to make demos a regular thing going forward on other builds.  Check out some of the sound demos here:

If by chance you're interested in helping support Kansas City Disc Golf's effort to fight hunger in the metro, you can find information about the auction on my Facebook page:

Build Reports / Gray Wolfe Distortion (VFE Alpha Dog)
« on: December 15, 2019, 08:08:32 PM »
My Blueshift build has been giving me fits, so I took a break this weeekend to finish the enclosure for this. A friend asked me to build something for his sister for Christmas. He couldnít tell me anything about the music she plays or the instruments she has, so I decided to go with an LM308 build since thatís my favorite distortion. Itís also the first VFE build Iíve done, and Iím really excited to finish the other two I bought (a co press or and a Klon). Itís also the first time Iíve worked with a 1590B enclosure in nearly 2 years. It was fun to revisit something smaller than my tropical work.

Sound wise this thing is incredible. Thereís so many tonal options from the classic Rat sound to something modern and heavy. Thereís rven this cool octave thing I found if I turn the gain down and use the 1n34 soft clipping.

After searching everywhere for 10K-C 9mm pots, I found them at Mouser. They have a long shaft so I attempted to use a Dremel to cut it to length. Next time Iíll use a music lower setting because it melted the plastic knob at an angle.  Itís still functional though.

The graphic is simple but looks good on the small box. Iím a big Tom Wolfe fan (journalist and author) so I put that in there as well.

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