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Topics - Thewintersoldier

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1
Build Reports / Lectric-fx Fat 32-Boss FT-2
« on: January 02, 2024, 07:24:12 AM »
I'm still not building and getting thru the back log of builds I've finished but not yet posted. After a rough COVID battle and a stressful work/holiday gauntlet I'm attempting to get back in the groove. Here is a fantastic envelope filter from the late 80s. The Boss FT-2 dynamic filter is a VCA based filter that is the best filter I've used in a long time.

The build uses stacked boards and has an optional expression out for use with an expression pedal in manual mode for a more traditional wah experience. I opted to skip the jack because I would never use it. I was lucky to help do research on this simultaneously with the panacea boards and it was a lot of fun and a good Learning experience, being the boss guy has it's perks  The build is very simple and well thought out. How's it sound?

This is a very nice filter. It gives the smoothest and most consistent vocal like wah sound. Unlike the mutron or other filters, this doesn't have that distorted, synthy sound that feels like the decay wants to give out. It's more polite but that means it's more useable. The range of the knobs is great and means there is no unusable sounds and it's very intuitive to dial in. Also this has the best down envelope, and I hate down lol.

I went with a matte black enclosure with tayda UV print. I went with Armin Zola for the enclosure design. I also used a szukalski relay for the bypass. A very fun build that I will hopefully be able to incorporate into my playing as I traditionally struggle with this type of effect. So go build one.

Sent from my Pixel 7 using Tapatalk


2
Build Reports / Anamorph stereo analog delay
« on: December 18, 2023, 07:26:37 AM »
Hello Darkness my old friend. There is nothing like the warm dark repeats of an analog delay. The way they melt into each other and obscure into the background. This is my final build of the year and it was worth the wait. When Brian teased this I was intrigued and after talking to him about it I knew I had to build it. Brian labored over this build tweaking values in different circuit blocks to make it as close to perfect as possible and this is some of his best work.

The anamorph is a mashup of ideas. To me it's the perfect analog delay and ticks so many boxes. At its core it a DM-2 with the clock and modulation of the DMM, with many refinements along the way. It has stereo outputs, the most lush organic modulation, a modified clock circuit and higher headroom. The changes made to the compander maximize headroom along with the charge pump and 15v internal voltage. So how does it sound?

Glorious.

The best of both the DM-2 and DMM is on display at all times. The higher headroom of the memory man mixed with the darker repeats of the DM-2 make for a delay that is darker but never too dark and articulate without the hiss and noise floor. A better range on the feedback control. The modulation feels organic and doesn't feel like it was tacked on like the optical options. The option for tails or regular bypass is great to have internally since most people will set and forget. The stereo spread on this is nice and full sounding. Such an inspired sound.

The build itself was very straightforward and the clock changes not only made it cheaper but calibration was very simple. Excellent layout. I went with a cream tayda enclosure and UV print. For my graphics I went with Eternity as it truly represented the sound and feel of this pedal. I used the standard Boss font with the echo/chorus/vibrato ehx moniker to portray the beautiful collision of circuits. For the demo I used the pedal in stereo straight into my interface with the outputs panned left and right while using amp sims much to my distaste, but I don't have a stereo amp rig. Build this!





3
Build Reports / Lectric-fx Panacea-Boss PN-2
« on: December 11, 2023, 07:39:15 AM »
Well, I guess it's time to start doing build reports again. This was a fun project and something different. The panacea is a clone of the boss pn-2 tremolo and stereo panner. Props to Keefe at lectric-fx for such a cool project and excellent execution.

The PN-2 was the first dedicated boss tremolo pedal and was released in 1990. It uses the discontinued VCA chip used in the first version of the TR-2. The pedal offers both trem and panning of both triangle and square wave form. The original pedal had stereo in and out but the panacea was simplified to mono in and stereo out, and it is possible to still make it stereo in as well. The tremolo is a standard tremolo that while good is not as refined and versatile as the TR-2, and will be a dual mono sound when using a stereo rig. The panner is where the pedal shines. It's essentially the same thing as tremolo but instead of dual mono it splits the signal between the two outputs panning between them. Going between two amps can be trippy but to fully appreciate the effect you need to experience it panned hard left and right in headphones.

The build itself was very simple and straightforward. The stacked board design.is very well thought out and is very stable thanks to the standoffs used. During testing the 4pdt switch board was not yet available so I improvised and used what I had on hand. For the enclosure I went with brother voodoo since he was perfect to represent the trippy and swampy nature of the effect. For the sound clip there is no video this time, I simply looped something simple and ran it direct to the interface and panned each output hard left and right in my DAW and used a plugin for the amp modeling. I only used the panner modes since everyone knows what trem sounds like. The drive parts use my OD-3 build. Make sure you use headphones when you listen to get the full effect.





4
Build Reports / Aion Aurum-Biss OD-2r turbo mode
« on: October 19, 2023, 05:45:03 PM »
I've shown this one the past couple build reports in the demo videos so I'll just go ahead and give it a proper build report. I had a previous build report of the Aurum but that was my modified version of the lower gain mode. This pedal is the stock project based on the turbo mode of the OD-2r. The OD-2 was the first all discreet gain pedal from boss and another of the hidden gems out there.

So what's the difference between the two modes? Added gain stage and lower voltage bias for more drive and compression. The turbo mode can do a medium to border line lower high gain sound compared to the low/med drive on the standard mode. This can do some really nice crunch type sounds. It has a nice midrange character but not as pronounced as something like a SD-1.

For the enclosure I decided to take this one in more of a @peccary direction. Aurum means gold and I could have done another yellow drive pedal but went with Melissa Gold aka Songbird (Screaming Mimi) and a cool 80s vibe with lots of pink against a matte dark gray tayda box. All in all it's a nice drive pedal with a nice sound and a different topology and a good build for something a little different.




5
Build Reports / Sheepylove/GOTA Phaser-Boss PH-1
« on: October 09, 2023, 03:53:41 PM »
Oh snap, another long discontinued, harder to find and expensive pedal resurrected from the dead. The Boss ph-1 phaser was one of the first three compact pedals released by boss in 1977 as part of the traffic light series. It was only made for 4 years before being discontinued for the revised ph-1r with resonance control. @szukalski and I were talking about this pedal one day and he decided to take a swing at it and he crushed it yet again.

While it has much in common with the ph-1r, there are many subtle differences circuit wise that give it a different feel and sound. It's a little more basic and simplistic which gives it a slightly sweeter sound and more gentle lfo shape. It's perfect in my opinion. It doesn't get lost and never fully swallows the signal either. It melds wonderfully with drive, especially in front of it, but also sounds good after it. Very smooth.

Now, the original pedal had a volume drop that wasn't as noticeable because of the bypass scheme. When converted to true bypass it was very apparent. After trying a few things with Dave and @blackhatboojum, I consulted @Chuck D. Bones and he gave the clarity and guidance we needed to fix the volume drop. One of the things we tried was half right but Dave set us on the course to success. Man does it sound good too. After a little surgery, no one will ever know🤫😶‍🌫️

For the enclosure I used a matte white tayda box and UV print. I'm pretty proud of this one, the graphic turned out great and really portrays the sound and function of the pedal, Ghost came out perfect. Also used Dave's mini relay board based on Chuck's bypass. For the demo I'm running it in front of the drive pedal for next week's build report, it was also used in the DM-3 demo. This sound clip I made while I was fine tuning the trimmer while playing.




6
Build Reports / Ghosty-Boss DM-3 delay
« on: October 04, 2023, 06:27:58 AM »
This project was one that has been in the works for months and I'm happy to share with everyone finally. First and foremost, huge shout-out to my brother from another mother Clinton @blackhatboojum for the set of boards and dan schumaker for another incredible project. When Clinton told me he was doing research on the dm-3 I was intrigued because I just thought it was a dm-2 with the mn3205 chipset. I was wrong of course and Clinton explained the differences and it seemed like worthy project. I recommended Dan because he can make any circuit fit in any enclosure, he's a true magician and expert in his craft.

So what's the buzz with the DM-3? It's like a DM-2 with different different filtering, it essentially has a double noise reduction circuit which gives it a better s/n ratio. The repeats are softer on the attack, aren't as dark on the decay and it can give far more repeats before oscillating. The mn3205 and 3102 chipset and way cheaper as well so this is quite the economic build. Very natural sounding and feeling delay. Sits somewhere between a DM-2 and a DMM, similar to the Maxon ad-900 to my ear.

The build did make me use my brain some. I learned how to troubleshoot years ago thankfully, and I don't do it all the time but this one threw me for a loop 😂. Clinton was there to calm me down when I was ready to go postal on it. I learned the hard way about tantalum caps, polarity and the noise/chaos they can wreak havoc on in a circuit when they go bad. I got it figured out though💪. The build itself was painless, well laid out and easy to calibrate once those two caps were made right.

For the enclosure I went with a pink tayda powder coated 125b to keep with the original design. I went with Gwen Stacy's spider Gwen or ghost spider/ghosty in the comics because I thought the delay had a real ghostly like quality to the repeats. Really like this one, it won't be leaving my board any time soon. For my sound clip I looped the rhythm track with a subtle delay setting that gives a reverb like quality and played the distorted track with an upcoming drive pedal. One take and I'm not sorry about the unrehearsed mistakes 😂.





7
Build Reports / Celsius-Boss CE-1 Preamp
« on: September 28, 2023, 06:16:24 AM »
I decided to build this and had asked Robert a question about it and he included it in my next order. This is the newer version with the fix for noise that the first release had. So shout-out to the guy in charge for improvements and being such a generous dude.

I originally built the karaoke chorus which is an adaptation of the ce-1 chorus with some welcomed additions and changes to make it quieter, cheaper to build and more versatile. It did lack the preamp section though. I was on the fence to build this because the first version had noise issues but Robert fixed that and I knew I had to have it for my collection. So what does it do?

It's a very subtle tone shaper, some might say sweetener, much in the same vein of the clandestine preamp. It's not in your face, but it does add a certain depth and dimension to the tone. The high/low input sensitivity switch will give you a very different range of gain depending on where it's set. While many like the drive character the pedal can bring, I prefer it's tone shaping at unity volume. And just like the original, run a buffered signal into it or the impedance mismatch will kill your high end.

The build was standard ppcb fair with great layout and no issues. I had to make it match my karaoke chorus theme and vibe so I went with a match Shang-Chi theme. In the video I tried to show it with and without chorus as it's the integral input section of the original unit.




8
Build Reports / Nordic Metal 2.0-GCI New MT-2
« on: September 12, 2023, 09:55:34 AM »
After the incident with the pcbguitarmania Nordic metal I had built I will not be using them again. I already had to fix the gain pot they had working in reverse. After months of use, I stepped on it and it did nothing. So I went to troubleshooting. After audio providing I got to the second opamp and the first half passed signal. The second half was DOA. The board is so packed and the layout so shitty that the whole second half of the opamp was now connected to ground. 🤦😑🤣

I did what I should have done in the first place...I ordered the God city instruments new mt-2 board. I pulled all the components I wanted from the old board and got to work. This time I used the W taper pots in the original boss pedal for the EQ section. The pcbguitarmania board also had many unnecessary components because they clearly don't know how to comprehend the boss schematic and what belongs to the flip flop bypass.

This one sounds better and completely awesome. I loved the original graphics so I redid them but this time in a more accurate OG metal zone color scheme. Also this time is some added sound clips. The first is how I would use the pedal. The second was a total joke 🤣 I said what the least metal thing I could play of the top of my head with a metal zone 🤡🤡🤡.





9
Build Reports / Aion Tachyon-BOSS SD-2 lead mode
« on: September 05, 2023, 07:26:10 AM »
Wait, Boss did a MIAB? Sure did, way back in 1993. That's right, here's another sleeper pedal that I didn't know about until I started this whole Boss endeavor. The SD-2, while it might sound like the successor to the SD-1, is nothing like the mild overdrive of the original. This is the Modded JCM style pedal I didn't know I needed in my life.

The lead mode that this pedal is based on is a thick and juicy gain monster that gives better high gain marshall tones than many modern marshall amps 😂. The SD-2 is basically a channel switching amp in a box. The original has two channels, crunch which will be in a future build report and lead which is featured here. The channels could be switched remotely with a seperate footswitch. Truly ahead of it's time.

The pedal is also pretty hot rodded under the hood as well. With 5 seperate gain stages and LED clipping you can see it has more in common with an amp than many pedals of the day. You can also see where people like Dave Friedman got ideas for his pedals when looking at the schematic. So how's it sound? Like a nasty ass JCM style amp. I can pull some sick 80s style tones and lots of my favorite early 90s tones. In the sound clip I feel like I nailed the dookie/insomniac era tones that I grew up with in my teen years.

Black matte tayda box with UV print. Went with Makkari since Tachyon means moving at the of speed of light and who's faster than Makkari. Sick build with nasty tones.




10
Build Reports / Azure-Boss CE-2B bass chorus
« on: August 28, 2023, 08:09:29 AM »
What, a bass pedal🤯🤯🤯 this a pretty much a stock CE-2 but boss added a clean blend and changed one capacitor to leave the bass frequencies intact and modulate the higher frequencies. In lue of a a lengthy build report, I did one on the circuit already in my second sea build report, I decided to focus my efforts into a bass sound clip.

The build itself was simple standard fare. Matte light blue tayda enclosure and my boi Yondu for the artwork. Azure is blue and Yondu is a badass so it made sense to me.

For the demo, I decided to do a shootout showing the pedal off against the HF-2 flanger (same as the BF-2B flanger) and the PH-1R phaser. What bass line could be more iconic for modulation? For reference I recorded the bass (fender Pbass standard) going into the CS-2 compressor into my looper. The looped signal is into the pedals and then the sludge hammer. It leaves the sludge hammer's direct out into the two notes cabm+ where I'm using power amp and cab emulation and into the interface




11
Build Reports / Elastic Squish-Boss CS-2
« on: August 15, 2023, 09:56:54 AM »
Dave @szukalski and I are on a roll bringing back forgotten favorites and hidden jems from the dead. Next up is a compressor of mythical status. A true titan in the world of country and Gilmour fans, but being neither of those things I wanted to build this because I've never had one before. The sheepylove squish is a faithful reproduction (95%) of the classic Boss CS-2 compression sustainer. When researching I found a pdf by someone who made a schematic and pcb for the cs-2 but they were not reachable. They made a subtle change in the power section to make it easier to build and used modern components so we worked off that schematic.

After the success of the TR-2 there was a momentum and a what's next? moment. I was at the time looking at the CS-2 and looking for the long out of production BA662 IC. This was the heart and soul of the pedal. The chip was produced until the mid 80s and was used by Roland in synthesizers and a couple pedals, namely the CS-2. The chip is like an improved CA3080 OTA, but with lower noise floor. When the chip was EOL boss did a redesign of the compressor circuit and the CS-3 was born. In recent years the 662 was reintroduced as a dual IC in smd format and as a SIP smd work a like by open labs. The SMD IC we ran into a snag but will be fixed by Dave in a new revised board. The open labs chip works flawlessly.

So what is the CS-2 like? If you look at the schematic it's pretty much just a Dyna/Ross. The pedal to me has a lower noise floor than a dyna Ross with a greater dynamic range that doesn't pump either. The attack pot on the circuit is something implemented by Keeley in his compressors to help preserve the initial transient and have a more natural onset of the compression. Compared to the CS-3 this is much more smooth and natural sounding. The CS-3 is more of a hard limiter with a real all or nothing quality and this has a much softer knee and more organic than the CS-3. I didn't think I could like a comp this much without a blend knob but it's a fantastic pedal. The way it gives such clarity and evenness to chords and heft to single notes, I may never turn it off, just adjust the attack and sustain to what I'm playing. Oh yeah, it's good on bass too.

For the enclosure I went with a blue tayda enclosure and UV print. I decided to go with a color palette that matched the original and used Mr. Fantastic for the artwork since no one squishes like Reed Richards. All in all Dave did a fantastic job with a great layout and made it all fit wonderfully in a 125b. Can't wait to get this one out in the wild and see other people building it. For the demo, it's hard to showcase a compressor because so much of it is about feel, but I tried anyways. Chords and single notes to show the squash. To me it has less squeeze than the ROSS but more than an optical.





12
Build Reports / Hobie- Boss DS-2 Turbo Distortion
« on: August 11, 2023, 05:01:54 AM »
This one caught me off guard. @dan.schumaker had mentioned to me before he was working on a DS-2 but it wasn't quite right. Then he emailed me and said I had one headed my way to test. I was ecstatic to say the least! It came in the mail and that day I built it up and tested it. I've been waiting for this day for a LONG time 😂

If you've seen or built one of Dan's boards you know he's a mad scientist. He can make any size circuit fit into any enclosure. This is a Big circuit with some pretty complex switching involving lots of fets for the two modes. Dan used CMOS switching via a SPDT and the results are flawless. The fact that he got all this into a 125b with onboard relay bypass is pretty remarkable. I'm used to 1/8watt resistors so the build itself was a breeze.

So how does it sound? I put it side by side to my production DS-2 and it sounds the same. Only difference is, I used a logarithmic pot for distortion instead of the D taper the stock uses. Close enough for rock n roll. Other than that I used all common parts and smd j201s for the jfets.

For the enclosure I used a matte orange tayda box and UV print. This pedal will always be synonymous with Kurt Cobain and my love of In Utero. As a tribute to the man who imo is one of the greatest stage destroyers I went with Hobie Brown aka spider punk who embodies the sound and spirit of this build. What a fantastic build and sound it makes. The video clip is from my testing rig before I boxed it, as I just got back from vacation and the day before I left my hot water heater died and leaked, so my music room is filled with stuff from the storage side still and no filming right now.




13
Build Reports / Some builbs
« on: August 10, 2023, 03:17:12 PM »
I haven't been active in some time and have been feeling kinda discouraged by the hobby lately for various reasons. Also been battling some personal loss, depression/anxiety and family stuff. But I wanted to share some builds that I haven't shared yet. No detailed write ups 🫤
First up is my DS-1:



Next is the OS-2



And the GE-7B



14
Build Reports / PedalPCB Oddity, OD-1
« on: June 28, 2023, 08:43:04 AM »
My weekly build report, the one time a week I post anything that could be considered remotely close to constructive and worthwhile. This week I'm sharing my oddity build. The Oddity is a clone of the Boss OD-1. But Chris, didn't you already build on OD-1? I did, I built the odd one out which is the first issue version of the OD-1 which used a quad opamp and the input/output buffers are opamp based. The oddity is based on the second version of the OD-1 which uses a dual opamp and transistor based buffers. The OD-1 was bosses first compact overdrive pedal and one of the architects of the the tube screamer and SD-1.

Rumor has it the change in design of the OD-1 circuit was do to boss engineers claiming that the American made quad opamps used in the pedal were inconsistent. I would bet that the change came about when the 4558 was widely available and Japanese manufacturing meant that it was cheaper to use and thus higher profit margins could be had. The changes in the circuit make for a definitive audio difference. Many people seem to prefer the quad opamp version and analogman would have you believe that the second iteration is hot trash. So what are the differences?

The quad opamp version is voiced a little deeper, has less compression and more grit, more balanced sounding and slightly less gain and volume. The dual opamp has a brighter more cutting tone, slightly more volume and tighter aggressive gain. To me, the first version is slightly more lofi sounding and the dual opamp version is more refined and in line with the modern overdrives that followed it. I can use words all I want so I put them head to head in a video so you can hear the difference. The pedals are set with the gain each at 9 o'clock and the volume set to be as close as possible. I used my looper so I can keep it consistent and switch between pedals with both hands. Different yet very close and either version you go with can be set up similar and i would be happy to use either version.

The build was simple, low parts count which means with only 2 knobs and minimal components everything part had an impact on the overall sound. Typical ppcb, fast and painless with no hiccups and a clean layout. Blue tayda enclosure with UV print and for graphics went the the GOAT Stephen Strange. I highly recommend this build as it is a solid overdrive and the sound is greater than the sum of its parts. The cost to reward ratio is outstanding for the project.




15
Build Reports / P.O.W.-Boss Power Driver
« on: June 19, 2023, 03:28:41 PM »
I don't know if anyone actually reads these or finds them helpful but hopefully someone does. I'm going thru the backlog of finished projects and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. So here is the PW-2 power driver. I consider this as Boss's response to the DOD grunge, even down to the silly EQ labels. Ironically Boss felt the need for a "grunge" pedal when they already had the market dominated with the OG grunge pedals-the DS-1 and DS-2. The only board available at this time is by DEFX and I ordered one and was reminded why I hate their boards, so I asked @dan.schumaker to make me one. Hence the P.O.W. was born.

It's been mentioned by a YouTube channel that this is the Boss Big Muff. While I do see some similarities in tone I wouldn't call it a big muff, it's way more versatile imo. It has a gyrator control like the HM-2, and unlike a BM, it has plenty of mids. Plenty of volume and gain on tap I can use this for lots of tones and not just those really saturated ones. In the sound clip I showed off a kind of muff sound for context.

Grey Tayda enclosure and UV print. Went with Bucky on this one, TWS was the reason I wanted to call it the P.O.W. and it looks as mean as it sounds. Clean layout from Dan. Another rare hidden gem, build one if you can.




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