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Topics - JakeFuzz

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Open Discussion / Klone Science
« on: June 27, 2014, 12:52:00 PM »

Frequency analysis is coming!

Special thanks to Rej, Kevin and Brian for making this happen. The plan is to have identical components which are swapped between the Aion Refractor, The GC Chimaera and the MB Sunking II. I will also have trimmers for the pot values and will be varying the tone and gain controls as I take frequency response plots. I will have 3 tone positions and 3 gain positions and fixed output volume. I am taking the frequency response, harmonic content (with a 440Hz sine input), input and output impedance at one value. The data will be made available here through some file sharing software. Honestly I don't expect to see a whole lot of variation and worry a little about the additional contact resistance and capacitance introduced by having so many sockets but this should be fun regardless!

I am also going to be testing a load of other overdrives. If I have time on Sunday night I may bring my Skylark and record some comparison tones between the three circuits here in the lab.

Open Discussion / NGD: YAPC
« on: April 23, 2014, 12:12:02 PM »
Yet Another Partscaster! Special thanks to Mike B for the guitar body. Started with a sunburst MIM telecaster body. I've taken the polyurethane down to an old worn look using a finishing routine where I skip grits. The finish feels great and looks really cool. This finishing technique makes the color look a little deeper compared to the stock finish. The neck is mighty mite. This is my second time using MM and this time the neck was not well done. The skunk stripe was loose, the wood density is all over the map (you can see in the stain) and the frets needed some serious leveling and and work. Took some work to iron out the kinks but the neck plays and feels great now. Gloss polished and lightly worn through polyurethane over a brown stain for that old, dirty lacquer look. I turned the brass and aluminum saddles at work from left over rod stock. The bridge is stamped "0001 Patent Pending"   ;D

The special thing about this guitar is the pickups. The bridge is a Seymour Duncan Jerry Donahue and the neck is a Lollar P-90 standard. I thought my '51 nocaster bridge pickup was the best Tele bridge I have heard until this one. Lots of midrange but still super spanky and twangy. Highly recommended if you have a tele. The P-90 is also awesome; tons of P-90 bite but still stays smooth with drive. Tough to get the volumes to match up but I don't mind  8). Wired for independent volumes. The middle position is interesting sounding; a pretty good mix between the two sounds but unlike anything I have heard.

Build Reports / Space Harp (with demo!)
« on: March 11, 2014, 12:06:24 PM »
Here is an epic take on the small stone phaser by Keefe (haberdasher) and Scruffie. This is a very early version of the circuit and it sounds great. I believe the newer versions have a different output stage, feedback loop and a slightly different LFO. Four stage OTA based phaser with a rate control and color switch (which changes the LFO waveform and adds feedback) in the stock configuration. The space harp also has a switchable jFET input buffer and a BJT output gain makeup stage (with output volume trimmer). I made a few modifications to mine bumping up some of the coupling cap values, changing the phase capacitor ratios and adding a feedback and mix control. Details of the modification will be available a little later. Rustoleum silver hammertone finish over a 125B and I used one of Josh's 3PDT boards.

The sound is really great. With the modification it is easily the most versatile phaser I have built. It can get crazy warbling sounds but I find it can be dialed to sit in the background quite nicely; this has replaced a univibe clone on my 125B board! The stock sound is great too. The demo is a collection of sound clips at different settings. Fender Stratocaster w/ Fat 50's, 5F2A Princeton Clone. VIPFX Tweedy Bird and a modified DOD FX90 on some of the clips. Thanks and Kudos to Keefe and Scruff for such an excellent project.

Build Reports / Deacy Style Amp Build
« on: October 29, 2013, 12:04:21 PM »
Been working on this one for a while and finally got a chance to bring it all together. The very first guitar tone I began chasing was Brian May's solo sound. That boxy, nasally grind that he uses on so many lead parts really appealed to me. I didn't know until later that many of those parts were recorded with a little transistor radio amplifier!

This is built from one of those Deacy schematics floating around the web. I added an input level control to tame the all out fuzz sound. The interstage and output transformers are Eagle brand from ebay. I made my own little vero layout for this and it turned out pretty well. Transistors are an OC81, an AC126 (thanks Rutger!) and two Amperex AC128's for the push pull stage. I also built in a rangemaster that you can switch in and out of the circuit; that uses a CV7003. I salvaged the enclosure from an old univibe build, I believe it is a 1590BB tall that has been powdercoated silver vein by PPP. I found a 9volt DC fan from an electronics surplus store near my place and milled a fan mount for it above the output transistors to cool them down. Very little fan noise comes through with single coils and it is absolutely silent with the buckers. The 8" Crate speaker I got for free from a friend. It had the dust cap crushed inwards so I epoxied a thread to it and pulled it out. Sounds decent for this amp although it isn't the dual range speaker used in the real Deacy. The "cabinet" is an old pear orchard box that I got from a supplier here in LA. I cut it down to size and scroll sawed the bottom to make the baffle. I put a little vintage style drawer pull on the top as the handle. I was going for that old beat up apple crate look and I think it turned out great. All it needs are knobs, I bought two large MXR style knobs but I ordered knurled shaft fit on accident, oops!   :'(

It sounds great. Not super loud but enough to piss off the neighbors at night  ;D. Sounds to me like a fuzz face through a low volume clean amp. Kicking in the booster tightens up the fuzzy low end and makes it crunchy. Cleans up super well and low volume sounds are nice and clean. Ill get a demo up this weekend if anyone is interested in making one! Enjoy.

Build Reports / Elegent Ebony Aquaboy Deluxe
« on: August 16, 2013, 12:24:26 PM »
It's been a long time since I've posted anything  :-[  Work and moving apartments has taken over my life!

But here is my latest build and boy is it great. Aquaboy deluxe with real MN3205's. I got these BBD's for free a long time ago and always wondered if they worked (and they do!). Odd story about how I came into these. They were actually sent to me free of charge in place of MN3005's I was ordering from a small repair shop in Huntington Beach. They ran out of MN3005's and sent these as a consolation.

This build went together so smoothly. Easy as pie to build and fired up perfectly the first time. In fact even the bias trimmers were set in the right range the first time around. I saw these gold knobs at Small Bear and knew I had to do a matte black and gold theme right away. No labels as usual to confuse the onlooking guitar players. The MN3101 and SA571 are from cheap Chinese ebay stores and seem to work just fine. A mixed bag of capacitor types from ceramic to film; pretty much whatever I could find in the stash. I used a 1776 3PDT board for some extra cleanliness on the inside.

The effect is excellent. I may like it better than my DBD. The repeats sound a little more balanced and never get that overloaded bass sound that I can get from the DBD. This is probably the best sounding BBD delay I have ever played and ill try and make a demo to prove it! The repeats do get grainy on higher delay times but that is to be expected. I need to adjust the modulation depth resistor but the modulation sounds really good. One of the shape settings gets extremely crazy and choppy almost like a square tremolo so I need to try and spread the range out a little more to get some more subtle sounds out of it. I am still tuning the BBD input resistors. I am not sure if I need them for the MN3205's; they are set at 47K right now and there is no overloading or distortion even with buckers. Ill play around with them a little more this weekend and see if they are necessary. A few things I like about the DBD is the independent preamp adjustment and that you have the option to go completely wet but the ABDX has better modulation controls so it seems like a fair tradeoff.

Build Reports / MKI Bender and NGD
« on: April 18, 2013, 07:04:10 PM »
This is my third attempt at getting the MKI right and man does it sound good this time around. I could never get along with the misbiased gated sound of the past ones I had made. After very carefully choosing the transistors though (and waiting for the temperature to be just right  :D) you can get a great sounding fuzz. Seriously a 10 degree temperature difference will make this thing sound gated and weak which made choosing transistors from one day to another difficult.

The wiring is messy as it is transplanted from another build. The case is hammertone verde green from Rustoleum. The transistors I settled on were Q1 = GT308V, hfe~55, leakage~very low; Q2 = GET113, hfe~120, leakage~400uA; Q3 = OC80, hfe~80, leakage~650uA. My notes on transistors for this circuit are as follows:

Q1: Low leakage provided much less gating in the circuit. Gain is not critical as long as it is above about 40.
Q2: This is the one to play with. Leakage should be moderately high and gain should be as high as possible. I tried to use low leakage in this position but it would never bias properly. I almost ended up using an OC305 with hfe~200 and leakage~600uA but it sounded too bright. This one has a large effect on the frequency response and the GET darkened and smoothed things up nicely. AC125's were a close third in this position.
Q3: Also super finicky. I tried many in this position. It seems to only like high leakage transistors. The OC80 and several OC79's sound very good. Gain should be fairly high or sustain starts to lack. AC125's and Japanese 2SB's were close but the OC80 definitely had something special.

Overall this circuit is just crazy sensitive to what you put into it. I probably tried 20+ different transistors in Q2 and Q3. I also put 150pF smoothing caps from collector to base on the last two transistors to remove this funky oscillation at both low and high frequencies. When it gets colder in the room the circuit starts to gate a little bit. It is probably a good idea to test with the guitar you intend to play with the most. I found it is fairly sensitive to the output of your pickups. With buckers I get a lot of that slamming into a wall sound. I would say it is worth it though if you have a stash of transistors to play with. It just sounds so damn gnarly and raw.

And I have been working on a guitar I bought a few months ago and finally finished it and used it for this demo! This is the very rare color seafoam green OLP MM1. I got it for about $100 and the neck was beat to hell. I re-profiled and refinished what was a really chunky weird feeling neck. I also leveled and crowned the frets and put in a brass trem block. The neck pocket looked like someone gouged it out with a chisel (apparently many OLP users have reported similar pocket finish quality) so I bedded it in epoxy. Sounds, looks and plays like a teenage dream  ;D (Oh Katy!)

Build Reports / Zero Point SDX; Hammond Factory Finish
« on: February 17, 2013, 06:20:25 PM »
Well this was a long build. I had a Tayda 1590BB etched up for this and screwed up the jack drill holes at the last minute. This is a very tight build. The jacks need to clear the two footswitches which ended up closer together than I would have liked. The other enclosure will just have to become a test box or something with tons of controls!

This is a factory finished Hammond enclosure that I picked up yesterday at a local store. This is the most durable feeling finish I have seen; I wish they weren't so much more expensive than normal or I would build a whole set of pedals out of these. I originally had violet mini-chicken heads to go on this but the knobs are too close together for them to fit without interference. I had to search through my pile of knobs and found these little Davies clones in an assortment of black and white; I used what I had and made a tuxedo scheme. I will probably end up replacing these with the 1/2" aluminum knobs on my next SB order. All the caps are MLC's and the resistors are mostly 1/8 watt CF's. These were ordered together with my 1590a orders.

It sounds epic! Had a missed solder joint at first which opened the feedback loop but it was an easy fix. The filtering is great. I really like the tape and analog modes especially. The modulation is very musical and can do some weird warbly stuff at the extremes. The ghost feature is really cool; I just leave it on but it does add another layer of depth to the effect. I am not quite sure what the path does yet so more on that later; it seems to me right now that it removes some of the filtering in the shimmer and tape modes. The slam button is just ridiculous; it gets extremely loud very fast. This seems best used with really long delay times and low mix settings as the volume has some time to build. Overall very cool build; well worth the challenge.

Tech Help - Projects Page / Smoothie LFO noise.
« on: February 10, 2013, 08:40:28 PM »
This is a weird problem. I just built up a smoothie and used a 10K instead of the 4.7V zener. I also used a 10uF Tant cap instead of the 47uF electrolytic as the main filtering capacitor (saves space). I am getting LFO clicking on high gain pedals when the smoothie is off but connected to the same power supply (daisy chained onespot). The noise is barely, if at all, audible through most pedals except my MKII tonebender in which the clicking is almost as loud as the guitar signal. The MKII has always had a significant amount of background noise but never any clicking from LFO's.

I have tried the following:

Switching the order; I've put the MKII far away from the smoothie and before the smoothie in the chain. This doesn't help.

Battery power: This makes the clicking go away completely. I can power either the smoothie with the battery which makes any of the LFO noise that was in the chain disappear. I can also power just the MKII with the battery in which case the clock noise disappears completely and a very significant amount of white noise is removed from the full gain sound; in this setup there is still a VERY small amount of audible noise when the Klon or Rangemaster is on and at full tilt.

Increase the main filter capacitor: Ive added an additional 47uF electrolytic cap to the main power input of the smoothie or the MKII and this doesn't help at all.

This is definitely happening because of the draw on the supply rails but I was surprised to see that more filtering didn't help. I am wondering if I should increase the filtering even further on the smoothie (very limited space in the enclosure) or the MKII. I am also wondering if using the 4.7V zener (I think I have a 5.1V around here somewhere) will help with the draw. My last option is to power the MKII or the smoothie with a battery which would have to be attached to the bottom of the pedal board. I was surprised to see how much noise was reduced from the MKII when using battery power and I think this may be a better option anyways. The problem is now that I would have to make some crazy arrangement underneath the board to hold the battery, route the power to the pedal and have a disengage so I don't drain the battery.


Build Reports / Zero point mini
« on: February 03, 2013, 03:23:20 AM »
My 1590a pedalboard is almost complete! I knew I had to build this when I saw the description. This one fits in with the bare enclosure and different colored knob scheme. I have an Apis and my Smoothie left to go.

This is the first build where I used low profile jacks and put the board on the top. There is actually quite a bit of room in there. These jacks require a 1/2" hole which I wasn't expecting and wasn't possible with the step drill I have. Everything went together easily though. Layout wasn't really too much of an issue and there is plenty of space to work with. Using these low profile components really helped save a ton of vertical space in the enclosure.

For this build I used all MLC caps. I used a TLE2072 in place of the TL072. I just did the standard modulation switch wiring. It sounds great! I wasn't able to play at huge levels, so more on that tomorrow. The filtering sounds excellent, very tape like. The stock modulation is also perfect, not too subtle but not sea sickness extreme. Mine had a little bit of white noise but I think it was due to my enclosure not being grounded which I just fixed with a crimp ring on one of the enclosure screws; more on this tomorrow. Also the lip of the back cover hits the top of the electrolytic caps and the regulator on one side of the PCB but I plan on removing the lip tomorrow so that shouldn't be an issue. I also think I am used to hearing my DBD which can make the delayed repeats much louder than the dry signal. The maximum mix is about unity gain on the repeats with this build which I may have to get used to. Overall excellent sounding circuit!

Build Reports / Nautilus with VTL5C1's
« on: January 22, 2013, 12:23:32 AM »
Here is my Nautilus. Been meaning to box this one up for a while. Wanted to take a break from tolexing my amp today so I etched this enclosure up. Had to go back over the range label because it didn't etch the first time around. Ferric Chloride bubbles like crazy when it etches aluminum, usually we use KOH in the lab and it doesn't go anywhere near this crazy. Also acrylic paint is not a suitable mask for FeCl3 as can be seen at the edges. These big face etches are tough. The top of the enclosures need to be sanded flat

This thing just oozes Garcia tones. Super fun to play. I was a little worried about the VTL5C1's as they had a longer light history than most of the other vactrols but it seems to work just fine. I cant wait to plug this into the front end of my dipthonizer!

Build Reports / Mictester silicon tonebender - Beejive PCB!
« on: December 19, 2012, 01:03:24 AM »
Here is my Si Tonebender built on Jimmy's excellent PCB. I believe he plans to do a run of these in the near future...

This is an improved MKII design from Mictester over at FSB. It is really an optimized MKII with a simple tone control and output buffer. There is also an input capacitor switch to put in a big (10uf) cap for added awesomeness. My build uses BC108 and BC109 transistors. This is a Rustoleum hammertone finish with mini chickenheads. I used a Tayda 1590b which has really steep sides (almost zero draft angle) and Tayda pcb mount jacks which stick out really far.

This thing sounds awesome. Great sustain on high gain settings. Low gain is more of a unique benderish overdrive. Very happy with the volume knob roll off of this circuit, not completely clean but nice useable drive that doesn't dull out. You can pull great regular MKII tones out of it too. Overall a very versatile effect, I could see it covering the area of several other circuits.

First takes  ::). The guitar goes slightly out of tune toward the end (new strings), sorry!  :)

Tech Help - Projects Page / Charge pumped rangemaster?
« on: November 18, 2012, 06:40:19 PM »
Trying to build up a charge pumped rangemaster with an OC44 in a 1590A. Made both a vero layout and put it on breadboard. I am getting extremely odd behavior when the circuit is run in charge pump generated -9 volt mode with the reference to normal ground. The circuit is distorting much more than any other RM i've heard and has a strange fizzle when pushing a driven amp. The distortion is very nice actually but the fizzle is obnoxious.

I have done the usual tests like swapping the transistor for low leakage devices. Swapped the charge pump. Tried it on breadboard to isolate the grounds and move the power section a little further away from the audio. The voltages read identically when switching from positive ground power to charge pump power. The circuit operates just fine in positive ground mode. Double checked all wiring and grounding and cant seem to find a single thing wrong. Has anyone built a charge pumped rangemaster and had good results? I would really like to get these OC44's working in the circuit but I guess I will go NPN if all else fails. I am thinking the rangemaster is having some kind of strange reaction to the charge pump but don't know what specifically.

General Questions / Dirtbag R48 and C33 order.
« on: November 18, 2012, 06:31:04 PM »
So I was looking over the DBD schematic a few weeks back and thought I would compare it with some of the schematics that were out there. There are tons of random schematics out there, many of which say different things but for the most part the most reliable agree with the DB schem. I came across someone who posted some help pics in a fixer thread about a DMM and noticed just tracing by eye that the order of R48 and C33 are reversed from what the DB schem says. I modeled the frequency response in simulink and the responses from both arrangements  look identical but I figured it would be an easy 5 min swap sort of deal to just give it a try. I just did it and I think it sounds a little brighter (on the repeats) and more like some of the DMM demos I have heard on the tube.

Has anyone looked into this? I've found a few schematics that show the cap/res combo both ways. The change is pretty subtle so I am not sure how much it actually changed and I don't want to crack it open again and switch back.

Build Reports / Stripped down TB MKII
« on: November 11, 2012, 06:49:17 PM »
I just got a handful of old TI 2n1306's and decided that I better use some of these so my friends don't start calling me a hoarder. I've gotten many of these in the past and they always seem to be a safe bet in untouched batches. My yield usually falls in the 80-90% range. The gains were all between 70 and 140. I decided to do a Jon inspired 1590a build this time around I made a very compact Vero layout that would just fit into the enclosure. I made the attack knob a trimmer. I find that with this circuit I usually leave the attack about halfway up and control the gain with the guitars volume knob; with this pedal there is a small hole in the back plate to adjust to the position I like. To my ears the NPN's tend to have better bottom end than the PNP's and I thought it would be interesting in this circuit considering how little bottom end it usually has. The gains are Q1=70; Q2=75; Q3=110. I keep all my 1590a builds super simple looking and they are looking good when I put them all together on one board.

Build Reports / Kingslayer: The Haberdasher Treatment [Demo added]
« on: October 13, 2012, 11:29:01 AM »
Yet another pedal that puts my own graphical skills to shame. A Kingslayer that has been tweaked with a little. Uses my favorite two diode combos of BAT85/1N695 and two OA126's. Great sounding pedal. Love the clipping options. I haven't settled on a pair of soft clippers yet. Whenever people look at my boards they are always like "well I can believe you made all these other pedals but you made THIS one too"  :D   Thanks a ton Keefe, this thing looks absolutely great.

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