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Topics - Rich_S

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Tech Help - Projects Page / Road Rage for 18 V Dirt Box?
« on: May 25, 2014, 09:04:21 PM »
I have a Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret that I want to try at 18 volts.  I'm told they sound great that way.  Rather than tie up two outputs from my PP2+, I was thinking of building a Road Rage to stick between a normal 9-volt supply and the DLS. 

I see the 15-volt output from the Road Rage uses its own regulator.  However, I want to run it at 18 volts, without the extra regulator.  Is the 18-volt output from the charge pump sufficiently regulated that it will power a dirt box cleanly?

Build Reports / Your Grandma's Lorus
« on: May 25, 2014, 08:57:58 PM »
Here's my latest, a Slow Lorus build with only diode clipping.  Low-budget build using mostly parts I had in stock.  I did have to order an enclosure for it, but the first one that arrived had its powdercoating messed up - the coat was thin on the top and showing gray spots through the pink.  I was too impatient to wait for the second box Smallbear sent me, so I started thinking of ways to cover up the gray spots.  Then I remembered I had some samples of stick-on paisley that a guy from the TDPRI sent me a few years ago.  The enclosure was a perfect color match, and I had some tan knobs that matched the decal's background.

The sound is, of course, typically Rat-nasty.

Now I have the replacement enclosure and plenty more stick-on Paisley.  Hmm....

General Questions / BB Preamp/Glitterattii Clipping Question
« on: January 25, 2014, 02:59:19 PM »
This is really more of a question for, but I've been through their old BB Preamp thread several times, and it's a big long mess, full of contradictions and busted image links.  I'm hoping I can get a straight answer here, rather than scraping the goop off for a look-see.

What I want to know is, what clipping diodes are used in the original BB Preamp?  Is it just a single 1N4148 in each direction, or does it use two 1N4148 in each direction?

I'm considering modding a BB with an SD-1 style asymmetrical clipping section, but want to know what's actually in there first.

Thanks all.

General Questions / Ge Noob: 'splain me about Ge Clippers
« on: January 30, 2013, 05:25:56 PM »
I was just ordering some 1N34A diodes off eBay for a Cupcake I'm building.  While I was ordering , I grabbed some 1N270's as well, since I have Distortion+ on the brain.  The D+ schematic I have mentions subbing different diodes for different sounds, it says 1N270 was the original, and recommends 1N34A for a fuzzier sound.

That got me looking at spec sheets, but I don't see specs that would explaing the difference on the sheets.  Namely, both diodes are spec'd with Vf = 1.0.  The 1N34A refers to this as "Maximum Instantaneous Forward Voltage", the 1N270 just calls it "Forward Voltage Drop".

So, noob questions time: how do you know from the data sheets how the diodes are different in a guitar FX clipping application?  Or is it all just experience and folklore, and I just need to ask non-noobs about stuff like this?

Also, since I'm a bit suspect of eBay sellers of nearly obsolete diodes, is there a way I can test them to 1) confirm they are the right part, and 2) tell them one from the other?

Tech Help - Projects Page / How 'bout an OD-1 clone on a Green Bean board?
« on: December 05, 2012, 03:51:11 PM »
I'm obsessed with James Honeyman-Scott's tone on the first two Pretenders albums.  He said in a Guitar Player interview long ago that he used a Boss overdrive, and based on the article's date (and Boss production dates) that points to an OD-1.  No idea which version.

Anyway, I'm not monetarily equipped to buy an original, and building is more fun anyway, so I got the idea to build a dual-opamp OD-1 on a Green Bean board. After reviewing the schematics carefully, I came up with this BOM:

Anybody care to check it for me?

For the time being, I'm planning on building the pedal with the Green Bean's true-bypass scheme.  However, I'm also going to think about a way to keep the buffers active in bypass.  This would require hacking the board to bypass just the guts of the circuit, jumping from Q1's emitter to the input side of C9.

For those with OD-1 experience (originals or clones) what are your thoughts on how the OD-1 compares to modern SD-1s and the whole universe of TS-ish pedals?

General Questions / Cupcake 1.5 .pdf?
« on: December 02, 2012, 11:52:11 AM »
I've had a Cupcake board in my parts drawer for a long time, and now I want to build it up.  However, I don't have the .pdf instructions for the Ver. 1.5 Cupcake.  I tried following the link in the current .pdf to previous versions, but can't get to the linked file.

Where can I get this .pdf?

General Questions / What kind of paint for hand-painted FX?
« on: December 01, 2012, 01:56:02 PM »
A couple years ago, I built an Eternity Clone and donated it for a charity auction for the little (24 kids) private school my daughters attend.  I was thinking about doing it again this year but want to give the pedal(s) a bit more of the school's personality.

The idea I have is to turn a few enclosures over to the school, and have the kids paint them.  I'd start with solid-color powdercoated boxes from Small bEar, most likely.  Maybe show them some pix of the handpainted Z-Vex pedals as an example.

Anyway, what sort of paint should I provide them?  I'd want to give them a variety of colors in small quantities.  Whatever it is, I'll want a compatible clear coat to protest the kids' artwork for posterity.

Tech Help - Projects Page / Help with under-performing Mudbunny
« on: November 26, 2012, 09:45:47 PM »
Aw, crud... my first pedal that didn't work right, first try.

It's a recent-rev Mudbunny built with Triangle component values.

Symptoms:  Actually, everything seems to work.  The pedal passes signal in bypass, and when activated.  The volume control turns the volume up and down, and the sustain control adds dirt.  The tone control sweeps like a Big Muff tone control should (based on my limited experience with a NYC Muff).  The problem is, the pedal isn't making anywhere near the amount of dirt it should.  It gets kind of crunchy/farty with the SUS all the way up, but doesn't approach the singing sustain and over-the-top dirt of a real BMP.  It makes some dirt on the low notes, but has very little effect on high notes (say, open E and B strings).
Note: All testing through Vox PF15, with the pedal powered from a 9-volt output of a Voodoo PP2+.

What I've done so far:
  • As advised, took a few days off and ignored the pedal.
  • Checked my wiring, both for correct routing and for bad solder joints.
  • Checked all component values, reading them off the board with a magnifier and then comparing the as-built list to the B.O.M.  All components check out.  (BTW, I checked them all with a meter when I populated the board, to catch any off-spec values.)
  • Checked polarity of diodes and transistors.  All are correct according to the silkscreen on the PC board.
  • Visually inspected (with an illuminated magnifier) the soldering on the PC board for cold joints and bridges.  Found a couple that were suspect, but appeared to be okay once I scraped away some flux that was causing glare.

After all that, it's late, I have a headache, and I'm half-blind.  Tomorrow, I'll try to get some voltage measurements and post them.  In the meantime, anybody have any suggestions where to look?

General Questions / Black textured enclosures?
« on: November 04, 2012, 06:29:04 PM »
Take a look at the enclosures I used here:

I love the old-school look of the black textured paint.  These two enclosures came from MAdBean, but they were a close-out and he doesn't carry them any more.  Does anybody know where I can get pre-finished enclosures in black texture, in the 125-B or normal B and BB sizes?

Open Discussion / Check my Fuzzrite Layout, Please?
« on: November 01, 2012, 08:41:23 AM »
I hope this is i hte right area...

I'd appreciate it if some one would check my layout.  I'm going to build this on a scrap piece of Radio Shack perfboard I had in my toolbox, the kind with 1-, 2-, and 3-hole pads.  Since it's not normal veroboard, I had to do my own layout.

Did I get it right?

Build Reports / Trianglemuffinator (now has a sister)
« on: October 21, 2012, 05:57:57 PM »
My new build:

The prefinished textured black enclosure from Small Bear. The knobs came off an old Bell & Howell Model 34 oscilloscope, made by Heathkit for inclusion in a "Learn Electronics at Home" course.  Originally, the little black knobs wre mounted concentrically, on top of the red knobs, but finding concentric pots with shafts long enough is nigh on impossible these days. So, I separated the knobs, and topped off the red one with a penny from 1969, the year Eletro Harmonix introduced the Big Muff Pi.  

The combination of the textured enclosure and the old-school knobs (all of which I had squirreled away in the junk bin) inspired the steam-punkish theme, and pushed me to fabricate nameplates out of hobby-shop .025" copper plate.  I really need to get to the local Ace hardware and get a black nylon washer to replace that white one.

I'm working on a 2-knob version as well, which will house a Fuzzrite clone.

No report yet on how it sounds: I'm in enclosure-fab mode now.  Once the second pedal is done, I'll switch over to board-populating and wiring.

Open Discussion / Stopped by for a PC Board, bought an awesome album.
« on: October 03, 2012, 07:03:42 PM »
I haven't been here for a while.  Workshop's too junked up with home remodeling projects to build pedals.  Anyway, I got a little bit of "funny money" in my PayPal account today, so I headed right here for a Mudbunny board (decided I need to build a steampunk Triangle Muff).  Anyway, I saw the ad for Brian's album.  Since I had a a few bucks left over after my bunny board, I bought the .MP3 download.

I'm not even halfway through, and I'm totally bowled over.  It kind of reminds me of Dada's Puzzle album, but that's not to say it's derivative; the similarity comes mostly from in the Strat-in-sparse arrangements tonality.  I hear occasional snippets of the band's varied influences: RHCP at their least funky (in a good way), Rush polyrhythms, some Devo-esque spastic rhythms.

Given his alter-ego Madbean, you'd expect an effects-fest, but the band's use of effects is fairly restrained.  Some tremolo and wah, spacey delay (as an effect, not as means a of music generation).  Mostly, it's the dirt sounds that impress me - several different levels of dirt from funky rhythms to soaring leads.

Brian, kudos on the album and a request:  would you be willing to share some tone secrets?  What gear did you use on the album, and were those Madbean effects?

General Questions / Small audio transformers?
« on: April 12, 2012, 07:52:19 PM »
I'm thinking about a couple projects requiring small audio transformers. One would be a splitter to drive two guitar amps (maybe with a Fat Pants as the front-end.), with two transformers providing isolation against ground loops.

The other would a passive direct box, built into a small pedalboard for my acoustic. This one would need to provide the impedance match to a Lo-Z PA mixer as well as isolation.

Anyone have any recommended models & vendors for such things?

General Questions / Big Muff Noob Question (with apologies)
« on: July 01, 2011, 11:05:36 PM »
I realize that the topic of Big Muff Pi versions is immense.  I tried doing some research, but there' just too much info out there to sort through all the noise and find what I need.  So, my apologies for asking a stupid-simple question.

What version of the Mudbunny is close to a normal US-made big-box BMP?  My kids have me on a Red Hot Chili Peppers kick, and I love John Frusciante's fuzz sound on Stadium Arcadium and the subsequent tour.  It's my understanding that it was a normal big box, I'm guessing early-2000s era.

Open Discussion / The show your pedalboard thread.
« on: June 26, 2011, 12:08:59 PM »
I can't believe we've never had one of these.  More plausible, I couldn't find it, but I really did look.

Anyway, here's mine, featuring my new Slow Lorus:

I'm thinking of trading down from the DD-7 to another DD-3, I don't need the extra features and the input/output cables mess up the board's feng shui. :D

All the other pedals are wired from the back.  The top deck is a 1/8" aluminum plate, which takes the place of all the pedals' back plates.  Wiring exits the pedals through grommets, and are wired together under the deck.   I've been building pedalboards like this since about 1980.  I was inspired by Andy Summers' Pete Cornish board, and Pat Travers' similar (thougn non-Cornish, I believe) board.  I liked the idea of integrating all the pedals into one big unit. However, Cornish's method of removing all the pedals from their cases and substiuting custom-drilled, Dymo-labeled aluminum plates seemed like a lot of work, and not terribly attractive. It occured to me that I already had a great means of mounting and labeling the controls - the pedals enclosures themselves.  So, I came up with a means of integrating them on a common ground plane with a built-in power supply.

These days, with all the commercially-availabel pedalboards, power bricks, wiring kits, velcro, etc. it's nuts to make a board this complicated.  However, I'm kinda set in my ways; I have more inertia than intelligence.  

I just wish I had room for my new Fat Pants.  It sounds great, but didn't have enough oomph to use as a solo boost, so it failed to knock the SD-1 out of its spot.

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