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Messages - Timko

Build Reports / Re: Serpopard Overdrive (#isaklon)
January 06, 2024, 06:21:54 PM
Quote from: jimilee on December 15, 2023, 01:24:21 AM
Oh man, those look excellent! Duelin Herbies is a tough build. Working the damn thing is even tougher. Don't beat yourself up over that one.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

And of course the Herbies build I just finished doesn't work either.  Chris sent me his personal build that I've swapped out ICs and LDRs for, and for the life of me I still can't figure out what's not working.
Build Reports / Re: Serpopard Overdrive (#isaklon)
January 06, 2024, 06:20:35 PM
Thanks all!  I've been spending quite a bit of time delving down the world of 70s and and 80s solid state amp repair.  No one in the KCMO works on them, and everyone here seems to wreck them.  Including me :D.  But it was really fun to get back into building again, and I'm really excited to auction off a pedal for this charity for the 5th year in a row.
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 / Re: Klons and Diodes
December 15, 2023, 12:56:31 AM
After a few weeks of different diode testing, I realize that my ear is not that sophisticated :).  I did like 3 variants of D9Es I have.  I also liked some D18s and some D9Gs.  I had some 1n34a's from various sources - some sounded good, some sounded meh.  After some testing, I did find that I tended to like diodes with a lower forward voltage.  I combined that with a few of the "Silver Pony" tweaks (more clean in the clean path, better balance on the gain knob) and a decrease in the R2 value from 2k to 680e made for a perfect sounding pedal for my guitars (vintage spec'd single coils or filtertrons) along with my fingerstyle were a perfect match.

Conclusion:  There is no such thing as a single magic part (well, I'm on team germanium transistor for treble boosters, but that's another fight for another day).  Parts are part of a system, and changing one affects how others respond.  That, combined with both the gear you're playing and the way you play are going to have more of an effect on your sound than some unobtainium part.

You can check out the build report section for my completed builds!  The 24mm pots in this thing look awesome :).
I've got a 5w Crate tube amp that I've modded to be a good clean amp for testing in the work room.  When running it through the paces for actual performance, I use an old '59 Magnatone because I love those warm tweed sounds (and I don't have a low power tweed twin) as well as a 70's Gibson G105 because it sys clean forever.
Open Discussion / Re: Klons and Diodes
November 22, 2023, 03:20:21 AM
I was able to scrounge up a PC to run the Atlas software on (emulation when you need to use the USB ports is shaky at best on a Mac), and the graphical results are pretty interesting!  I'm finishing the first of the 3 pedal etching this evening so I can build my own personal test pedal, and look forward to first giving these diodes the ear test then the graph test.   

One thing is for certain - while both the 1N270 and D9E diodes read around 0.35V between 1mA and  1.2mA, the graphs from 0mA to 5mA look very different.
Open Discussion / Re: Klons and Diodes
November 21, 2023, 03:26:10 AM
This is some great information! 

I've been using my Atlas DCA75 to test the diodes, but I noticed that it's testing at 5mA.  When I see the 0.35 Fv, should I be reading that at 1mA or 5mA?  I have a particular darlington Rangemaster I build (thanks Midwayfair for turning me onto those years ago), so I have only really used my Atlas to measure Germanium transistor leakage.  I believe the software can construct voltage curves if I can get it to run on my Mac. 
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?
Build Reports / Re: Couple of builds
July 14, 2022, 02:56:15 PM
That Boob Tube artwork is tits. (pun intended).

The Speaker Cranker is based on the Electra Distortion topology.
"Your Schwartz is as Big as Mine"

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 / Re: Total Recall Delay (EHX DMM)
June 27, 2022, 02:19:21 AM
Quote from: jimilee on June 25, 2022, 07:07:21 PM
Quote from: danfrank on June 25, 2022, 06:07:48 PM
I like Scruffie's gain setting instructions from Lectric FX...
Basically,  inject a 1kHz audio signal into the input of your total recall and measure it's amplitude before clipping (in millivolts). Now measure the amplitude of the signal at pin 7 of the compander and adjust "gain 1" to get it as close to the input amplitude. I was never able to get it equall to input amplitude but I can get it close...
Next, take amplitude measurement of pin 15 of the compander and use "gain 2" to adjust so it's equal to input amplitude. You should be able to get it exact.
Doing this, I find that the feedback control has a lot of useful range.
Hope this helps...

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If I opt to open it back up and adjust I'm definitely following this!!
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!

Thanks everyone!  I'm going to watch SythCube for a little bit, but if push comes to shove and my build gets finished with no BBDs, I'll go with Cabintech.
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?