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Topics - gordo

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31
Build Reports / MIAB - Golden Falk
« on: February 20, 2022, 07:59:00 AM »
I've built a gajillion Marshall in a box pedals and this is one of the nicest.  Board is PedalPCB and I added their simple relay bypass and Kobiconn power buss pcbs. 

Tayda bright silver enclosure, and although this finish seems to seemingly scratch itself, I made it through the build with minimal scuffs :-)

White decal stock that I ordered accidently but came in handy here.






32
Open Discussion / Movin to Orange County CA
« on: January 19, 2022, 09:17:43 PM »
This has been a long time coming but as I get closer to retirement I snagged a place in Huntington Beach CA and although I have a few years to go in Chicago am looking forward to a change of scenery.  I'm the only one I know that moves to a place with a higher cost of living and a nuttier governor but I don't want to get political.

The new place has space for a workshop and hoping to transition in bits and pieces.

33
Build Reports / First build of 2022 - Archibald
« on: January 01, 2022, 10:23:39 AM »
I love this pedal.  Definitely more "ooomph" at 12v but not a deal breaker.  I am getting some significant gating on the attack with the buffer in circuit.  I'm not sure if it's a pedal issue or a build issue but haven't troubleshot beyond verifying correct parts in the buffer circuit.  I'll try swapping tubes at some point but for now I'm having a blast playing it and looking forward to running it in my live rig tomorrow.

Nothing special here except I actually threw down the gauntlet and painted the inside of the enclosure.




34
Build Reports / Phun with Phasers
« on: December 26, 2021, 04:39:48 PM »
Got this one wrapped up this morning.  It's the Aion Emerald.  I haven't played the Boss PH-1r pedal in, well, forever.  I honestly don't recall it sounding this good.  This thing does the usual swooshies but it's the subtle stuff that this thing REALLY excels at.  Really lovely smooth LFO and very tweakable all the way thru the 70's sounding "yoy-yoy" sounds (which I hate).  If I ever join a Stones cover band I'll certainly have "Shattered"-era sounds covered...

This is a Tayda black 125B.  The laser did it's thing and then I filled the emerald graphic with a green sharpie.  The pic doesn't do it justice because the letters are razor sharp.  I seem to be hitting stride with the laser as long as I use the right paint/powder coat.

If I knew the guts would be this clean I would have painted the inside black.  The chances of me taking the guts back out to do that are somewhere between slim and none.



I used Kevin's smd transistors mounted on his adapters and just used pin headers to solder them in.  Looks a little weird but painless install.


35
Open Discussion / Merry Christmas everyone
« on: December 24, 2021, 10:10:50 AM »
I'm getting ready to get over to church to play a couple of Christmas services.  I'm not actually playing this time around, I'm running sound and will be a bit of challenge with a lot of tracks and loops and mics.  Great fun all around.

Before I step out though I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or your equivalent of course) and a safe and peaceful holiday.

Gordy

36
Build Reports / Couple of Aion builds...Hexeract and Megalith
« on: December 13, 2021, 08:35:10 PM »
I'm on a mission to rip off everyone's graphics and these were no different.

Very cool builds and while the Hexeract will be familiar territory for anyone that's built a Craig Anderton Tube Sound (Mysterioso and Snarkdoodle certainly fall into this category) this one brings to the table that CA should likely have been given a lot of the proceeds from Mike Mathew's version.  It's a really clever mashup with the Big Muff tone control (OK, I guess MM gets to own that) with a bypass.  The bypass does a nice job at lower gain settings but you usually need to reign in the low end on higher settings.  Capable of ridiculous amounts of gain or level or mild stuff too.  Keen eyes will see how I whiffed with a sharpie trying to get the inside rim of the LED hole red with a sharpie.  Oh well..






37
I just received a stash of the new Aion projects that I'm stoked to build.  I always enjoy Kevin's intensity with his stuff so snagged a set of 4 and some transistors.

I'm also patiently awaiting a good portion of the new MB boards and poised to hit the buy button on those.  Some cool variety and with a bit of parts stash restocking I should be good to go.

I sold off a few pieces this week:  A Hamer 25th Anniversary and a Marshall DSL401.  The Hamer is a hollow Les Paul sized guitar that was loaded from the factory with Seymour Duncan JB Bridge and Seth Lover neck pickups.  I got to speak to Joel Danzig to get the lowdown on this little beast and it was a constant love/hate relationship with this one.  If you're a killer player (I'm not) you can do anything you want with this thing but it has a tendency to be so nuanced that mistakes (my middle name) pop out like crazy.  I've never played a guitar this detailed.

The DSL is a bastard child Marshall.  Honestly, Marshalls don't do well with EL84s but this is a really good amp that was a design problem from the word go.  They had the tubes hanging down under the circuit board and EL84's run hot as is.  If it was a typical tube-up layout there wouldn't be issues.  Of the ones I've worked on it depended on how it was going to be used.  For the casual guys and weekend warriors the repairs that came in would usually mean replacing the bridge rectifier with a beefier version and elevating it above the circuit board and tacking on a heat sink.  For the touring guys I'd put in a fan to move heat off the power tubes.

On the plus side the amps sound really nice once they're dialed in.  I usually replace a few cheap tone caps but can't honestly prove it makes a tonal difference.  And they're easy to work on.  I had to recap the power supply but that's pretty standard on an amp this age.  This one was going to be a personal amp and it started as a dumpster diver.  Really...the original owner tossed it but kept the cabinet!!  I built a head cabinet for it and used fireplace grate instead of grill cloth to provide enough air flow.  I was stoked to start using it in a live setting but my little Peavey 6505mh covered gritty cleans just a tad better and the Marshall just languished.  I hate downsizing...

38
Build Reports / DragonHound
« on: November 21, 2021, 04:25:34 PM »
This is pretty slick and the two effects blend really nicely together.  Sort of a best of both without the shortcomings (at least from my perception) of either.  This one is hand painted white (under the decals) over an orange Tayda powdercoat and then waterslides.  Yes, it's an obvious ripoff of Peter's artwork tweaked to fit, but I really like the dog.  I also ran out of 100n MLCC's so used box films in a few spots.




39
Open Discussion / Android 12...Windows11
« on: October 26, 2021, 04:56:24 PM »
Not anything to do with DIY but both highly recommended.  They fixed a lot of stuff that is truly annoying about Android 10 and the Windows bit is just a fine tune of Windows 10 but some nice tweaks.

I won't go into detail unless anyone wants an explanation.  It's made life easier in tiny increments so I'll consider it a WIN.

40
Build Reports / Dead End FX - TerraHawk
« on: September 09, 2021, 07:24:31 PM »
I just can't help myself.  Right about the time that I think I've built one of everything I find an effect I'd never heard of and also discover it was the core sound of one of my fave guitar players: Rory Gallagher.  I always knew he used a treble booster to get his Vox or Bassman to break up but didn't realize it was this obscure beast.  The pedal is a clone of the  Butcher Pistol Slapper, itself a variation on the S. Hawk Tonal Expander that Gallagher used.

The Hawk, and it's successor The Hawk II were only made for a couple of years (73 and 74) and were an 18v affair that was closer to a channel strip from a recording console than an effect.  It had no stomp switch and was intended to be used on any instrument or microphone.  It had sliders for Bass/Mid/Treble and an on-off switch, a treble boost switch, and a gain boost switch.  The cool part is that the tone controls are inductor based and the circuit has a ton of gain available (with 18v headroom).  The Pistol Slapper added a variable gain pot as well as an output level control.  It also made the Boost footswitched and added a 3 position switch to change the range and a boost level (Filter) control.  The TerraHawk has the same feature set.

Most Hawks were gooped and a major PITA to work on if they failed (18v from two nine volt batteries...what could go wrong?) so they're exceedingly rare in the wild and if you can find one it's stupid expensive.

Dead End's version is designed to be put in a 1590BBS chassis (deeper than a 1590BB) and I got a bit too aggressive with the jack placement and ended up having to lay down a couple of the film caps to clear it.  I'd blame it on having WAY too much room to work with.  A rare luxury....it went to my head.

This is the Hammond deep red powdercoat and it's a really nice finish but thicker than I expected and I'd have turned up the power on the laser if I had a do-over.  Still, it's clean, if unimaginative and I'm happy with it.

This is a booster that eats all other boosters for dinner.  I'm REALLY loving this thing, and if there is to be such a thing as Rory-in-a-box...this is it.  He sat thru my band's last set of the evening in Worchester MA in a little bar.  This was in the early 80's and he was opening for Rush at the time, and I believe it was his last American tour.  He was all by himself at a table and bought a bottle of Jack Daniels at bar prices and a glass.  I walked by him and said Hi, and wanted to explain to him that he was the reason I played electric guitar and specifically a sunburst Stratocaster and chickened out.  I could hardly even breathe I was so in awe so I just kept going and left.  I regret that decision on a regular basis.

So all that sob story aside, here it is...The S. Hawk Tonal Expander...






41
Build Reports / Umm...did you just *bleep*?
« on: September 06, 2021, 02:40:47 PM »
Here's the Abacus.  This one was a blast to build and I've spent all kinds of time fiddling with it.  I finally got it boxed up in a grey powdercoat 1590D.




42
Build Reports / Rubber Band
« on: August 30, 2021, 06:45:30 PM »
I got a bit of spare time this weekend so I got this nice little comp together.  I'm on a "bare essentials" laser kick these days but I finally have some consistency and a feel for how much power powdercoat takes to cut so it's been a fairly productive learning curve.

This is a really nice compressor.  It's really not transparent by compressor standards but with the Function control set to midpoint it pretty much takes the parametric EQ out of the path and what's left is a very smooth compression that deviates a bit from the normal Dyna/Ross crowd.  Distortion really isn't and as Lectric FX mentions in the build doc it's much more of a Grit control and you're left to figure out what you'd like to use as a clipper.  I auditioned most of my stash once I got it boxed up and ended up going with a 1N695.  It struck a nice balance of grit and didn't take down the level too noticeably.  I wasn't crazy about adding another diode in the optional D2 slot but I reserve the right to keep trying.  The Gate function is very subtle but totally cool.

It looks like I tried to goop the board in front of the stomp switch but it's just light reflecting off the PCB.





44
Build Reports / Lovetone Love Fest
« on: August 25, 2021, 04:33:40 PM »
Lovetone pedals have always been a fascination, although sometimes a pretty too touch for live use.  Let alone the real estate they take up on a typical pedalboard.  Still...very cool stuff.  I already had a few builds from a few sources and a Dminner etched enclosure for one of them (previously posted) so I thought I'd add to the family with a few of Aion's new boards:

Spectron (Meatball).  I'd already built the Music PCB board but never really bonded with it.  This one nailed it and it's likely due to LDR/LED selection as well.  For whatever reason this is likely the best triggered filter I've made.  Close second is the Madbean Flunkee, due to it's dead simple operation, but good sound.  Laser'd powdercoat for the graphics.  I'll never remember what the jacks do on the back.  Didn't have room for front graphics, and if I ever need to get weird or expressive I'll just have to dig up the docs.







Next up is the Monolith (Big Cheeze) and the Obelisk (Brown Source).  I've never played either of these, which is strange considering I'm old as Moses.  Very nice pedals without being typical "out there" Lovetones.  Again, laser'd powdercoat.



And finally a few old builds with fresh knobs.  The Doppelganger and ?Flanger




45
I didn't want to screw up CultureJam's booster thread but this relates.  I'm finally getting a grip on the 30w NEJE laser and it's all good.  Just not with this pedal.  I shot a test on the back plate and then figured I could focus without moving the laser pak.  Bad move.  I'm not unhappy with this enclosure, I'm just bummed at what could have been.  Lesson learned.

In the meantime, great take on the old FZ-2.  Not my cup of tea but for my Fuzz freak buddies this one will be to die for.


The cool part of the LightBurn software is the ability to control the placement in the field.  So getting an enclosure dialed in still takes some patience, but it's much more precise.  That said, beam aiming is a bit weirder than with the smaller Mini and it burned me (pun easily intended) this time around.  The pics don't indicate as much difference as the real thing.  It's cut thru the powder down to the metal but the topside example was cooked with too wide a beam under too much power.

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