Author Topic: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator  (Read 538 times)

TheDude

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A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« on: January 17, 2020, 10:28:32 PM »
Alright, so my last offering a pedals from 2019. First up is a Spirit Box from PedalPCB. I needed some sort of reverb pedal since my Orange Micro Dark lacks built in reverb. Based on the EQD Ghost Echo, its fun, and creates some very spacey, drippy sounds. Sounds great for some Shine On You Crazy Diamond. For my purpose, goes 0-60 a bit too quickly, as I like to use just a touch of Reverb to add some depth to my sound, but it certainly does the trick until I get to try some other options. The enclosure is steampunk themed (which I know some won't be fans of as the gears and such are purely aesthetic, but whatever). Definitely was impatient in drilling the jack holes as you'll see by the crooked input/output jacks in the gut shot. But it kinda adds to the charm. And has not affected the sound one bit.







Next up we have a Brutalist Jr. from Kurt Ballou and God City Instruments. Pretty straightforward, though I wish this came with a Tone knob, as this is a bit bright for my tastes. Aesthetically, its... brutal. Heh. (Including Brutalist Knobs from Love My Switches. Gotta lean into it when you can.)







And finally we have the Cross Contaminator from PedalPCB as well. Based on the discontinued EQD Dirt Transmitter, this fuzz used a pair of 2N1711s that were pretty hard to come by. I think I went through some auto/audio website to find them. It's a pretty fun fuzz that requires you dial in the bias correctly. Tonally, I wish the tone knob didn't just seem to roll off the mids, but beef up the bass a bit more as well when turning CCW.  But it will stay on the board until another fuzz can knock it off. Graphically I had no idea what to do. So after seeing someone else use an ink drawing from and artist they enjoyed (can't remember if I saw that here or Reddit), I decided to do the same. This graphic was taken from Peter Draws, from his website I believe. The font is called Tomatoes. Turned into by far my favorite decal graphic I've done to date. More like this will definitely be coming.



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alanp

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 10:30:57 PM »
The Brutalist should have had matching grey, featureless knobs, to meet the aesthetic :)

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MTK

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2020, 04:35:10 AM »
Dude, that steam punk finish looks killer. I'm usually not too big a fan of that style but you knocked that right out of the park. I think the hint of steam punk is what does it for me. There aren't 40,000 gears and whatnot, just enough to give it a focal point.

And finally we have the Cross Contaminator from PedalPCB as well. Based on the discontinued EQD Dirt Transmitter, this fuzz used a pair of 2N1711s that were pretty hard to come by. I think I went through some auto/audio website to find them. It's a pretty fun fuzz that requires you dial in the bias correctly. Tonally, I wish the tone knob didn't just seem to roll off the mids, but beef up the bass a bit more as well when turning CCW.

The Dirt Transmitter is one of my favorites, I've made a few of those. And I completely agree that the tone stack is the weak point of that pedal. It's on my list to revamp. When I get around to it, I'll drop you a line.

Here's a reliable link for those 2N1711's if you ever need more.
http://smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/transistor-2n1711-texas-instruments/

Edit: I did some tinkering with the tone stack and came up with this. I haven't tried it but it looks good on paper.

The green lines are the Dirt Transmitter's stock tone stack. The blue is the mod. https://i.imgur.com/RSLdKWW.mp4

Here are the changes based on the Pedalpcb schematic. You'd have to change the Tone pot to a B100K as well.
https://i.imgur.com/zOEslkg.png
https://i.imgur.com/RPhZkaA.jpg
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 07:35:28 AM by MTK »

jimilee

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 07:16:16 AM »
The steampunk one is clean looking all the way round. I love the concept.


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TheDude

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 08:16:06 AM »
The Brutalist should have had matching grey, featureless knobs, to meet the aesthetic :)

Good stuff!
Should've gone for a medium grey colored font too. Just lean into it all the way!

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TheDude

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 08:20:46 AM »
Dude, that steam punk finish looks killer. I'm usually not too big a fan of that style but you knocked that right out of the park. I think the hint of steam punk is what does it for me. There aren't 40,000 gears and whatnot, just enough to give it a focal point.

And finally we have the Cross Contaminator from PedalPCB as well. Based on the discontinued EQD Dirt Transmitter, this fuzz used a pair of 2N1711s that were pretty hard to come by. I think I went through some auto/audio website to find them. It's a pretty fun fuzz that requires you dial in the bias correctly. Tonally, I wish the tone knob didn't just seem to roll off the mids, but beef up the bass a bit more as well when turning CCW.

The Dirt Transmitter is one of my favorites, I've made a few of those. And I completely agree that the tone stack is the weak point of that pedal. It's on my list to revamp. When I get around to it, I'll drop you a line.

Here's a reliable link for those 2N1711's if you ever need more.
http://smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/transistor-2n1711-texas-instruments/

Edit: I did some tinkering with the tone stack and came up with this. I haven't tried it but it looks good on paper.

The green lines are the Dirt Transmitter's stock tone stack. The blue is the mod. https://i.imgur.com/RSLdKWW.mp4

Here are the changes based on the Pedalpcb schematic. You'd have to change the Tone pot to a B100K as well.
https://i.imgur.com/zOEslkg.png
https://i.imgur.com/RPhZkaA.jpg
Much appreciated! I agree on the excess of gears. Even if it's purely aesthetic, you want to give it a semblance of legitimate use.

And that's some awesome work on the Cross Contaminator! I will definitely have to try that out. Its just a shame that you're limited a bit by the lack of beef, but this looks like it could certainly bring it up.

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TheDude

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 08:26:41 AM »
The steampunk one is clean looking all the way round. I love the concept.


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Appreciate it! Certain sounding pedals get certain themes from me. Spacey yet clean sounding stuff can be put into the steampunk category - looking at the same theme for a future Theremin Fuzz. Atompunk/dieselpunk for things like the Raygun Youth and U-235. More futuristic sounds like the Sentient Machine will be going into a cyberpunk style. Classic pedals (ie big muff, fuzz face) get more of a classic look, while most classic styled pedals get handpainted. And for now those that don't fit in one of those categories will likely be getting the big graphics, like my Cross Contaminator here.

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dawson

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2020, 02:07:46 PM »
Very neat-
I especially like however you finished the spirit box enclosure, can't tell if it's dry-brushed with paint, or if you leaned into it with a coarse wire brush- either way, cool texture!

Is your pedalboard called "Smorgasboard?"
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TheDude

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2020, 03:31:14 PM »
Very neat-
I especially like however you finished the spirit box enclosure, can't tell if it's dry-brushed with paint, or if you leaned into it with a coarse wire brush- either way, cool texture!

Is your pedalboard called "Smorgasboard?"
The Spirit Box was finished by sanding a plain enclosure down with 80 grit sandpaper, spray painted black, and then gently wiped off while still wet, so the paint in the sanding marks would remain, but take it off the surface that hadn't been ground down. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

As for the pedalboard name, there hasn't been one yet, but I just might have to go with that now!

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dawson

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2020, 04:32:56 PM »
Ah I see, nice, it's great when a texture feels how it looks- might be cool to see how other colors of paint would turn out in the future..

As for the pedalboard name, there hasn't been one yet, but I just might have to go with that now!
If not "Hollywood Star Lanes"

^this image belongs to somebody else
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TheDude

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2020, 04:43:53 PM »
It does. I clear coated over it, but it still feels worn. I have a few different idea regarding sandpaper and paint...perhaps multiple layers of colors across the spectrum for an iridescent look. We shall see...

If not "Hollywood Star Lanes"

^this image belongs to somebody else

At this rate I'll wind up with multiple boards, so I'll definitely need multiple names. That's gold.

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Leevibe

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2020, 08:53:39 PM »
Nice work! I think your knob choice on the spirit box was spot on. Iím appreciating the wiring in all three. Good job!

gordo

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2020, 02:06:55 PM »
Geez that's some cool work.

Stomptown

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2020, 11:42:05 PM »
Wow!  Those are some great builds.  I really dig the aesthetic of the spirit box!

TheDude

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Re: A Smorgasboard - Spirit Box, Brutalist Jr., Cross Contaminator
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2020, 08:38:37 PM »
Much appreciated gentlemen! Leevibe, I found the knobs on ebay. Was super lucky to get my hands on them. Even up close they look metal.

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