Author Topic: Sourcing Parts  (Read 5745 times)

CapnCrunch

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Sourcing Parts
« on: April 18, 2010, 08:34:32 PM »
Hey all,

This is my first post here.  Pedal building is a new thing for me, so I have a few (very noobish stupid questions).  I stumbled into this site because I am looking at re-vamping my pedal board, and can't bring myself to pay the absolutely stupid prices that great marketing and the Gear Page have created.  Anyway, I digress.  I've never built a pedal before.  I've built three amps, a tweed deluxe clone, a tweaked 5e5a pro, and a clone of a Trainwreck Rocket.  I've sourced parts from Mouser, Newark, Digikey and a few others for my amp builds.  My experience is that no single source ever has everything you need, so you end paying shipping to about three different sources for each project.  While this is costly, it still makes sense on an amp which is worth $800 to $1,500 when you're done. 

I am having the same issue sourcing parts for some of the simplest pedals, the boards of which are offered here.  If I end up paying $40 to $60 in shipping for parts, I'm going to have to build a number of pedals to defray that cost.  Not that this would be a bad thing.  I want to build several pedals, but I'm wondering if anyone has some wisdom on how to start. 


madbean

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 10:04:08 PM »
Building pedals as one-offs to start is definitely more expensive. You can expect the average build to cost in the vicinity of $40-50. Once you build up a supply of parts, the cost goes way down. The trick is to start buying in bulk when you can afford it. You can pay $.10 per resistor. Same thing with caps, which are even more expensive as singles, transistors, etc.

I can't imagine you having to pay THAT much in shipping though. Smallbear has most everything for the projects I have here, with a couple of exceptions. I personally order a lot of stuff from Mouser, but I order things like switches and enclosures from one of three suppliers: smallbear, pedalpartsplus or effects connection.

Anyway, this is part of getting started. Sourcing your own components takes effort and planning. But, believe me, if you get into this stuff very seriously, you'll figure out how to order in bulk and save money. About a year ago I bought 5,000 caps in one fell swoop. It cost a few hundred dollars, but I haven't been without a single value since then. I don't suggest this for you now, obviously, but as you go along you can always pick up extras. Order one or two extra of everything if you can afford it, and you'll have a little more the next time around.

CapnCrunch

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2010, 11:05:14 PM »
Thanks!

Your advice is kind of what I suspected.  I started doing that with the amp builds so I have most of the "inexpensive"  parts in duplicate or triplicate (not transformers though$$$$$$$)

I looked at Smallbear, but they were missing some diodes, and the IC.  I want to start with what appears to be a pretty simple design, the Zendrive clone.  You may already know this, but Digikey stocks the AD712 for the Serendipity. I also want to try the Pete Cornish drive/distortion, but I'll try the "Serendipity" first.  I was going to get a OPA 2604 and a JRC 4558 as well, and try them all to see which one sounds best to me. 

Thanks again.  This is cool site by the way. 

Haberdasher

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 12:00:40 PM »
In madbean's serendipity pdf, he says you can sub a 1n34a for the BAT41.  Smallbear has a germanium that he claims can be used anywhere a 1n34a would go, if you're interested.
http://www.smallbearelec.com/Detail.bok?no=322

One thing I learned the hard way is- if you're going to make an order from pedalpartsplus, know exactly what you want from them and order it immediately.  I made the mistake of spending half an afternoon putting together a basket over there and then leaving the house for what seemed like 2 hours.  When I came back my cart was already reset.  Be advised.

For that reason, I decided to order almost everything from smallbear, and then only pick up certain items from ppp.  In my case that ends up being the enclosures, switches, dc jacks, most of the resistors, and some of the caps.

cheers

Don't forget to order you LEDs.
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madbean

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 03:54:39 AM »
One thing that SB and PPP is seriously lacking in is the ability to properly save your carts. SB actually used to have this feature when Steve launched his new store years ago, but it seems to have gone away. It's a real PITA to spend a lot of time putting an order together and then not be able to save it. This is the beauty of Mouser. You can save your carts, save specific projects, etc. Obviously, their website is more robust in design than the small-time DIY suppliers, but I do wish that SB and PPP would make an effort to improve their store fronts.

BTW: anyone else notice that if you order lots of pots in different values from SB, the store basically slows to a crawl? There seems to be a very linear relationship between the number of different pots you have in your cart and how long it takes the cart to actually update. Very frustrating.

CRBMoA

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 02:03:51 PM »
Let me just throw out a plug for Effects Connection. I put together a huge group buy this spring. About $1600   worth of bits, no errors.

And you can save your cart! ;D

irmcdermott

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 02:24:41 PM »
i agree with buying in bulk when you can. what i've started doing is whenever i need a value resistor that i don't have or are running low on, i go to Jameco. they sells bags of 100 for $2.00. I figured $.02 isn't bad and now i don't have to buy them for a while.

i typically order from mouser, smallbear, jameco, pedalpartsplus, and futurlec (when i don't mind waiting a month for whatever i order). between those i can usually find anything i need at the right price. all of them except futurlec, and lately smallbear, have always shipped the day after i order them.

jkokura

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 11:06:26 PM »
Let me just throw out a plug for Effects Connection. I put together a huge group buy this spring. About $1600   worth of bits, no errors.

And you can save your cart! ;D


I wish I had had that experience. They totally, totally screwed my order up. They sent me less than half of what I ordered. A small, 70 dollar order, compared to your large one, but still.

Fortunately, their customer service is good, and they're sending me the rest of my order.

Jacob
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pigyboy

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2010, 06:34:53 AM »
I have run across the cart reset problem from lots of places so now I snap a photo of my order page on my Mac. When I am ready to place the order I can pull up the picture and then I have all the part numbers. Don't forget there are lots of good suppliers on Ebay that have free shipping. I just got a bunch of 2.1mm power jacks, 9v battery clips and LED's that are all great quality for about a third of what I would pay from Mouser. If you guys are adventurous you can try madeinchina.com. They have a huge network of suppliers but it takes time and ingenuity to find what you need. I get all my enclosures, stomp switches and knobs this way.  You have to buy several hundred $'s worth to make the shipping costs worthwhile but I am only paying about 90 cents for switches and $1.10 for enclosures.
Pig

Haberdasher

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2010, 07:43:17 PM »
I have run across the cart reset problem from lots of places so now I snap a photo of my order page on my Mac. When I am ready to place the order I can pull up the picture and then I have all the part numbers.
I've started doing the same with Screengrab, which is a nifty little firefox extension.
If you guys are adventurous you can try madeinchina.com. They have a huge network of suppliers but it takes time and ingenuity to find what you need. I get all my enclosures, stomp switches and knobs this way.  You have to buy several hundred $'s worth to make the shipping costs worthwhile but I am only paying about 90 cents for switches and $1.10 for enclosures.
Pig
If I'm feeling adventurous, you're not kidding.  I just tried looking around over there for a few minutes and I can't find anything.  Also, I don't know if they're having server probs right now but half the links seem to be broken....
Can you maybe give us some helpful hints on navigation?  ;D
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irmcdermott

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2010, 09:12:32 PM »
i will say, on my Grapevine build I tried using some DPDT  (On-On) switches I bought from futurlec and 2 of them didn't work at all, and the third one, one of the lugs literally fell out after i soldered the wire to it, i guess it melted the plastic enough for that to happen. i'm liking them less and less the more I use them, but they still have really good prices on their box caps.

those of you who use box caps, where do you get them from and about how much do they run you? maybe i just can't find them on mouser, but it looks like most of the AVX caps are becoming obsolete.

i'm still a fan of jameco for resistors, transistors, and diodes.

pigyboy

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2010, 08:36:06 AM »
For enclosures email David at

sales8@sunvast.com
ask for pictures and prices plus if you want to pay more or can afford to buy lots they will make anything you supply the drawings for. Say you got his email from Chris in Spain and are looking for the same type of deal. I paid around a buck fifty with shipping but the price varies alot with the cost of the raw materials. Plus ask them to ship using TNT. UPS charged me another fifty for taxes. I know TNT includes the import duties and I know this because I bought lots of the 3PDT switches and plastic knobs from Xuyu Lee at

daier@chinadaier.com

Ask for a product list and prices. Again they may vary from market influence.

The only source I could find for metal knobs at a decent price was from Pinpe Hou at

hou@sanhemusic.com

They have both splined slide on and set screw chrome dome knobs for good prices compared to ebay but you need to buy a few hundred to get a good price.

Mention Chris from Spain as I took literally MONTHS finding then getting to know these guys. I have purchased from all of them and they were all fantastic.

Please post if you do purchase anything from these guys and let us know what you think.

Pig

Haberdasher

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Re: Sourcing Parts
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2010, 06:07:49 PM »
Wow, thanks very much, pig.  I didn't expect you to lay all that on me but I certainly appreciate it!
If I order from those sources I'll be sure to let you know.  8)
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