||Here is the first pedal I ever built, in
October 2001. This is a clone of the Black Cat OD-1 , also known as the
Custom Audio Electronics "Freddie Fuzz".
This one uses a
cascaded OP275 dual opamp circuit, and is touch
sensitive. It also cleans up pretty well when the guitar
volume is turned down. It has quite a lot of gain. I
built it because Scott Henderson (one of my favs) used it
for a while, and I really liked his tone. So I decided to
build it just for fun. I still use it all the time.
||This is Joe Davisson's Obsidian Overdrive,
It uses three 2N7000 MOSFETS and has quite a
lot of gain. Sounds like a Boss Metal Zone, but is a
little warmer sounding. It faithfully reproduces that
80's metal sound. It also sounds great for fusion lead
type stuff. Unfortunately, it is plagued by a lot of
white noise (hiss). The transistor version of this
circuit sounds a lot better from what I hear.
I gutted this one and replaced the circuit with the
Ibanez TS-808 Tube
Screamer clone at GeneralGuitarGadgets.com
||This is Joe Davisson's " Amber
It uses a TS271 CMOS single opamp,
with two 2N7000 MOSFETs acting as clipping diodes. It is
a dynamic sounding pedal, with lots of gain. Good pedal
for a driving rock sound. Nice sounding circuit.
||This is Tim
Escobedo's "Jawari", an electric sitar
It's simple to build, and uses one JFET, a
few caps and resistors and a 10K:10K audio transformer.
It sounds neat when used with a high gain pedal, such as
a Boss Metal Zone. I added an internal tone control to
shape the tone to suit my musical style.
||This is a Ross
Distortion clone with some of my own additions. The box
is actually from my second ever project, the original
circuit got trashed because I didn't like it.
It uses a single
opamp and clipping diodes. I added pre and post
distortion tone controls and a switch that allows me to
switch between symmetrical and asymmetrical clipping,
which is accomplished by 1N4148 silicon diodes and 1N34
||This is Aron Nelson's " Smash
Drive " with the Marshall-style tone stack.
It uses a LM386
audio opamp, and a very few other parts. High gain and
aggressive sounding. I added an input cap switch, and
tweaked the low, mid and high tone caps to my liking.
Good sounding pedal for in-your-face type of stuff.
||This a variant of the Black Cat OD-1
I added clipping diodes in the feedback loop
of the second stage of the opamp. I incorporated a switch
to allow the use of 1N4148 silicon diodes, 1N34 germanium
diodes or no clipping diodes. The silicon diodes make it
sound more fuzzy, but the pedal doesn't sound as great as
I hoped. It does sound decent in certain contexts,
gave me a bunch of these old transceivers in the hopes
that I may be able to use them for something. I figured
out a way to recycle the enclosures by cutting them down,
and making a removable bottom piece. The original
enclosure measured 4-1/8"x2-7/8"x2-1/4"
high. After my modifications, it measures 1" high. A
useful size for making stompboxes. Many of my newest
pedals are made from one of these enclosures.
Magic ", the first project of 2003.
It uses a BS170
MOSFET that pushes a J201 JFET into distortion. It is a
medium gain pedal, touch sensitive and smooth sounding.
It's a very nice sounding circuit, similar to but better
(in my opinion) than the original Ibanez TS9 Tube
Ed Guidry's " BSIAB " (Brown
Sound In A Box).
It uses five J201 JFET's for a medium-high gain distortion.
Sounds like a cranked lower wattage Marshall. The more I use it, the more
I like it. I designed my own PCB for this project which is much more compact than other ones
I have seen. And, here is a soundclip which was recorded
by and posted on someone else's site at one time.
is based on Aron Nelson's " Shaka
Tube " circuit. I called it the "Bulldog".
It uses a TL072 opamp and a 12AX7 preamp tube with a bias
control. Has a nice bluesy sound, and you can change the
tone by changing the type of tube. Enclosure is
4"x5"x1.5". It plugs into a wall
receptacle and is operated by 120VAC through a wall wart
transformer to 12.6VAC, then converted to DC with a rectifier/470uF
filter caps. Power jack is on the back. I also drilled
ventilation holes on both sides of the enclosure.
Mark Hammer's " Chaos ". I called
it the Hammerhead 'cause it's mean!
It uses a cascaded dual opamp (I
used a JRC4558D) , and has clipping diodes in both feedback loops!
This one utilizes both symmetrical and asymmetrical clipping. I has mondo
distortion and good sustain. The most interesting thing is how the tone
control works. It goes from a mild crunch to over-the-top head banger
distortion with just a turn of the tone control. This is proving to be
one of my most versatile distortion pedals. I designed my own PCB for this project.
Craig Anderton's " Volume
Pedal De-Scratcher ".
This one is very
useful, because I am tired of scratchy volume pots!!
||Ever see a sewing machine
foot pedal at the thrift store and wonder if you could do something with
it for your guitar? Here is something you do with what seems
like a useless piece of junk...
is based on Dan Armstrong's " Blue
Clipper " circuit from the 70's. I called it
the " Belt
Drive ", because it clips on your belt. Honestly, it's not
very practical, but I thought it would be fun to try to
get everything in such a small enclosure...
It uses a TL071 single opamp with 1N914 silicon clipping
diodes on the output. A very basic tried and true circuit
with nice tone. It cleans up well with the guitar's
volume control. This one clips on your belt and is very
portable. My Nokia 5160 cell phone is bigger than this
is! It was a challenge getting all that stuff to fit in
this 3"x2"x1.6" enclosure. I recently put
the circuit into a Hammond 1590 enclosure.
Ambrose Chapel's " Bulldog
Cabinet Simulator ".
This one is
designed for going straight into a mixing console, and
emulates a speaker cabinet. A lot of stuff is packed inside this small
enclosure. It measures 3"x2"x1.1" and is
black plastic. It sounds good with something like a Blue
Clipper before it. It uses a TL082 dual opamp, and I
installed the blend pot as shown on the schematic. There
are some mods that can also be done to this circuit. I
guess a have a pair of bulldogs now...
Joe Davisson's " Easy
This one uses a single 2N3904 transistor and
a pair of clipping diodes. It has an amazing amount of
distortion for a one trick, uh, transistor pony. I got
the enclosure from a thrift store for 75 cents. It is
apparently the lid to some sort of kitchen gadget. I just
barely got everything to fit inside of it. I used the
bottom part of a tuna can for the bottom cover. At one time, this
was the channel switcher for my Seymour Duncan
Convertible amp, but I remodeled it. Please pardon our
Howie's " Metal
This one uses two 2N3904 transistors and a
red LED acting as a clipping diode, producing
asymmetrical clipping, which is pleasing to the ear. To
me, it really sounds more like a higher gain overdrive
pedal as opposed to a metal pedal. It has lots of
harmonics, and it sounds nice. The circuit lends itself
to mods of all sorts. Tweaking the tone cap can change
the sound a lot, and using higher gain transistors like
some 2N5089's would turn it into a metal monster.
Jack Orman's " AMZ Mini-Booster ".
This one uses two
J201 JFET's. It is a lower gain overdrive, akin to the
glorified Ibanez Tube Screamer. It works well for when
you want to add a little bite to your sound, but not be
too overpowering. I added a tone control and a gain boost
switch, which takes the 10uF cap (C6) on the source of Q1
in or out of the circuit (see schematic). There is not a
dramatic difference between on and off positions, but it
is noticeable, and I have found it to be useful.
Gary Burchett's creation, the " Three-Legged
little circuit using a CD4049UBE CMOS Hex Inverter chip.
I built it per the perfboard layout Gary drew up. If you
build this one, beware! It squeals like crazy on a low
battery! I always use an AC adapter, so I don't think I
will ever have that problem...
the " Boutique
Fuzz Face ".
This is the PNP negative ground version. It
is a pretty good sounding fuzz face circuit, and is the
fuzziest of the circuits I have built thus far. When
doing chordal type stuff, it will produce a nice chunky,
fat sound. I used sockets for the transistors so I could
try different types until I found the ones that I like
best, some NOS germanium Raytheon T59247 audio type. Read
my Fuzz Face Notes for more on
transistors. I chose to have the bias pot as an external
screwdriver adjustment, for variety of reasons.
an Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer clone built per the layout at www.GeneralGuitarGadgets.com. A classic stompbox with a good tone. What else can be said?
the " JFET
Audio Mixer ".
This is something that you can use when you
want to mix two different distortions for example.
||This is Tim
Escobedo's "Phuncgnosis", which uses an
envelope filter circuit, more commonly known as an
On this circuit, you can switch the filter
up or down. I used an LF353 opamp which has a wide
bandwidth. I am still working on the best way to
manipulate the frequency range a little bit. I like to
use this for a different sound when I am soloing. I used
a switch on the back of the enclosure for switching
between the regular input and the auxiliary input to the
||This is the EA
Tremolo, a very smooth sounding 100% solid state
tremolo that appeared in Electronics Australia magazine
in 1968. It sounds great! I built this one using the hand
drawn PCB layout at Nabke's site.
I used two 2N3904
transistors and one J201 FET. If you like tremolo, give
this one a try. Here is my PCB
One invidual wrote to me and informed me that the 2N3904 transistors
as shown on the PCB layout needed to be rotated 180 degrees. This was corrected
as of 1/14/05.<
||This is Joe Davisson's "Blackfire" , another high gain distortion pedal.
It uses five 2N5089 high gain, low noise transistors. The transistors I
used in mine had an Hfe of over 800. I also added a modified Marshall-style
tone stack, I changed the cap values to increase the bass response to get
more low end. I'm thinking about maybe adding a switch to bypass the tone
stack, just for kicks.
||This is Dan Armstrong's Orange
Squeezer , a well loved compressor designed in the
70's. This one was on hold for a while while I was
waiting to find some suitable JFETs to complete this
project. I ended up using MPF102's. This is a nice
sounding compressor, and it is basically "plug and
play". The original unit didn't even have a level
control. When using high output humbuckers, this circuit
distorts a little bit, but most compressor circuits are
prone to this as well.
I used the PCB layout found at GeneralGuitarGadgets.com
||This is the vibrato circuit from
"Laurier's Handy Dandy Circuits". I'm still
tweaking this one some, the circuit as shown on the
schematic has a low output compared to the bypassed
signal. I think this can be solved by putting a
transistor section at the ouput to boost the signal a
That aside, it sounds nice and the overall effect is pleasant. To my ears,
it's really more of a rather somewhat subtle tremolo effect than a true
vibrato. It does have a little bit of a pitchshifting effect that is just
barely detectable at times. Changing the cap values in the oscillator section
results in faster or slower rates depending on cap sizes used.
||This is my modified DOD YJM 308
clone, which is the Yngwie Malmsteen
signature preamp overdrive. I'm not a big Yngwie fan, but the circuit looked
interesting enough to build. I messed with the input and output cap values
a little bit to my own tastes and used 1N34 germanium diodes instead of
1N4148 silicon diodes, which mkaes the distortion a little smoother. I believe
this is a slightly modified DOD 250 circuit. The YJM308 schematic linked
above appears to have one error: the 100 ohm resistor should be between
the power supply and the opamp power supply rather than in series with 22K
resistor at the voltage divider network. This is how I built mine.
||This is a FET Buffered A/B Box
that I designed to be able to use
two guitars with only one amplifier input without unplugging cords, like
an acoustic and an electric for example. I used a bi-color status indicator,
an LED that switches between green and red. The red knob controls the channel
that is active when the LED is red and the green knob when the LED is green.
It is possible to get everything inside of a Hammond 1590B enclosure with
some careful planning.
works is an ambitious design of my own, what I call the
" Guitar-Synth-In-A-Box ".
This is a
complicated circuit, but if I can get it to work, it will
hopefully get some Pat Metheny guitar synth type sounds.
Shown here is one of the two PCB's required.
||Here is a tube overdrive of my own design, something that I call the
" PJM Tube Overdrive ".
This is a
variation of Aron Nelson's Shaka Tube circuit. Follow the link above
for more information.
This is a
nice little circuit combining a Brain May style boost at the
input, a boutique style tone control and the output section of
Joe Davisson's "Blackfire". Nice, thick, bluesy tone that lends itself
to many different styles. I built it on perfboard. I recycled the 2-piece RadioShack enclosure that my very first build was in at one time.
is a picture of the inside.<
||Here is Joe Davisson's
"Shocktave". This is a
cool octave circuit that is kind of like a harmonizing distortion pedal. Listen to the sound clip at Joe's page, and I'm sure you will think so, too.
||Here is a simple thing I designed that I call "Solo-Pro". It's just simply a box that switches between two preset volume levels. I wanted something that would give me some kind of volume boost for solos. I used a bi-color LED so that I can keep track of which setting it is on. Here
is the schematic.
||Here is a simple thing I designed that I call "Looper". It's just simply a box that switches between two pairs of jacks, basically a signal router that can be used to switch between my pedal board and a digital effects processor. I used a bi-color LED so that I can keep track of which setting it is on. It is in a plastic Hammond Mfg. project enclosure. I shielded the inside
with some self-adhesive aluminum foil. I used the box once for a circuit and then gutted it.
I had three existing holes drilled in it on the top surface. To fix that, I created some graphics
with AutoCAD, glued that to the top of the enclosure. I covered it with some clear plastic, which
is the type plastic that protects the posters in those poster board frames. I don't know what type
of plastic it is, but it you're careful drilling it, it makes a nice protective cover.
(To cut it, you just score it well and use some pliers to carefully snap it at the score lines)
This got fastened to the top of the enclosure with four small screws.
is a wiring diagram.
||This is an MXR Phase 45 clone. It is built per the layout at www.tonepad.com
except for substituting the FETs with J201s, using a 200K trimpot instead of 250K, and using 0.047uF caps instead of the 0.05uF caps specified on the schematic. This circuit has a very nice sound that can sound much like a flanger depending on how the trimpot is set. One mod that could be done to this circuit is to make that trimpot a regular pot that could be adjusted from the exterior of the enclosure. (Now I think of this?!)
is a little study on how this phaser affects a sine wave as viewed with an oscilloscope.
||This is Aron Nelson's " Shaka
Express", made with the PCB layout found at www.geofex.com. This is another high gain distortion pedal with some cool features like a "bite" control that has a large affect on the quality of the distortion. The switch at lower left is for a mod I incorporated into the circuit which is based on Ed Rembold's suggestion for the T3 arrangement. Here is a few more pictures:
LEDs From Exterior.
Here is a waveform study on how the bite control affects the sound.
the Shaka Tube in a
Hammond 1590BB enclosure.
This is essentially the same thing as my "Bulldog" shown above, but redesigned from scratch to fit into a smaller enclosure.
Here is a waveform study on this circuit comparing my first build with this one.
clone of the original ProCo RAT. I used the PCB layout available at
It is essentially built exactly per the tonepad layout except that I used a CA3130
Bimos MOSFET opamp in place of the 741 opamp. This seems to give the circuit a little
smoother sounding distortion to my ears. As you can see, this circuit can be
built into a much smaller enclosure than the real deal.
||This is a simple
passive A/B switch box that I built. It seems like you can always find a
use for one of these...
||Not really a stompbox, but here is my
scratchbuilt wah pedal
. The circuit used is a clone of the
Colorsound inductorless wah, using a twin-T type circuit.
||Taking my first scratchbuilt wah pedal a step farther,
this is my
second DIY pedal project
. The circuit used is from the
Maestro Boomerang, one of the few inductor based wah circuits that isn't a straight copy of the
CryBaby circuit. This one sounds very good and it works very well.
||This is a clone of the Way Huge Electronics
"Red Llama", built per the PCB layout
. The circuit is based on the
CD4049UBE hex inverter chip.
||Here is Craig Anderton's Frequency Booster, which I think is a useful thing to have around for recording and stuff. I used a
3P4T rotary switch
to give me an option of 0.1uF, 0.022uF, 0.01uF and 0.0047uF caps which will boost
frequencies from the low mids (200Hz) to the upper mids (4kHz). With distortion, it kind of acts like a harmonic exciter. All in all, I think it's pretty cool. A schematic & PCB layout can be
||This is Hammer's "The Crank", which is
a nifty booster circuit using a very clever design. I reused the enclosure of the YJM 308 clone,
which I wasn't that happy with.
is my PCB
layout for this project.
||This is a clone of the Tychobrahe
Parapedal which I have never heard of before, but WOW! this thing is a very unique
sounding type of wah. It's in
my second DIY wah
shell. I used some JRC4558 opamps
that I had lying around and an Alps 100K dual pot that I got from RadioShack. I soldered
a 12K resistor in parallel with each pot to make them approx. 10K. I'll switch it out for
a "real one" at a later date. I got
the PCB layout
||This is what I have dubbed the "Dual Rectifier In A Box", which is otherwise known as
the Dr. Boogey. It's basically a solid state emulation of a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier Solo Head amp - it sounds very large ("open") and has
huge amounts of gain. It's built in an
Model LMB #CR 531 enclosure measuring 3"x5-1/2"x1-1/4" and is constructed out
of sturdy 0.050" thick aluminum. The box is in its original pre-painted state. The knobs come from a cheapo Crate bass amp
that I parted out. It was a tight fit to get everything in there - check out
. I also added a
hi/lo gain switch
, which switches a 1M resistor in
parallel with the 1M gain pot.|
I built this monster per the PCB layout
which is laid out per
. It's a great alternative to something like the Boss Metal Zone.
||This is the first thing I have built in about six months - Tim
Escobedo's "T.M.K.", an unruly type of fuzz box similar
to the Z. Vex Fuzz Factory.
It's simple to build, and uses one dual opamp, and several clipping
diodes in various configurations.
||This is the Jordan Boss Tone
, a fuzz circuit similar somewhat similar to a Vox Tone Bender.
I used a PCB of my own design, a 100K pot on the output and a switch for the diode limiter section on the
output. This circuit is very responsive to picking dynamics and has a wide range of sounds
as I built it. The paint job is my first attempt at airbrushing an enclosure.
||This is John Hollis'"Crash Sync", which is basically the front end of an MXR Blue Box with
a 555 based oscillator synchronisation circuit at the output. Very cool circuit for those who want something
off the wall. The buzzy synthesizer-ish tones range from nasal-ly wah type sounds to a cool sounding
sounding octave down distortion.
The enclosure is hand painted by none other than myself (any resemblence to
ColorSound products is purely coincidental). I used the PCB layout from Hollis' website. It's a
very tight fit
in a Hammond 1590B box, but I managed to get it all
||This is the Schaller Bow Wow Yoy Yoy
, a German made wah pedal circuit. It has a different sound than the usual CryBaby tone. I designed a
that is a drop-in replacement for the GCB-95 CryBaby PCB. In this picture, it is installed in a standard CryBaby shell.
||This is an ADA Flanger clone in an enclosure designed and made by myself. After working on several original great sounding ADA Flangers for other guitarists, I decided that I had to have one of these units for myself. For more info on this build, Click Here
||This is the R.O.G. Splitter Blend
, which consists of two buffered parallel effects loops with a blend control and phase polarity switch which allows for phase matching of the effect loops.
||This is the R.O.G. English Channel
, which is an FET simulation of the Vox AC-30 Top Boost. It sounds really good, perfect for getting the tones that the TS808 Tube Screamer clone doesn't quite capture.
For this build, I re-used the enclosure from my Blackfire build which didn't really excite me that much.
||This is a Russian Big Muff Pi clone with most of the mods from the Premier Guitar mods page
. I built this one on perfboard so I could try various ideas. I think it's pretty cool with the dual tone controls. You can get a pretty wide range of sounds from it. I housed it in an old enclosure from a project I built a few years ago.
||This is a clone of a boutique MOSFET overdrive pedal. The maker will remain anonymous out of respect, but I give him credit where credit is due - this circuit is very well designed. It really does sort of respond like a tube amp with the way that it interacts with the guitar. It's also cool because it's kind of like having two pedals in one. I will recommend this product to anyone looking for a great tone.
||Here is a clone of the Boss Slow Gear made from the info found at This Page
. This is a cool effect that I find suits my style very well. On this one I've used one the enclosures from one of my very first DIY projects which has had three other circuits in it over the years. I just used a gold paint pen for the graphics on this one. I did the part substitutions recommended at the website regarding C2, R14, R16 & TR1, and used a 2SK30A FET.
||Black Cat Ring Modulator that I made using PCB that I drew up from real example I had in hand at the time.
||Buffalo Pfuz clone. I recreated the unique enclosure using wood. You can see video of that HERE
||This is a more conventional pedal version of the Bullog Cabinet Simulator shown above.
||This is a scratchbuilt replica of Colorsound Wah Wah stamped steel enclosure, but made out of
wood. See can see more about it HERE
||Colorsound Overdriver in a quasi-replica enclosure made of wood.
||Here is a Jordan Bosstone with the "trombetta mod".
||Here an Echoplex preamp. I made it using an Aion FX
||Here is a Systech Harmonic Energizer
clone, which is a workalike of the original unit made
famous by Frank Zappa. I used PCB that is available at the Aion FX
||Here an Ibanez OD-855 clone. This was the precursor to the famous Tube Screamer. I made this
using a PCB which is available at the Aion FX
||Here is a Klon Centaur clone. I made this one using a PCB which is available at the Aion FX
||Here is a Lab Series L5 preamp. I think is the most complex thing I've ever built! I made
it using PCB which is available at the Aion FX
website. I made my own enclosure using a combination of wood and aluminum.
||This is a vibrato I made that actually IS a vibrato, at certain settings. It kind of mimics the old Magnatone
guitar amps, but it does not sound as big or lush (because it's mono). It does not sound bad though. I used the schematic found
. It's not a diffult build but the hardest part of it is getting the DIY LDR section right.
||This is the ROG
"Condor". It's a simulation of a 4x10 speaker cabinet. It sounds very Fender-ish to my ears.
||This my Shaka Tube redo. I like this version much better! More about that HERE
||This is the venerable Stratoblaster. It's in the tin that my two-tone oscillator once used.
||This a Suhr Riot clone using a PCB which is available at Aion FX
. Also more about it HERE
||This is an FET simulation of the Soldano Supercharger GTO. It uses currently hard to get J201s. Sorry, can't
share a schematic because it was a design project for a boutique pedal manufacturer and I signed a NDA on it, but it does sound great. I use it often!
||This is a PT2399 based delay pedal design that I added modulation to and a few other
tweaks. Sorry, can't share any more info on this one... signed a NDA on it.
||This is the Craig Anderton Ultra Fuzz. It was too over the top for me but it was an
interesting build nonetheless.
||This is the "Valvetizer". I had a bit of trouble with it... can't find a power supply that it
likes, so still a work in progress.