building a distortion pedal

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building a distortion pedal

Postby flavaham » Sun Jan 16, 2011 5:30 am

I'm done with the circuit board on my pedal. This is the first pedal I've built or done any mods on. It is the "Tweak-O" from Small Bear Electronics. The schematic and other info for it can be found here: http://www.smallbearelec.com/Projects/TweakO/TweakO.htm

I'm wondering how you go about deciding what parts to replace to improve the sound. I know nothing about what parts actually do what as far as shaping sound. There is a list of all parts at the bottom of the page. If anyone can suggest some upgrades, please let me know. I know this is a pretty low end pedal to start so I'm not expecting this to be up to Tube Screamer status but I'm sure I can get it to sound decent with the right tweaks.
Thanks!!
-Gabe
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby bdhact1 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:03 am

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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby flavaham » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:38 pm



Well, I've already done about half of this project so this is what I've got. I'm not looking for Jerry tone really, just looking to learn about how to build and mod pedals.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby tigerstrat » Sun Jan 16, 2011 4:18 pm

flavaham wrote:


Well, I've already done about half of this project so this is what I've got. I'm not looking for Jerry tone really, just looking to learn about how to build and mod pedals.


http://freestompboxes.org/
"There, in huge black letters, was 'The Grateful Dead'. It just... cancelled my mind out."-Garcia
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby DreamNightWind » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:42 am

"This is an easier first time build, and more Jerry like:
http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/pro ... 44a841b3e8"

How come they don't say which version of the Distortion Plus this kit will build, or what components to use for different eras of the pedal? I've never played through an old script one but I'd like to see if it sounds much better than my block letter one (with a red LED).

Anyone know which version this kit targets?
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby KWRummie » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:31 am

If you haven't made a purchase yet, I know the Build Your Own Clone kit is the script version. http://www.buildyourownclone.com/250.html
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby TI4-1009 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:05 am

I love this place.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby bdhact1 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:08 pm

If you aren't looking for a dead type of pedal, than build a silicon Fuzz Face. It's one of the easiest first time projects.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby DreamNightWind » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:53 pm

"If you haven't made a purchase yet, I know the Build Your Own Clone kit is the script version. http://www.buildyourownclone.com/250.html"

Thank you. I followed your lead, looked at their pre-built pedals (http://axeandyoushallreceive.com/store/page1.html) and it says there that the MXR version is built to script logo specs. For $90 I'd probably buy it pre-built rather than trying the build myself.

Before I order this, has anyone actually used one of these things? Do they really get the sound of the old script MXR Distortion +, or should I hold out for the real thing? I don't care about collector's value particularly, I don't have a ton of disposable cash and I mostly just want to get that sound.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby bdhact1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:55 am

DreamNightWind wrote:"If you haven't made a purchase yet, I know the Build Your Own Clone kit is the script version. http://www.buildyourownclone.com/250.html"

Thank you. I followed your lead, looked at their pre-built pedals (http://axeandyoushallreceive.com/store/page1.html) and it says there that the MXR version is built to script logo specs. For $90 I'd probably buy it pre-built rather than trying the build myself.

Before I order this, has anyone actually used one of these things? Do they really get the sound of the old script MXR Distortion +, or should I hold out for the real thing? I don't care about collector's value particularly, I don't have a ton of disposable cash and I mostly just want to get that sound.



Actually, the parts listed in the instructions are incorrect to the Script version. It is more inline to a modern clone. The diodes and most of the capacitor types are incorrect.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby TI4-1009 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:39 am

Maybe so- I'd still be interested in knowing how it sounds relative to the original.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby bdhact1 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:46 pm

TI4-1009 wrote:Maybe so- I'd still be interested in knowing how it sounds relative to the original.



That clone kit will sound much more aggressive, even with the germanium diodes they give you. If you use the silicon doides it will be like Randy Rhoads on steroids.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby DreamNightWind » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:49 pm

Not sure what TI4-1009 wants. I'm looking for 80's Garcia Distortion + sound.
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby TI4-1009 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:54 pm

I thought the MXR was more 70's, the Boss more 80's-90's?
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Re: building a distortion pedal

Postby DreamNightWind » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:17 pm

I could be mistaken, but I think he used the MXR well into the 80's, anyone know for sure?
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