Dist + Clipping Diodes

Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby claytushaywood » Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:09 am

I built a distortion plus a few weeks ago using a board from tonepad. Any pedal guys out there build one they're happy with for jerry tones, or just in general. I actually began the build with more expensive style components like silver mica, and panasonic metal film caps. Changing some of these to ceramic and the big green types actually improved the sound, or so I thought.

I'm really not digging the pedal at this point, and I'm thinking I could use an adjustment in clipping diodes. I just have two 1n4148's right now, I was thinking maybe put led's in series with each, or an led on one and two germaniums with the other. Maybe just straight led?

I just built a zen drive clone and it is phenomenal sounding- absolutely- but I think it uses a variety of clipping devices. I loved my old dod 250- felt like it had more balls in the mid lows- But I'd like to nail that dist + tone but I can't get it. Jerry had most of his stuff modded, I bet his pedals were too. Anyone have any evidence of it, or evidence against it. Regardless, tips would be appreciated!!! Maybe I'm hearing songs he's actually using a different drive pedal on. Who knows!

What do you guys think? Anything helps!
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby waldo041 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:47 am

while most of the clipping does come from the diodes, which were germanium, in the old dist+. the low quality lm741cn opamp actually clips as well. not sure what you are using, but trying different opamps will produce different results as well.

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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby bdhact1 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 2:16 pm

When I breadboarded mine before I assembled it I found the biggest differences in sound came from the diodes and the two 1uf tantalum capacitors. The best resuts regarding the diodes came from using the 1N270 diodes as originally designed. You can purchase them here: http://www.westfloridacomponents.com/DI027/1N270+Germanium+Diodes+for+Crystal+Radios.html . With the two 1uf tantalum caps, the voltage rating makes a big difference in sound. For the milder script logo Dist + use 1uf 25V tantalum caps, for the fatter sounding Block logo use 1uf 35v tantalum caps. I installed both and added a switch to use either one or the other. Of course if you could find a New Old Stock 741C op-amp that would just be icing.....
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby JonnyBoy » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:21 pm

I could never get my old school Dist+ to sound the way I wanted with my setup, It might not be just the components. In my opinion a good distortion pedal is like a wand in harry potter, it chooses the player, guitar and amp not the other way around :D . ..... I guess...

The reason I believe this? I currently use a MIJ Boss HM7 (heavy metal) and I think its the holy grail (for me). I have never been happier with a distortion pedal, EVER. I never thought I would even own one either, ever.
I have always wanted to hate boss pedals, but they are the ones pulling the tone I'm after, so there you go!

I had this cheap biyang "switch chip" OD pedal that actually got pretty good tone with my strat, and the op amp switches made a huge difference! FWIW
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby hippieguy1954 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:48 am

The whirlwind yellow box is doin it just fine for me. :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby claytushaywood » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:34 am

JonnyBoy wrote:I could never get my old school Dist+ to sound the way I wanted with my setup, It might not be just the components. In my opinion a good distortion pedal is like a wand in harry potter, it chooses the player, guitar and amp not the other way around :D . ..... I guess...

The reason I believe this? I currently use a MIJ Boss HM7 (heavy metal) and I think its the holy grail (for me). I have never been happier with a distortion pedal, EVER. I never thought I would even own one either, ever.
I have always wanted to hate boss pedals, but they are the ones pulling the tone I'm after, so there you go!

I had this cheap biyang "switch chip" OD pedal that actually got pretty good tone with my strat, and the op amp switches made a huge difference! FWIW



Try the hermida audio zen drive... absolute best overdrive box ever. the thing about this board is that most people are using single coils into fenders, kinda the reason I asked.

bdhact1 wrote:When I breadboarded mine before I assembled it I found the biggest differences in sound came from the diodes and the two 1uf tantalum capacitors. The best resuts regarding the diodes came from using the 1N270 diodes as originally designed. You can purchase them here: http://www.westfloridacomponents.com/DI027/1N270+Germanium+Diodes+for+Crystal+Radios.html . With the two 1uf tantalum caps, the voltage rating makes a big difference in sound. For the milder script logo Dist + use 1uf 25V tantalum caps, for the fatter sounding Block logo use 1uf 35v tantalum caps. I installed both and added a switch to use either one or the other. Of course if you could find a New Old Stock 741C op-amp that would just be icing.....


I'll trry those diodes- I actually just breaboarded it and am digging the 1n34a's which are also germanium. I've heard of good results using LED's in series with silicons as well- gotta try that and led with germanium combos. I'm gonna get in depth in this. I appreciate the info on tanatulums as well... so the old ones used tanatulums? I've never heard that. i've also never heard of a sound difference between voltages... that's probably something else. in a pedal 9v that would not make a difference, though I am never one for engineering explanations, that's gotta be something else like tolerance or type, tanatulums vary quite a bit between makers and brands, at least that's what i've found. I actually have only tried film and foil 1uf's... I might try some cheap 1uf electrolytics, tanatulums, and some nice electrolytic 1uf's i have. I found a big difference changing some of the caps in the signal path from nice panasonic ecq metal films downgraded to mylar films- much better sound... I wonder if the original used ceramics or mylars or something else at the input caps? you know anything about this...? and about the tanatulums are you using dipped or like old school axial ones or something?

I really think I still have too many nice components in this thing... I've been searching for some info about component selection on the dist + and I cannot find anything. Got anymore info on cap selection?

hippieguy1954 wrote:The whirlwind yellow box is doin it just fine for me. :smile: :smile: :smile:


Bro! think how many nugs you could have toked instead of getting forked for $100 on an OD pedal?
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby claytushaywood » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:34 pm

actually in some recent research ive found that the whirlwind gold box is composed pretty much just like the original way I built my dist +. the 2nd worst sounding version i've tried yet. so you're right there about where I was when I wrote this post, i'm glad you're happy. but i think you'd be better off shouting it at the mountains... or at tgp
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby hippieguy1954 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:15 pm

claytushaywood wrote:actually in some recent research ive found that the whirlwind gold box is composed pretty much just like the original way I built my dist +. the 2nd worst sounding version i've tried yet. so you're right there about where I was when I wrote this post, i'm glad you're happy. but i think you'd be better off shouting it at the mountains... or at tgp


First of all, what makes you the distortion pedal guru? Many on this forum use and like different distortion pedals. Just because you like a particular sounding distortion, does not make it the best.
Second, why do you think Id be better off shouting at the mountains or the gear page? This forum is a very excellent place for such discussion. What is your problem?
:smile: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby hippieguy1954 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:20 pm

There is a lot of great info in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=419&t=11137 :smile: :smile: :smile:
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby claytushaywood » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:57 am

well hippieguy- you constantly post on topics where you have no useful information to offer. I am not looking for a some "the gear page" recommendation such as your typical "mine is awesome- too bad you're having prroblems!!!". I was looking for specific information on component choices to makes a good sounding vintage distoriton plus. You do this A LOT "hippie guy" and you know I even did look into that pedal you mentioned and I found they did exactly what I did originally and used nicer low noise components (maybe if you wanted to post on this topic you could have done some research on your own pedal instead of offering petty consumerist recommmendation to someone asking for specific construction information. and to answer your questions that were asked in typical "hippieguy" fashion. I never assumed any position as guru- you assumed that. and #2, because your opinion would be better received by the mountain tops- if you read the original post you will see that this was in fact not a tgp thread asking "dist+ MXR 1974 vs 1976"... actually even then youd be off topic still, but at least more in the ballpark. You do not discuss hippieguy, you promote the typical forum- mine is the best ideology.

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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby bdhact1 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:19 am

I'll trry those diodes- I actually just breaboarded it and am digging the 1n34a's which are also germanium. I've heard of good results using LED's in series with silicons as well- gotta try that and led with germanium combos. I'm gonna get in depth in this. I appreciate the info on tanatulums as well... so the old ones used tanatulums? I've never heard that. i've also never heard of a sound difference between voltages... that's probably something else. in a pedal 9v that would not make a difference, though I am never one for engineering explanations, that's gotta be something else like tolerance or type, tanatulums vary quite a bit between makers and brands, at least that's what i've found. I actually have only tried film and foil 1uf's... I might try some cheap 1uf electrolytics, tanatulums, and some nice electrolytic 1uf's i have. I found a big difference changing some of the caps in the signal path from nice panasonic ecq metal films downgraded to mylar films- much better sound... I wonder if the original used ceramics or mylars or something else at the input caps? you know anything about this...? and about the tanatulums are you using dipped or like old school axial ones or something?

I really think I still have too many nice components in this thing... I've been searching for some info about component selection on the dist + and I cannot find anything. Got anymore info on cap selection?


I used the dipped tantalum capacitors. That's what was used in the originals.
The rest of the caps are just cheap ceramic, but the voltage rating will make a difference in the sound.
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby claytushaywood » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:22 am

bdhact1 wrote:When I breadboarded mine before I assembled it I found the biggest differences in sound came from the diodes and the two 1uf tantalum capacitors. The best resuts regarding the diodes came from using the 1N270 diodes as originally designed. You can purchase them here: http://www.westfloridacomponents.com/DI027/1N270+Germanium+Diodes+for+Crystal+Radios.html . With the two 1uf tantalum caps, the voltage rating makes a big difference in sound. For the milder script logo Dist + use 1uf 25V tantalum caps, for the fatter sounding Block logo use 1uf 35v tantalum caps. I installed both and added a switch to use either one or the other. Of course if you could find a New Old Stock 741C op-amp that would just be icing.....


and last night I cracked open the dist + again. I replaced the 1uf films with tanatulums, I replaced the .001 caps with ceramics. I used the green mylars for the .01's. And I used carbon films anywhere in the signal path. Just have 1n34's in there now as I dont have the original diodes in stock. Jusst waiting for my 1n270's to arrimve and I guess that's all that's left though- because damn! what an improvement! This thing has some balls- it's not all fizzy and uber trebley. It's still got some bite, but the ceramics really softened it up a lot! it actually has a lot more low end than I expected. I do have a 12pf capacitor in parallel with the chip, maybe that's the reason? i have the UA741 (CN maybe?) currently socketed- anyone have a known source for a good old 741 chip? I remember when I sold my early 80's DOD 250- the vintage guys were always asking me what chip it had in it. (and it was like this 741 or this 741) I'm not hip to the "best" one in this pedal... anyone?

or maybe some NOS 1uf tanatulums? I just have the typical dipped yellow ones in there- I've heard there's a big difference among tants. Thanks for the help! You have just promoted a super cheap distortion box to sit on my pedalboard among some tough competition!
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby bdhact1 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:33 am

claytushaywood wrote:
bdhact1 wrote:When I breadboarded mine before I assembled it I found the biggest differences in sound came from the diodes and the two 1uf tantalum capacitors. The best resuts regarding the diodes came from using the 1N270 diodes as originally designed. You can purchase them here: http://www.westfloridacomponents.com/DI027/1N270+Germanium+Diodes+for+Crystal+Radios.html . With the two 1uf tantalum caps, the voltage rating makes a big difference in sound. For the milder script logo Dist + use 1uf 25V tantalum caps, for the fatter sounding Block logo use 1uf 35v tantalum caps. I installed both and added a switch to use either one or the other. Of course if you could find a New Old Stock 741C op-amp that would just be icing.....


and last night I cracked open the dist + again. I replaced the 1uf films with tanatulums, I replaced the .001 caps with ceramics. I used the green mylars for the .01's. And I used carbon films anywhere in the signal path. Just have 1n34's in there now as I dont have the original diodes in stock. Jusst waiting for my 1n270's to arrimve and I guess that's all that's left though- because damn! what an improvement! This thing has some balls- it's not all fizzy and uber trebley. It's still got some bite, but the ceramics really softened it up a lot! it actually has a lot more low end than I expected. I do have a 12pf capacitor in parallel with the chip, maybe that's the reason? i have the UA741 (CN maybe?) currently socketed- anyone have a known source for a good old 741 chip? I remember when I sold my early 80's DOD 250- the vintage guys were always asking me what chip it had in it. (and it was like this 741 or this 741) I'm not hip to the "best" one in this pedal... anyone?


or maybe some NOS 1uf tanatulums? I just have the typical dipped yellow ones in there- I've heard there's a big difference among tants. Thanks for the help! You have just promoted a super cheap distortion box to sit on my pedalboard among some tough competition!


Try both 25v and 35v dipped tantalums. You hear a difference in fatness.
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Re: Dist + Clipping Diodes

Postby hippieguy1954 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:26 am

claytushaywood wrote:well hippieguy- you constantly post on topics where you have no useful information to offer. I am not looking for a some "the gear page" recommendation such as your typical "mine is awesome- too bad you're having prroblems!!!". I was looking for specific information on component choices to makes a good sounding vintage distoriton plus. You do this A LOT "hippie guy" and you know I even did look into that pedal you mentioned and I found they did exactly what I did originally and used nicer low noise components (maybe if you wanted to post on this topic you could have done some research on your own pedal instead of offering petty consumerist recommmendation to someone asking for specific construction information. and to answer your questions that were asked in typical "hippieguy" fashion. I never assumed any position as guru- you assumed that. and #2, because your opinion would be better received by the mountain tops- if you read the original post you will see that this was in fact not a tgp thread asking "dist+ MXR 1974 vs 1976"... actually even then youd be off topic still, but at least more in the ballpark. You do not discuss hippieguy, you promote the typical forum- mine is the best ideology.

custy


Wow, you really are a dick!
I've used just about every dist/od pedal there is over a 45 yr period. I'm a little off topic....so what...you have to be a dick about it?
I try to be helpful when I can. I've been thanked lots of times for my help.
I was giving my opinon, which some in this forum have thanked me for.
I do not belong to tgp and do not frenquent it very often.
I never say or come off as "mine is awesome- too bad you're having prroblems!!!". You are a fuckin liar!
Also, I'm not "offering petty consumerist recommmendation"! We all know Jerry used a mxr d+. The point is, the Whirlwind is made to those exact specs that the original owner who started mxr used. Obvisuosly, my post was not component specific. It was a simple reference to a pedal that has a fantastic distortion reputation and was liked by Jerry, due to the components used in it.
Also, I do not "promote the typical forum- mine is the best ideology". That is more of your convoluted bullshit. I simply state what works for me, as many here do.
If anything, it is people like you who drive some away from here. :smile: :smile: :smile:
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