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DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 07 Oct 2018, 18:10
by iamgoat
I’ve been thinking about getting into building some myself and I am going to start getting things together.

My knowledge of electronics isn’t much.

Anyone here experienced with such?

I’ve found some websites with kits, schematics and tips. Should be a lot of fun :idea:

Poor man’s outboard gear :xx:

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 07 Oct 2018, 19:38
by Lavabug
I've done some half-assed builds. Currently using a diy channel switcher. :P Been procrastinating a build of a rangemaster clone (the thing tony iommi and kk downing/tipton used to boost amps on all the 70's records). Ultimately haven't built anything more complicated cause I haven't had the need. Silicon fuzzes and booster pedals are notoriously easy. There are several <10 parts count schematics out there.

Kits are the way to go for a total beginner if you don't know how/where to buy electronic parts and how to look for the right types and such (tayda is the best site for individual parts), and many freely available schematics only give you general ideas of what parts could work, best to buy a kit with tried-and-true values for all the parts.

The amount of electronics you need to know is relatively small, and soldering technique isn't awfully hard to learn if you have a temperature controlled iron. Much like cooking, you don't need to know all the science underneath and still be good at it, but it really helps if you have an understanding of kirchoff's laws and how a transistor works, because most of the famous beginner boost/fuzz circuits are something comparable to exercises in an analog electronics class in my experience. Basically it's only marginally harder than changing the pickups/wiring on a guitar.

One word of advice is if you get kits, get PCB kits. Breadboard/veroboard is harder to learn on. If you do go with vero use lots of space and don't worry about getting the circuit to fit in a small enclosure, bunching parts together as a beginner is a quick way to get stuff shorting out together if your soldering technique isn't great. Always use a hot iron (above 400 F) and apply heat for the shortest amount of time possible to avoid damaging parts when soldering.

There are a number of proco rat kits available, you should try one of those. :o

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 07 Oct 2018, 19:48
by iamgoat
Yeah I’ve seen the proco rats (rodents) kits. Cool stuff. I’ve found a dutch site with a webshop that sells kits. I’m gonna start with those. Simple fuzz pedals.

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 08 Oct 2018, 02:52
by zim
I've been building my own midi controller board with an Arduino for my axe fx, not an actual pedal but still pretty cool

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 08 Oct 2018, 03:29
by zim
some pics of my project, it's super janky and messy but it's just something i've been poking at when i get bored. everything 'works' but i have to rebuild the midi circuits on pcb and finish up the programming.

it's actually not that complicated. sending midi is surprisingly easy but reading it requires special circuits (like an optoisolator) which makes it a little more annoying. the hardest part was programming some of the reading stuff from the axe fx

i'd really like to have a 3d printed enclosure which makes me not even want to finish this :homework: but i'll probably eventually finish this and just build another one. since it's just a midi controller i could set it up with a daw or something cool like that.

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i bought this stupid box thing at hobby lobby because i couldn't be bothered to build my own :redneck:
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Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 08 Oct 2018, 12:22
by iamgoat
How do you like the breadboards? Look simpler than a PCB :idea:

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 08 Oct 2018, 12:58
by zim
breadboards are the best way to go for prototyping, no soldering required. if you mess up then no materials lost. you can even buy these cool wires that don't require you to do any stripping and what not https://www.amazon.com/Smraza-Breadboar ... uino+wires

@lavabug, not sure what you mean by breadboarding being more difficult to learn on?

the process is something like this with a breadboard https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/ ... box?page=2

either way, just jump in and try something, it's a lot of fun. be aware of cheap beginner soldering kits though, they tend to burn out very quickly and stop working.

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 08 Oct 2018, 13:30
by iamgoat
Nice. Well I found some nice and cheap kits for a simple fuzz pedal. When I have some more experience I’d love to make a rat clone. :idea:

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 12 Oct 2018, 02:24
by Lavabug
sorry i meant to say veroboard, of course breadboarding is simpler.

I'm actually gonna try to build this little pedal-sized poweramp, it's essentially like a mooer babybomb, but it's ~$10 in parts and 60W.

I just bought mooer the day before I found that circuit. :redneck: I'm not sure if I like how it sounds yet, I think it colors the sound of my s&k vhd (ampeg vh140c) preamp pedal noticeably and doesn't sound as clear at loud volumes as my rack poweramp, so I think it's not gonna work well for my portable live rig. If this build ends up sounding clearer/flatter, I'll probably sell off the mooer.

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 26 Apr 2020, 02:38
by iamgoat
Started on a simple Germanium fuzz pedal and an Acapulco overdrive pedal, based on the poweramp of a Sunn Model T.

Will post pictures of progress soon. :santa:

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 26 Apr 2020, 03:29
by zim
I managed to crack the code with the axe fx, that was super challenging but I had issues with all of those buttons chaining together, I couldn't get it to work right. eventually learned how to do it but I'd have to start over at this point :homework:

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 03 May 2020, 03:23
by iamgoat
Crack what code?

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 03 May 2020, 04:22
by zim
i can't remember exactly but there was some specific numeric hex id that was required to interface with the axe fx and it wasn't listed in the documentation, it was a lot of trial and error

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 10 May 2020, 00:48
by iamgoat
First fuzz pcb done!
Now on to wiring and mounting.

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 13 May 2020, 01:27
by iamgoat
Done!!! Germanium/silicon fuzz that sounds pretty damn aggressive. Will do a demo soon.

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 13 May 2020, 02:22
by Skinfection
Nice :xx:

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 13 May 2020, 02:48
by iamgoat
Ok this thing with my telecaster (has 2 humbuckers) on neck pickup and tone all the way down = instant kyuss/QOTSA riffing jizzfest :jizz:

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 13 May 2020, 02:49
by iamgoat
The insides. Again,, very first time for me ever doing this kind of work.

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 13 May 2020, 02:50
by zim
very nice, where is the custom artwork :redneck:

looks good inside

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 13 May 2020, 02:53
by iamgoat
zim wrote:very nice, where is the custom artwork :redneck:

looks good inside


Thank you! Yeah I need to learn about artwork, paintjobs, transfers, etc. I really dig the transfer stuff.

The Acapulco Gold clone is up next. I really want to implement some Sunn O))) art on it.

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 13 May 2020, 05:59
by User
well done man, looks great

Re: DIY guitar pedals

Posted: 26 May 2020, 02:07
by iamgoat
Acapulco Gold clone done :cool: