Black Ice Passive onboard distortion

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by willbassyeah, Jul 17, 2012.


  1. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

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  2. Derek Balonek

    Derek Balonek

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    It's really not worth the money. All it is is two diodes in parallel, much like a lot of distortion boxes use. You could make your own for a couple dollars at most with Radioshack parts and it would probably sound about the same.
  3. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage. Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Cochise County, Arizona
    They only work with really hot pickups and they do not sound like a distortion pedal. It's like more of a fuzz. I've used silicon diodes wired across a pot to achieve a similar effect, and they're much cheaper, you can get a pack of 25 for under 3 bucks, and you just need the one.
  4. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

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    okay, so i guess, this wont work out than?haha
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  6. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage. Supporting Member

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    No, it will work, I just don't think you'd like it and you'd be way overpaying. Go down to Ratshack and get yourself a bag of silicone diodes and do it yourself, if you dig it, awesome. If not, you're out a couple of cents.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

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    Feb 20, 2009
    it makes your rig sound like it has a blown speaker :rolleyes:
  8. line6man

    line6man

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    Aside from sounding terrible, don't waste your money.

    All you need to do is run two diodes in inverse parallel. Schottky diodes are preferred for their low forward voltage drop and fast switching speed. Should cost you a few cents at an electronics store, or not more than a few dollars to order online.
  9. willbassyeah

    willbassyeah

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    So I guess this is a marketing gimmick?? Hmm concept seems interesting coz the demo make the bass sounds warmer.
  10. eloann

    eloann Supporting Member

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    I got one for the sake of testing stuff. You won't get anything interresting out of it (or its homemade substitute) if your volume and/or tone are not maxed out. I ended up wiring it on the volume's push-pull so that in "up" position both volume and tone are bypassed and the "drive" is full on.
    It's not totally uninterresting, yet the result is very dependant on the gear you plug your bass in.
  11. jamiroquai

    jamiroquai Guest

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    Jul 11, 2010
    This may have something to do tangentially with the Geddy Lee sound (or it may be something completely different) - from another post here:

    Now, here's the secret of the overdriven tone: The Ashly SC-40 has an effects loop - simple in/out 1/4" phone jacks. Smooth distortion can be obtained by wiring two 1N914 diodes paralleled in opposite directions between the ring and tip connections of a standard 1/4' phone jack and inserting into the effects loop SEND. All this added to his unique playing technique gave him that mysterious mammoth bass sound.

    The "diodes" trick came from the owners manual for the SC-40 (circa 1982).
  12. line6man

    line6man

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    Try adding a buffer to provide a constant input impedance for the pickup circuit.
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    Lots of overdrive pedals use clipping diodes, but between active stages. That drives the diodes better, and allows you to remover your lost output level.
  14. eloann

    eloann Supporting Member

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    I could do that but I don't really want to fit a battery in there.
  15. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

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    People keep saying that but they'd be challenged choosing the right ones to get the tone this little thing produces.
    It doesn't suck at all and delivers a thick synth style tone. Lovely.
    There are soundclips around, can't look for them now.
  16. eloann

    eloann Supporting Member

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    Here's some AIC with mine. Crappy playing though.

  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    No, it really is just two diodes in a little epoxy cube. It's called a diode clipper or limiter.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.electronic-basics.com/2009_05_10_archive.html

    It's real easy to make one. I was building these in my instruments back in the 70s. I often used just one diode.

    They only work well if you have higher output pickups. It is a cool tone IMO.
  18. lavmonga

    lavmonga Supporting Member

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    Jul 27, 2007
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Anyone want to show me a radio shack link for the diodes I should try?
  19. Meddle

    Meddle

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    Jul 27, 2009
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    Scotland
    This might do the trick though I don't know for sure. You need something with a low voltage so that it clips on the voltage coming from the pickup.
  20. Stealth

    Stealth Supporting Member

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    Zagreb, Croatia
    That's a Zener diode which is normally used as a voltage regulator. This is a Schottky diode which has a small forward voltage drop (close to 0.15 V) which is what you need to get.

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