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BJFE Blueberry Bass OD Clone - DIY

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by BaileyMan, Dec 31, 2017.


  1. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    My first pedal build...it only took about a month to go from nearly zero electronics knowledge to a home made clone of the BJFE BBBOD pedal. This was no easy task, but I did it, and I'm pretty proud of myself. I gave myself the option of changing out some of the parts to experiment with different sounds, but I haven't done that yet. I'm happy with it as is and I'm afraid if I handle it too much more wires will start breaking off and will need to be re-soldered.

    In short, I'm really happy with it!

    It has a nice range of OD from barely noticeable to pretty gritty. It mellows out the high end a tad, making the tone warmer, and a tad darker. It retains the low end nicely, and actually gives a little bit of a low boost (I'm not sure if it's technically boosting the lows, but it fills out the low end a bit). With the tone knob all the way counter clockwise it gets a bit farty. The farty tone may not be for everyone, but it's actually an advantage. To have the end of the range out of you preferred tone zone means you can dial in a tone you want.

    My favorite setting is with the Volume (V) at 2-3 o'clock, Tone (T) at 9-10 o'clock and Drive (D) at minimum to 9 o'clock. This fattens up the tone, fills it out, with a little bit of grit. It's subtle, but there.

    Here are just a few clips, there are more on Sound Cloud. I'm playing a Mike Lull P4 with fairly new, bright round wounds. I often prefer flats with this bass, but I've been experimenting with rounds so this is what y'all get!

    I'm playing with the dynamics in this track.


    One of my favorite living room settings. I'll have to see how it does in a band situation.


    Everything set to noon.


    Volume at 3 o'clock, Tone at noon, Drive at noon. Gives a little idea of the volume boost of this pedal. There's even a little more room to go on the volume.


    Really subtle with the drive at minimum.
     
    Bolsyo, CoreyI35, BadExample and 3 others like this.
  2. Congratulations! Did you build it from a kit or did you build it on vero board?
     
  3. Smurf_Byte

    Smurf_Byte

    Aug 21, 2011
    Connecticut
    Sounds great, nice demo!
     
    CoreyI35 and BaileyMan like this.
  4. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    I used the schematic and layouts from freestompboxes.org • View topic - BJFE Blueberry Bass Overdrive. Our very own @Azure Skies traced the circuit of an original BJFE 3BOD and created a layout for a printed or etched circuit board. I started on a perfboard/Vero board that someone else put up but after two tries and many days of trouble shooting, I decided to dump the perfboard. I wasn't convinced the layout was correct. I ended up purchasing the supplies to etch a circuit on a copper clad board. It took two solid days to etch, drill, solder components, trouble shoot and box it.
     
    Bolsyo and Ricky Caboverde like this.
  5. Well...Fuzzdog has a kit...just sayin....
     
  6. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Good to know...:thumbsup:
     
  7. He does a board / kit and even offers a drilled case which can build either versions of that particular pedal.
     
  8. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Fuzzdog didn't come up in my searches, maybe because it's in the UK. Seems like it would've been easier to go the kit route, but it was a fun learning experience and I'm getting some understanding of how these circuits work. Who knows, maybe I'll add some of my own mods.
     
    GMC likes this.
  9. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    I did a strip board version last year. It nearly sounds perfect unless the drive goes above about 2 o'clock, it then blows out all weird. Never did trouble shoot that issue because I never run it that high. Sounds great tho, slightly different than the Bearfoot version I have.

    I greatly prefer doing builds on pcbs, the soldering is so much easier and the entire build comes out cleaner. I wonder if my drive knob issue is maybe just a little runaway solder or something... It tends to run on the strip board.
     
    BaileyMan likes this.
  10. Azure Skies

    Azure Skies Commercial User

    Mar 21, 2012
    Toronto
    Businessman Importer/Exporter Broughton Audio
    Veros are nice for very simple circuits, but making PCBs really opens up your options, and makes trouble shooting a lot easier IMO.

    That kit is the Mad Professor variant, which is quite different sounding than the BJFE and Bearfoot designs.
     
    BaileyMan and Coughdrops like this.
  11. BBKINGBASS

    BBKINGBASS Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    Philly
    Did you do yours from the tagboardeffects layout? I built mine from there and get the exact same thing with the drive. I checked over everything and I believe that the issue is in the layout somewhere.
     
  12. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    No, I got mine from here...
    Vulcano FX: BJFE Blueberry Bass Overdrive

    A guy in the linked FSB thread above had his vero layout posted on his site. I guess it could be his layout or maybe I missed a mistake I made even after double checking.

    I think the tagboard version is the mad professor version, yah?
     
  13. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    I had problems with the vero board layout for the BJFE version posted in the Free Stomp Box (FSB) forum too. Not sure if it was the layout or my assembly, but just couldn't get it working. The etched board is the way to go.

    I just noticed that the Vulcano FX layout is different than the layout in that FSB thread. The Vulcano seems to be verified, but I don't have any experience with it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  14. Coughdrops

    Coughdrops Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    South Florida
    Yeah, I think I bought multiples of all the components so I should be able to build another one. Just need to etch a board.
     
  15. BBKINGBASS

    BBKINGBASS Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    Philly
    I think I got mine from a link someone had in tagboard
     

    Attached Files:

  16. BaileyMan

    BaileyMan Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2012
    San Francisco
    Yeah, that was the one I had a hard time with.

    On another note, I added a clean boost circuit to the pedal, now I can dial in a nice amount of clean signal. It could use a little tweaking, mostly there's a whole lot of boost, leaving me with a small window of adjustment if I want the output closer to unity. But it sounds pretty freaking great. It's the pedal I've been looking for!

    Who knows, maybe I'll get a commercial account and go into production once I get the fine tuning worked out.
     

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