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Building your own effects

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Dirtyslappopper, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. Hi, I've heard quite a bit of chat lately about people building their own effects especialy chorus, but I havent really been able to find out too much about the deatails. I was wondering if anyone had some instructions and material lists or just some advice on the matter. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Look into sites like diystompboxes.com and generalguitargadgets.com. If you have technological know-how, good soldering skills, and of course bottomless pockets and patience, it's a good thing to do.

    I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone, it's time consuming, often frustrating, and gets very expensive. I recommend you start with the a kit from smallbearelec.com though.
  3. I built up all the pedals on my pedal board - 12 in total - with a buddy. There are a few sites that provide circuit art, component layouts and assembly instructions that you can download for free. Then there is the component costs - cases, switches and jacks being the most expensive.

    I think it makes most sense to tag team with a buddy and build up 2 of each circuit, as we did. Components like resisters tend to come in bags with lots more than you'll need for a single project, so to get descent economies - my pedals cost around $50 per - you should plan to build up a few. Building 2 of each gives you a better chance of getting at least one to work that you can use to trouble-shoot the other. As far as tools go, a good soldering iron, pliers, a magnifier and a good drill-press are the most important.

    You need really good eyes, a strong magnifier, lots of time and patience. Aside from cost savings, there is a tremendous amount of pride from plugging in a bunch of wires and componenets you've slaved over and have it work first time. DIY is the best way to get a unique sound - my rig's got tone to spare. Besides - it can be a lot of fun if you don't take it too seriously.

    As an aside - the most complicated circuit was a delay and both worked first time. OTOH it took me 4 tries to finally get a chorus circuit to work - it's amazing the amount of trouble I went to to put so much cheese into my rig. If you want to see a pic, follow the link in my sig and go into the Music section - the pic's about 3/4 of the way down the page. Good luck!

  4. Dirtyslappopper, I just noticed you're in White Rock - I'm in Kitsilano. PM me if you want to chat - I can point you to some local suppliers if you're serious about doing this.
  5. Thanks a lot for the help guys. I'm totaly new to this so it looks like I've got too study up before i get into buying parts. Thanks again.
  6. www.tonepad.com has a load of schematics that are very easy to read, as well as parts lists for every schematic.