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BYOC Bass overdrive

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by j_micho, Oct 16, 2013.


  1. Projectile

    Projectile

    Feb 5, 2009
  2. That thread does not mention the bass specific pedal. I did a quick search and found nothing.
     
  3. The bass overdrive is a relatively new kit so I doubt many people, if any on TB have tried one yet.
     
  4. Watch out, it's extremely difficult to get byoc pedals in Canada. The maker doesn't directly ship, they rely on their local distributor, and I've had substantial troubles with trying to get any items or kits from them. It's a shame, since their kits look very cool and see to have a good reputation.
     
  5. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    i'd get the regular OD pedal and mod it to BassDrive specs.
     
  6. Yup, and it's that Canadian distributor that I've had problems with. Maybe things are better now, but last year I had tremendous problems with them to the point where I unfortunately gave up altogether on trying to buy any BYOC kits.
     
  7. Projectile

    Projectile

    Feb 5, 2009
    I thought I saw something in that thread. I guess I was mistaken. Sorry.

    It's too bad the schematic link on the BYOC site links to a 404 page. Otherwise we would know a lot more about it.

    Just going by the description, I'm going to bet it's an opamp based diode soft-clipper (a.k.a. tubescreamer) with the filter knob swapped out for a bass/mids tone stack, and all of the cap values increased for bass frequencies (standard mod). I'm a big fan of tubescreamers with clean blends and pedals with bass/mids tone stacks for use with bass guitar, so I'm going to bet it will be a solid pedal. It's a proven design that you can't really go wrong with (if that's what it is).
     
  8. TrevorOfDoom

    TrevorOfDoom Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I don't think it's a TS. They already have a TS/Fulldrive kit with a killer mod for bass.
    He claims it's a BYOC original, and i believe him.
     
  9. From BYOC:

    We've finally released our first kit designed specifically for bass - the BYOC Bass Overdrive. This is a BYOC original design. Well...as original as analog audio circuitry design can be.

    I really like the BOSS OD-1 for both guitar and bass so I used that as the base for this design. I modified it to have more low end and more gain. The OD-1 is kin to the Tubescreamer, so its wheelhouse is adding some nice tube-like warmth, but still has enough gain on tap for a seriously grinding overdrive.

    The OD-1 doesn't have a tone control so I pretty much had a blank canvas in terms of designing the EQ. Once again, I looked to a BOSS design for inspiration with this portion of the circuit. I took the 2-band baxandall EQ from the FA-1 FET Amp. The FA-1 is probably my favorite boost for guitar and my favorite EQ/pre-amp for bass, so I figured it would make the ideal EQ for my bass overdrive. It's simple to use - just bass and treble, yet incredibly powerful. It even allows you to sculpt the midrange if you understand that cutting frequencies can be just as important as boosting. The component values BOSS selected for the baxandall circuit are perfect for guitar and bass so I didn't need to modify anything there.

    Then of course, you can't have a bass overdrive without a wet/dry blend...at least not IMHO. Adding a wet/dry blend to effects like chorus, delay, phase, and even compression is fairly simply because the output levels of both the wet and dry signals are pretty close. It's a little more complicated when blending dry signal with a distorted signal that's 20 or 30dB louder! The blend control circuit for the Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive was a good place to start. I modified it so that the taper from wet to dry is smooth and seamless and there's almost no volume parity issues. The volume parity between wet and dry will never be perfect because the wet volume changes if you change the gain, but it's pretty darn close.

    The drawback to having a nearly perfect wet/dry blend on a distortion pedal is that it is inherently unity gain, meaning that it can only ever be as loud as your clean bypass signal. I don't know about you, but I like my dirt pedals to have at least a little bit of volume boost. So I did what other effects designers do when they have a distortion that doesn't have enough output...I slapped a linear power boost on the end. That's what they did with the Big Muff Pi. That's what they did with the Univox Superfuzz. So that's what I did with the BYOC Bass Overdrive. Now it's got a MASSIVE amount of volume gain. And because it's got a wet/dry blend, you can use it as either a clean or dirty boost.

    Anyhow....that's what went into the BYOC Bass Overdrive. I thought you might find my design process interesting. It's a bit of a Frankenstein mash up of all my ideal elements that make up the perfect bass overdrive. It's definitely not a clone of anything. By most other effects and amp designer's standards, I think I could certainly call it an original design, but I have to give credit to the circuits that helped inspire its design.

    One last thing. The BYOC Bass Overdrive kit is incredibly easy to modify for use with a "regular" six string guitar and comes with the extra components needed to do so. So if you're a fan of Tubescreamer/OD-1/SD-1 based overdrive circuits and you're looking for something similar with more control over the EQ and a dry blend, this is the OD for you.
     
  10. Projectile

    Projectile

    Feb 5, 2009
    Practically 90% of "original" OD pedal designs are tubescreamer derivatives, including this one. Nothing wrong with that. Almost everything in the pedal world uses other designs as starting points.
     
  11. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    I drew up a veroboard layout for it and built one for myself IMO, it's a nice sounding bass overdrive. IMO, the dual A10K's blend control's taper isn't perfect but it does work properly, so I ended up making my own dual A10K/C10K blend pot for it and I think its taper is a bit better that way.

    here's a pic of my vero on a test strip:

    BYOC-BOD-04.
     
  12. Projectile

    Projectile

    Feb 5, 2009
    Schematic is up now!

    Finally got to take a look at this thing and "ouch!" Sorry, but I think the blend control is very poorly designed in this pedal. It honestly looks like a cut-and-paste hack job by someone who doesn't really understand circuit theory. The taper on the blend pot "isn't perfect" (to use johnk_10's description) because there are some obvious design problems. I highly doubt this was intentional, and modding the dual gang pot for a different taper is not the best solution here. The circuit needs to be redesigned.

    Also, why on earth do so many people in the DIY pedal world think you need to use a dual ganged pot for blending two signals? That's crazy! It's over-complicated and completely unnecessary. Look at crossfaders on expensive high-end mixers. None of them use dual gang pots.

    I cannot recommend this pedal after looking at the schematic. It has some serious engineering errors.
     
  13. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i agree completely. i'll never box up the byoc one that I made.
    I ended up designing my own bass OD-1 and, IMO it sounds a lot better than the byoc version.
    not only does the taper of the clean blend not work well, in certain areas of the control the distortion gets weird and flubby and the signal drops a bit so it really isn't of any use for me.

    mine doesn't require a clean blend since at minimum gain the pedal is very transparent. I did build a clend blend & boost daughterboard for it but I don't think that i'm going to use it.
     

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