Effects Mad Scientists... how did you come to be?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Matt Till, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    I get totally blown away by some of you guys that make your own effects/can take them apart and make the something different. Or take a cheapie and make it better. My question, what got you there?

    I'm not a complete beginner to the world of electronics, but lets pretend that I am. What's something to get my on the right road. Those of you who do this sort of thing, give me a brief history of how you got to where you are today. Books, websites, whatever. Thanks a lot in advance.
  2. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    15 volt Soldering Iron - $15

    Assload of Rosin Core solder - $10

    Various parts (pots, resistors, caps, DPDT switches, solid core wire) - $50

    Knowlage gained from the net, and books - Free

    A trip to the emergency room for severe electrocution - PRICELESS!..

    Knowlage is free, for a trip the the ER - you better have your health care card!!!

    But for realz, I started by just takinng everything and anything electrical apart at the age of 12. By the time I was a teenager I had bent, blown, warped, wacked out every electrical item I own... I even circut bent a TV!.. But the bigist help I had was exploration, just make sure it isn't pluged into the wall.. :D


  3. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    This is the main stuff I'm looking into. Especially one and two. I need to get some cash and run to radio shack. Do they have all the various parts too?

    Also, do you know of any good websites/books?

    I've Frankenstiened some computers before, but that's pretty simple. And took an electronics class in high school that I wasn't interested in at the time, I just slept and played video games during work time.
  4. Tecx

    Tecx Radio Rock Leads To Sterility

    Jun 9, 2002
    Halifax, NS, Canada
    Radio Shack cray many good low volt soldering irons, and good rosin core solder... But unfortionatly they are moving all there small parts to thier website, sucks - they have officaly forgoten thier roots... For sites just do some searches in google.....



  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I would recommend beginning with a kit from Small Bear Electronics (smallbearelec.com who also sells all the parts you need -- higher quality, more affordable than the Radio Shack equivalent) or if you want large quantities or obscure parts, go for mouser.com.

    For resources: diystompboxes.com has a great forum, a lot of info, and plenty of other goodies. Good luck and start playing around!

    I spent two years in sales for a semiconductor distributor, I never really knew what these suckers did until six months after I left the job and began toying with electronics. Since then, I've done a lot more, built a thing or two and certainly customized my Big Muff plenty. Good luck!
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    1963: That's me, de-winding slot car motors. I'm ten years old, and I manage to leave out a few parts reassembling things, but they generally work anyhow.

    Just get some broken Tube Screamer, download a schematic, and have at it. Don't know how to read the schematic? Get Craig Anderton's books, go to www.firebottle.com, start checking books out of your local library. The Active Filter Cookbook and The Opamp Cookbook are a good start. There are some nice tutorials, with project kits available, at: http://sound.westhost.com/projects.htm

    Also,try www.partsexpress.com and www.mcmelectronics.com for parts and books. You can get tools and test equipment for really cheap on eBay, and you might get to learn how to fix some of that stuff sooner than you expect as part of the bargain.


    Charlie Escher
  7. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Cool stuff. Thanks guys.
  8. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Ok, I figured out how I want to get my start. I want to fix my electro harmonix electric mistress flanger. The problem with it is any strong "attack" is distorted, guitar or bass. Really light playing is alright though. But it's only when the flange is on. When I'm playing clean through the pedal all is fine. My first instinct, open it up, look around. All the connections seemed to be tight. What should I do? What should I check out? What would cause this? When I search for something like this on google, what would I search for?

  9. si_mon13


    Sep 1, 2003
  10. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Here ya go dude.

    All the info you need after you get the tools.






    But I figure you already did a search like a good boy.

    Just act like you didn't, so you can come in all "Wow Polly! Thanks for the help! What would I have done without you?" then I can be all like "Well, you COULD have used the SEARCH fuction!" and then we all have big belly laughs.
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    OMG? whtx teh srch fukton? IM n00b?!

    woW PllE, thnx 4 hlp!!
  12. analog circuits 101 and 102, college
    recording 172 and 183, college
    synthesizers 101, college
    the ability to piss off professors by knowing the answers, college

    it's easy, just requires incentive