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home made effects

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jimmy ray, Dec 26, 2003.

  1. do any of you make your own pedals, and if so how did they turn out? how hard would it be to start making your own and adding a few mods to existing ones like the blend on an EH muff pi? i'm a diehard DIY kind of guy and i dont have the money, space or tools to build basses at university, but i do have the stuff to make some stompboxes and i'd like to have a few more, as where i'm happy with my basses and amps(but more is always good.........:p :D) so anyways, how'd it go for you?
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    As far as DIY effects, I dabble a bit, mostly with kits from Small Bear Electronics (smallbearelectronics.com) they turn out alright, don't look to good but the sound is there. From there, once you get a few things down, experiment with capacitor and resistor values then you may want to start designing your own. Other things you can try are ready to solder PCB's that let you make a Big Muff clone with minimal work, just solder a few parts onto a premade board, then make the housing.

    Just might want to remember, buying the real deal and modifying it to your specifications is usually cheaper. I paid $75 for my Big Muff brand new and put about another $30 into modifying it.
  3. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Sure, I've done a boatload of DIY stuff. I don't mess with floor pedals much, I prefer rack gear. It's a lot easier to recycle that way. I've had a couple of the same cases for over 20 years, with dozens of different circuits residing in them. Once you have a nice parts stash built up, something like a Big Muff circuit should cost you next to nothing to build. I use the little Radio Shack breakout boards for IC based projects, they're like 2 bucks a piece or so IIRC.

    I started with the Craig Anderton circuits, and my favorite bass fuzz is based on one of his. The big Muff is at the very bottom of my list, but lots of people love 'em. Modifying existing pedals is a good way to get your feet wet, certainly.

    I recommend a few trips to the library. Get the Anderton books, the Op-Amp Cookbook, and whatever else grabs you. Also look at the Ampage BBS for a lot of links to cool EFX DIY stuff. That's a great resource for tube amp info too.

    I've been using my own preamps onstage at "real" gigs for many years. I've had plenty of good players use my stuff, and love it. There's little need to reinvent the wheel, you just have to know where to look to find the right stuff to copy. Then, it's easy enough to add your own touches to the circuit.

    If your time is "free" you'll save a fair bit of money, eventually, but don't get into DIY for short term economic reasons, IMO.


    Charlie Escher

    PS: If you follow the links in my profile to my website, you can hear a few clips made using DIY preamps and fuzz. I have some stuff on Soundclick too, if you prefer streaming audio: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/5/passingwind.htm
  4. thanks for the help guys, i've already gotten a few ideas for some mods to some pedals that i think would be pretty cool, now i just need to learn the how and where of this stuff. are they any other webpages or books you might recommend you havent already mentioned? i plan to start reading in the next few days when the holidays start to wind down and i have a bit of free time when i get back to school :p
  5. Taylor Livingston

    Taylor Livingston Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    Louisiana, US
    Owner, Iron Ether Electronics
    4ms Pedals offer kits versions of all their stuff. I've never built one, or played one, but they're highly prized in the boutique effects world.
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    are they any other webpages or books you might recommend you havent already mentioned?

    This guy makes some nice circuit boards for DYI projects, and there are links to other useful stuff on his website. One of these days I'll have sound clips available for a few projects using those boards I'm in the process of building.

    "The Active Filter Cookbook", by Don Lancaster, is a good library check-out, I learned a ton from that book. Lancaster has a website too:http://www.tinaja.com/ Good luck avoiding tangents on that one!