This is a library of perfboard and single-sided PCB effect layouts for guitar and bass. I'm not an electrical engineer by any stretch of the imagination, just a DIY'er who likes drawing layouts. It is meant for the hobbyist (so commercial use of any of these layout is not allowed without permission) and as a way to give back to the online DIY community.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SMD to Through-Hole Conversion

There are a lot of circuits (a lot) that use J201/2N5457 JFETs. Sadly, these components in the TO-92 package are out of production, and many of those that can be found online are either barely within spec or completely out of spec. So I thought it would be good to have a conversion board to use SMD transistors (that are current production and much more consistent) in through-hole layouts. Just solder some header pins to the holes of this board and you're good to go. I've also done a conversion board for BJTs, as some common through hole transistors are already being pulled from production.

If you don't feel like etching, you can pick these up on OshPark. On this version one side is for JFETs, and the other is for BJTs with shared through holes. I've made a pseudo-panel of 9 boards so when you order them, you'll actually get 27 conversion boards (3 panels of 9).

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wampler Tweed '57

Here's another (and more complicated) amp emulator, and another great design from Brian Wampler. This one stacks JFET stages much like the Cranked AC. It emulates a dirty Fender tube amp with a 3-band tone stack. I added trimmers so it's easier to bias the JFETs and it's laid out for board mounted pots in a 125B enclosure.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lumpy's Tone Shop Lemon Drop/ZII/Series 7

Here's a simple little overdrive designed to emulate the old Vox 4 and 7 series amps (used by the likes of Jimmy Page and the Beatles). Pots are board mounted and it should fit in a 1590B easily. I've added a trimmer to bias the JFET at little easier. Schematic and voltages can be found here on FSB. From the manufacturer:

The 7 Series Overdrive captures the aggressive qualities of the solid state preamp found in the 4&7 series amps by using a pseudo hybrid setup consisting of a specifically selected silicon transistor for the first stage which adds a distinct bite and growl.  That pushes an FET stage into clipping adding some warmth, sustain and amp like dynamics to the tone and feel.  The end result is a highly effective emulation of the amp and a unique sonic blend that could be characterized as a "fuzzy overdrive." 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Basic Audio Scarab Deluxe

Happy Fuzz Friday! Revisiting one of the early layouts of the blog–John Lyon's Scarab Deluxe. Been meaning to draw it up with board mounted pots for a while. Ian Nelson sent me his version and with a little modification we can check that off the bucket list. Great sounding fuzz based on MicTester's Hot Silicon.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Mid-Fi Electronics Pitch Pirate

Here's the Pitch Pirate with board mounted pots. Like the Deluxe version, the LFO is designed to be grounded when the effect is turned on (hence the pad at the top of the board). Just use the true-bypass wiring diagram in the General Layout Notes and leave out the LED wiring. Then just connect the corresponding pads on the board to the lugs of the switch. The on/off indicator LED (pads at the top of the board) is connected to the LFO ground so that will turn on and off (and show the rate) with the LFO. It'll fit just fine in a 125B with top mounted jacks, but will also fit in a 1590B if you wire the pots off board (or maybe with long leg pots mounted to the component side? YMMV).

Thursday, September 28, 2017

GodCity Brutalist Jr

Here's a really cool distortion based on Providence Stampede and designed by Kurt Ballou of GodCity Studio. He's actually made his business card a PCB you can build this circuit on, and if you can catch them while they're in stock you totally should. But while they're sold out, you can build one using this layout. Fits in a 1590B or a 125B with top mounted jacks if you prefer.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

EWS Little Brute Drive

Found this one on FSB and haven't seen any layouts for it, so I thought I'd give it a go. Originals are in 1590A enclosures with the Tone and Volume controls as trimmers, but I've laid them out as external controls. There seems to be some discrepancy on the taper of the gain control in the schematic, unless EWS uses a dual-gang pot with different tapers. I'd just go with a linear taper and hope for the best. Should fit just fine in a 1590B with board mounted pots.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Maestro Bass Brassmaster

The Brassmaster was originally designed for bass and also picked up by guitarists. The circuit is very unique and originals are hard to come by. I was able to lay it out to fit in a 125B with board mounted pots.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pladask Delay V3

Don't know much about this one. Stumbled across it on the Tagboard forum and thought it was an interesting design. It can apparently do normal delays as well as some lofi craziness. Schematic and discussion here. Laid it out for board mounted pots to fit in a 125B.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wampler Sovereign

Here's another Wampler take on the JFET mu-amp design. This one adds a op amp stage at the output and features a Big Muff-style tone stack. This one's pretty versatile and a great sounding distortion. Ian sent me his perf layout of this one and I refined it a bit for what you see below, so a special thanks to him. Schematic can be found over on FSB.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TC Electronics Spark Mini

Here's a work-a-like for the Spark Mini. It'll be a bit of a squeeze, but it should fit in a 1590A. The original is all SMD components, so the transistors listed below aren't the same as the original, but through-hole equivalents. Other NPN and PNP transistors can be used (2N5088/87, 2N3904/06, etc.). Here's the schematic for reference (requires FSB login).

Friday, September 8, 2017

Escobedo T.M.K.

Here's a really cool one designed by the great Tim Escobedo. T.M.K. = Too Many Knobs. (And you thought the Fuzz Factory had too many) It's part fuzz box, part noise maker and would probably be just as much at home on a synth rack as it would be on a pedal board. This can get pretty gnarly and should fit in a 1590B.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Valve Wizard Engineer's Thumb

A little blog update: You may have noticed there wasn't a post yesterday and that there is one today. Why on a Tuesday and not a Monday? Some big-ish changes are coming to the site in the near future, which (along with a bunch of other small things) is taking up a lot of my free time. So don't freak out. I'm still here. Layouts are still coming. Just not quite as frequently (2 a week instead of 3). Now that that's out of the way...

Here's the 5-knob version of the Engineer's Thumb compressor. Been meaning to do this one for a while and decided to do it in Eagle. It's generally considered a Dyna-Comp/Ross Comp killer, and uses one side of an LM13700 chip in place of the old CA3080. This one will fit in a 125B with all 5 pots board mounted. The Bright switch is off board, but that's just 2 wires. If you don't feel like etching, you can get a board fabricated off OshPark. Original info on the circuit by the designer can be found here.

Build doc here with schematic, BOM, and drilling template.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Death by Audio Kill Kill Filter

It's a Fuzz and Filter Friday! Here's DBA's Kill Kill Filter. At it's heart is a stripped down Big Muff (only one distortion section without clipping diodes) with a footswitch selecting 2 different pots in the tone stack. Schematic can be found over on FSB.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Colorsound Tremolo

Haven't done a tremolo in a while, so let's remedy that with the original 4-transistor Colorsound Tremolo (the re-issue is the 3-transistor version). Originals used 2SC945 transistors (BCE pinout), but I've laid this out for more common NPN transistors with CBE pinout. You might want to use a C100k pot for the Speed control. Here's the schematic for reference.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Friedman BE-OD

By popular demand, here's the BE-OD from Friedman, one of the best Plexi in a box pedals around. Well, not Plexi really. It's designed to emulate the Friedman Brown Eye tube amp head. Laid this one out for board mounted pots, and it will fit easily in a 1590BB. More info can be found on the FSB thread for this one.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Field Effects Acceleron Fuzz

Here's a pretty unique fuzz for Fuzz Friday–the Acceleron from Field Effects. It uses a mix of BJT and JFET transistors and offers a wide range of fuzz tones. I've laid it out for board mounted pots and you'll notice a big box film cap labeled ??? It's probably 2.2µF, but socket and experiment.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Throbak Overdrive Boost

Pretty much a Colorsound Overdriver clone. Laid this out for a 125B (because of the dual footswitches) with board mounted pots. The boost footswitch bypasses the PreGain pot and only uses one side of a DPDT. Use the other side for LED wiring. If the off board wiring is confusing, check out the thread with the schematic here on FSB. The diagram is for a vero layout but the wiring is the same.

Monday, August 21, 2017

JHS Charlie Brown V3

Unrelated to the Angry Charlie circuit, the Charlie Brown emulates the brown sound of a JTM45 amp and is a variation on the zVex Box of Rock without the boost section. The input stage is an AMZ Mosfet Booster (replacing the SHO input stage of the Box of Rock to avoid crackle in the gain pot), and the tone control has been modified to include the AMZ presence control.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Frantone The Sweet

Laying out Big Muff variations never gets old for me. This one uses germanium transistors in the two clipping stages (and predates the EQD Hoof which also uses germanium transistors) along with schottky diodes (1N6263s). Q4 is a FS25444, but the usual BMP transistor suspects will work as well (2N5088, MPSA18, BC549C, etc). Other than component values, the biggest difference between this and a typical Muff is the placement of the tone section. On a typical BMP the tone section is immediately following the 2nd clipping stage, followed by a gain recovery stage. Here, the gain recovery stage follows the 2nd clipping stage, pushing the tone stack. Schematic can be found over on FSB.

The bass version, the Bassweet, can also be built on this board with just a few value changes. The Gain and Tone pots are changed to A10k, and the rest of the value changes are illustrated below:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Simple CabSim

Came across this design in researching a different project and thought I'd draw it up. It uses 3 transistors and doesn't take up a lot of space, so you should be able to fit it in a 1590A or add it to another pedal. More info can be found here. Sounds like you can use pretty much any medium-high gain PNP/NPN pair for Q2-3 (2N5087/2N5088, BC560/BC550, etc).

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tortenmann TA-100

Came across the schematic for this and thought it would be a good addition. It's a unique germanium overdrive using PNP AC128s, though the effect is a negative ground effect (so it can be daisy chained with other pedals). The TA-100 has been used by Ryan Adams and sounds great through a Princeton Reverb. Schematic here on FSB.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dunlop Band of Gypsys Fuzz Face

Here's the Band of Gypsys Fuzz Face from Dunlop for Fuzz Friday. Despite being called a Fuzz Face, the actual circuitry of the Band of Gypsys version isn't even close to the original Fuzz Face. It's pretty close to an Octavia without the transformer. Here's the schematic for reference.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

MXR Custom Badass '78 Distortion

I've wanted to draw this one up for a while. It's a fantastic clone/variation of the  Boss DS-1 Distortion. I had one for a while and loved it, but ended up selling it to fund some other stuff. But I'm definitely adding this one to the pile. You can sub a TL072 or JRC4558 in place of the TLC2262 if you need to.

Monday, August 7, 2017

JHS Angry Charlie

I've gotten a few requests to redo the MI Audio Crunch Box with board mounted pots. How is that relevant to the Angry Charlie you ask? Well, it's the same circuit. JHS added a cap in parallel with the existing cap coming off the Presence control to ground which tames some of the highs. So if you want the Crunch Box, just leave that cap out.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Jon Patton's Mossy Sloth

Finishing out Jon Patton week with the Mossy Sloth Fuzz for Fuzz Friday. It's a pretty unique transistor-based fuzz and uses MOSFETs to create some asymmetrical clipping for some unusual fuzz and distortion sounds. Loads more info can be found here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jon Patton's Blue Warbler

Continuing Jon Patton Week with a vibe/tremolo effect called the Blue Warbler. It features envelop control over the LFO and can be built with one or two LDR stages (layout below reflects the 2 stage version). Jon explains it best, so be sure to check out his build doc and demo below. It'll be a little tight in a 1590B because of the way the pots are board mounted, but should be doable.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Jon Patton's Clipper Ship

Jon has contributed a lot to the DIY pedal building community and I always learn something new when I layout one of his circuits. So I think we'll have a Jon Patton week, starting with the Clipper Ship. There's a good bit of flexibility with this one. Q1 can be pretty much any low gain transistor, germanium or silicon. If you're using a germanium transistor, use a germanium diode for D2 (if you're using a silicon transistor, omit D2). For D3-4 use anything with a low clipping threshold–1N60, 1N34, BAT41, etc. Q2-3 form a cascaded JFET stage (much like the AMZ Mini-Booster and a ton of other designs). Way more info on the circuit can be found here, including the schematic. I've laid it out for a typical 1590B with board mounted pots.

Oh, and D1 is a 1N5817 or similar for power protection. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Keeler Kick

For Fuzz Friday we have another Keeler design. Nothing too complicated about it (and in my experience with fuzz simpler is better)–basically an Electra running into a Big Muff tone stack, into some germanium clipping, into a Fuzz Face. Schematic from FSB.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

DeadAstronaut Chasm Reverb

Been a while since I did a reverb layout and this DeadAstronaut design does not disappoint. It's not a true-bypass effect, but uses some JFET switching so that tails are present when you turn the effect off. Coda Effects actually has a really good write up on the design. Ended up doing this one in Eagle and was able to squeeze it into a 125B. If you want a fabricated board, you can order some off OshPark.

Here's the build doc with the BOM, schematic, and drill template.

Monday, July 24, 2017

JHS Twin Twelve V1

Here's the original Twin Twelve from JHS. It's an emulator of the old Silvertone 1484 amp. Like a lot of amp emulators (including their Superbolt) it uses JFETs and an 18v charge pump. The schematic can be found here, and I added the charge pump from JHS's Superbolt. Set the trimmers to around 9v and the adjust as need be. Pots are board mounted as usual and it should fit in a 125B with top mounted jacks nicely.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Greaser Fuzz

Here's a cool little fuzz designed by Nocentelli over of FSB. It's based on the D*A*M GB-83, which is a silicon adaptation of the Tone Bender Mk. III (sans the tone control). Definitely worth building up. Here's the schematic for reference (you'll have to login to FSB to access).

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Earthquaker Devices Chrysalis

Another oldie but goodie from EQD. The Chrysalis (now discontinued) is essentially a Speaker Cranker (with a pre-gain control instead of its normal gain control) into a Rat-style tone control, followed by a LPB-1 for gain recovery. Schematic can be found on FSB.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lovepedal Dover Drive

Here's a pretty interesting overdrive from Lovepedal (Hermida). The signal goes through a dual PNP silicon transistor stage (don't worry, it's still a negative ground effect), then into a op amp gain stage with soft clipping in the feedback loop, with a Rat-style tone control, followed by an output buffer. Schematic can be found on FSB for reference.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Parasit Studios Eagle Claw

Fuzz Friday! Freppo over at Parasit Studios makes some insanely cool stuff. Here's his Eagle Claw octave fuzz. You can probably squeeze it into a 1590a if you're feeling adventurous. In his own words:

The Eagle Claw is simple yet brutal, noisy and glitchy sounding CMOS-based fuzz with a full wave rectifier to produce a strong octave up. This circuit works best with high output pickups. It is a gated circuit by nature of the CMOS logic. If you are using single coils and need more sustain, try a boost or compressor in front. To bring out the strongest octave up, use the neck pickup on your guitar with the tone rolled down. The octave is most intense around the 10th fret and higher.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

iRig Preamp

Got several requests for this one. Basically, it's small preamp to plug into a mobile device for use with apps like iRig. Pretty simple circuit. Shouldn't be hard to fit in a 1590a or even smaller since you don't need to include a footswitch.

Monday, July 10, 2017

AMZ Son of Screamer

Where would DIY pedal building be without Jack Orman? Got a request for his Son of Screamer, which is a pretty standard Tube Screamer but with the input and output buffers removed. Pots are board mounted and I added a extra diode in the feedback loop for asymmetrical clipping if you want to go that route. Original schematic and article can be found here.

If you want to have symmetrical clipping, populate the diodes like this:

Friday, July 7, 2017

Höfner Buzz Tone

Pretty unique fuzz box from Höfner for Fuzz Friday. Pretty straight forward 3-transistor design that should make for a pretty easy build. Board mounted pots for less off-board wiring and if you want a bit more gain, replace the 47uF input cap on the left side of the board with a 22uF cap. Here's the schematic for reference.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Zombie Chorus

Got a request for this one. This was originally designed by John Hollis and has since been modified by various folks in the DIY community. Like the latest version of the Little Angel chorus, it has a switch to do either vibrato or chorus tones. And the Mode switch allows for different speeds (Leslie, Normal, and Clone). Here's the schematic for reference.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Keeler Push

Here's a recent trace from over on FSB. It reminds me of a Timmy with a fixed bass control and modified second op amp stage. Nice alternative to a Tube Screamer.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Emanating Fist XB-70

The XB-70 is a clone of the Captain's personal '77(?) Guild Foxy Lady, which were built by Electro Harmonix and generally very similar to Ram's Head Big Muffs. In the Captain's own words, "It sounds like torn leather soaked in piss and salt smushed lovingly into ears... It is a brute of a pedal, has a really intense roar at full tilt, like any good Big Muff really." I used my old Ram's Head layout as the starting point, but altered the pot placement and it should be a nice fit in a 125B now.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tiger Pre-Amp

If you're a Dead Head, you'll probably be interested in this one. It's the pre-amp from Jerry Garcia's Tiger guitar used from '79-'89 and built by Doug Irwin. It's a unity gain buffer to prevent signal loss with long cables. It can be built into a guitar like the original or into a 1590A. Other single op-amps can be used instead of the LF356N (TL071, NE5534, etc).

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rockett 10 Ton Hammer

This appears to be Rockett's take on the Marshall Guv'nor, but with a few modifications. The tone control of the Guv'nor has been replaced with a Baxandall EQ tone stack and the output is boosted with a JFET gain stage (much like Rockett Flex Drive). Should fit nicely in a 1590B with board mounted pots.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Glass Jaw

Fuzz Friday! Here's a cool one designed by Alec Breslow (check him out on Instagram) who was cool enough to share his schematic. It's based on the EQD Acapulco Gold with an added blend control and Baxandall EQ. Good for both bass and guitar. It's laid out for board mounted pots an will fit nicely in a 1590B.

Here's the schematic for reference:

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Castledine Electronics The Wizard

Here's another take on the cascaded JFET overdrive design. This has a similar goal to the Catalinbread Sabbra Cadabra in trying to sound like Tony Iommi with a treble booster feeding a tube emulator. The Wizard is...

A new distortion pedal, inspired by Tony Iommi's guitar sound on the early Black Sabbath albums. It is well known that he used a modified Rangemaster to drive his amps, so the same principle was used for The Wizard. The first gain stage is essentially a Rangemaster, using a germanium transistor, but tweaked for a full range boost. That drives a distortion circuit which has been designed to give something of the tone and feel of a Laney Supergroup amp. Obviously, there is no substitute for a full stack at volume, but The Wizard has a similar distortion character and responds well to picking dynamics. 

I've laid this out specifically for a 125B enclosure with top mounted jacks.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Catalinbread Sagrado Poblano Picoso/AMZ MOSFET Booster

The Catalinbread Sagrado Poblano Picoso is a bass version of Jack Orman's (AMZ) MOSFET Booster. Really the only difference between the two are a couple cap values. So if you want to build the AMZ version, sub the 470µF cap with a 100µF and the 220nF with a 100nF. Should be a pretty easy fit in a 1590A.