Category Archives: pedals

Ram’s Head Battersea Power Station Big Muff ₽i

    

When i was a Londoner, id often catch the 24 bus on sunday mornings from Hampsted Heath to its final destination, Pimlico. There was a pub there, next to the bus station where we would go have brunch and shoot pool. In the afternoon we would visit the Tate, usually.

And we would enjoy the haunting, post modern view of the abandoned Battersea Power Station from Pimlico.

Gilmour used a rams head Big Muff on Animals apparently.

Built for a friend on a pcb by OP ELECTRONICS, IT. Transistors BC239C from ebay seller, Whazzgroover. Sprague caps, etc

First time i mess with a hot glue gun, and i guess you can tell! 🐣

Electro Harmonix Vintage Black Finger 

This must be a very early one, word has it that Jimi Hendrix tried one of these boxes for its big muff-like forced sustain. It is one of the earliest electro harmonix effects. 

It is powered by TWO 9v batteries and so much for it “being distortion free”, it is very hissy and noisy, and colours the tone. The compression is VERY apparent and squashed.

Transistors: FS36999, the same as early 70’s Big Muffs.

       

The tube version Black Finger is a much different, more reliable and usable item.

Jh-1 Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzzface

   Jim Dunlop holds the name FUZZFACE licence. Before it was spelled, FUZZ (space) FACE.

   Silicon BC108 transistors, vintage style build.

UPDATE BEWARE

Much to my surprise, and horror, the other day i decided to have a better look at the board. Well.. AT THE BACK OF THE BOARD, HIDING, it’s all SURFACE MOUNT TRIMMERS. EEEEEEEEEK!!!! This is the fakest pedal ever!

I decided to sell it right away. Although:

How does it sounds? Not bad in my opinion.. And the presentation is quite lush.

The Hendrix family on the other hand.. Geez they never got it with their son being a genius. And now that they can remix his oeuvre in the most appalling way, they went for it. 

I mean.. Has any of you listened to the reissued experience lps? 

Awful out of focus fx added, messy sound image (changes at every other track on the Are You Experienced lp), poor original sources research, no whatsoever idea of whats goin on: they managed to DESTROY even a song as straight forward as Fire! 

Idiotic panning solos? Yeah! 

Awful. 

And before you can say ‘man’, they put out the jimi hendrix fragrances. As if the world needed them badly.

So all in all this is possibly the only instance of the hendrix genius almost given a proper name.

Messin with the Klon

Yesterday i was busy making two Klon Centaur clones.

Months ago i bought the last two Chimaera pcbs from the cat over at Grind Customs Fx.
Very well made boards i must say.
I got me some 50 x D9E germanium diodes, the latest darlings of klon builders the world over and plunged into this build, keeping in mind and on the bom the latest (2014) discoveries by the byoc guys on the silver klon (the golden enclosure came first, the silver came later, improving on tone and volume control).
Elna electros, philips, greenies, etc caps.
Metal and carbon film resistors, 1590BB build #1:

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I had to lower the value of a 20k log pot down to 10k for the volume knob using a resistor across pins 1-3.
This was made for my friend Luca.
Next, it’s mine:

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Same caps n resistors chan pon here.
This time to make the volume pot a log, i used a 10k lin, a 2k resistor from pin 2 to ground.
Same blue minotaur lsd blotter art employed..

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On the first build, the gain pot would run funny: regular until 3/4 its taper, then volume would drop.
Heres what i found out about the klon:
YOU MUST audition/measure LOADS of TL072 to get the right balance of clean/gain/volume in general. I have some Texas Instruments and some ST, all of the TI sounded way too “weak”, alas noise would slip through, not enough power, etc. ST’s are better but still, you have to choose the right ones. I did this by ear.
Good TL072s are the secret to this pedal: i tried a bunch of germanium diodes: lots of the aforementioned russian ones, both matched and unmatched, but also Valvo OA81, OA91, RL32S11, AAY22.. guess what? They didnt impart any specific tonal character to the pedal.

As it is, the Klon is a good, clean, very musical buffer/overdrive.
Without a strung out, breaking amp though, i have my doubts it would save the day.

I prefer the good old dirty Rangemaster to the Klon i suppose.

bea!
yours truly

Tonezilla mkii

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I just rebuilt a friends tone bender mkii i gave him almost 2 years ago. Realised component values were all over the place, my mistakes, crossing oc81d and oc75 schems it seems.. ah beer days..
Now sober as a court jury, i wrote it all down. I made some sort of magic there, the pedal is one of the most powerful mkii i ever made, most likely due to my errors.
The original had carbon comps/ carbon film resistors and dubilier, philips electros, wima caps. This has wima, roe caps and carbon film/metal film resistors but still sounds amazing.
Since he gigs a lot, i had a mission to build it like the proverbial tank.. and to shuffle the controls a bit: he wanted to have the q3 bias out in lieu of the attack pot, that he uses maxed all the time (it now sits inside as a trimmer).
I messed up the decal a bit, hope he wont mind…

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bea!
yours truly