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…
Vox Tone Bender clone, with tone cap switch and boost/cut switch.
I did some research on this one, so many different variations.
Heres some of the stuff i found out
-the famed 47k resistor across the level pot makes the sound ‘less there’, not useful AT ALL- i dumped it;
-it makes sense to have a 3n3 AND 10n on a switch, with the 10n(2) cap you go steady into classic bender territory, otherwise you have a very trebly bender here (which i prefer in this case actually!);
-biasing is a breeze. Just pick carefully the q1 tranny. I auditioned quite a few. I found comfy with a ac134, 138 hfe on q1; i picked an ancient oc76, hfe 33 for q2.
But remember, q2 here follows q1. If q1 sounds good, q2 is there just to give it some body and tails (sustain);
-1k, attack (fuzz) pot only works either full on or at the final 3/4 of its run;
-22uF is a good value for the electrolytic, giving the pedal a good sustain and range.
Fiddlin with the trannies, i stumbled upon a setting where it sounded a lot like the fuzz on Easter Everywhere by the 13th fl elevators.. im talking about the guitar at the beginning of the second song.. sitary and choking, maybe due to misbiasing, a really haunting tone, gotta go back there somehow in the near future.
Ducati filering cap, a salvo to the original vox made in italy, 15uF of the motorcycles brand; icel and sifco nos caps, and a nos mustard cap that i believe its italian too.
Thats the name of the Tone Bender mkii i made for my swedish brother Luca Isabelle, of Cowboy Prostitutes fame.
Loaded with rare Valvo Ocs.
Bought these trannies more than one year ago. Finally got around to build it. Sounding GREAT. Very violin like tails, good smooth fuzz.
Thanks Dr. Nomis @ freestompboxes for keeping an open mind over these new dsi transistors.. and helping me with my build!
Audio clip (pedal engaged set at low volume, mind you..still plenty volume on tap!):
And the finished pedal, boxed
My friend Stef of Space Pony is an avid collector of italian musical instruments and devices.. hes been waiting for a Repeat Percussion forever.. and hes been lusting after a jen tonebender as of lately.
It’s been on my mind for a while to make a psychedelic toolbox pedal, ahah, with all that a 60es loving trippy musician would need.. but i have never made multi fx boxes.. i decided to box two effects in one for Stefano.
And it was working first off!
‘A metal slice of gruviere’ as the date called it..
I only had a small 1590… goddamit my hands are so big its always a pain to work with these boxes..
To the left: vox/jen germanium tonebender, using q1, ac183 and q2, ac181 npn germanium. Very nice ♥.
To the right, the repeat percussion.
I had a cute multi colour led that flashed when youd switch the repeat percussion on but it caused all manners of noises.. replaced it with a blue led.
IT IS PSYCHE IN A BOX.
So..on to the artwork.
I used two nos italian decals from the 60es.
Started going crazy after a while (the led zappeling in time with the q1 whizzeling until it died screaming). Shame because it was a great build, sounded ace and COMPLETE: AC128 on q1, measured hfe of 30 (!!), some russian trannie on q2 measuring 138, another AC128, hfe 80ish.
Built from scratch again, same components, different trannies, 1n1307 on q1, hfe=136, and two AC128, 100ish, 80ish hfed.
Boxed in a rush to a recording session..
Video of my mate Alle playing his mean 1970 Ibanez thru a Laney valve amp and my mki pedal:
Still room for improvement as it was backing off sustain when Alle would play way up on the fretboard.
Yet another Tone Bender mkii build.. this time using sssSSHUGE caps!
That big mustard…well i didnt have any other to put in there!
This was tweaked for more lows.
Lets see and hear how this turns out.
Trannies: either DSI OC45 (these are new) or vintage, old as hell OC76s.
Finally! I have been waiting ages for those big brown caps to get here. Lotsa mojo working there.. They deliver warm mids to the fuzz.
I will fine tune this build on wednesday with my little vox ac4tv tube amp and then decide the value of that biasing trimmer.
Oc75s courtesy of one of my two favourite transistor sellers.