Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Adventures in Guitar Pedal Building: Part 2

In part one I had just begun dabbling with building guitar pedals. Since then I've built my TS808 clone, my DOD 250 clone, and I've also fallen out of love with my LPB-1 Boost clone. I did build the board for another boost circuit, but haven't put it into a housing yet. Since all of that I've also built a MXR Distortion Plus as well as a Marshall Guv'nor clone, with my final officially planned build being a compressor pedal.

I've genuinely had a great time building pedals. I've learned a lot about building pedals and how to fix my own mistakes. As time has passed I find myself worrying less about all the little details and just focusing on putting the parts in the right places and getting it all soldered up. I also find myself building pedals with a bit of a theme. You see, some of my favorite guitarists are Randy Rhoads, Gary Moore, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Yngwie Malmsteen. If you look at the pedals I've built you'll see they reflect pedals famously used by those guitarists. Was this intentional? Yes.

So how do I feel about the pedals I've build so far? Well, I still absolutely love my TS808, but I do feel it's really best suited for single coil pickups, as it gets a bit woofy when used with humbuckers. I feel my DOD 250 is a bit noisy, so I may build another board using metal film resistors and preserve my original build. I feel my MXR Distortion Plus is lacking something and is also a bit noisy, so it may also get the metal film resistor treatment. My Marshall Guv'nor build seems pretty good, but I haven't really had much time to use it and become familiar with it. And last, but certainly least, I've fallen out of love with my LPB-1 boost because it thickens up the tone and it just makes everything sound horrible.

As I said earlier my final planned build is a compressor pedal and a few alternative boards to see if they make the pedals sound cleaner, or better. I will preserve the original boards as parts of my progress in the hobby of guitar pedal building. I have tons of parts left over, so I'm sure I'll find something else I want to build and get back to it, but for now I'm satisfied with what I've built, it's just a matter of making it all work together. Heck, I might even build a Wah pedal. Actually, I really might do that.