Sunday, November 26, 2023

Landtone Klon Centaur Clone Kit Guide [Fix]

Let me preface this by saying I am not throwing anyone under the bus here, I'm just stating a fact. As I browse r/diypedals, I find that the Landtone Klon Centaur Clone overdrive kit comes up often. A majority of the time the person is seeking help with their build not having output. The issue here is there is a guide online that most people follow, since the instructions included with the kit are useless, that has a mistake in it. I myself used this guide and came up with the same results of no output. Frustrated, I started to remove the cables from the pedal while the amp was still turned on. As the tip of the cable came out of the jack it scraped against the right part, allowing me to hear my guitar. This told me the wiring on the jack was done wrong. All I needed to do was swap two wires and everything worked perfectly.

Every time I see someone needing help with the Landtone Klon clone kit I post an image of my known working wiring because I understand how frustrating it is to build a kit and it not work. It's even more frustrating when a guide is put online and it's WRONG. Which leaves most novice builders completely in the dark as to what happened to their build, and possibly ruining their first experience building a pedal. Which may also ruin them ever wanting to try again. I will provide an imgur link as I don't think blogger will support such a large image. So, if you've purchased a Landtone, or Landtone style kit from TTone or ProLandtone, etc. and your build has no output, check the image provided below. The main problem will be the top jack on the righthand side of the image. The wiring is colored different to make things a bit easier to follow. Hopefully this will help people, maybe even so much so that GuitarGearFinder will fix their guide, or post a correction of some sort.

Correct Landtone Klon Clone Image

After publishing this I went back through and noticed they acknowledge they wired it wrong in the "guide", but they still got it wrong in the image, even though they claim it's corrected. Please note: The image below is the incorrect way to wire the output jack.

Heading to Oblivion

I'm a fan of the Elder Scrolls series, or to be more accurate I'm a massive fan of Skyrim and I would like to give the other games in the series more attention. I've tried to play Morrowind, but I hate the combat system. I've played tons and tons of Skyrim, because it's Skyrim. I used to play ESO, but I've since given up on that. Now, when it comes to Oblivion, well, I've owned the Game of the Year edition (for PC) for quite some time. Every so often I'll install it and roam around aimlessly, but I get bored and give up soon thereafter. Admittedly I think I'm spoiled by having played Skyrim first.

Since I've finished Dragon Quest III, I decided I would make Oblivion the RPG I try next. After installing it I loaded up some old saves and quickly realized I had totally forgotten every key command. After a few minutes of randomly punching keys to see what did what, I felt confident. Once I felt I had a fairly good grasp on my controls I went to work actually trying to accomplish things. I found out where Thoronir was getting his discounted items, and took care of the problem. I did a few more odds and ends so that I could buy the shack in the Waterfront District, then fully furnished it. After having played Skyrim this little shack leaves me wanting a bigger place. Since I took the key off Agarmir I might see if I can take over his place. He doesn't need it anymore.

I've also gotten into the arena stuff, because it reminds me a bit of the first Fable. I'm really enjoying the game, more so than I have before. Now if I could only get the combat system in Morrowind to be less of a one out of a billion chance at hitting I might like it too. The only problem is actually nothing to do with the game, but more that the game crashes after an hour or so of gameplay. For some reason it's only this time after installing it, I've never had this happened before. It's really annoying and sometimes it corrupts the last save. Needless to say I'm in a habit of saving often while playing. The quests keep me busy and roaming freely is now a byproduct of actually accomplishing things. I'm glad I stuck it out this time.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

The Rosetta Dilemma

Some of you might remember my Washburn A20 named Rosetta. From time to time I exhume her cardboard coffin from my closet and look at how beautiful her flame maple (veneer) top is. Last night was one such occasion. I've had this guitar for over twenty years, and she's been in this pitiful state since a week or two after I brought her home from the pawn store. A brief explanation for those who don't know is this: I bought a Washburn A20 from a pawn store, it was painted in green Krylon granite paint, paint was covering a bondo job which itself was covering someone's ill-advised attempt to drill-press-route the body for a tremolo, possibly Kahler. The problem is I'm really wanting to get her repaired properly, but I can't afford properly. If I had a router I would attempt the repair myself, but such a luxury doesn't exist. Nor do I possess the ability to properly use a router.

Last night, as I'm holding Rosetta and looking her over, I noticed just how amazing the Ash body wings look. The whole situation frustrated me, mostly at myself, because I really want to hear what her voice would be. The biggest problem is I'm massively impatient, and I want to hear her now. Should I have left the bondo under the bridge? I don't know, but what's more is: Should I put bondo back just to get her back to useable? I always thought a piece of Purpleheart would be an amazing wood to fill in the hole under the bridge, but I've heard Purpleheart doesn't move as much as other woods do during seasonal changes. If true, I'm worried that would cause issues with the body around it.

Another part of that idea was buying a new set of veneer, which I did. There is kind of a funny story about that. There used to be a website that sold veneer for Ibanez RGs. I think it was UniversalJems. I contacted the vender and asked if they could cut a special set of veneer for Rosetta, which they gladly accepted. The only request was to let them know which order was mine, so I would be sent the proper order. I made the purchase and within the notes I put something like for Washburn A20 and never thought much else about it as I waited for it to arrive. After a few weeks I asked them if my order had shipped, but they didn't realize I had even ordered and sent me a normal Ibanez RG set of veneer. To their credit they immediately cut the Washburn A20 set and shipped it out free of charge. I felt bad, I really did. I should have emailed them back instead of writing it in the purchase note.

Anyway, here I am now with two sets of beautiful flame maple veneer. I originally thought I was going to be able to steam the old stuff off and simply apply the new stuff. The Washburn A20 is a flat body, so it could be done, but it's far more complex than I original thought. Again, I lack the tools and knowhow to even do so. For all these years they've both sat together in her cardboard sarcophagus waiting for the day she can speak to the world again. I've slowly been purchasing parts such as pickup rings, cheap PAF style (double cream!) humbuckers, and two push/pull pots for the original style wiring. Although now I think I'll use the neck push/pull for phasing. Give me that Greeny tone, baby! Apart from screws for the original wooden control plates I think I have everything to put her back together. Sadly, the gaping wound someone so malevolently drilled into her, over and over, is the major hang up.

Believe me, I clearly understand if I were to just fill the hole with bondo I would be creating more work later down the road. It would eventually need redone, but if bondo gets her back into working order I might have no choice. I'm just so tired of waiting. I was just a budding adult of eighteen years old when I bought this guitar. I thought I had all the time in the world. Now, at forty I'm growing more impatient by the day. Rosetta once spoke to the world, and whatever was done to her by her previous owner needed to be undone, but in doing so I removed her voice from this world. I never intended on keeping it from this world for so long. And no, she's not for sale. Not even for Joe Bonamassa. Sorry. Don't get me wrong I would love to see Rosetta on stage doing some Albert King or Gary Moore covers, but she will still remain my guitar. Hey, if all I have left is a dream, I'll dream as big as I want!

Thursday, November 16, 2023

A Terrible Habit of Mine.

I've always been into music, and I do mean always. I can remember slight bits of being very young and begging my Mother to turn on my Dad's stereo so I could listen to music. I would sit on my little plastic chair in front of his home hi-fi system and listen to anything I could. This was all through olive green headphones from the 70s that barely stayed on my little noggin. From there I've always had a set of over-ear headphones and a way to listen to music. Even on a road trip from Indiana to Tennessee for my Grandma's funeral, I brought Match Box 20's Yourself or Someone Like You, and Yngwie Malmsteen's Fire and Ice with my CD player and headphones. I've never been far from music if I could help it.

One sad fact about music is the landscape changes so quickly. Who might be a top five hit maker today is a nobody tomorrow. Or even worse, who might be a top five hit maker today is deceased tomorrow. When I started playing guitar Randy Rhoads quickly became a major influence, but I knew I would never get the pleasure of seeing him play live in concert. After BBC America aired a whole Thin Lizzy live concert I fell deeper into their catalogue. I was familiar with Jailbreak and The Boys are Back in Town, as well as Southbound, but it caused me to dig deeper to the point I can't even listen to Jailbreak or The Boys anymore. They're not Thin Lizzy's greatest songs, they're just marketable. I find they're nowhere near as good as the rest of Thin Lizzy's catalogue.

Sometimes things sneak up on you, such as the passing of Dolores O'Riordan. I was familiar with The Cranberries' success with Zombie and Linger in the early 90s, but it wasn't something that stuck with me for all those years. After hearing Dreams in Derry Girls I dug a little deeper and later found I Can't Be With You and my all-time favorite When You're Gone. Those three songs were quickly added to my MP3 player, without question.

Then we come to a double whammy with The Outfield. Everyone is familiar with Your Love, it seems to be their trademark. But, just like with Thin Lizzy there are other songs that make it almost impossible for me to listen to that song. Since You've Been Gone, All The Love, and No Surrender are such great songs! I already knew John Spinks passed away, and that I would never see The Outfield play their hits live. John Spinks is the reason why I want a telecaster style guitar. His red PT style telecaster looked fucking awesome!

After finding the three songs I mentioned above I decided to do some searching to see if they were ever performed live. This yielded videos of Tony Lewis playing their hits live in Mexico in 2019 (I think). The beauty of the city, the passion of the crowd and how they sang the lyrics back to him to perfection spoke to my heart. TE AMO MEXICO! TE AMO! Tienes mi corazon! Sadly, Tony Lewis passed away in 2020, leaving behind a legacy of songs that truly deserve more attention than just Your Love, which is still a good song, it's just not their best.

I don't like finding some of my favorite songs only after their artists have passed on, but it seems to turn out that way. There are a lot of bands I listen to who are all alive and well, currently, but it just seems, for some reason, I only get the urge to dig deeper into a band's music once I can no longer see them perform those songs live. It takes time to go through any artist's catalogue, although the internet makes it much easier these days, so naturally I can't find them all. I'm terribly regretful that they're gone, first of all, but I'm also very grateful that they wrote and performed these songs. These songs have all inspired me to write music of my own, regardless of whether it will ever see the light of day or not. Music is, and always has been very deeply meaningful to myself, and I'm sure many others. Flesh shall one day return to the Earth, but music carries on from ear to ear, heart to heart, and soul to soul.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Dragon Quest III Completed!

Dragon Quest III has officially been completed, with the exception of Skyworld. I do plan to play around with Skyworld, but the core of the game has been completed; Zoma is dead, light has returned to Alefgard and all is right with the world. That is until Dragon Quest IV. I had a really great time playing Dragon Quest III, although I initially felt overwhelmed starting the game. When I start a new RPG I feel overwhelmed trying to micromanage everything, but once I get into the groove I feel much better and focus on the story/lore.

I can remember playing Final Fantasy for the first time all those years ago and my favorite thing was grinding. No, seriously. I think it comes from my MMORPG days where that's pretty much all you do. In an MMORPG you're just trying to get more levels for better armor, better weapons, better spells, better quests, unlocking new hunting grounds etc. Really your only focus is getting as much exp as you can to unlock that new thing. In a traditional RP video game you're mainly out doing quests to progress the storyline, which will yield a certain amount of exp and levels as a biproduct. Eventually you're going to be facing a boss, and sometimes those levels aren't going to be enough to defeat the boss, so you're going to have to find ancillary exp.

In the original Dragon Quest there was a small level system, so I made sure I maxed out my level by grinding. I figured if max level wasn't good enough to defeat all the foes that I should be faced with, then the game wasn't any good. Luckily I was wrong, and Dragon Quest was fucking fantastic! Dragon Quest II has a bit more of a leveling system, and was also fantastic. Dragon Quest III has a full 99 level system, which I would never have spent the time grinding to max out. Believe me getting to 45 was a struggle, but even so 45 was good enough to beat the game. Which was also fan-fucking-tastic!

With Dragon Quest III being completed I'm thinking about starting IV, and this time I hope it doesn't take more than five years for me to actually start. There are a lot of RPGs that I want to play, because I generally like them all. The only RPG I've not liked, in fact I borderline hated, was Lagoon for the Super Nintendo. I saw Lagoon sitting on a table at an indoor flea market and paid a couple of bucks for it because the brief internet research I did for it made it look like Ys. I actually like Ys, so I figured I would give it a try. NOPE! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NOPE!!! From what I struggle to recall about Lagoon is it focused more on puzzles and back and forth fetch quests than it did on combat, because the combat system was horrible!

Remember when I said I actually like Ys? The combat system is basically a bump and kill system. Imagine BattleBots, but it's humans and monsters alike with sharp objects taped to them, bumping into each other until one of them loses enough blood to croak. That's not where it ends though, as hitboxes are a thing. Often you'll find yourself aiming at the sprite to find the hitbox and missing it entirely, while taking loads of damage to yourself. So when you really needed to kill something, it was a 70% chance you were going to miss the hitbox and take a load of damage, mainly during boss fights. Although it's not a great system, Ys made it work and did a great job of feeling more fleshed out and well-rounded. Lagoon, however, well, it makes Hydlide seem like a multifaceted epic RPG. To its credit the graphics in Lagoon are nice. I did enjoy the fetch quests, as that usually comes standard in RPGs. With only 35 levels to gain, the leveling wasn't bad. It was the combat system required to level that was horrible.

When it comes to games I want to play, there is no shortage. When it comes to games I've started and really need to finish, there is also no shortage. I started playing Ocarina of Time (N64) in Autumn 2010, and for one reason or another I quit. Allow me to disappoint you further by saying I also have it for 3DS and, after beating A Link Between Worlds, I tried to get stuck into it on there, but again I gave up. I honestly can't explain why because I was genuinely enjoying it both times. Illusion of Gaia is another one where I am literally on part 12 of 13 in the walkthrough and I still just let it go for some reason. Earthbound, I'm at the Fourside Department store, and I haven't touched that for almost ten years. There is a Final Fantasy 7 save somewhere I've not touched in years as well. Don't ask why, as I have no answer.

Currently I want to start Dragon Quest IV, or maybe I'll get stuck into Resident Evil 2. Now that I've brought it up I'm feeling like Ocarina of Time, or finishing Illusion of Gaia. Shoot, I might even go back through (by which I mean suffer through) and finally beat Lagoon. I've watched tons of videos on how to beat the final bosses of Lagoon, it's just a matter of playing the game until the only thing your brain knows is where the hitbox on the bosses are. Once the game is beat you have to relearn how to walk, talk, breathe, eat, sleep, digest and do complex math such as 1+1=PS2.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Bit off More Than I Could Chew

It's Wednesday, 8th of November and it was almost 80 degrees here. You know what I did? I built the Green Channel! Yeah, but guess what happened. It wasn't fun! Thanks to this unseasonably warm weather I've had my bedroom window cracked for the past few days. Today seemed like it was gearing up to be a really nice day to build the Green Channel. As soon, AS SOON, as I stepped out the door you would have thought a tornado was tap dancing on my back deck. At no other point during the day had it been windy, or even mildly breezy. Needless to say, the wind has jokes and dumped my capacitors all over the deck and made me search for them all. Ugh!!!

This was a very frustrating build, due mostly to the fucking wind, but also because of the oddball resistor values that I needed to build out of two resistors in series. Since I built my first tube screamer clone I've wanted to build a Nobels ODR-1, because it's the other green overdrive. For some reason I've never found a layout that I felt confident enough to take on. Again, you can scream at your device's screen about all the other builds I've done, but that doesn't change the fact I found the Nobels ODR-1 intimidating. Thanks, again, to Dirtbox Layouts for doing the whole Browne Amps Protein because the Green Channel seemed to be perfect. In the end, it actually seems like it was.

After all that had happened I was super frustrated and resigned myself to the fact this build simply wasn't going to work. I was just going to have to put it beside my failed Boss BD-2 clone from last year and just never look at it again. To play devil's advocate I decided to plug it in and try it anyway. The first thing I do when testing a new circuit is turn the volume and gain controls to 0, and the tone control(s) will be set at noon. Next I test it without power. Most circuits will not pass signal without power, although some do, so I listen for any unwanted signal. If nothing comes through, as expected, I put the IC(s) into the socket(s) and then I plug the power in and listen for the pop. If there is a pop, I know the IC(s) received power and I proceed to turn up the volume control and strum a few strings on my guitar. From there I should slowly but surely hear signal coming through. Then I turn up the gain control, which should slowly but surely increase the volume and/or distortion. Once those are working I test the tone control(s).

I plugged in the Green Channel, fully aware it wasn't going to work, and wouldn't you know it --- I WAS WRONG! Just like Bobby Boucher told Colonel Sanders, I was wrong, wrong, wrong! And if being wrong meant this circuit worked perfectly and sounded great, I don't wanna be right! Even though it's coming through my Noisy Cricket and a tiny little speaker it still sounded amazing. I've built a ton of overdrives and maybe it's just because I know the Nobels is "Nashville's secret weapon", but there is a twang to it that comes out like I've never heard before. I use my partscaster strat with an HS-3 in the bridge and an unknown single in the neck, and I've tested a lot of overdrives, but never heard this level of twang before. Psychosomatic? Maybe, but it sounds good.

Maybe it was just the wind messing with me by dumping my capacitors that made me lose faith in this build, and a bit in my ability to build it. Having this outcome against all odds does feel great though. Now that I have the CMAT Mods Butah clone that I slightly modded I think I'm going to try and fit that into an enclosure with the Green Channel and make my own Browne Amps Protein clone. Obviously I'm not going to call it that, but that's the essence I will be going for. Score a third build for the month of November! And with that I'm calling November a done deal. Seriously. Even if we get some more nice days I don't plan any more builds for this month. At most I might work on some circuits that need some troubleshooting, but nothing brand new. The Emerson Drive and Screaming Bird are still set for December, so we'll have to wait and see what it holds in store.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Soldering in the Cold November Wind

Monday the 6th of November came in sunny and 70 degrees, but very breezy (again!). I decided it was good enough, so I set up my soldering station and got to work. Ever since I saw the Boss SP-1 clone layout on Dirtbox Layout's website I really wanted to give this circuit a try. The Boss SP-1 is a bit of a strange beast, and as explained by it's not easy to clone. You'll need to create a hybrid 10k Log and Anti-Log dual potentiometer. Thanks to their guide making one is super simple, although you will need to sacrifice a 10k Log in the process. If you really, really want a Boss SP-1 Spectrum clone, like I did, it's well worth it.

My main motivation was to find an alternative to my topless Behringer HellBabe. Since it's missing the treadle it added a really cool cocked-wah flavor to my sound that I really liked. I've tried finding a treadle for it, but it seems I just can't. I asked Behringer and they've given me a few different answers. One time they told me I could order any part I needed and even sent me a diagram explaining each part and giving the part's number. When I went to make the order the next person I talked to acted like I was stupid and said no, they don't sell spare parts, they've never sold parts and they never plan to sell parts. That person did suggest I contact local dealers, as they might have some "broken" ones. Just to humor myself I contacted a few dealers and started with the line "I know this is going to sound stupid, because if you had any broken ones they would be sent back to Behringer under warranty, but....". Every single one of the dealers I called, which was only three, agreed that any broken Behringer pedals they would have taken in on return/exchange would be sent back to Behringer. 

ANYWAY! As I really want to get that HellBabe working again one day, I decided to pack it away for safe keeping. Afterwards I did notice there was something missing from my tone. Over time I did get over it, but I always kind of miss it, even though I've forgotten exactly what it sounds like. That's where the Boss Spectrum comes in. To me it sounds like a wah pedal that you can manually dial in which frequency you want and boost that frequency to your liking, which it essentially is. Once the clone circuit was built I did my preliminary testing and yes, it's absolutely something I can use to add back that missing part of my tone, and then some! At first it had a really bad oscillation problem, but adjusting the trim pot seems to have fixed that. Exactly what the trim pot is for, I'm not sure, but it did seem to help.

Like I said, the potentiometer isn't difficult to make, but the wiring of the two dual pots is tedious. As some of you might know, I hate wiring. I'm pretty excited to get this one housed up as quickly as I can because it's pretty much exactly what I've needed. I would dare say this is much better than the HellBabe, which leaves it to do it's job as an actual wah pedal rather than a tone spicer. I've had an idea in my head about making a pedal to emulate a certain sound, and this pedal already comes really close. I imagine with an EQ pedal this circuit would be able to nail the certain sound I'm after. The problem being IF there is data showing the EQ curve on this particular sound I'll never find it. I'm going to have to do some experimenting and if I come up with something that works I'll put together a prototype. As for now, I'm just glad this is my second ever November build, and it was a success. Now, Wednesday looks like a really good day to build the Green Channel clone. That's the plan for now!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Nostalgia Is a Hell of a Drug Part 4: Summer of 99 Resident Evilfest

Way back in 2011 I made a post called A Collector's Nightmare where I chronicled the details of my first, and final sale to an establishment such as FuncoLand. These days all I hear is how great FuncoLand was, but I think that's because ShameStop bought them all up, dropped the bar and made FuncoLand look like the shiniest turd by comparison. Regardless of how they fucked me over, what came from that experience was, among many things, the summer of 99 Resident Evilfest! As an angsty 16-year-old I wanted nothing to do with the outside world, instead preferring to sit in my tiny little bedroom and brood. All I needed at the time was my Playstation, my 13" color CRT, my copy of Resident Evil [Director's Cut] and my stereo blasting out hair metal legends Warrant!

For the entire summer I sat in my room shooting zombies, solving puzzles and throwing my controller in frustration when either of those went wrong. Luckily Playstation controllers were really well built. To add to the atmosphere I put a black trash bag over my window to keep as much light out as possible. Although it did a pretty decent job, there were times during the evening where the summer sun's light was just too powerful, turning my room an odd orange color. At the time I had a bookshelf stereo system with a three disc changer and a remote. I never had to get up, keeping the same three discs in rotation. The first was Warrant's Dog Eat Dog, then Cherry Pie, but those are the only ones I actively remember.

I still have that Playstation, TV and both Warrant CDs. Although these days the Playstation's disc drive is shot, the TV is dying a slow death and I've ripped my favorite tracks off the CDs in favor of having them in digital form and packing the discs away. I had the stereo for quite a few years after that, but I ended up leaving it behind in favor of making a hasty escape from a relationship I was no longer a part of. It was a small sacrifice. Maybe when I'm done playing through Dragon Quest 3 I'll start playing through the other Resident Evil games. I have quite a few of them, I've just never tried them beyond a few minutes after starting them. It sounds crazy, I know, but I have this small fear that playing the other games will in some way tarnish my nostalgia for that summer.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

First November Build in the Books!

I've been anxious to get November's build done, so I've been hovering over the forecast from Google, MyRadar app and's 10-Day forecast. Today, Friday the 3rd of November 2023, looked to be the best day for quite a while. That was until Friday started to march closer, then the few days following seemed to progressively look better and better. So much so that I hatched a plan in my mind to build one of the smallest builds today, and, because it will be even warmer, I plan to undertake a bigger build on Monday. That is pending the weather holding out and not being anywhere near as breezy as it was today.

Now I understand it might seem foreign to some people that I prefer to solder outside, but that's the way it is. My soldering schedule revolves around the weather no matter what the project is. I have been known to do some very brief indoor soldering, but my space is so limited I prefer to keep indoor soldering to an absolute minimum, if at all. The setup for doing November and December builds was that I chose projects so small they could be done indoors, but I still prefer them be done outside. In this case I originally chose two, an Emerson Paramount and Emerson Drive clone. While scrolling through layouts I decided to add a third to that in the form of an EHX Screaming Bird clone. All three are very small, very simple and rather quick builds.

Remember when I literally just said simple and rather quick? Well that is unless it's 55 degrees (12c) and breezy. One tends to forget how the body refuses to cooperate when you're sitting in that type of climate trying to actually do something productive. I started off by swapping some potentiometers from previous builds where I used good enough for the correct, required values. That took me five minutes or so, and it was only three changes. Then I setup the Emerson Paramount and got to work. Everything was slightly more frustrating than it normally is, because my fingers kept forgetting how to bend. You may be saying to yourself 55 degrees (12c) isn't that cold, and you're right! It's when there is an unrelenting wind constantly pushing it into your skin that causes problems.

After twenty minutes of trying to get my fingers to bend and work correctly I finally had a finished circuit built in November. When I first tested it the tone wouldn't work, but some xacto knifing through the gaps seems to have fixed that, even though I didn't see any bridges. Which, really quick, is an odd thing that even though you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there when it comes to solder bridges. Anyway, it sounds like a light overdrive on preliminary testing. I'll have to do the Kali test to really see how this pedal sounds. So far it's not bad. If the weather holds up I plan to build a Boss SP-1 clone on Monday, which I'm excited for. Do you remember my topless Behringer HellBabe? Since it doesn't have the treadle it has that cocked-wah sound and I found that really added something to my tone that I really liked. I'm hearing the SP-1, and hopefully clones thereof, can achieve that type of sound. I guess I'll find out on Monday.

Apart from the wiring it looks pretty nice

Added 5th November after publishing

Verdict: When it's not pushing the amp, it sounds poorly biased. This could be because I chose to use a 2.2meg instead of a 2meg, and an MPSA12 instead of MPSA13. When I set Kali's volume to the point I normally test overdrives at things sounded better. I set the tone a tiny bit above mid way, volume at about 9 o'clock and adjusted the gain to taste, backed off slightly on the guitar's volume and this circuit sounds pretty damn good! It does bug me that it can sound poorly biased, but an overdrive is really best suited for what ended up making this clone circuit sound the best anyway. I'll most likely just leave it as is, and learn what it does best just the way it is.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Thank You Tayda Electronics!

I've debated making an entry about my appreciation for Tayda Electronics, but every time I did I was afraid doing so would ultimately cause something to go wrong. I know I've mentioned them in a post I did over at, but I'm not sure I've talked much about them here. Tayda Electronics offers a ton of electronics parts at very reasonable prices, and what made those prices even sweeter was their super saver shipping. This shipping option could take up to 30 days, but parts were so inexpensive I found the wait to be well worth it. I didn't need my parts fast, I just needed my parts. Often times it would only take about two weeks to arrive, but when it would take the full 30 I feel that was mostly on the part of the shipping partner holding on to the package for almost a week. In early 2023 this option was discontinued and the more expensive shipping options were all that was left.

When the super cheap shipping option was removed I felt as though it was all over. How was I going to get the parts I needed? With Tayda I knew they were working with reliable suppliers and if something did slip through, which I've never encountered, they would to make it right. It took a while but I was able to find a few reliable sources on Amazon. I know I've talked ad nauseum about how many fake TL072 ICs I have, so I erred on the side of caution when it came to buying things like that from there. Potentiometers and resistors tend to be ok, but I have had some absolute dud potentiometers come in. After some testing I did manage to find reliable suppliers for resistors, potentiometers and op-amps, so everything kind of worked out, but I still wasn't getting them anywhere near as inexpensively as I could from Tayda.

In rare instances I reached beyond even what Tayda offered, like when I bought genuine J201 and 2N5457 TO-92 JFETs. Thankfully Guitar PCB made these small batch orders painless, with reasonable shipping. Even so, I still missed ordering from Tayda, but $13+ to ship $5 worth of stuff just couldn't be justified in my mind. I would go to their website and use my shopping cart as a shopping list of things I needed to order from somewhere else. Well, now Tayda has a new cheaper shipping option. It's not as cheap as the original, but it's much better than the other two options and it arrived in ten days. That's something I can live with! I just want to thank Tayda Electronics for finding a shipping option that works for those of us who don't buy in massive quantities, and giving us a much more justifiable shipping cost.