Fuzz Factory

You’ve never heard a ZVex Fuzz Factory?

Do it, these things are mad and as much fun as a bucket of badgers.

This clone comes from here – ZVex Fuzz Factory.

When I was testing the circuit on the test board the first thing I had was a high pitched scream. I quickly unplugged everything and spent an hour or so checking my soldering. There had to be something wrong here. But after trying it out a few more times, it occurred to me that it’s supposed to sound like that.

I checked YouTube:


Here’s the pics. Notice that the Posca Pen work is as ropey as ever. 😉


The Schematic is beautiful in its simplicity:

Jan Ray Pedal

This one is a clone of the Vemuran Jan Ray.

A firm natural overdrive with a pleasant silky sustain. An easy to handle overdrive with great sustain without any unnatural compression. It keeps the characteristics of the tones that the guitars naturally produce. The Jan Ray reproduces that great sustaining punchy clear tones of the blackface Fender amps from the 60’s. The tone is crispy yet the low is warm and mellow.

There’s some controversy over this pedal, as it’s a very expensive (over £300) rip-off of a Timmy. I can build this for around £25. Or less.

The “artwork” continues to be dodgy, as does spraying with clear coat.

However, things are a whole lot easier with wire strippers:

Here’s the schematic:

Deep Blue Delay Pedal

New Pedal Build Day.

This one is a clone of the Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay. Sounds like it might be nice and analogue:

Deep Blue Delay (DBD) is a natural sounding digital/analog delay, with analog direct signal path. The DBD has about the same bandwidth as the classic tape echo units, and it can be used in front of an amplifier or in amplifier effects loops.

There are no noise reduction circuits, which keeps decay of echo as natural as possible.

The direct signal path is short and made with analog amplifiers with no filtering.

There should be no distortion or tone coloration as long as input level is in range below maximum allowed.

The echo signal has a tuned filtering to allow extreme settings without interference.

The delay is specially designed to work well with distorted tone, as this is the most critical application, where delays often fail.

You can use the pedal before or after distortion. As such, it will work exceptionally well on clean sounds where requirements are less stringent, especially in terms of echo bandwidth and repeat formation.

The delay tone has been carefully tuned with lot of attention to the first critical reflection and how the repeats decay.

New things for me are:

  • Now using 7/0.2 stranded wire for interconnects. Solid core is nice but kept breaking at the weak points.
  • Bought some Irwin wire strippers – faster than using a scalpel!
  • Ordered a load of pots and knobs from Tayda – quality of these is fine
  • My soldering on the vero is still a little sloppy. This is because I can’t see it that well, so still investigating which magnifying lamp to buy
  • The “theory” part of this challenge has taken a back seat as I get to grips with all of the practical issues
  • Going to experiment with Envirotex for finishing

The “artwork” is still dodgy. It was Posca Pens and some clear coat on the top. Not sure about these Poscas.

Luna Pedal

New Pedal Build Day.

This one is a clone of the Skreddy Lunar Module Deluxe, a fuzz pedal designed to sound like, well…

The Skreddy Pedals Lunar Module was designed for “that” certain silicon fuzz tone guitar solo I fell in love with on a best-selling 1973 album. I intentionally voiced this thing aggressively so it will cut through any mix. Very satisfying and addictive “vintage” fuzz tone.

This one was a bit more ambitious, using a larger enclosure (Hammond 1590BB) and 5 controls.

I’m pleased with the LED mounting. I didn’t use a bezel, but soldered the LED to a small 5×5 piece of vero with a hole in it to mount the LED and glued that to the underside of the enclosure with a 3mm hole. The idea came from this post.

This one caused me a few more problems. Apart from some dodgy solder joints I’d inadvertently bought pots with differing shaft lengths, 15mm and 17mm, and the knobs (Boss type) sat way too high on the shafts. So I had to cut off a couple of mm with a junior hacksaw. I must pay more attention when ordering pots to get the same shaft length!

And the blue LED malfunctioned a few times…and the solid-core interconnect wires from the vero board broke several times. So, I’m going to order some multi-core wire for the interconnects.

The “artwork” is horrible. It was a pain using a Posca Pen and then spraying some clear coat on the top.

Jazzy! Pedal Build

I’m learning electronics and building my own guitar effects pedals. I’ve bought a bunch of components, some tools and I’m looking through the list of possible build candidates at tagboardeffects.

Here’s my first pedal, the “Jazzy!” pedal:

It’s a pedal in honour of the musicologist cat, Jasper (or Jazzy as we called him), who sadly had to depart to a higher plane last summer. Jazzy would offer advice on the tones, pedals and guitars he did or didn’t approve of by either curling up on the chair and making a small buzzing sound, or exiting the building. Thus the control names of “Shout” (Volume), “Buzz” (Drive), “Scratch” (Treble) and “Purr” (Bass).

It’s actually a clone of the “Timmy” pedal.

This is the schematic:

I tried it out in cardboard enclosure first to see if it would all fit in.

It was painted with Rustoleum spray paint and finished with Rustoleum gloss clear coat.

Ugh. Any Rustoleum product is crap. The paint is like treacle, and their clear coat disintegrates. It would have looked better if I had poured a bucket of cold sick over it. And it was a real pain to do the paint spraying, so I quickly put on some very basic “artwork” with some Posca pens in the hope of making them look cheesy, like these ones.

And here’s a gallery of construction pics.

I’m going to be building a lot more pedals this year…

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