Favourite pedal building projects (PCBs)?

I've been building a bunch of pedals over the past year, with varying degrees of success. Mostly buying just bare PCBs, or PCBs + parts from various suppliers.

I've had a few that I think have gone really well, or that sound particularly good.

* Pedalparts Libido Boost (Durham Sex Drive)
* Aion Procyon (a BJFE Honey Bee)
* Aion Halo (I built as a Violet Ram's Head Muff)
* Pedalparts Moon Unit (Skreddy Lunar Module)

And some where I've been a bit 'meh' on the results, or it just hasn't quite worked as planned.

Does anyone have any particular faves, or surprisingly good results?
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Comments

  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71
    From Fuzz Dog, their Klon is very good. Kind of a 'better' type pedal you can leave on. The Bluesbreaker/King of Tone is good.  I bought a Marshall Bluesbreaker when they came out and have always liked it.  The King of Tone version, 'cos that's what it essentially is, is an improvement to my ears.  Bottom end is more controlled.  I can probably sell the Marshall for a silly price now!

    If you've never built a Fuzz Face, preferably Germanium, then you should do.  I've made half a dozen or so of those for friends, usually with a tone control on the front end to help the low end flub and make it more humbucker friendly.  Same with Rangemasters.  One of those, a Les Paul and a Marshall stack and you can rule the world!  The same tone control idea helps.  I built one for a chap who gigs with 3 bands, several times a month, and it's on all the time.

    I built a Univibe a fair while ago. PCB from General Guitar Gadgets.  RG Keens "Neovibe" layout.  I bought a dozen LDR's and spent some time selecting 4 that matched reasonably well for dark/light resistance.  A friend has two originals, one better than the other (but both very good).  It sounds like his better one.

    Just built a Surfy Trem (they sell a stuff SMD based PCB) and it's excellent.  Switchable Brown/Blackface trem.  Very very good.

    Next up is a Mick-In-A-Box - Mk1 Tonebender and an old CryBaby wah board in one box for that Spiders era tone.  We play a few Bowie covers so will come in handy for that.


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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 42
    I built and love the Surfy trem, too. Except I wish it would go slightly slower.

    Also built a fuzz face but not quite gelled with it.
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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71
    There's some posts on the Surfy forum about modding for slower speed.  Sounds like either a compromise that will reduce your high speed too or a range switch.  I only finished mine yesterday so still in the honeymoon period but for now I think the slowest is ok.  Might revist after trying it out at next rehearsal.

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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 42
    I also made this:

    https://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/Lunar_Shot_-_Optical_Trem/p847124_17359461.aspx

    before I put together the Surfy. I came to like setting the trem speed to a really slow speed, with fairly shallow depth.

    I prefer the base sound of the Surfy, and especially prefer the harmonic tremolo mode, but the Lunar Shot is pretty good and does some things the Surfy won't.


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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71
    edited May 13
    I've been aware of the Lune but never built or heard one.  I've made a couple of EA based Trems which aren't bad.  You can get a lot of depth out of them and do the stutter type thing.  Our drummer said he'd like to do How Soon Is Now for his birthday gig.  So I built a second trem with opto-isolators in each to get a hum free master/slave LFO arrangement - i.e. both pedals running in sync off the LFO in just one of them so myself and the other guitar player could both play the tremolo rhythm part and thicken it up.  It worked, I called it "The synchronous double tremulator"!  And then the drummer changed his mind and we dropped the song.  Typical!

    The Surfy is a better sounding trem than the EA based one I think.  Even with lots of modding on the EA.  The surfy is quieter too.  I can see a slightly slower lowest speed would be good but that aside it's very good, love the brown mode.  And a bargain I think for the price he charges.


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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 42
    Oh yeah, I think it's great. There's a long series of lengthy harmonic tremolo shootout videos on Youtube, and I watched those, and to my ears, the Surfy was one of the best. That was before I ordered the board, and I've been very happy with it since. The price was very reasonable, even factoring in a bit of my time to build it, and the 1590BB, it was cheap as chips.


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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71
    I went with a 125 box.  Just managed to get it all in, including a battery which I'll sometimes use.  I prefer the lower height of the B or BB but I was trying to reduce space on my board so BB was out and no way I could cram it into a B.


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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 42
    Oh, that's nice. Mine is huge in a BB. Might be worth seeing if I can get it down to a 125.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 8721
    I love the FuzzDog Blaster, which is clone of an alembic stratoblaster preamp, added to the shop at my request. It's the best 1-knob booster I've ever used by far. 

    I also have a Rat, Fuzz Face & Big Muff from Fuzzdog and all are brilliant.
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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71
    Matt_McG said:
    Oh, that's nice. Mine is huge in a BB. Might be worth seeing if I can get it down to a 125.
    If you want to do that I could take a gut shot for you if you like, especially if you're trying to get the battery in as well. I used a smaller size 3PDT switch, not the standard blue which helped.  Normal size switchcraft jacks though.

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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 42
    That'd be handy. Did you use board mounted pots, or rotate the board, and use trailing wires?
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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71

    Rotated the board, switch is mounted, pots are extended.  With the board right at the top of the box (it fits between the pillars) and the battery at the bottom, wedged in place by the switch, there is just enough space for the jacks and power socket.  You need a small size 3PDT though.

    I'll try and upload a picture tonight/tomorrow.

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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71
    Here you go.  Not the best of photo's but hopefuly gives you the idea.



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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2700
    Nice @springhead I have a couple of smd pcbs but so far I’ve been too intimidated to have a go. I really must just go for it.

    PCBs I’ve particularly enjoyed building then playing have been the Jon Patton Harmonic trem by 1776 effects,  Grind customs catch 22 (I’m hoping they come back again),  fuzzdog’s ocd board is excellent with an onboard charge pump and a switchable bass cut, Madbeans aqua boy bucket brigade delay is also pretty cool.  
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 42
    Thanks @springhead much appreciated.
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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2700
    Ah just had a look at the surfy trem on their site and hadn’t realised the circuit board came pre populated.  That makes it much easier I think I’ll order one and check it out.
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  • springheadspringhead Frets: 71

    I'm flattered you thought I'd built an SMD board at home!  It's a good deal on the board/kit I think.  And it sounds lovely, in both the brown and black modes.  I think he uses a pair of FET's to simulate a push-pull output stage for bias-vary trem.

    I can vouch for the fuzz dog OCD kit, very good.

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  • Adam_MDAdam_MD Frets: 2700

    I'm flattered you thought I'd built an SMD board at home!  It's a good deal on the board/kit I think.  And it sounds lovely, in both the brown and black modes.  I think he uses a pair of FET's to simulate a push-pull output stage for bias-vary trem.

    I can vouch for the fuzz dog OCD kit, very good.

    There's some guys on Madbean building pedals with smd parts so I know there's guys out there doing it.  I've got some adaptor boards to use smd j201s with through hole boards but I've been too intimidated to have a go yet I just need to get over it and ruin a few while I get the process down.  Soon it'll be the only way to use jfets without paying ridiculous amounts of money for parts which are probably out of spec.
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