[15] Fuzz Face mod

Date: May 30th, 2007 | Comments : [2] | Categories: DIY, pedals.

Fuzz mod
Okay, you want to put together a fuzzface type circuit from items in your junk box and you don’t have the 1k pot for the fuzz control. What can you do?

A simple mod is to replace the fuzz control with a fixed 1k resistor – this sets the dc bias properly. Then connect the 22uF to the emitter of Q2 and use a 5k or 10k pot as a variable resistor to control the amount of distortion, as shown here.

The new larger value pot should be a reverse audio taper for best results but a linear will do if that’s all you have in the junk bin.

It is not the classic circuit but this can get you going on short notice when you lack the proper parts.


[14] CFL bulbs (again)

Date: May 26th, 2007 | Comments : none | Categories: Uncategorized.

In the previous post about recycling parts from old CFL bulbs, a comment was made about being careful to not break the glass envelope of the bulb, which will release the mercury that is required to produce the illumination.

This is certainly a precaution we all want to be aware of, but there is good news on that front. Wal-Mart has announced that it is requiring its vendors to reduce mercury content in the bulbs that it sells. Most of the bulbs at WM will be about 2.5 milligrams, which is half of the 5mg recommended by the NEMA guidelines.

Read more at http://walmartfacts.com/articles/5018.aspx


[13] LED dimmer

Date: May 25th, 2007 | Comments : [1] | Categories: DIY.

LED dimmer
A few posts back I mentioned the LED dimmer switch on the Rodenberg pedals and while I was writing it, I was thinking about how to implement such a feature. The most obvious and simple solution is to put two resistors in series and bypass one of them with a switch as shown here. When the switch is open, the series combination of the two resistors will be limiting the current and the LED is dim. When the switch is closed, the larger resistor is bypassed and the current through the limiting resistor and the LED is increased so it is brighter.



[12] Rat Distortion Pedal

Date: May 24th, 2007 | Comments : [1] | Categories: pedals.

Proco Rat
Anyone who has been using effects for any length of time knows that the Proco Rat is one of the most respected distortion pedals on the market. Did you know that it has its own web site? Check out the history of the different Rat models:

Proco Rat history

It even has its own Myspace page that is linked from its web site.

The Rat is a heavy-duty fuzzbox that can take a lot of punishment and keep on working. It has a distinctive treble boost distortion that cuts through a cluttered band sound.

Buy one of the Rat pedals and then add some of the mods found in the AMZ eBook to customize it for your rig.


[11] Jfet Buffer on Stripboard

Date: May 23rd, 2007 | Comments : [6] | Categories: DIY, pedals.

Buffer layout
Here is the stripboard (veroboard) layout for the jfet buffer that is shown a few posts below. The board is 10×10 with no strip cuts necessary and only one jumper. If you plan to leave this on all the time, no footswitch is needed and you can put the project in a very tiny box. Link to the complete article is below:

AMZ Jfet Buffer article


[10] GAS Pedals

Date: May 22nd, 2007 | Comments : none | Categories: pedals.

Rodenberg Amplification has a series of pedals with some interesting features. The laser engraved stainless steel top plate is a nice touch too.

The 728 (shown here) can be used in a couple of different modes according to the switch settings. Another nice item is the jewel lamp over the indicator, which I have used on pedals before too. One of the rocker switches is used to flip the LED between bright and dim settings, which I’ve not previously seen on a commercial pedal.

The rocker switches also have integral led indicators to show when they are activated. All of these leds require that the pedals use an external power supply instead of a battery.

I don’t know anything about the circuitry but the text seems to indicate that some of the pedals are using a modded TS-808 topology.

There is a shot of the inside of the boost pedal and they seem to be well made.

Rodenberg GAS Pedals


[9] Amplitube 2

Date: May 21st, 2007 | Comments : none | Categories: VST.

IK Multimedia has recently released the Jimi Hendrix model of their Amplitube plug-in. It features:

• 4 Amp models
• 7 Cabinet models
• 5 Microphone models
• 9 Stomp Effect models
• 4 Rack Effect models
• High-precision Tuner

If you are into home recording and have not yet tried VST plug-ins, you need to check it out. Most DAW systems available currently can load this type of plug-in and they will greatly expand your available options for modifying or extending your recorded sound!

A free demo of Amplitube-JH is available: Amplitube 2 – Jimi model


[8] Jfet buffer and cad tutorial

Date: May 19th, 2007 | Comments : [1] | Categories: DIY, pedals.

Buffer pcbI’ve recently posted a tutorial on how to add a ground plane to a pc board layout using Cadsoft’s design software.

Also, a bonus is that I created a pc board to use for an example in the tutorial and ended up fleshing it out into a full project.

If you want to build a simple jfet buffer for use with your guitar effects, this project is up to the task. The article includes schematic, pcb layout and parts placements.

Link to the project is below:

AMZ Jfet Buffer and groundplane tutorial


[7] Retro power amp

Date: May 19th, 2007 | Comments : [1] | Categories: amps.

This has to be the cool project of the month… it has a bit of a “steampunk vibe” with the copper panels and screwheads… very cool. You can read more about this unique amp at the link shown below.



[6] CF Bulb parts

Date: May 15th, 2007 | Comments : [7] | Categories: Uncategorized.

Fluorescent driverDid you ever wonder what was in the base of one of the new compact fluorescent bulbs? The enclosure of a burned out bulb is easily pried apart to reveal a circuit board and a collection of parts.

There are 3 inductors, several nice film capacitors, a couple of unmarked transistors and a 10uF/200v electrolytic! There are also numerous small resistors and diodes.

We might as well recycle some of these parts into pedals or amps… Wal-Mart estimates they will sell 100 million of the bulbs in the next few years so there will be plenty of parts to recycle.



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