[2241] Mod Box Distortion

Date: July 12th, 2017 | Comments : [5] | Categories: DIY.

Mod Box schematic

I found this old distortion project while searching through a magazine archive.

Back in the late 1990s, Thomas Henry and I collaborated on a number of articles for consumer magazines. One of those projects was a distortion pedal that was published in Radio Electronics in May 1997.

As I recall, I designed the input and distortion stages while Tom did the equalizer and output stages, though we both reviewed and tweaked the whole design before submitting.

Tom would write the draft of the article, I would edit and add other material, then he would do a final polish before sending off to the publisher. I know there were a couple of drum synths and a guitar compressor in the series but I can’t remember what else. It was 20 years ago after all 🙂

Here is a pdf of the article.

Radio Shack was selling those sloped enclosures and I remember buying several of them to use on pedal projects. It requires two 9v batteries, which is a drawback. I did the pcb layout in a drawing program running under MS-DOS 6.2, and it is not my best board design…

S1 allows the pedal to be used as a direct box or a distortion pedal depending on its setting.

I probably still have my prototype of the pedal somewhere in the storage boxes in my barn.


5 Responses to “Mod Box Distortion”

[778555] Kerry Maxwell Says: 3:38 pm, July 16th, 2017

Do you remember it well enough to characterize the distortion? It looks like asymmetric clipping?

[778714] admin Says: 2:59 pm, July 27th, 2017

I remember it being “interesting” but I was not blown away by the sound. The best feature was that it could be used as a direct box.

[779439] Ben Says: 4:18 pm, September 14th, 2017

I would be interested in hearing about these drum synths.

[779446] admin Says: 2:38 am, September 15th, 2017

Ben, the drum synths were the ADV-Snare and the ADV-Bass. There are fairly typical analog drum synths.

The problem with building them today is that they need NE566 chips, which are discontinued, and pricey when you can find them.

The drum synth articles were published in Nuts-n-Volts magazine but I am not sure which issues. It was some time in the late 1990s.

[779745] deni Says: 8:51 am, October 1st, 2017

i still have the magazine along with a few electronics now and popular electronics magazines. any extra info or “enhancements” not mentioned in the magazine as you have stated in a forum? Would love to have a version 2 of this with the bells and whistles for a diy’er 🙂


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