Madbean Total Recall

I got this populated PCB from a Madbean forum member and buddy of mine Jason. Hes not a delay fan and he just did not meld with pedal. I really wanted to build one and the PCBs were out of stock at the time so I swooped up on it. Jason did a great job populating the PCB and used all high quality parts. He had 4 MN3008 BBDs mounted with the supplied daughter board. I decided to ditch them and go with the Xive MN3005 BBDs I got in the Cabintech group buy.

Mastotron-ish

I was introduced to the band The Whores and fell in love with the crunch & deep bass sound the guitarist gets. After a bit of searching I found that he used a ZVex Mastotron early on and layered it with other fuzz/dirt. I never built a Mastotron and thought I would give it a go. I used effectlayout’s layout of it.

Tested good, now I just need to get some artwork together and box it.

American metal brothers

Digging through some boxes I found these gems at the bottom. The original American Metal (on the right) FX-59 was given to me for free from an eBay seller that I bought a 90’s Rat from. The Super American Metal was mine from when I was younger. I picked it up used when I was 15 since I wanted to get that “Justice for all” sound. It nailed that mid scooped, overly bassy sound perfectly.

Smashing Sounds

Half Distortion 2 and half IC Big Muff. I took the idea from MadebyMike’s Dreambox and kept it simple. I used the 77′ OpAmp BMP layout from effectslayouts and the DST2 from Madbean forum member Zombie Sonore.

Whether or not you like Smashing Pumpkins, this combination is a great distortion pedal. Looking forward to smacking this on my pedal board.

Mastery Setup

I am super excited to get my JP Jazzmaster dialed in and back to shredding. Over the last 3 years this has been my primary player and I have had nothing but issues with the setup. My buddy Timbo even did an amazing setup on it but it soon fell out of place.. It all comes down to using the vibrato and everything goes to hell. I am no Kevin Shields or Thurston Moore but I love to use my vibrato from time to time. The more people I talked to on OffsetForums and Reddit, they all seem to steer me towards the Mastery setup.. so here I am. All I need to do is put some flat wound 12’s on it and I will be happy again.

What I ordered:

  • M2 – Mastery Bridge
  • OMV (Offset Vibrato)
  • MVAT-S (Machined arm tip)
  • MST (Machined String Tree)

Before:

After:

NPD: Keeley Effects Loomer

So what is this and why does it exist?

This is a pedal by Keeley to nail some of the more notable shoegaze/dreampop tones. From a wall of fuzz (Big Muff Style) to 3 distinctive types of reverb.

Is this a “My Bloody Valentine in a box” pedal?

Not really. This can get you close to the sound to some degree. You have to realize, Kevin Shield’s sound is not from one specific pedal (he has MANY on his multiple boards) but a combination of pedals/rack gear, tone shaping and shear volume. This being said, its great to dime the fuzz and put it on reverse reverb and strum away and get a nice wall of sound and look at the floor and pretend your Kevin.

What I like about it:

The Fuzz side has some great tone controls (Flat, Full & Scooped) and can get a nice array of BMP fuzz tones. The focus reverb setting is really unique with its reverb being very dense and 2 very short delays in parallel (one set for 250ms, the other set for 380ms). The reverse setting is something you don’t find often in a pedal form, It is mostly in rack effects. The reverse is based on the Yamaha SPX90 which was/is known to be used by Kevin Shields. The modulated/pitch bend in the reverse mode is really fun to play with and does not feel gimmicky at all.

What I’m not crazy about:

I wish there was a way to switch the effect order so I can do the reverb side into the fuzz side. Not else really jumps out about this pedal.

Conclusion:

The fuzz side of things, I did have a good time with the built in fuzz but I found that the reverb settings can take other pedals with no problems. I really like using my Fuzz Factory clone into the reverse setting.

I have a Yamaha SPX90 that I got from a pawn shop on its way and I will love to put it through its paces to see its a better option for the reverse effect or can this pedal accomplish that need. For now, this pedal scratches the tone itch I was after and will minimize the amount of gear needed to achieve that tone.

Drive Dirty – SS/BS Mini

Small Sound / Big Sound makes so awesome, gritty pedals and I love his designs. I never got a chance to play any of his pedals but always lusted over the demo videos. The Mini was posted on FSB and Brian (Owner of SS/BS) added some advice on the schematic to say the least. My buddy David over at Effectslayouts made the etchable layout I used in this build.

SS/BS describes the mini as a fuzzy JFET overdrive and I think that’s a very accurate description of this pedal. It can go from sounds of a nice tube like OD to a failing tube OD to straight up fuzz. The Bias knob can help get it to tight sounding to a velcro/spuddering sound.

I did a reverse etch and made it look a bit “dirty” to match its sound. I am not 100% sold on these knobs and might swap them out.

I used the Grind Customs FX optical bypass  Lumen

Twin Peaks Tap Tremolo

I finished this up a couple months ago and realized I never posted it to my blog. This is a circuit layout from David Rolo who hangs out over at Madbean Forums. This tremolo can go from a standard harmonic tremolo to a syncopated chopped up rhythm machine.

Here is so more info taken from David’s site:

4 Tremolo modes:

  • Black Face (regular volume modulation)
  • Brown Face (modulation between bass and treble, like the Harmonic Vibrato in old Fender Brown Face amps)
  • Bass modulation only, with fix treble
  • Treble modulation only, with fix bass

8 different wave shapes provided by the powerful TAPLFO chip:
Sawtooth, Reversed Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, Sine, Lump, Reverse Lump, Random

Controls:
Rate, Division, Tone, Depth, Shape, Shape distortion & Tap Tempo

I programmed my own TAPLFO pic for this project.

(For some reason I could not get my iPhone to take a photo with the right white balance with this red paint. Hence the ugly green color in the first photo)


Looks like for the last picture I need to align that switch so it doesn’t ground out on the enclosure. lol