Category: DIY

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

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

GCFX SuperNature

The Grind Customs FX SuperNature PCB is a clone of a 1976 Coloursound Jumbo Tonebender at its finest.

It has the girth of a Muff (shares quite a bit of the same topology), but with the fizz of the older fuzzes like the MkII.


This PCB was actually populated by Juansolo and sent to me to play with. I could not put it down! It sounds awesome with my Gibson SG ran into my Bassman 135 2X15 cab… earth shattering.

Gut shot: Used the Grind Customs Lumen optical bypass.

First Transmission

It’s been awhile since I built anything as the heat here in Fresno is killing me in the garage. I figured boxing up an effect that I had populated already would be a good way to get back up and going again. This is a Gristleizer on a MusicPCB board. I populated it about 4 months ago and unfortunately just never did anything with it. I really liked the effect but did not have a real “need” to get it boxed. I recently ran across a few YouTube videos on it and got excited about it once again…to the bench to box it up. I am so glad I boxed this up as much fun was had with my Juno-60 and this thing!

Since this circuit was made popular by the band Throbbing Gristle ( Genesis P-Orridge), but I decided to go with artwork from Psychic TV era. I did a reverse etch of the artwork pulled from Google Images and meshed them together in Photoshop. I’m a little bummed that I burned the paint a bit when wet sanding on the bottom left hand corner… oh well.

I used a Grind Customs FX Lumen optical switch for bypass and tried to keep it as clean as possible.

Keys on the wall: Pt2

Keys on the wall

I have wanted my synths on the wall for some time and had a heck of time finding information on how to do it… reasonably priced. I have friends that have used the slatwall and brackets like retail stores (Guitar Center) does but it can get costly. I found a couple sets of String Swing wall mount brackets that work with slatwall used online. I then was on the hunt for a piece of slatwall panel but I really wanted to find it locally since shipping would be a pain. I found that Lowes carries a product called Gladiator for garage and outdoor organization. It looked like a little bigger version of slatwall panels. With a little bit of modding on the String Swing bracket, it worked out perfect.

Here is my Roland Juno-60 sitting pretty on the wall.

I could not ask for anything better at this point. This was exactly what I envisioned. One more tier for one more synth and I will call this wall complete.  Another cool thing about the Gladiator product from Lowes is that they sell shelves, mount & hooks. I am going to have to put some cable holders and a nice hook for headphones.

Sea Monster

This is a Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine work a like. This is one of Madbean’s layouts from the Etchers Paradise DIY Project. I was really interested in this build after hearing a few demos of the pedal and decided to give it a go. I populated and verified that it was a working layout but… there was an issue with the “Dimension” control that I missed. Mine would get a feedback loop when turned pass noon but I thought this was normal. All the demo videos I watched didn’t really turn that knob past noon so I though all was good. Little did I know that Mark over at Tagboardeffects made a vero version from Madbean’s schematic and had the same issues and verified that this was not normal. Some back and forth went down on the Madbean support forum on fixes and it seems its all down to R9 and C9. Once I made the proper changes everything now sounds great. No more feedback issues and I now have a great sounding “slap back” with the Dimension control.

I wanted to go with a font that looked like the original Sea Machine font and added a bunch of tentacles. The artwork was pulled from Google Images and the font was from DaFont. I did a reverse etch and painted it a really dark purple. Looks black in photos.

Tried to keep it as clean as possible and went with the Grind Customs Lumen optical bypass switching.

Voltages to come.

1590A Buffered Bypass Looper

I am wanting a way to add a buffered output to the input of my Roland RE-201 Space Echo and utilize a bypass. The Space Echo does have its own external bypass switch but you signal still passes through the Space Echo. I wanted something with true bypass but a buffer on the effect output. I chose to use the simple Klon buffer on a layout by Storyboardist. But there is a catch, I want all this to fit in a 1590A enclosure. I messed with some calipers and my drill template in photoshop until I got a nice tight design and did a prototype. So far everything is coming together great. I chose to go with the optical bypass Lumen PCB by Grind Customs since I love the DPDT switches.

I will update when I get this all buttoned up and tested.

Rullywow Eaglet

This is a great work a like of the Eathquaker Devices Talon on a layout by Rullywow.  This is such a great sounding overdrive/distortion. It handles chords really well and can give you that classic psychedelic rock crunch. This will definitely get boxed up soon and placed on my board.