Monday, 16 January 2017

Wren and Cuff Phat Phuk B

From the Source:

Here’s what the Phat Phuk is:
A germanium/JFET booster. A unique sounding pedal which adds a beautiful sheen to your bass’ top end and a bit of grit to the overall tone. It’s a fantastic pedal for situations where you want a lift in your overall level, during a chorus or bridge for example, with a bit of bawdy bump via the germanium transistor.

One nice feature is also the more modern JFET transistor at the input which keeps the pedal impedance-friendly when it comes to active bass pickups. This helps the Phat Phuk to remain consistent whether you put a P-Bass in front of it, or a Warwick Thumb.
Another recommended use: As a simple preamp when going direct into your DAW. Helps to de-sterilize your bass’s direct tone and add a little life before the signal is converted to ones and zeros.

Something else that was considered when creating the Phat Phuk B. Many clean-boosts offer way too much boost in my opinion. In any normal playing situation, including intentionally slamming the front end of a tube amp to induce the amp’s natural overdrive, one really only needs a hefty thump to get the job done. There’s nothing wrong with having a large amount of volume on tap, but a problem that can sometimes occur is a lack of ability to fine tune the amount of boost you want. When the sweep of the knob goes from zero to melt-down with one turn of the knob, it gets tough to really dial in a precise amount of boost. Also a slight bump of the boost knob (with a foot or nervous “live show” jitters) can send things out of control. I know because its happened to me. Went for the big chorus during a song, hit the clean boost (not mine, this was long before Wren and Cuff existed) and tore the heads off the people in the front, pissed off the sound man, and pretty much ruined that song. Therefore, the volume sweep was reduced with the Phatty. You still get a big gob of gain, and probably won’t ever need to run the pedal “at 11″, but the trade -off is worth the extra control. Just an example of what Wren and Cuff prides itself on: pedals that sound superior, look beautiful, can take a beating, and are made with the “real world” player in mind.
In other words: A meticulous attention to detail.

A few notes:

1 - I posted the trace, board pictures, and schematic in the request section, here so everyone can take a look and check the trace.

2 - the Germanium Transistor in Q2 is a Chinese Transistor with the markings removed, but what can be made out is AX9. I do not know if it's NPN or PNP or its hfe as I can't remove it or any other parts as the board is really cheap making it damn near impossible to take out. So for now, if you go for this build you'll need to try a PNP and NPN, although I'm 99% sure it's PNP.

3 - Once this is verified shouldn't be too difficult to adapt the board to the other versions, except the Mercy Phuk, which i have as well and is IC based.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

HBE Germania

"The Germania is Homebrew's take on the classic Rangemaster treble booster from the 1960s, and offers up to 20dB of gain to drive your amp.
In its 'hi-fi' setting, you get a full range boost, but a 'lo-fi' setting offers a more focused boost in one of three frequency ranges controlled with the 3Q switch. Boost in hi-fi mode is bright, with some germanium-driven grit to it, and as you turn the knob clockwise there's a massive amount available. In lo-fi mode, the three settings offer cut in the bottom but different midrange emphasis.
This pedal works best with an amp that's already overdriven, and especially one that's dark-sounding - kick it in to take it up another level and squeeze out some harmonics - it did a fine job with our old non top-boost AC30. It's also great with a dirt pedal.
The Germania can deliver a raw and aggressive boost, but that tonal shift won't necessarily suit all amp settings, so try it out with your own." 
You can find the original FSB thread here.

Durham Sex Drive

Original info:
"I designed the SEX DRIVE pedal to fulfill the very particular needs of good friend Charlie Sexton.
 The goal was to build a “clean-boost” pedal that would supply additional bottom end and sustain when needed. The pedal would have to provide a boost that would not alter the original quality of the amplifiers natural tone. Most important, was to not add a “nasal” tone like the other pedals in his effects graveyard.
The result was the SEX DRIVE pedal"
You can find the original FSB thread here.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Electro Harmonix Frequency Analyzer

Here are two layouts for a classic Ring Modulator.
The first one is for a vintage version (schematic available here).
The DIP version of 1496 had a different pinout.
The second one is for the modern vesion and it could potentially fit in a 125B size box (there is no schematic but a PCB layout here).
Not sure if they have been verified.
You should be able to use Mark's Bipolar Voltage Converter.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Bartolini Tube-It

Came across a schematic for this awhile ago as it seemed interesting. It's supposed to be a fairly rare overdrive pedal fetching up to $500. Here's some information I found about it:

The rare 1980s Bartolini tube-it Distortion Overdrive pedal made in Livermore, California, USA. Makes any amp sound like a Marshall. This may be the only pedal Bartolini ever made. Three position switch for more or less overdrive -- plus treble, bass, sustain and output controls.

It was designed to emulate the distortion characteristics of an early 80s Marshall JCM-800. Probably made in the mid 80's. Three way boost switch unloads tons of gain from mild to overkill. The circuit is set in a giant block of epoxy so there are no clones or schematics available.

Does anything from smooth, cleaner OD to straight up blistering, sustaining lead tones. Has the three way boost for different tone styles. Can do TS-9, Marshall, or its own thing all together. Controls include bass, treble, sustain , and output.

Whip the bottom off the tube-it and inside there's a little trim pot for adjusting the sound to be bit more, or less present. All models may not have this option. The trim is a small plastic wheel (see photo in the Disqus section) similar to the color to the exterior paint job.

Some of the tube-its were said to be mercilessly treble boosted. The pedal can get a sound like a healthy Tube Screamer in the first position. Now up the boost one notch, to add a little more drive, and fullness.

Perfect for lower output pickups. Need some grind? Just flip the boost switch to position three. It's at least double the increase in gain, as between positions one and two. The circuit is now presenting significant drive, and a fuller, slightly distorted tone. Let's not forget the absence of tone suckage when it's not kicked in. A very fine, versatile pedal.

The only thing I changed was make the high low switch 2 different switches so you can control each one independently.