DIY processor effects

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by jack_brown12001, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    Ok guys now i know this may sound a bit strange and out of the way but i just thought I'd share somethings with my fellow IGTIANs.

    Being low on cash for processor effects and all that I thought why not make a few processors on my own, so after a couple of google searches i came across this site called

    They have most effects and also the PCB designs and parts list. So all my low-on-cash buddies with a little soldering experience, try these out.

    I find it like a puzzle, get the parts, make the pcb and then just put the parts according to the respective layouts and then solder to finish.

    I think flood is already way ahead on this.

    Making the PCB could be a bit troublesome, but these can be directly connected as most of them have small simple connections.

    I have around 5 home made PCB boards ready and am on my way to get the electronics installed, then soon aahhh those ***y sounds.........wohooooooooooooo

    and just to mention, I am in no way affiliated to, just found it a cool site for fx projects

    anyone want some info on doing their own PCB boards do a google search or if mods permit maybe I could describe my home made pcb approach here

    happy FXing !!!
    1 person likes this.
  2. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    thats very good info.. but donno how feasible for a layman.. reps comin all the way..
  3. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    well thanks man rick for reading this atleast. Regarding the feasibility for a layman, i think its quite feasible coz honestly a couple of days ago i was a freaking layman myself. With a little research, patience and hardwork,,, i'm getting a couple of things right. Now i proudly have about 5 pcbs of effects and 1 for a 22 channel midi controller (to play drums).

    The shittiest part is getting the pcb layouts but on the site they have it all, the pcbs can be made using the photo transfer method (google has alot of info) and i can lay out my personal experiences if any one needs help.

    the parts mentioned are available at most electronics/ hobby shops, i really look forward to my projects and hope to put up a few pics soon, well to start with i think i'll put in the pcb pics.
  4. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    thats cool buddy.. but i doubt that the resistance and capacitance values given in the circuit diagram will be accurate.. as per my experience u have to vary them to get the output.. 99% u have to divert from the actual circuit.. but i wud love to see ur own fx proc in working condition... All the Best for that..
  5. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    thanks man, hope to put up an article as soon as I get my proc up and working
  6. flood

    flood New Member

    congratulations on your new hobby which will soon be the worst addiction ever.

    tonepad is brilliant - follow the layout and the values and you will be rewarded. ALL of my tonepad projects have worked immediately with no troubleshooting. till date, i have built:

    1. sansamp gt-2
    2. mxr blue box
    3. mxr envelope filter
    4. tone bender mk II x2
    5. BSIAB II (not sure if that was tonepad)
    6. tube screamer (actually, somebody else built it, i resoldered and troubleshot it)

    ...from tonepad layouts. work perfectly. still have to do new sansamps (i used cheap components on the first one and it was extremely noisy - i abandoned it when i left germany) and also have a PCB left for a small stone.

    other great sites are and

    i started building effects about 8 years ago, but only very intensively since 2 years. from my experience, they aren't very critical devices - values do not make that big a difference in a number of places to get the effect working, but must be fine tuned if you want something really good.

    i love seeing people pick up the soldering iron and go their own way - i did, and i LOVE it. it kills my social life, but i've learned a LOT. expecially not to waste money on overhyped, overpriced "boutique" FX when a simple tube screamer will do the job after a cap and opamp change.

    soon, you'll be investigating HOW the effects work. then come mods, then come own desiigns... enjoy it all.
  7. rickkkyrich

    rickkkyrich Guest

    ohh.. thats inspiring.. though i'm an Electrical and Electronics Engineer myself but i still run away from all this :).. now i have a reason to get back to basics.. i'll try it out after i'm back from my 2 weeks vacations starting tomoro..
  8. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    thanks man flood,knew you were way ahead on this,i've just picked up this freaking addiction,well I wrote a simple text article on PCB making at home (my experiences) and it worked out pretty fine for me, since PCBs are so important to electronics

    So will just try and upload this thing on here just in case someone wants to know the procedures, not sure if it would be of any help though.

    Attached Files:

  9. flood

    flood New Member

    almost the same thing that i do, only i discovered at some point of time that the plastic backing of adhesive printable labels worked MUCH better than magazine paper. try it out if you can.

    it doesn't always work out perfectly... needs patience and understanding your iron.

    there are videos on youtube demonstrating the toner transfer method using a hacked lamination machine.
  10. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    Sure man flood, will think about the plastic backing, however I'm quite doubtful there as from the looks the backing seems it would be hard to dissolve in water. Magazine papers and plain ones work just fine for me.

    The lamination machine trick does work but for us, low on cash people I think the iron is my best play thing. Using this process, I got 5 boards from the tonepad site ready, etched and perfect, now only the parts need to go in and then its effects all the way.

    And yeah I too have a 22 channel edrum board done, the biggest screw up i find is drilling the damn holes on the boards, each one I do with a manual hand drill. Do you know a better process - something like a DIY hand drill for these things. Thanks man...
  11. flood

    flood New Member

    the backing peels right off. no need to wet it, in most cases... just make sure you arent too enthusiastic with the oven and end up melting the plastic onto the copper cause then it does get irritating.

    ahahahaha i did the edrum boards too! i think i have 2 logic boards and 6 preamp boards, permanantly on the backburner cause i don't play drums.

    i use a proxxon micromot drill with a drill stand, running it off an old computer power supply i salvaged from the electro trash at the office. best 5k i ever spent.
  12. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    Hey man that's freaking great, the drill, I have a pain in drilling the holes on the boards, are these drills available in india.
  13. flood

    flood New Member

    yep. not cheap though. the dealer is in coimbatore, i bought it cheap on a trip to germany. cost me 35€ for the drill and about 40€ for the stand, took the 19% VAT back at the airport. in hindsight i should have spent a bit more and bought the next powerful drill as well as the power supply, because you can't regulate the speed with the PC power supply that i'm using. excellent quality precision tools that come in handy in a bunch of places. should outlive me, perhaps the drill will need replacement some time down the line if i keep drilling metal with it.... :-/

    visit the international site for product infos.
  14. flood

    flood New Member

    one tip: do not bother searching for 3PDTs or hammmond boxes in india. nnot happening. i''ve been trying for 8 years, trust me blindly on this. the only hope is ansar of BE3, but i know he doesn't stock boxes either. i'm planning to design my own using 2mm sheet, but don't know if i can get them manufactured the way i want them.

    my favorite is - i usually get some shipped to friends who live in the states and are coming down. they're the cheapest option by far, unless you feel like contacting New Sensor and placing an order for 200 3PDTs.
  15. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    Thanks man for all that info, regarding the boxes, honestly i'm not so sure i wanna go about getting them, coz they'd end up freakin expensive and the whole DIY idea is to save freakin cash. Wat i've planned is i've got like five proc PCBs on one big board (5 etched on one), to kinda save space and keep the freakin things together, I was planning on putting them into just one plain box with something like individual switches for them with their individual jacks and stuff. That would enable be to get them looped easily without much hassle. yeah it would be pain at times, when i want just one effect (will have to change the jacks) but i think i can live with it as long as its at home.. wat are your views on this.
  16. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member was just it poss to get an amp know one that could handle a guitar and maybe a keyboard. I believe solid state amps are built for this. Got couple of schematics but have doubts regarding the availability of the freakin ICs.

    Lemme know man... thanks for your help mate.............cheers
  17. jack_brown12001

    jack_brown12001 New Member

    sorry guys my pc keeps acting strange so dup post was entered
  18. flood

    flood New Member

    i've never bothered with solid state amps. not my scene. most TDA ics should be readily available. i might build a solid state gainclone as a hi-fi/monitor amp... the LM3875 and 3886 are available too, but make sure you spend a little bit extra and buy the real thing - there are a lot of fakes on the market.

    vegakit sells a 100W "electric guitar amplifier" kit for some 700 bucks. add another 300 for a transformer. i'm sure it sounds like shit (its probably an old kustom or something), but maybe you can run it clean.

    if you're asking me i i would build one for you - sorry, have no experience whatsoever with solid state amps to date, and i have way too many projects to finish right now. and it would be a LOT more expensive than buying a bog-standard stranger or kustom.

    don't know about putting 5 FX in one box. i hope you don't plan to step on it if you're thinking of using thin sheet metal. i'm actually planning to do something similar - 7-8 different really, really horrible fuzz effects, feedback loop and a bunch of LFOs all in parallel as a desktop solid state noise processor. but yeah, it's not going to be stepped on (i may relay control it though) and it's just an experiment as such.

    one warning. putting 5 FX in one box can get really confusing with the wiring, though it's really not. also, make sure you have a good power supply filtering going. build in a dedicated power supply with about 750mA output, at best. it'S a lot more than you need, but you will reduce the ripple greatly.

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