DIY Projects!

DIY, DIY Guitar Effect, guitar effect, Uncategorized

After a long delay (where did two years go?!?) I am going to start updating the site with new content… long overdue!

I’ve started by updating the site. I think it looks pretty cool. Nice and simple.

I’ve also just added a DIY projects page which will contain various DIY projects I have completed. Schematics, and links to buy PCB’s from OSH Park can all be found in the project info.

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News…

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Been a long time since my last post… 2014 has flown by!

Below are a couple of different builds that have been built up at SJ Effects past couple of months.

I have also been building some up the ‘standard’ line to order (Tesla, Goldcrest, Gray Train) which are being well received by customers.
I am also currently working on a new revision of the Tesla Cannon fuzz that will have some new features, and will also have easier external access to the clipping switches (customers have found experimenting with different combinations fun).

I hope to have that one ready for early 2015 along with another fuzz design.

There are also other exciting projects in the pipeline that I am working on, but I want to keep them under wraps until they are 100% complete and ready to rock!

I also have some other designs that I am hoping to release as ‘open source’ for fellow DIY’ers to build up, order PCB’s for etc.

Hope everyone has a good Christmas… and take it easy on those mince pies!

Steve @ SJ Effects

CE2 Chorus Clone

Open Range Silicon Treble Booster

Fetoplex FET Preamp

New Standard Pedal: Goldcrest Boost + EQ!

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I’ve added another pedal to the SJ Effects line; the Goldcrest Boost + EQ.

I’ve been working on this one for a while, and have finally got it to the point where it is ready for release.

It’s a preamp and EQ (based on the old ’tilt’ hifi eq circuits) pedal that has been optimised for intuitive use and great results.

It sounds great, and utilises audiophile quality OPA2134 op-amps throughout the signal chain.

I’m currently in the process of getting some demo clips and video together.

Further info, prices, and ordering details can be found here: https://sj-effects.com/pedals-for-sale/goldcrest-preampeq/

 

Champion Fuzz

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I had some spare time so finished this one for myself over the weekend. It’s a clone of the old B+M Champion Fuzz Unit, which is very similar to the Jumbo Tone Bender, which in turn is a derivative of the Big Muff circuit.

The B+M Fuzz Unit was the pedal supposedly used by Edwin Collins on the Girl Like You solo (you know the one: da derr da der der derrr, da der da der). Great song, and great guitar tones!

The PCB had been sat built up on my work bench for nearly a year, so I thought it was about time to finish it off.

I put it in a massive enclosure with ridiculously big knobs because, well, why not!

To my ears, the circuit sounds best when used with bass guitar. There is something lacking when used with normal guitar, and I find the conventional Big Muff circuit (and it’s derivatives like my Tesla Cannon) to be a much better fit.

If you are a bass player though, it is fair to say this circuit is a must try.

Champion Fuzz Unit

Champion Fuzz Unit Gut Shot

SJEffects_Champion_Fuzz_Schem

Tremolo + Vibrato

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Another recent Tremolo + Vibrato 2 in 1 build I completed.

The enclosure is a lovely colour, one of my favourites.

Unfortunately my supplier has stopped selling them and I only have a few more in stock😦

The tremolo is based on the classic EA Tremolo, and the vibrato is based on the Tim Escobedo Wobbletron circuit (modified for Vactrol LFO control) for a Magnatone amp style vibrato effect.

Both circuits have independant speed and depth controls. The toggle switch selects between the circuits. The volume control is a master volunme. The tremolo has quite a lot of output volume so can also be used as a boost when the depth control is set to min.

Vibrato and Tremolo 2 in 1

Vibrato and Tremolo 2 in 1

Vibrato and Tremolo 2 in 1 Gutshot

Magnatron (Analogue Vibrato)

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A custom Vibrato build I have recently done for a client.

Gave it the name ‘Magnatron’, and I think it came out nice.

I always put a lot of effort into the wiring and construction of my pedals. I feel that it is important that they look as neat on the inside as they do on the outside (no spaghetti wiring here😉 )!.

Finished in Blue Hammerite, as used on a lot of my builds (I really love this colour).

Nice and subtle vibrato; just the right depth and tonality, and not too overpowering

Anyway, hope you dig the pics!

Magnatron 1

Magnatron 2

Magnatron 3

Silicon Fuzz Box

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Been a while since my last post!

This is another Fuzz Box I recently built up.

I wanted to go for a vintage look with this build; an homage to the old 60’s Fuzz Faces.

Its a classic Fuzz Face, with hand selected BC108 Transistors, and some other small tweaks and modifications.

I also used ‘Mojo’ parts (Vishay and Cornell Dubilier caps etc.). I’m not so certain that the use of ‘mojo’ parts enhances tone, but they certainly look cool!

As with most Fuzz Face circuits, this thing sounds best placed first in the signal chain.

Silicon Fuzz Box1

Silicon Fuzz Box Gutshot

 

Why you should give a chuff, about the Buff…

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Buffer

First of all… yeah I know… what a cheesy post title!

Wampler (fine pedals made in the USA) have posted a neat article on their blog about buffers, and why every guitarist should have one in their gig bag.

Read it here:

http://wamplerpedals.com/blog/buffers-un-baffled/

As well as being incredibly useful, buffers are also pretty simple circuits to DIY.

A good overview of buffer circuits, with schematics , can be found on the excellent AMZ site here:

http://www.muzique.com/lab/buffers.htm

Also, if you are after a buffer, and don’t want to go the DIY route, or shell out on a boutique/bespoke solution, all Boss pedals are buffered bypass, so placing any old Boss pedal in your signal chain is an easy way to get in on the buffering action.

Any old Boss will do as a buffer…

Sometimes people complain about their tone being too ‘bright’ when using a buffer, but the reality is they are hearing how their guitar really sounds, before long cable runs cut the treble frequencies of your signal.

In my opinion, the real fun happens when using a combination of True Bypass pedals, and a good quality buffer in your chain.

MagnaTrem

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Another custom build that I recently shipped!

Magnatrem!

This is a combination of Tremolo and Vibrato circuits in one pedal.

The customer wanted the pedal to have a  a similar look to the old Maganatone amps. It also features independant speed and depth controls for both the Tremolo, and Vibrato.

The tremolo circuit (based on the classic EA Tremolo) also works really well as a booster with the depth set to minimum!

New Guitar Day (Tele Build)!

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The day all us guitarist’s love… New Guitar Day!

NGD! Tele 1

I recently finished my Tele parts-caster build. I was going for a Gibson/Fender ‘Tele Junior’ look and vibe.

The body is a Fender Roadworn that I scored on Ebay. I routed it for a neck humbucker. I know the mixed opinions about relic’d/worn bodies, but I think it looks cool, so that’s all that matters right?😉

The neck is a Warmoth stock neck. It is their Boat shape, which is on the chunky side, and feels really nice (similar to my Les Paul).  As a comparison it’s a lot comfier than the neck on my Baja Tele (which may even be a smaller profile). The Radius is Warmoth’s 10-16″ compound profile. The necks got a rosewood board, and the main neck material is maple with a brown lacquer finish. I was going to splash out on a full rosewood neck, but the costs were just a bit too high for me to stomach!

Most of the hardware is bought from Axes’R’Us, and WD Music in the UK. Wilkinson compensated saddle bridge and Kluson ‘Button’ tuners  for a little bit of a Gibson vibe. The hardware is all aged to look a little worn. I cut the Pick-guard on a jigsaw to get that shape.

Controls are a standard 3 way switch with independant 500K volume controls for each pickup (I never use the tone control on my other Tele).

Pickups are the Seymour Duncan Lil’59 for Tele in the bridge and Creamery UK pickups ‘Hot Swing-O’ at the neck.

The Creamery pickup is beautiful; probably my favourite Tele neck pickup I have tried so far (link here). You get a really nice open neck tone (almost Strat like), but with  more grit and mid-range punch. This pickup is perfect for rhythm playing, and blends really well when mixed with the bridge pickup.

The Seymour Duncan in the bridge I am not so sure about yet, I am still looking to see what other options are available for HB size tele single coils.

Anyway, I’m loving it so far, and its playing and sounding great… I hope you like the pics!

NGD! Tele 2

NGD! Tele 3