Category: Overdrive

Request: Menatone Howie

This one is supposed to give you some of that Dumble sound everyone and his dog is looking for. I’m not that happy with how the layout came out, I feel there’s a good bit of wasted space on the right-hand side, but the important thing in the end is how it sounds (no idea yet, let me know if you build it 😉 ).

This is going to be a bit of a challenge for a few reasons. You’ve got 7(!) pots and two extra switches with a lot of wiring to go with it, but the main challenge is going to to be tuning all those JFETs (check out the FAQ section for some info on this).

I’ve kept the component labeling identical to the original schematic with one exception; I changed the names of the JFETs and trim pots so that Q1 coincides with VR1 and so on. The FET/trimmer combination is also numbered according to where it comes in the signal path, so if you’re tuning this with e.g. an audio probe you start at Q1 and proceed from there in numerical order (remember that Q3 and Q4 can be taken out of the signal path based on the Drive switch).

Good luck! 🙂


Update (04.02.2013): Thanks to Graham for verifying this one 🙂

Updated: 4 February, 2013 — 23:33

Cornish SS-2

The schematic for this effect was recently posted on FSB and here’s a companion vero layout if you want to try it out. From what I hear the Cornish stuff is quite sought, not necessarily an indicator of quality of course 😉 Let me know if you build it and how you like it.


Update (20.01.2013): Now verified, thanks to Benno.

Updated: 20 January, 2013 — 16:43

Request: Xotic AC/RC Booster

Two more layouts today. These are for the AC- and RC-Boosters. They’re quite similar, but do note that there are a few differences, both in trace cuts and also in components. Have fun 🙂



Update (15.11.2012): The RC-Booster is verified as working, thanks to Henning Reyers.

Update (22.11.2012): Thanks to Henning for verifying the AC-Booster as well 🙂

Updated: 21 December, 2012 — 22:39

Secret Sauce

Here’s a DIY circuit from mictester over at FSB. It’s a basic overdrive with a good amount of added sag/compression as you turn up the gain. Quite cool.

I built it, and while the first version/schematic suffered some distortion at full gain, adding a small resistance in series with the gain pot solved this, and this is reflected in the layout. Verified.

Updated: 21 December, 2012 — 22:38

Request: BK Butler Tube Drive

This one was requested a long time ago. Here’s an overdrive pedal that uses an actual preamp tube, which is quite exciting.

Based on Bajaman’s schematic I created a layout with wiring for the tube pins (since I can’t imagine a tube socket fitting neatly on a piece of vero board). I left as much space as I felt was necessary for the large supply caps, but I’m afraid it could still end up being a bit crowded. The effect uses a preamp tube of type ECC83 / 12AX7, and I guess you would need some ventilation in your enclosure. The wiring explanation is a bit convoluted as well, sorry. I really should draw a proper diagram for this.

Do note that this effect requires 12v AC power and not DC like most other effects. Use a small mains transformer or a good 12v AC power supply, and be careful when playing with mains power. Don’t do it if you’re not sure how to do it safely.

Update (09.09.2012): Thanks to several of you for verifying this one!

There’s also been reports of this being quite noisy, and I’m happy to pass on coi2001’s suggested fix; leave the heater resistor off the board since that’s the main noise source. Run the 10 ohm resistor (R16) from the 12VAC source (probably a trafo in most cases) straight to the heaters.

Update (09.05.2013): Here’s my own build, in a slightly taller 1590BB enclosure I got from smallbear (I think they call it the 125BB) which gave just enough room for the tube. Left the heater resistor off the vero board, as was previously suggested, and set it up to receive 12VAC external power (no room for a transformer and power socket obviously).

TubeDriver buildTubeDriver gut shot

Sounds great and there’s very little hum, just a small amount when drive is full on! 🙂

Updated: 10 May, 2013 — 00:22
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