Category: Equalizer

Request: TC Sustain + Parametric EQ

This one’s an experiment and there’s a real chance this initial version won’t work correctly, so keep that in mind if you’re trying this right away.

I took the service manual schematic that’s floating around and removed the portions related to the effect switching and the buffered bypass (or so I believe at least).


And from this I put together a fairly large layout.


There are a few uncertainties here. I grounded the now-unused parts of the LM339 (from the switching stuff I left out). The original uses an XR4212, but unless there’s something special about this particular IC I’m sure most quad opamps with a compatible pinout would work (e.g. TL074). The circuit contains two trim pots that presumably will need to be adjusted for proper circuit operation. The schematic also hinted at two resistors possibly having to be adjusted based on some setup routine (R53 and R60; see the schematic notes). I’m also assuming you’ll have a hard time finding a dual C100k pot, but a linear taper one is probably a second best.

I’m going to try building this (I do like those compressors), but I’m missing a few components and will have to source them, probably from over-seas. Let me know what your experiences are if you are brave enough to give this an attempt. (A quick google search seems to suggest the AA/119 is in fact the 1N60 germanium diode which I have a few of, but I’d like suggestions on a replacement for the BC558Bs).

Update (16.03.2013): Built this and it seems to work 🙂 All controls respond as expected, and there’s lots of compression and equalization happening.

SustainParametricEq board

First off, I had a small typo on the initial layout that has now been fixed.

I kept R53 at 1M, but didn’t have a 6M8 so I used a 10M for R60. Both trim pots were initially set at 50% and I didn’t try tweaking them as it seemed to work (I’ll experiment with these when I stuff this thing in an enclosure). I used an LF347 for IC1, though a TL074 would have probably worked just as fine. I found a couple of BC558Bs in my drawer so I haven’t experimented with any replacement for these.

Next step; how to fit this in a 1590BB without using a hammer…

Updated: 16 March, 2013 — 23:47

3-band parametric EQ

Here’s my first attempt at a parametric equalizer. I combined parts of the graphic equalizer I did previously with information on how to make gyrators from R.G.Keen at Geofex. There’s a schematic and a vero layout, and I haven’t verified either yet. Updates to come soon.

Update (13.01.2011): Correctly labeled C1 as 150nF and not 150pF.

Update (24.02.2011): Built this circuit yesterday and I can hereby verify it as working.

Update (29.03.2011): Boxed this effect last night with a friend. This is my second take at using a transparent film for artwork and labeling, and it came out a lot nicer now. Only thing missing is a few (many!) knobs.

Update (20.10.2011): Fixed dead picture links.

Updated: 21 December, 2012 — 20:56

Systech Harmonic Energizer

I was reading discussions about various vintage effects on when I stumbled upon a thread about the Systech Harmonic Energizer. I knew I had heard the name before, but couldn’t recall where. After reading the thread it dawned on me that I had seen it at madbeanpedals. It’s one the great PCB projects he’s got on his site. If you like PCBs I encourage you to order one of his. If you’d rather make your own vero board here’s a layout for it.

Harmonic Energizer vero layout

Update (17.10.2010): Added missing resistor between Q1 source and C2. Thanks dune2k for spotting this.

Updated: 21 December, 2012 — 20:49

5-band EQ with gain

I made a vero layout of the equalizer project at, and opted for the 5-band variant with an added gain control rather than a 6-band variant. I’m fairly confident the layout is correct as I’ve gone over it several time, and I’ve finished the board.

5-band EQ w/ gain vero layout

There are so many pots I haven’t yet had the time to attach them and test the circuit. Will have to do that once it’s time to box this thing.

Update: Boxed the EQ today and realized I had the positive and negative pins on he TL074s swapped (layout has been updated). An hour later I also discovered the gain pot had gone bad and needed a replacement. Still missing knobs and labels, but works like a charm. After having played with it for a while I have to say I really like this thing.

5-band EQ with gain gut shot5-band EQ with gain board fixed5-band EQ with gain finished

Update (01.04.2012): So this has been up for a long time with a small mistake. After having been reminded time and time again I finally updated the layout. Sorry people. Revision #1 now has C14 with the correct polarity.

Updated: 21 December, 2012 — 20:41
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