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Old January 9th, 2013, 04:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Going to build a pedal from a kit - any advice?

Hello, in the next month or so I'm going to buy a Fuzz Factory clone from pedalparts.co.uk and build it myself.

See: http://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/SweetyP...4_7926637.aspx

I've never built a pedal before from scratch or from a kit so just wondering if anyone would have any advice/tips/tricks? I know the soldering basics so I shouldn't struggle too much.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Old January 9th, 2013, 05:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, as long as you know how to solder, and assuming the kit comes with some basic instructions, you should have no problems! Are you going to go for the pre-drilled box?
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm thinking of doing this one. I think it's more of a Fuzz Factory than the one you linked to:

http://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/Filth_F...4_5439185.aspx

I've only ever built a Bazz Fuss and have a couple of projects due to arrive from Mammoth before I get to this so I'd love to hear how you get on with this.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 06:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by seventyeight View Post
I'm thinking of doing this one. I think it's more of a Fuzz Factory than the one you linked to:

http://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/Filth_F...4_5439185.aspx

I've only ever built a Bazz Fuss and have a couple of projects due to arrive from Mammoth before I get to this so I'd love to hear how you get on with this.
Wow I didn't even see that on the website, now I'm torn! The website makes out the the "Sweety Puss" is a clone of a pedal which is a clone of the Foxx Tone Machine - I assume this means the Zvex Fuzz Factory? It also gives this demo and says it sounds like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paGO9BeGMos

My brother plays bass and wants their Wooly Mammoth clone so I'm gonna build that too.

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Originally Posted by Jefe View Post
Well, as long as you know how to solder, and assuming the kit comes with some basic instructions, you should have no problems! Are you going to go for the pre-drilled box?
Yea gonna go for the pre-drilled box and I have a pretty sweet idea for the design of the box too - not the main thing I know but can't wait to design it! ha!
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Go for it!! Shame you can't have the enclosures pre-sprayed like Mammoth and a few others do.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 07:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Go for it!! Shame you can't have the enclosures pre-sprayed like Mammoth and a few others do.
I'm gonna do a custom wrap on it anyway so that doesn't really bother me. Can't wait to get this ordered!
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow I didn't even see that on the website, now I'm torn! The website makes out the the "Sweety Puss" is a clone of a pedal which is a clone of the Foxx Tone Machine - I assume this means the Zvex Fuzz Factory?
Foxx Tone Machine and Zvex Fuzz Factory are two entirely different pedals.
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Old January 9th, 2013, 10:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by seventyeight View Post
I'm thinking of doing this one. I think it's more of a Fuzz Factory than the one you linked to:

http://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/Filth_F...4_5439185.aspx
Yep, this is a fuzz factory clone.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 04:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by OSFlank View Post

My brother plays bass and wants their Wooly Mammoth clone so I'm gonna build that too.
I'm not sure if you've seen these but there are videos of the Wooly Mammoth build...

Part 1
http://youtu.be/MM9KdI9MunY

Part 2
http://youtu.be/A_8OEcFhN0Q

I like Lee's style. Definitely going to order a couple too.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 06:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Cheers for all the replies, I'm gonna have to look into the two pedals a bit more and decide which one I would prefer, though the Sweety Puss looks to be more than adequate!

Thanks for those videos, they'll be a great help.

Can anyone give me an idea of the differences/pros/cons of the Foxx Tone Machine and the Zvex Fuzz Factory?
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Old January 10th, 2013, 06:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Funny how the Sweet Puss is half the price of the Filth Factory yet it has double the components. Neat PCB layout in both cases btw ...

As for tips, definitely use transistor sockets to protect the most valuable component on your board even if it's for the weak lol. eBay UK
I'm sure you can get some chinese ones for 1/10th of that price
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Old January 10th, 2013, 07:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Funny how the Sweet Puss is half the price of the Filth Factory yet it has double the components. Neat PCB layout in both cases btw ...

As for tips, definitely use transistor sockets to protect the most valuable component on your board even if it's for the weak lol. eBay UK
I'm sure you can get some chinese ones for 1/10th of that price
I'm new to this stuff too. What's 'wrong' with using the sockets? Is it a space/height thing? Surely you'd want them protected?!

I know heat can damage the Ge transistors but are sockets used so you only solder the socket rather than the transistor making it easy to swap others in and out?!

Is that a dumb noob question?

Last edited by seventyeight; January 10th, 2013 at 08:25 AM.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 07:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I was going to order one of those too, can you let me know how you get on please, maybe write a review? Cheers!!
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:07 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I was going to order one of those too, can you let me know how you get on please, maybe write a review? Cheers!!
I won't be building for maybe a month or so, but will definitely let you all know how I get on. I'm amazed by the clone/kit community out there, the resources are endless!
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Can anyone give me an idea of the differences/pros/cons of the Foxx Tone Machine and the Zvex Fuzz Factory?
I don't have any experience with either of these pedals, although I've been wanting to build a Fuzz Factory. Your best bet is to look up videos for both to get an idea of what they can both do. From what I've listened to, these are both in the same "family" of fuzz.. gnarly, splatty, etc.

The Tone Machine is known for being able to do that 'octave up' thing, which can be pretty cool. I don't know if the Fuzz Factory can do that.

The Fuzz Factory has more knobs, which obviously gives you more control, but I don't know if that's a good thing. People talk about how the Fuzz Factory can get all kinds of different sounds by tweaking all those knobs, but sometimes, I'd rather just set the knobs and get right in to playing.

One of the interesting controls on the Fuzz Factory is the "stab" or "stability" control, which simply acts as a voltage starve. With the stab turned all the way up, you're giving the ciricuit the full 9volts from the battery, and this is where the pedal will act most like a traditional Fuzzface type of fuzz. As you turn the stab knob down, it acts as a "dying battery simulator" of sorts.. as you dial down to 8 volts, 7 volts, 5, 3, etc, the pedal gets all weird and glitchy, in a good way - not for every day use, but fun to play around with (I've tried it on other fuzz circuits, but the Fuzz Factory apparently lends itself well to this type of "dying battery simulator").

Like I said, I don't have experience with either of these pedals, so I'm just passing on what little I do know, hope this helps!
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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These are not dumb questions!

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Originally Posted by seventyeight View Post
I'm new to this stuff too. What's 'wrong' with using the sockets? Is it a space/height thing? Surely you'd want them protected?!

I know heat can damage the Ge transistors but are sockets used so you only solder the socket rather than the transistor making it easy to swap others in and out?!
You've got the idea. Sockets do make it convenient to swap components in and out. And yes, Ge trannys are more sensitive to heat (although you can fry a Silicon device if you overheat it), so sometimes it's better to use sockets if you're new to soldering. You solder the sockets in place, then plug in the Ge trannys, so your soldering iron never comes close to them. Ge trannys are also pretty expensive, so this isn't a bad idea if you're a noob.

There is a downside to sockets. Given enough time and vibration, those trannys could work themselves loose in the sockets, causing an intermittent connection, and eventually a complete open circuit. I've never actually seen that happen, but it could. There's nothing like having those trannys soldered in to place, nice and solid. And in my experience, once I've decided I like a certain pedal, I never go and swap those socketed components, so the sockets are kinda pointless after that.
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Old January 10th, 2013, 08:58 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm new to this stuff too. What's 'wrong' with using the sockets? Is it a space/height thing? Surely you'd want them protected?!
Absolutely nothing wrong
I was simply paraphrasing the web page (middle section in bold)
http://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/Filth_F...4_5439185.aspx


Quote:
I know heat can damage the Ge transistors but are sockets used so you only solder the socket rather than the transistor making it easy to swap others in and out?!
Is that a dumb noob question?
Spot on ! And no such thing as dumb questions
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Old January 10th, 2013, 09:07 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Keep on with the "dumb, noob" questions, it means that anyone else who is too shy to ask gets the answers too!!!!!! There are NO dumb questions!!!!!
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Old January 10th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Absolutely nothing wrong
I was simply paraphrasing the web page (middle section in bold)
http://shop.pedalparts.co.uk/Filth_F...4_5439185.aspx

Spot on ! And no such thing as dumb questions
Presumably you clip the legs of the transistor and then drop it into the socket?

Got the 'Electronics for Dummies' book and order the Tonefiend kits from Mammoth. Buying a soldering iron this weekend. 30W is fine for this right?

Maybe I'll start blogging my experiences. Maybe it could be a group thing.
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Old January 11th, 2013, 04:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yep but test the board before cutting anything.

30W seems a bit low, I'd prefer 40-50W with adjustable power/temperature. Depends also on the solder you use, with 0.75mm wire you might be fine with a 30W though.

Ideally you'd have a second (bigger) iron with a larger tip for soldering the pots, jacks and switches.

The global idea behind all this is that you want the joint area to heat up as quick as possible and to minimize the time where the iron is touching the joint. This way the heat remains locally at the joint location and does not have time to spread over the board. For instance, if the solder is not flowing after 10 seconds then there is probably something wrong (not enough power, wire too thick, whatever ...)
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