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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

DIY Pedal Building

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by sliberty, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. sliberty

    sliberty Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 19, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    I have built pedals on and off as a hobby since I was a kid reading Guitar Player Magazine's articles by Craig Anderton. I used to use Radio Shack perf board, then vero board, and now mostly pre-made PCBs. Recently, I have found some very good sources for effect pedal PCBs, and I've built 4 pedals that I am very happy with. I'll mention their common name rather than the PCB name (which you might not recognize).

    Analog Man King of Tone
    Paul C Timmy
    Venuram Jan Ray
    Vertex Steel String Clean Drive


    Using PCBs and PCB mounted pots results in a super neat pedal internally, and if you build a pedal that is to your liking, its very satisfying as a player. Component prices are minimal in general, but overall costs associated with building pedals will vary somewhat depending on how you deal with the enclosure (raw, prepainted, predrilled, etc.). When compared to Chinese knock-offs, building a pedal costs more. But when compared to pedals from small pedal makers, building is a lot cheaper. A general rule of thumb for me is that a drive/boost pedal will cost me around $40-50. But frankly, I do it because its fun to build them, and its fun to play through stuff I've built. And I get to try pedals that I would never buy due to their boutique pricing (a real Jan Ray is like $400).

    [I build amps as a hobby as well, but that is a story for a different forum]

    If building your own pedals interests you, check out the following PCB suppliers (no affiliation):

    https://www.rullywow.com/
    http://lectric-fx.com/
    http://www.pedalpcb.com/
    https://aionelectronics.com/diy-pcb-projects/
    https://www.pedalpartsandkits.com/
    http://1776effects.com/
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
    zippofan, ecoast and jimilee like this.

  2. Sarde

    Sarde TDPRI Member

    81
    Apr 16, 2016
    San Pedro, CA
    I have built pcbs from most of those places. Good quality pcbs and good documentation for building and potential mods (ex king of tone is a modifiyed version of the marshall bluesbreaker pedal, but so is the jhs morning glory).

    Dont forget madbeanpedals.com. Not only do they have top notch pcbs but they have the best forum for help and inspiration. In fact they host the discussion forums for many builders, like 1776. Many of the designers of the circuits and pcbs directly answer questions about their products. I have learned loads from those folks in my pedal building.

    Pedal building is a fun hobby for sure!
     

  3. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Holic

    542
    Mar 16, 2014
    Pennsylvania
    I go back and forth, usually building kits, then I'll buy "store-bought" pedals, then back to kits again. I have an itch to pull out my old breadboard and go back to where I started almost thirty years ago with perf board or Vero board.
    Over the years servicing electronics I've collected quite a few semiconductors, and I know there are some op amps and CMOS gates in my parts drawers. Lots of FET and bi-polar transistors too.
    I've built two amps, both kits, one point to point the other on PCB, and that is a rabbit hole I'm trying to avoid as I know I could easily go there (Tweed Deluxe for starters...) Pedals at least are much less expensive and I'd just have to source a better selection of capacitors that what I have hanging around.
     

  4. sliberty

    sliberty Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 19, 2007
    East Brunswick, NJ
    Yea, amp building is a real rabbit hole for sure. And they are really hard to sell later if you tire of them, just like building parts guitars - nobody wants to pay what they are really worth, because you are an “unknown” builder. But man, it’s fun
     

  5. Lars F

    Lars F Tele-Meister

    159
    Jun 13, 2017
    Denmark

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