BYOC Li'l Mouse vs. JHS All-American?

Discussion in 'Burnt Fingers DIY Effects' started by Okieactor, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Anyone built both of these circuits, that can say which they prefer?

    The StewMac JHS one says it has less noise due to not using the LM308, and claims a couple other improvements on the classic design.

    I believe the BYOC claims to be a complete copy (exact?).

    I have only done very simple mods, but want to start building. Would love to hear actual build experiences on these 2.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  2. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Also, looks like GGG has one as well. Feedback on that one vs. the BYOC would be appreciated too.
     
  3. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    If you want it to sound like a real Rat, don't get the JHS. It doesn't use the type of opamp you need for a traditional Rat sound.
     
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  4. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    Is the LM308 that important?
    I think that is the question, whether I want a vintage rat replica, or something that looks to adjust on it or improve. And do they really sound that different? I don't know. So hopefully there's someone who has built both (or all three, including the GGG) and can talk about that.
     
  5. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    An opamp with a low slew rate is more important than using an LM308. The one in the JHS pedal doesn't have a low slew rate and won't sound like a proper Rat. The OP07 is a common alternative to the LM308 and sounds fine in a Rat.

    I wouldn't consider a high slew rate opamp in a Rat as an improvement. The low slew rate opamp is fundamental to the character of a Rat. If you want something that doesn't sound like a Rat, then get the JHS. If you want a Rat, build a Rat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  6. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Afflicted

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    I only have the BYOC original Mouse which has a bunch of mods including different clipping options. My son has the Chicago Stompworks Mr Vermin, both have that "Rat" sound that I remember from my buddy's original back in the late 70's/early 80's. Both use 8 pin DIP LM308's.

    The StewMac kits are really expensive, I imagine they're nice builds, but if I'm paying that much for a kit I want a powder coated enclosure at least, painting the boxes is, IMO, the hardest part to get right and I've painted more than a few.
     
  7. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    At this point I have to be honest and say I had no earthly idea what you meant with the low slew rate, but I'm researching, trying to learn. Sounds like my preliminary leaning is towards BYOC for a few reasons, cost being one.
     
  8. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    if you're curious about these things, build your rat with an IC socket for the op amp and socket for the compensation cap. you'll end up using the 308 or the op07. the feedback loop gain configuration is too extreme for higher fidelity op amps ... best way I can describe the difference is the 308 sounds spongier, more compressed ... higher quality op amps sound brittle, kinda harsh/abrasive ... you can go too far in the other direction too, the 301 to me sounds a little too smooth and less aggressive
     
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  9. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    As follow-up, I built a BYOC Li'l Rat and think it sounds fantastic.

    I had some difficulties along the way, and the pedal sort of cuts out in a weird fuzz-sounding way, but only if you dime the gain. Waiting on BYOC to get back to me about how to troubleshoot, but excited enough to look towards building more of their pedals.
     
  10. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Holic

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    Holy smokes! I just went and looked at the StewMac pedal kits. They want $100 give or take for $10-$15 worth of parts and a bare enclosure? Am I missing something? Please tell me people aren't buying these.......
     
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  11. Okieactor

    Okieactor Tele-Holic

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    I almost did, because I had a gift certificate. But then I realized if I didn't want to pay shipping too, I'd need a membership. So my Christmas gift just paid for a year's membership. Much happier with the BYOC, and I'm trying out the guitarpedalparts.com to build a buffer pedal right now.
     
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  12. zippofan

    zippofan Tele-Afflicted

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    I was excited when the Stew Mac kits came out because I wanted the Mini Bomb boost, as I understand it to be rawer then my Prestige (which I like a lot). But the cost put me off, I could get a used Mini Bomb for less than the kit.

    I don't build pedals to save money, I build them to have circuits I want to try without going through buying what I think I might like and selling those I don't. So far though, I haven't built anything I didn't like, so yeah I guess I've saved a couple bucks but it's more about learning how they work, remembering the theory I studied so long ago, and just plain having fun. I ran through most of my existing stock of usable parts pretty quickly so I've probably spent more than I would have had I just gotten the pedals I wanted off the shelf.

    I still have NOS RF stuff and analog video chips, not much application for that though, like my father-in-law with crates full of TV specific vacuum tubes.
     
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  13. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I think Stewmac have priced their kits and parts way above where they should be. A TS808 kit for $100 :confused:

    In my estimation an 808 is worth maybe $35 in kit form. The circuit board is $8 at PedalPCB, a powder coated box is $5.50 at Tayda. I’ve got all the parts on hand including pots, jacks and knobs but if I were to buy them from Tayda or Digikey, it wouldn’t cost me more than $15.

    I’ll never buy a kit from them because there are so many better options but if I didn’t know anything about pedals and bought one of Stewmac’s kits, I think I’d be pretty put off when I realized how much they’ve marked them up. Even allowing for brand recognition and all of that, I think they’re charging double what they should be for kits, where you do all the work of assembly, testing and QA.

    But hey, Stewmac has J201’s in stock... At $4.76 each :eek:
     
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