My first SUCCESSFUL pedal build

Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
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May 29, 2016
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3,338
Location
Kansas
A few years ago I picked up a cheap pedal kit on reverb. I thought I was ready for the challenge. I was not. A soldering iron that couldn't get hot enough, the wrong size tip, and bad technique (probably the biggest reason) gave me a non-functioning pedal.

After a few more years experience and getting a pretty decent soldering station with adjustable temperature, I decided to give it another go with stewmacs ghost drive klon centaur kit.

Say what you will about stewmac, but the customer service can't be beaten. I went through all the parts and found out I was missing a 2kohm resistor, and they shipped another one right out. I had a few questions and they answered them right away. The instructions were mostly idiot proof (hooray!) And I got it put together a few pieces at a time over a few days.

I plugged it in tonight and it actually worked! This is where I also reveal that 20 years ago in middle school we had to put together a circuit board that would light an LED. My board didn't light. Neither did my lab partner's though.

So after all that rambling I present the Goose Oberdrive pedal. Goose is my son's nickname, so I made a goose pedal for him 😄

Printed the decals with a cricut printer, used them as a mask and painted a few colors to get a neat 80s aesthetic. I'm pretty happy with it! It sounds great.

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BB

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Too cool! I'm impressed. Congrats on making it happen.

Please provide a tone report and let us know how Goose likes it.
 

Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
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Location
Kansas
Nicely done! Working on my fourth pedal build at the moment (Fuzz Face clone) Fun and satisfying!

We have sort of an electrical wiring room where I work. There's 3 guys that float in and out that are always wiring up things like this.

I showed my circuit board to one of the guys and he starts asking me what integrated circuits I used.

Me: Well..it's a TL072 and a TC1044
Him: What do they do?
Me: I have no idea.
Him: So it's like a kit you bought?
Me: Yeah it's pretty much paint by numbers...this goes here...that goes there...solder in place.

But yeah very fun and having that light turn on was satisfying!! I'm already plotting building another. It's a lot less of a time investment than building a guitar!
 

Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
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Location
Kansas
Congrats on your first build.

Be careful or you'll end up a DIY pedal junkie like some of us around here.

So this is the copy of the Klon Centaur that's supposedly the greatest overdrive pedal ever made (not my words)

But I kind of have to agree after the short time I've spent on it. From what I read the thing about the Klon is that it keeps the tone of the guitar and the amp better than other overdrives. And I'd have to agree with that. I am thoroughly impressed. Not sure I'll still like my other overdrive pedal as much when I finally get a chance to compare them side by side.
 

ahiddentableau

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Jul 8, 2018
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Middle of Nowhere
So this is the copy of the Klon Centaur that's supposedly the greatest overdrive pedal ever made (not my words)

But I kind of have to agree after the short time I've spent on it. From what I read the thing about the Klon is that it keeps the tone of the guitar and the amp better than other overdrives. And I'd have to agree with that. I am thoroughly impressed. Not sure I'll still like my other overdrive pedal as much when I finally get a chance to compare them side by side.

Yeah, that pedal got hype like nothing else I've ever seen. By the time you build the thing you've read so much about its capabilities that you expect it to get up and make you breakfast. Craziness.

But hype aside, it's an excellent circuit. It's got its own mid boost thing going on but it's less of a blunt force instrument than a tube screamer. I think that's why people like it so much. It's a familiar sound but a little more refined.

What are you gonna build next?
 

Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
3,338
Location
Kansas
Yeah, that pedal got hype like nothing else I've ever seen. By the time you build the thing you've read so much about its capabilities that you expect it to get up and make you breakfast. Craziness.

But hype aside, it's an excellent circuit. It's got its own mid boost thing going on but it's less of a blunt force instrument than a tube screamer. I think that's why people like it so much. It's a familiar sound but a little more refined.

What are you gonna build next?

Not sure. Probably another stewmac kit. I've been eyeing them all, but haven't decided. I do need a tremolo pedal, so maybe that one. They got some flack when they first came out because they were all 100 bucks even for simple circuits. But the prices have dropped a bit from there.

I also really like the layouts. The first kit I tried had the pots inside the housing, the circuit board attached to the back cover and then you had to run wires from the circuit board to the pots and inputs and fold the whole thing together. It was a mess! Plus the PCB required at least 3 jumpers running across the board to various places. I was thinking...just print the jumpers on the board!! Why am I adding jumper wires to a PCB??

Anyway, all the stewmac pedals are very well laid out with the pots being soldered directly into the board, and only a few short pieces of wire running around. And since I'm not the greatest at this the customer service they provide is a big boost.
 




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