Small Bear Wild Mouse - anybody build one?

Discussion in 'Burnt Fingers DIY Effects' started by Deaf Eddie, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I was looking for a relatively clean mid boost - looking for that old Vox MRB tone. My internet searches came up with the Wild Mouse as an option. I bought a kit and assembled it, it seemed pretty easy and straight forward.

    Unfortunately, the result was not what I had hoped for. Even at its cleanest setting, it has a bit of distortion. The midrange "honk" isn't as pronounced as I had hoped for.

    There's also an oscillation that occurs when the regeneration and/or gain controls are turned up above halfway. IS that a bug, or a feature?

    Not much info out there about these. Has anybody else built one?
     
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  2. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Double check your resistor capacities and make sure they are installed forward not backwards ...
     
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  3. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Holic

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  4. tah1962

    tah1962 Friend of Leo's

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    If you’re looking for a good clean boost with a nice mid-hump, you might look into the BYOC Green Pony. It doesn’t have as much mid-hump as a tube screamer, which for me is perfect. 3 clipping options and 3 bass settings. It’s a very versatile pedal. YMMV
     

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  5. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Triple-check resistor values and locations - check

    Capacitor values and locations - check

    Polarized caps - don't match the ten-year old instructions, but match the graphics on the board - check

    Diodes orientation and location - check

    ONE transistor - three legs - check (tough to screw that one up)

    IC chip orientation - check

    Transformer - I think he's using its coil as an inductor, because only two of the six leads go anywhere on the circuit board - check

    The first knob on the left is labeled "muff" - changes the tone of the output, goes from warmer to nasally/throaty, sort of - works through its whole range. It's warmest (counterclockwise) tone still knocks the bottom out of the signal.

    The next knob is labeled "regen" - it puts a kind of resonance to the tone, until it's half way up - then it starts to whistle.

    The next knob is labeled "gain" - counterclockwise is as clean as it gets, as you turn it up it introduces more and more distortion, until about half way - then it whistles.

    When you use the gain and regen together, they whistle at much lower settings.

    The level knob (last on the right) is just the output level of the box when it's on - works through its whole range.

    The LED works.

    This box does a pretty good cocked wah, which is probably what it was shooting for - BUT, not what I wanted. Another example where talking about tone is like dancing about architecture...

    Guess I gotta find me an old Vox Viscount, Berkley, or Super Beatle...
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
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  6. pi

    pi Tele-Meister

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  7. tubegeek

    tubegeek Friend of Leo's

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    I know Steve from SmallBear is quite active on the diystompboxes forum - have you done a search over there?

    Search the site using the search page, which is linked below the site header, or google. For some reason the search box closer to the top of the page is utterly worthless.

    It is VERY possible to get a transistor pinout wrong! Double check!
     
  8. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Use an eq. Good old Boss GE7 will get you a clean boost at any frequency.
     
  9. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for the responses. I've heard the sound samples - mine's more distorted.

    I have a couple of EQ pedals, but they do NOT give you that resonance peak that MRB does.

    Not sure how I could screw up a three legged transistor...

    What concerns me is the oscillation when the regen and gain pedals are turned up past halfway. Is that normal?

    I wonder if I'm "over juicing" it with the 9v power supply - I don't have a 9v battery handy...
     
  10. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    when i made a amber overdrive clone the sound was not that what i was expecting hearing the samples on youtube.
    in my case the transistor was a replacement and not the one on the diagram.
    so maybe you don't screwed up the transistor but maybe have the wrong one, ore a type that is labeled like the one you need but is a fake.

    one other thing.
    i am planning to try the DIY clapton midboost project
    http://www.singlecoil.com/docs/active_strat.pdf
    with a cheap EQ-505R Piezo preamp in a pedal and maybe combine that with a fuzz ore overdrive/distortion ore boost
    maybe that could get you what you want o achieve?
     
  11. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Holic

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    If everything is correct you might want to shoot them an email. They’ve been very responsive. I just got a bad transistor and I asked if I could exchange it as it hadn’t been soldered. They’re just going to send me a new one. Good luck.
     
  12. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Took the advice offered here, posted it on Diystompbox forum AND emailed him.
    The result is good news/bad news.

    His email reply:

    I saw and responded to the post at diystompboxes. It sound as though you have built correctly. I regret, I don't know why your build has more distortion.
    Regards
    Steve Daniels


    His reply on the Diystompbox forum:

    I confirm that what Eddie is hearing is the way the pedal works. I did not attempt to get the oscillation out, because some users said that they liked the weirdness that you get when the controls are just at the feedback point. I confirm that R6 and R15 are 100K and 4.7 meg respectively in the pedal that I still have.

    SD


    So, the good news is that I (probably) built it right - my first pedal - yay for me!
    The bad news is, it doesn't do what I want.

    So, I have an interesting overdrive pedal with some unique tones and a built-in theremin.
    Still, it was a fun project, and a great time-filler during quarantine.
    Now I'm ready to tackle a few amp repairs I've been putting off...
     
  13. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    i would be strange that he can not suggest a resistor swap ore something to tame the beast, he made it, he would know.
    just ask him what you have to change to cure the oscillation, and if not maybe someone else will step in?
     
  14. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Say what ?
     
  15. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    ^^ He might be referring to the flux capacitor. My name does cause a bit of confusion...
     
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