Valvecaster issues

Discussion in 'Burnt Fingers DIY Effects' started by jddub440, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

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    Hey guys, I'm back to building and this is my first time getting into capacitors! I built this Valvecaster using the exact parts listed and it sounds soooo good but I'm having a little bit of issues with my pots....

    The master volume (to the left) is great and does exactly what you'd expect a volume pot to do. However my tone pot (in the middle) seems to be a slave volume instead and is also increasing volume when sweeping it counter clockwise; and then the drive pot (to the right) seems to always be at a 10 no matter where I turn it to.

    I will admit I did not solder any parts together yet because I wanted to make sure I liked it first...some parts are wire wrapped, some taped down and I did also tape all the ground wires together as you might be able to see in the picture.

    I'm hoping somebodys can help me with either:
    A) figuring out what I did wrong and telling me what I can do to remedy the tone and drive pot situation......or B) figure out how to take the drive and tone pots out of the schematic so I just have a simple volume based real tube driving pedal....because I already enjoy the tone and drive that I'm getting out of it anyways!!!
    1491408697393.jpg 1491408707020.jpg 1491408725062.jpg 1491408738789.jpg
     
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  2. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

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    I forgot to add that I built the version without the footswitch because I've already built a ton of true bypass type loopers so I just stuck the valvecaster into one of those until I am going to build a final version.
     
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  3. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

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    Well I must've sneezed on it at some point this week because I took it back to band practice yesterday and the drive knob it totally working great now! I opened it up to take these pictures last week but I never adjusted anything internally throughout the week lmao....however my tone knob is still working as a slave volume instead, and I have no idea of how to approach that problem!
    Any advice is much appriciated, and I'm also still very interested in trying to make just a simple one knob (volume) version of this of anybody would know what I need to change about the schematic to successfully build it.
     
  4. allesz

    allesz Tele-Holic

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    Hey, it should be easy:
    a - eliminate the tone pot (of course).
    b - ditch C4
    c - connect C3 to the lug n. 3 of volume pot (the 100k one).

    If you look at it you will see that's already like this (C3 is connected to both pot's lugs n. 3). The tone pot is a simple treble cut circuit (not the best
    single pot design).
    But I think that C4 value is too big: try inverting the values of C3 and C4 before kiling the tone.
     
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  5. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

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    Thank you so much for the response,
    I'll try building that as soon as I get a chance!!!
     
  6. TeleOrLes

    TeleOrLes Tele-Meister

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    You may want to try dropping the value of C1 to .039 (or even to .022). You'll get better highs & a lot less "muddy" lows.
     
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  7. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

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    Looking at the illustration, the important bit as far as i can see is the link between tone 3 and volume 3. Did you do tone 1 to vol 3 (?) as that would cause tone to act as volume. I cant tell form pic.
     
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  8. allesz

    allesz Tele-Holic

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    It's not just the picture. The tone cap is too big, ten times the output cap: this way you put to ground almost all the signal, not only treble.
     
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  9. NotAnotherHobby

    NotAnotherHobby Tele-Afflicted

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    The frequency cutoff for that ranges from something like 1.6 Hz to roughly 1.6 KHz if I remember my formula correctly. And passive filters usually have a big cutoff curve.
     
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  10. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

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    matsuminvalvecasterschematic.gif
    Found this. Looks like the values of C3 and C4 have been written down the wrong way round. C3 is the 1uf and C4 the 10nf. This seems to make more sense.
     
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  11. allesz

    allesz Tele-Holic

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    Probably it's a mistake in the layout, they just swapped the two values.

    The schematic looks correct.

    Edit: 1uF is 100 times bigger than 10nF!
     
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  12. Armo

    Armo Tele-Holic

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    The good news is Beavis Audio is getting his site back together. From what I gather it got trashed. It's not completed but a work in progress. It was a great site, I built his Noisey Cricket, a fun little ss headphone amp.
     
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  13. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

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    I'll certainly give that a shot when I build the next one!
    Even without that tone pot in functioning condition, the tone I was getting with my Stratocaster and Telecaster was outstanding....however much like you pointed out, it sounded extremely too dark/dull/muddy with my buddies humbucker equipped Les Paul.
     
  14. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

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    @Armo: I opened up the valvecaster this morning and I did in fact link tone3 and volume3 together....and thank you for searching other schematics and posting the problems you found! I also am a huge fan of the Beavis Audio schematics!!! What do you mean when you say their website got trashed?? I really hope the website goes up again, if it weren't for the way they color coordinate and clearly lable each connecting part I wouldn't have ever learned to build anything lol....hopefully I can use the super simple BA schems to learn to read the sort of schematic that you have posted up!

    @allesz: thank you for all the info you have supplied me with as well! I started off just learning how footswitching/toggles work, powering LEDs, working with resistors, and the differences between TS & TRS jacks. I'm now onto learning about capacitors and trying to understand the differences between electrolytic, tantalum, etc....and when, where and why to apply them to projects.

    @NotAnotherHobby.....I don't yet know what that means but hopefully very soon I can be on that level with you guys!
    [emoji1]
    Thank you again to everybody, I'll be back to post about the next valvecaster build and let you know how the modifications/corrections are working out!!!
     
  15. TeleOrLes

    TeleOrLes Tele-Meister

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    Hey builders,

    I just finished building a single tube unit. I think this is number 55 or 56 and with some of the help that I've picked up here it sounds awesome.
    I didn't see this mentioned here but this is a nice little trick and saves you a couple of $$. In each unit & build & include an LM317 voltage regulator. This way I can use an el cheapo 12V wallwart (eBay @ around $1.89 USD). This eliminates the nasty hum that you pick up from unregulated power supplies. I use 12 volts because the LM317 has to have at least 3 volts to work properly. I set the output voltage at 9.36 volts like a heavy duty battery. I've built units with several different operating voltages & 9 volts seems to have the best "tubey" tone out of all of them. Also I add a positive & negative (ground) line out of the power input jack aside from the leads going into the LM317 circuit. I make a separate circuit for the tube's heater involving a toggle switch & an indicator led. This way you can preheat the filament before playing & it stays on while switching the pedal in & out while playing. I hope that this helps out. Keep on posting stuff, I keep learning something new every day!! Tube_3.jpg
     
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  16. TeleOrLes

    TeleOrLes Tele-Meister

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    I opened up the mailbox today & had to do a happy dance. I got six Russian 6N16B sub-mini twin triode tubes. Gonna try a single & a two tube Valvecaster style box. I'll post pics when they're done. :rolleyes:
     
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  17. jddub440

    jddub440 Tele-Holic

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    Right on, yes, please post those pics and let us know how that is working out/sounding out!
    I just finished my latest valvecaster yesterday morning without the tone pot and a footswitch built in....it sounds so good, unfortunately I do not have other capacitors that were suggested for the substitution of C1 on the schematic.
    I did a little bit of etch work into this build as well
    1493576232091.jpg
     
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  18. TeleOrLes

    TeleOrLes Tele-Meister

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    You may want to try a Valvelitzer for a project. Lots of "tubey" tone & a pretty simple build. It uses a 12FQ8 tube that used to be a preamp tube in Wurlitzer organs. I use them in both pedals. I bought a case of them so if you can't find any on eBay I might be able to cut one or two away for a very small price. I've been reading up on a couple of "starved" pentode overdrive circuits that look very interesting. If any of you have built one some feedback would be appreciated. Before I forget, R2 on the Valvecaster may be a bit too much & give you some noisy gain. If you use a 120K fixed resistor & a 100K trim pot you can tune it in & hit the sweet spot for gain. Just something that has worked. :cool:
     
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  19. TeleOrLes

    TeleOrLes Tele-Meister

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    This is a drawing of that Valvelitzer effect. Lots of info on the web & stuff on Youtube.
     
  20. TeleOrLes

    TeleOrLes Tele-Meister

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    Oops, forgot to upload the drawing. Another senior moment.

    FAUDKMFFQCTO0S3.MEDIUM.jpg
     
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