Building a stompbox for yourself from scratch is not as difficult as you might think. Customize other parts such as the circuits to accommodate for your need and style is also easy. In this project, we will instruct you to build your own stompbox one step at a time. When you have completed it, you will own a premium distortion pedal – plus you will gain sufficient knowledge of how to use and pick stompbox parts to build various other pedals. If you want to learn about distortion pedal, you can find more through out guitar pedal reviews.
Almost any person with above average IQ with good eyes and functional hand can carry out this project. However, there are several stages that you must follow. These are too long for us to cover in a single article of a magazine.
What you are going to build.
This device is a modern and adjusted version of the distortion circuit which was first used in the Modular Powered Circuits of Electra guitar. The guitar’s popularity never soared, but at a certain point, stompbox builders knew that although the circuit is simple, it provides amazing overdrive tones. This is a good alternative to the tube design that is influenced from the majority of overdrive pedals found today.
We will call our do-it-yourself stompbox that is a PG Distortion variation. It is less compressed than the Screamer, as well as more responsive and less heavy. It prevents note attack, as well as having a grind cutting thorough in a mix and onstage.
It’s been deployed in highly regarded pedals (you can look up the phrase “Electra distortion”)
What you are going to learn
The simplicity of the circuit makes it suitable for the starter project. The target here is not to create a pedal from parts that are cheap. From the beginning, you will learn to design a stompbox that is suitable to your taste and style. You will get a grasp of how stompbox parts work, and know which one is right for your needs. Creating a product that suits you is one advantage of DIY.
If you just simply want to build the cheapest pedal possible in the shortest amount of time, you might try buying a DIY kit rather than taking part in this project. (I really love products that have smart design and clear instruction) But often, kits only guide you through the steps – they don’t give you the why of them. Therefore, you cannot apply what you have learn from previous projects to the next projects, as you have learned nothing.
Kits will usually have pre-printed circuit boards that are used for installing components, whereas for DIY projects, you will have to do it from scratch. This will takes more effort from you, but it will give you more valuable experience. So you can consider this project as a workshop for building stompbox.
The project consists of five parts:
- Preparing. In this part, you will gathers all the equipment and components.
- Create a prototype circuit: You’ll create a circuit with a breadboard. This is a tool that is cheap and allows you to make circuits with no soldering at all. This virtual building process helps you to know the function of each component.
- Personalizing the circuit. Prototyping is an easy way to experiment with different design alternatives
- Installing the circuit. After you have completed your design, you will install them on the circuit board. This process is more complex than normally plugging components into holes on a DIY board, but it allows for customization. When you have got the basic technique, you will know how to transpose stompbox circuits from board schematic to a perf board. Most stompbox schematics can be found online (You can read one of our articles on schematics). Once you have installed the board, you can test through the prototyping board.
- Packaging the circuit. The last step is to build a box for your circuit. You will need to installs other components such as footswitch, LED, jack, and DC adapter into the box. To finish, add in the circuitry.
When it comes to box building experience, you may be an amateur. But if we are talking about guitar sound, you are more likely to have a strong taste. You should start modifying you project as soon as possible to adapt it to your personal taste and style. It will only take you a few minutes, but even these small adjustments to your simple circuit can change the sound effect dramatically.
Don’t forget that this project isn’t merely making a distortion pedal. Your aim is to learn the knowledge behind making a circuit so that you can apply it to later projects and change the designs to accommodate for your taste. Hopefully this project will be fun and educational for you, and you will end up with an amazing musical tool.
Hi, my name’s Samuel T.Cummins. I love music so much and I’ve been playing guitar for 7 years. Blogging is my hobby and I’m happy so much to share my knowledge with everyone.