DIY Tube Overdrive

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by TeleDog, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    Here's the layout for a tube overdrive pedal. It works great I tell you that much, and you can make one for 35 bucks or so. This is based on a schematic I found, I tried to make the layout as straightforward as possible, also inspired by a similar layout I found.

    It may sound difficult because it's a tube project, but if you can solder a LP harness you can do this. There's absolutely no difficulty.

    You can mount the tube anywhere, it's a regular 9 pin socket. Because of this, you can also replace the tube or experiment with different brands to get a better tone.

    I used this with my Marshall and it kicks ass, I mean it, and I'm using a crappy generic tube I found on sale for 4 bucks. It also works with a 9V battery or a power supply, can't get any more convenient than that.

    Currently thinking about a dual 12AU7 version for even more options. :D

    Enjoy.
     

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    Guitar Freak, JakeM, admchn and 17 others like this.
  2. Alligatorbling

    Alligatorbling ★AstroCat★ Premium Member MLP Vendor V.I.P. Member

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    awesome! thanks for sharing!!! i might put one of these together sometime =D
     
  3. Beerdog80

    Beerdog80 Banned

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    I've done a few projects similar to that. They do sound really good so if you got a few tubes laying around...build one!
     
  4. 73Custom

    73Custom Senior Member

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    excellent... :thumb:
     
  5. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    I expected these to sound like crap, and worse with the discount tube I put in there. I had some leftover parts so I decided to make one just for fun. I was very, very surprised.

    ... and no PCB! :D

    Like Beerdog said, build one!
     
  6. 0x00

    0x00 Banned

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    That's awesome. Saved, added to the project list. :thumb:
     
  7. lukemacauley

    lukemacauley Mac Guitars Premium Member

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    That's awesome. Got any pictures of it after you built it? What enclosure did you use?

    Looks like good fun! It's on my list. Just need some parts!

    Luke
     
  8. 73Custom

    73Custom Senior Member

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    good questions :thumb:
     
  9. lukemacauley

    lukemacauley Mac Guitars Premium Member

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    Never have built anything using tubes, I ain't sure how I'd house them, how the tube would stay, where to get parts etc. But I like the idea of everything being hand-made. I'd love to make a high quality version of these.

    And of course, I'd do step by step photos etc.
     
  10. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    I used a Hammond 1590B I had. You can drill the holes yourself easy. You need holes for the tube socket, the power supply jack, the 2 input jacks, the led, switch and the 3 knobs.

    I mounted the tube on the side, same thing I did with a tremolo pedal I built prior to that one. I don't own lots of pedals so it's not like I have a space issue. You can put the tube on top, of course, but it'll be a tight fit I guess and you may need a bigger enclosure. Pics will follow shortly.

    Looove tubes! :D
     
  11. lukemacauley

    lukemacauley Mac Guitars Premium Member

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    Awesome! Any more schematics?

    Or anywhere you'd recommend to buy the gear?

    Might get a nice NOS tube for it. :naughty:

    Luke.
     
  12. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    I love DIY, that's why I try. I tell you this, if I can do it then you can, trust me on this one. lol

    It's really very easy, if you can install a LP harness you can do this, I mean it.

    Parts are all over the place, you can get the tubes and sockets at Tubedepot, tubesandmore or any other store that has parts for tube amps. I found a cheapo tube for 4 bucks, you can buy a JJ for 8 or a Ruby for about the same price. Your call.

    The resistors and capacitors are available online as well. I asked Beerdog for some places and he mentioned Pedalspartsplus and Effectsconnection. I think you will spend probably $3 worth of caps and resistors... lol

    I used the crappy box I had, but you can buy a nice chrome one or buy one that's unfinished and prep it and paint it yourself. The tube gets a bit hot, but nothing major, you can mount it inside the pedal if you want or outside, like I did.

    It is REALLY an easy project. I didn't post this for people to make some crappy pedal with a tube just because it's easy and looks cool. No, this one actually SOUNDS good.
     
  13. lukemacauley

    lukemacauley Mac Guitars Premium Member

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    Cheers for all the info, can I use any type of caps (film/ceramic etc)?

    Can I use any value you of Pots - I've got a few 500k CTS, would that do?

    I think I'll get a chrome one, and prep it myself. And get some nice decal. :fingersx:

    Now, all I need's some pictures, just to see how you've set it all out. :naughty:

    Looking forward to this, cheers bro.

    Luke.
     
  14. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    I also built one that had tremolo with variable parameters and overdrive. It was an improvised build, so I ended up using a black plastic box for it.. hated that big box badly, so I just disassembled the thing and built the tremolo and this overdrive as separate units... They look pretty much alike, I don't paint the boxes, don't add stickers to it... lmao...

    Oh lets see... Made my own conditioned power supply, no more 9V batteries, including the stupid thing for the Rat which is different. Wanna know what I used to connect the rat? A 1/8 earphone plug! :D Necessity, best source of inspiration. Built my own attenuator with a bright switch as well... lol

    Right now I'm thinking about building the dual 12AU7 version, two tubes.... If that works, what follows next is, yes, you guessed it... The V-Twin clone! :D The V-twin is king in my book, no other pedal comes close, not even the Seymour Duncan thing....

    Love this stuff!
     
  15. lukemacauley

    lukemacauley Mac Guitars Premium Member

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  16. 73Custom

    73Custom Senior Member

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    :applause:
     
  17. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    You should stick with the values in the diagram. HOWEVER, I did use a 256K pot for the volume and works great. Take any of your pedals and try to fit 3 guitar pots on top... they are big! They got those mini-pots that ship with crappy guitars, those are the right guys for this job! I buy 16mm alpha pots and they are just great for this. These pots are not like CTS pots, they go for like $1.50 and not $8 like some guitar pots! lol
     
  18. lukemacauley

    lukemacauley Mac Guitars Premium Member

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    Yeah you're right, they're massive! Okay, looking at 16mm Alpha's now.
     
  19. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    Here's the pedal. Looks like the tremolo I built, not so many knobs though! lol
    Will post pics of the insides later as well. I didn't have a LED at the moment so I didn't use one! lmao

    As you can see, the box is just too small for the pedal to be mounted on top. You could, but it'd be a tight fit. You can get a bigger box and mount the tube socket on top.

    Replacing the tube is just as easy as 123, you don't need a tool or to waste time opening anything. Definitely, you don't have to go to some authorized anything to replace a broken tube or to try with different brands. That alone makes the pedal cool IMHO.
     

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  20. TeleDog

    TeleDog V.I.P. Member

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    I'm a big fan of the V-Twin! I've tried lots of stuff, from DIY preamps people build to some store products. Nothing compares, nothing.
     

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