MLP Group Buy 'n Build Pedal Project

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by V!N, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. V!N

    V!N Senior Member

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    A wise man once said "if you need an amp for anything, your pedal sucks." :hippie:
    Then he parked his posterior on my couch and turned around to ask me if there were any more pork rinds. "No, there aren't any more, you already went through three bags of them ! Now get out of my house, wise man ! Who invited you anyway..." :mad2:

    You can say what you want about this wise man, but he sure was on to something ! I think... :hmm:



    I've been wanting to build another pedal for a while now and his words of wisdom have inspired me to do this with you, my forum brothers. :thumb:

    So, how would you lads feel about making a pedal ? We can help each other out if it doesn't fire up right away and if one of our less experienced brothers needs some advice along the way. Also, we can get a nice discount from suppliers as it's much more efficient to process batches. I've already talked with a few about this idea, they're as excited about it as I am and have been very forthcoming with their service and discount. :)

    I might even get a friend to supply us something really cool, but he'd like to see if this idea sparks any interest first. Hopefully, more about that later.



    It'll have to be a pedal that's easy to build, so the less experienced pedalists could join in on this as well. It'll have to be sweet to the ear and of course versatile and foolproof to use. There are plenty of kits out there for the same old same old, so something rather unique would be nice as well. If possible, a pedal that every guitarist could use, no matter what genre he plays or what other gear he has. Then there's really only one kind of pedal that pops to mind: a booster ! What else. :D

    From the smoothest jazz all the way up to the most brutal metal, everybody could use a single knob boost pedal and I think I know one that you'll really, really like.

    Once upon a time in California, there lived this Dutch born lad with a single PAF loaded Frankenstrat who loved his solid state tape delay units. He used these Echoplex EP-3 gadgets not only for the delay, but also to add the sweetness of the preamp in this unit to his sound. He knew that transparency is overrated and just loved that certain something that the Echoplex added to his tone.

    Eddie Van Halen is just one example, Eric Johnson and Jimmy Page are also known to have used these gizmos as tone sweeteners.



    Some DIY techs have taken this to the next level by cloning the preamp circuitry from the EP-3 and sticking it in a compact pedal. You know where this is going now, don't you ? :)

    What would you say to a single knob boost pedal that takes a regular 9V battery and/or any regular external power supply, internally pumps up the Voltage to where it is in the EP-3 and runs your signal through exactly the same preamp circuitry that makes those elusive vintage delay units sound so sweet ?

    A rough estimate, a complete kit will cost you between US$ 60 and US$ 80.



    One more thing though. With most of the MLP members living in the USA, I really need the help of a treasurer and partner in crime who lives there. Your job will be to receive the money from the forumites on your PayPal account, then use that to pay for the orders.

    I will arange for the tiny parts to be delivered in a big box with separate project bags and a bunch of small cardboard boxes so yo don't have to go through hundreds of parts to compile the kits yourself. The the finished enclosures and the etched and drilled PCB's will also be delivered to your doorstep. Then all you have to do is put one bag, one PCB and one enclosure in a box, flap on an address label and send them out. :)



    Let me know if you want to be in on this ! :dude:
     
    Zack, CannonsAhoy, Beerdog80 and 2 others like this.
  2. Syn

    Syn Senior Member

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    I won't be able to take part this time around, but great post as always V!N!

    I'm interested to see this one develop and hope this project gets the support and attention it deserves! :thumb:
     
  3. voices

    voices Senior Member

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    i would like to see the schematic of this.
     
  4. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    sounds interesting. i've never wired a pedal or even a circuit board before. only guitars.
     
    ledzepp2122 likes this.
  5. firesgt911

    firesgt911 Senior Member

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    What boost did you have in mind? The confidence booster with a pot instead of trimpot and a foot switch may lower the price a bit, is easy to build and doesn't sound too bad. A DOD OD/Preamp 250 would be cool too with an internal trimpot for the gain so you could set it as clean as you want and give you the 1 knob booster. Hmmm...

    I may be in. I love building pedals!
     
    MUSTANGCAT likes this.
  6. V!N

    V!N Senior Member

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    Come on, you know you want to ! :thumb:





    Here's the source of inspiration:
    http://www.schematicheaven.com/effects/ep3_9451-12960.pdf





    I thought you made a Marshall Shredmaster clone once ? It takes more time, patience and somewhat of a more delicate when you're building a pedal instead of wiring a guitar. If you feel you're up to it, this might be a nice way for you to start.





    A boost that's a copy of the pre-amp from an Echoplex EP-3, with a charge pump added to turn a 9V battery / wall wart to higher voltage and a few tiny tweaks to make it function as a standalone pedal.

    There are many places on the Internet where one can buy kits for those pedals already and even more ready made versions: originals, reissues, home-made or boutique clones, etc. I think those are nice to do on your own, but there's not much of a point creating a group project for the same old same old that you can buy anywhere.
     
  7. Syn

    Syn Senior Member

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    Haha, if only I had the time and the knowledge of how to solder without cooking everything. :shock:
     
  8. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    i've owned two BYOC shredders - built neither of 'em. :thumb:
     
  9. firesgt911

    firesgt911 Senior Member

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    I am definitely interested! Keep us updated on the specifics!
     
  10. JMV

    JMV Senior Member

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    Count me in. Could be fun!

    I actually have an Xotic EP Booster and it would be fun to compare. I've had fun building a couple of BYOC pedals along the way, and you can never have too many boost pedals. :thumb:
     
  11. Ekoms

    Ekoms Senior Member

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    I'm in!

    Sounds very cool.
     
  12. V!N

    V!N Senior Member

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    Thanks guys, good to have some people aboard now ! :) That's three in, including yours truly, and one definitely interested. My suppliers can only put in the extra effort and give the discount if we can get at least ten of these kits out.

    Anybody up for being the treasurer and my right hand on this ?




    The Xotic is a nice sounding booster, that's for sure. But the only reason the letters "E" and "P" are on there is to tag along with the cool stories about the Echoplex units and the way that some legendary guitarists used them as tone sweeteners.
    The only thing they have in common is that they both use a common-source FET amplifier. There are virtually unlimited ways to wire up such a circuit and at Xotic, they chose to make one that's completely different from what's going on inside the EP-3. On top of that, they even added an output buffer to it.

    Not every single cut guitar with two humbuckers is a '59 Burst, not every CS-FET circuit is a preamp from the Echoplex EP-3. ;)
     
  13. JMV

    JMV Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info! I hadn't counted on the EP Booster being a faithful reproduction. I just know I love the way it sounds!

    There must be some more tinkerers around here that would be interested. :hmm:
     
  14. firesgt911

    firesgt911 Senior Member

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    Go ahead and put me down as in!
     
  15. greenalbatross

    greenalbatross Senior Member

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    Count me in. :slash:
     
  16. V!N

    V!N Senior Member

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    That makes five already ! Halfway there. :)

    The position for treasurer and packager is still open.
     
  17. oliverphoto

    oliverphoto Junior Member

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    Sounds interesting, I've never done anything like this and I'll probably start myself on fire but I'm in.

    Oh, and I understand I'm new around here and all so I'm willing to jump through whatever hoops you need me to for you to make sure you're not getting ripped off by me.
     
  18. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    this sounds awfully tempting...

    just kidding :thumb:
     
  19. Beerdog80

    Beerdog80 Banned

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    Soldering isn't really that hard bro. Go to youtube and hit some of their videos on 'how too' and then go to radio shack, get some vero board and handful of cheap components and practicing on your new skill by soldering the components to the board and then take them off. Their irons aren't the best but they aren't the worst either so it will suit your purpose just fine.
     
  20. Beerdog80

    Beerdog80 Banned

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    Now that I'm back from my running around the country, I'm all in bud. Going to finish two projects for myself and take care of Sludgeburn's new pedal I'm building for him and that's about it.
     

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