April 20, 2020 at 6:33 pm #12563
Here is a Tonebender MK1 pedal I just finished. I would have used a Guitar PCB board for it, but there really wasn’t one available that I could modify for this particular circuit and therefore initially I was going to build it on vero. However, I found a board on the internet that was a standard MK1 circuit with a charge pump so I couldn’t resist. I had purchased the transistors for the circuit from Small Bear about 5 years ago and finally got around to building the pedal. If I had a GuitarPCB board for this I would have used it because I like to support Barry and his efforts. I kept the graphics simple for the pedal as below, although I had some problems with the waterslide decal as it turned milky white after applying it and the ink smeared slightly even though I had followed the instructions exactly. Clear coating with acrylic laquer fixed the milkey appearance and if I try this brand of waterslide paper again I will laquer it before placing it in water and then on the pedal.
Gutshot. Note the offboard caps – the schematic called for a 25uF cap, which are not available, so I put a 3.3uF and 22uF in parallel to get close (25.3uF). The pedal sounds just like the clips of the MK1 I have seen on the internet, although I was worried when building it because of all the reports of this being a finicky circuit. Using a specially matched Ge transister set from Small Bear is probably what did the trick. Now I can get some Jeff Beck version of the Yardbirds and Mick Ronson tones hopefully (actually my initial demo of it gets a really good Rono sound without using a fixed wah).April 20, 2020 at 6:55 pm #12564wilkie1Moderator
Thanks for posting! I always coat my inkjet decals with acrylic a day before I try to transfer them to the enclosure. That helps to prevent smearing. I have better luck with laser print.April 20, 2020 at 8:49 pm #12565
I used laser all the time in the past until I screwed up a laser printer, so I switched to inkjet. I knew about coating inkjet decal paper before placing it on an enclosure, but the new brand I used stated nothing in the instructions about coating it first. Live and learn. I do use the laser for printing on photo paper (Barry’s technique), which I may do for my next pedal.April 21, 2020 at 5:18 pm #12576
As I get ready to build a 4 Track Fuzz, I played around with the Bender pedal. Combined with a fixed wah pedal I have and using a Gibson Les Paul into a Marshall Plexi clone, it nails the Rono guitar sound from the Ziggy Stardust era. The fuzz itself has a somewhat nasal tone to it and the fixed wah helps to focus the tone a little, which is now why I see that Ronson did things the way he did. It makes complete sense. The full on volume of the humbuckers really dirties up the sound, so I backed off the volume and tone a little, which really helped to clean things up a bit.
When I first tried the pedal yesterday after building it, I used a guitar with P90 pickups (Gibson Blueshawk) and the fuzz didn’t sound so out of control. When I first tried it today, I thought that this couldn’t be the same pedal, but then realized that the humbuckers just tend to overdrive the fuzz a bit too much and backing off the volume settles down the fuzz.
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