Home Forums General DIY Pedal Discussion Very first builds

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #12706
    Tom Sibren
    Participant

    Hello folks,

    I’m new to the forum and also new to diy guitar pedals. Actually I’m a complete newbie when it comes to electrical engineering. Tomorrow I’ll get my first two kits from Musikding: the Easy Fuzz kit and Acapulco kit. I’m starting with the fuzz kit as it seems to be the most straight forward one.

    Stoked to start this new hobby as I have been playing guitar for 24 years by now and a recording and mixing engineer for about 10.

    Fingers crossed that these first builds will be okay. Thanks for having me here. Cheers!

    #12707
    Gerry
    Participant

    Iā€™m excited for you. Fuzz is a good starter. Have fun.

    #12711
    Billy
    Moderator

    Welcome Tom

    Take your time and enjoy creating your first effect you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

    You’ve come to the best forum out there so no matter if it fires up first time or not we’ll be happy to help

    Make sure you read the guides page to get yourself off to a good start

    Good luck with first your builds

    #12712
    Tom Sibren
    Participant

    Thank you both!

    #12713
    mybud
    Participant

    Welcome Tom and enjoy the build. Have a look at the soldering guide meanwhile, in addition to the resources Billy mentioned, and there’s quite a bit of info on the circuit available on the web. Best of luck.

    #12715
    Tom Sibren
    Participant

    Thanks!

    I’ve been studying some of the guides and pdf’s here. Very informative! Great to have that.

    My goal is to build the sunn-T when I have more experience. Unfortunately the kit isn’t in stock right now at Musikding (I live in Holland).

    I’ll start with the Easy Fuzz tomorrow. šŸ™‚

    #12716
    Big O
    Participant

    Welcome to the addicting hobby of building pedals!Ā  I started out with one of the easiest circuits to build, a fuzz face, because at the time the only manufactured FF’s with Ge transistors were quite expensive.Ā  So after having had only a single episode of replacing and rewiring pickups on a guitar as my electronics and soldering experience, I dove into pedal building head first.Ā  Don’t get discouraged, if you encounter any problems at first, there are plenty of people to help you on your way.Ā  My first pedal didn’t work right away, which prompted me to buy my first multimeter, although that didn’t help.Ā  Substituting low gain silicon transistors into the circuit solved the problem, suggested by someone on the build forum – I had a bad Ge transistor in the kit, but the vendor sent me a second pair free.Ā  Of course I later used the original good one to build a second Ge-Si fuzz face once I got more adept at pedal building.Ā  I still feel I am bit of a novice after more than 20 builds, including some circuits I have designed myself by modifying known schematics.Ā  I think the best advice I can give is start simple and work your way up to a complex build (my most complex so far has been a tube amp).Ā  You don’t have to do 20 pedals before moving on to complex builds, but maybe do a couple simple circuits first, the moderately difficult, and then on to the complex.

    #12721
    mybud
    Participant

    Three suggestions that might be helpful, which you might already have gathered from the various guides: Socket your transistors as a basic principle. Apart from the fact that they don’t like excessive heat and shouldn’t strictly speaking be soldered straight to the PCB, socketing means you can swap them out for others as needed without harm.

    Second, try to leave some slack in your off board wiring (pots, jacks, and so on). Have a look at Cybercow’s post regarding the Apollo tremolo (Shiver quiver, he calls it) which has a pictorial guide to how he does it. That extra couple of centimeters in the off board wiring makes troubleshooting or mods just much easier and doesn’t strain them or the PCB unnecessarily.

    Try to get hold of a temperature-controlled soldering station. Ok, they cost a bit more but it’s worth the expense if you’re going to build more than one pedal, which I’m pretty sure you will šŸ˜‰ The cheaper options don’t maintain a constant temperature, which can make one’s soldering less than reliable. A friend of mine advised me to do this when I started out (three or so years ago) and I’m very glad I did.

    There’s a great sense of achievement when the build works, not to mention adding something new to your musical palette.

    The Sunn-T is a classic and great circuit. You might be able to get it direct from Barry in due course. Again, very best of luck and keen to know how it goes.

    #12724
    Tom Sibren
    Participant

    Thank you for the tips!

    I got a this soldering iron, Basetech ZD-99. It was pretty cheap but at least it’s temperature controlled.

    I’ll post updates here soon. šŸ™‚

    #12726
    Tom Sibren
    Participant

    Ok first 2 questions after going through the guides:

    1. It’s obvious most parts have + and – so they need to go into the PCB a certain way. That’s clear. But AFAIK this doesn’t go for any of the resistors? They can be placed either way?

    2. I believe I’ll need a multimeter as well to check and troubleshoot voltages. Can I use this for the minitrimmers as well that might need to be set to a certain KOhm?

    Thank you šŸ™‚

    #12727
    mybud
    Participant

    Ok, resistors aren’t polarised, but it helps for troubleshooting to line up the tolerance bands similarly (gold or brown). If you follow the principle of building shortest to tallest, start with resistors, followed by diodes (which are, match the stripe according to the PCB), then sockets, caps and elcaps last. These are polarised too, so match the positive side to the plus sign, which implies that the negative stripe will appear on the other side. You can often bias a circuit by ear, so hold off on the multimeter for now unless you absolutely have to have one. That said, they are useful gadgets, especially if you get one with capacitance, continuity, and diode measurements. Hope this helps meanwhile. Best

    #12729
    Tom Sibren
    Participant

    That’s awesome šŸ™‚ thanks for the help.

    #12730
    Marcus
    Participant

    I’m also about to start my first build here as well, one of the EA trems, and have found all the information here SUPER helpful along side with Fuzzlord and DIY Guitar Pedals (very apt name) on YouTube. I haven’t started the build yet because I’m super nervous of messing something up (it was a gift) but I gotta jump in and some point and in the 3 days I’ve spent reading and watching videos I feel more than equipped to try it out!

    Good luck on your build! Your post has given me a burst of confidence, so I think I’m gonna be starting pretty soon šŸ™‚

    #12731
    wilkie1
    Moderator

    Along with the other great posts welcoming you to this forum, I would like to add this advice:

    RTFM!

    That means “Read the FABULOUS manuals!”Ā  The guides on this forum contain a wealth of great information that will apply to ALL of your builds.Ā  So, read, read, read before you start building.Ā  Welcome!

    #12734
    Tom Sibren
    Participant

    Thanks folks. You too Marcus!

    I’ve been around long enough that I indeed first do as much research as I can and actually RTFM. šŸ˜€

    #12742
    mybud
    Participant

    HI Marcus and welcome. The EA is a very nice sounding tremolo and an enjoyable build. Go for it.

Viewing 16 posts - 1 through 16 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.