Tonebender MKIII clone (Aion Electronics Phobos)

Here is my last build: a Tonebender MKIII clone! The tonebender was initially a derivative of the Fuzz Face, a bit closer to an amp distorsion than a fuzz. (read my post about the different types of fuzz) It became quickly famous thanks to a lot of guitarists like Jimmy Page or Jeff Beck.

The MK2 version used two germanium transistors to get fuzzy tones. However, due to the nature of the circuit, the quality of the fuzz was very dependent on the transistor's gain and characteristics, just like in the Fuzz Face. In order to avoid the selection of transistors, the Mk3 version used 3 transistors, so that the quality of the sound is less dependent on the germanium transistors used. Here is my version:

Tonebender MKIII clone Aion Electronics Phobos

Crowdfunding campaign for the Montagne Tremolo and Dolmen Fuzz

My crowdfunding campaign for the Montagne Tremolo and the Dolmen Fuzz is finally out there!

The Montagne Tremolo is my final version of the tremolo prototype I showed you in a previous post. It is an analog optical tremolo with tap tempo and 6 different waveforms available, thanks to the TAPLFO digital chip.

The Dolmen Fuzz comes from my love for EHX Big Muffs and especially the green russian version. I tried different prototypes and circuits, and it is quite close to a previous build I made as well.

Create your own pedal company: good or bad idea?

If you already have made a few pedals yourself, you surely have thought about selling them or at least build some of them for other people. Create your own guitar pedal brand seems like a good idea on paper, however there are many pitfalls.... Lets talk about it!

Disclaimer: I make effects myself, and this post is not intended to "kill competitors" (with my 30 pedals a year...)! On the contrary, I think it is way better to be transparent and to talk about it: this is only my opinion, and feel free to express yours in the comments section :)

It is a complex matter that is not always easy to discuss peacefully because of money, and there are many different opinions on the subject. It is also the source of really long yet exciting threads on DIY forums (check this one!). The simplest option for me is to discuss it from my point of view as a builder. Thus, I will talk about Coda Effects, and well, just once will not hurt, about me, and give you some tips if you want to jump in it!

Early 2013, I started to show interest in guitar pedal building: after opening a Fuzz Face, I was quite astonished by the simplicity of the circuit (there is almost nothing in there!), and I realized that building guitar effects might be simpler that I thought.

Fuzz Face inside

Boss Tap Tempo DIY

Here is my latest build, a very simple tap tempo pedal for a Boss DD7 pedal (or any other pedal with external tap tempo). It is very simple : one mono jack, one momentary SPST! Very easy build, I think it is the perfect build to begin with DIY! Tap tempo is very useful if you play in a band, so I think this is really a great way to improve your beloved DD7 guitar pedal.

I used a Hammond 1590LB enclosure, which is really small. However, I did not centered the momentary switch because of the lack of space.

Boss tap tempo pedal

Relay bypass with anti pop system: noiseless and clickless true bypass

Did you like my post about relay bypass? At least I did, and now I use it in almost all my pedals! Thus, they are longer lasting, and we avoid the mechanical noises of a 3PDT. However, I noticed something annoying: the relay bypass makes more "pop" noises than the 3PDT, especially with high gain circuits... Indeed, relays tend to switch from one state to another much quicker than big mechanical 3PDT switches, which causes the "pop" noises to appear. The more the pedal is gainy, the more it will amplify the pop and make it louder.

So I adapted a system that I have found on Stompville that suppress all these noises. Here is the result, with a (very) simple "before and after" video:

Ultimate guide to guitar effect wiring: how to wire DIY guitar pedals properly?

Your guitar pedal circuit is finally populated and ready to rock! However, you still have to solder all the wires... I noticed that it was during this step that beginners encounter most of the issues that go along with guitar effects making. Especially with veroboard, you can quickly get a huge mess of wires going everywhere in the enclosure, with the so-called "spaghetti wiring" that we all achieved at least once when starting to make guitar effects!