Someone asked me about how to get started making guitar pedals. You need beginner projects! here are a few satisfying projects. They sound good and are easy build. These are also easy to debug if something goes wrong! You have to start developing your debugging skills early!
These projects are all built using perf/pad-per-hole board and strip/vero board.
Perf Board has holes arranged in a grid, with one copper pad per hole on the back side. You need to bridge connections between holes to make the connections between parts.
Strip/Vero board has the same grid of holes but the back side has strips of copper. Anything soldered to the holes in a row will be connected. Sometimes you will need to break the connections of a row by scraping the copper off to make a break. This is often shown as a red x in diagrams.
I found some layouts on the internet for each project that perf board and strip board. The layout shows where the parts should be placed.
In perf board layouts the diagrams show connections that need to be made on the back side of the board. Usually by bending the leads of the parts and trimming them.
For strip board layouts the diagrams show where parts should be placed in relation to the copper rows. Some diagrams may show where the copper trace needs to be cut with a red x.
Here are a couple videos showing how to work with perf board and strip board.
This video has a great walk through of the whole process of building a single transistor project. The author explains the process, parts and tools in detail well worth watching!
This is a single transistor fuzz that sounds surprising for the small parts count. Sounds great for bass and guitar. I’ve seen people building and selling this as a product!
Here is a great guide to building the Bazz Fuss on perf board:
Here is a Bazz Fuss build on strip board:
Muffer by Jack Orman
The Muffer takes one of the clipping stages of the EHX Big Muff and turns it into a single transistor Fuzz.
Zvex Super Hard On
This is a great sounding booster. This is a pedal everyone can use on every gig. A super practical pedal to have. It’s just a booster. It buffers and boosts your guitar signal.
Super Hard On Strip board:
Super Hard On perf board:
Electra is a one transistor fuzz that was originally made in the 60s. It’s a popular DIY project. EQD sells several variations of this pedal.
Electra Perf board: