Harmonic Energizer #2

Harmonic Energizer #2

My second build of the Harmonic Energizer. If you haven’t read my first post read about that build here. This second build tries out a couple more mods. 

Discussing this circuit over at DIYStompboxes.com Mark Hammer suggested adding some clipping diodes to this circuit. Since I had some boards I thought I’d try this out.

The idea is to add some clipping diodes across the Gain pot, like in the Tube Screamer, and increasing the Gain pot to 250K. I used a 500K pot because that’s what I had on hand. 

Harmonic Energizer with clipping mod

This Works well. Probably needs a small cap in parallel with the diodes to filter high-frequency noise.

Since the board did not have a place for these diodes I soldered the diodes across legs 1 and 3 of the Gain pot.

That was an easy mod to implement. It sounds pretty good and gives the pedal a wider range of sounds. You do lose some of the louder clean sounds. With the diodes in place, the gain pot has to be kept below 25% or you begin to hear the clipping kick in. The overdrive sound is not bad. You might get more out of this mod by playing with pot size or switching to series diodes or LEDs.

In the second picture above you can see resistor R1 running vertically up the board. This was a fix for to get the bias correct on the first transistor.

I milled a new enclosure for this build.

I made some new 3PDT PCBs that allow me to wire the switch with a ribbon cable. This works well and saves time wiring.

These little boards make the wiring process quick and painless. The process is outlined in the images above. Add the ribbon cable to the main board, then add the 3PDT board to the end of the ribbon cable. Put everything in the box. Wire the jack grounds to the board. Solder the power connections. Solder some wires to the tips of the input and output jacks. Solder the 3PDT to the switch and the input and output jacks to the outer pads on the 3PDT board.

Would I build this?

I like this version better than my first version. It’s not my favorite overdrive or distortion. For me it works best before another fuzz or distortion. If you like the “cocked wah” lead tone this gets it in a very adjustable package, if you like that sound try this.

For me the sound is not great on it’s own, I suspect in a band mix it might shine a little stronger where it could cut through a mix.


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