What do you need to build your pedals and other electronic music devices? That’s a big question. For guitars pedals you can get started with some basic tools:
- Soldering iron
- Wire clippers
- Needle node pliers
- Small Wrench
- Small Screwdriver
After tools you’ll need a PCB to hold all the parts and connect them together. You can get PCBs for all the classic effects and many of the current boutique pedals. Starting with a PCB will increase the chance of success by a wide margin.
Pre made PCBs
Here are my favorite PCB suppliers:
- PedalPCB – Great stuff, well made and wide variety of options
- Madbean – Good selection, great quality
- AionFX – Great stuff, high quality, good selection, they also offer full kist for some projects
While many services provide PCB for many of the same classic effects, these boards are not always equal! get a board with the jacks and LED mounted to the board. This will cut your work down and make your build fast and foolproof.
Manufacture your own PCB
If you’re making your own PCBs I’ve tried these services and would recommend them:
- PCBWay – Great quality good prices if you’re buying 5 or more boards
- OSH Park – Great service, especially if you only want 3 or fewer boards
Now that you have a PCB you’ll need parts.
- Mouser – Great service, lots to choose from, the web site can be intimidating.
- Stompbox Parts – They have almost everything and great service.
- Tayda Electronics – Great service has lots to choose from, cheap, shipping can be slow.
- Small Bear Electronics – Great site with a good selection.
Knobs Enclosures and Switches
Once you’ve got your board built you’ll need to put it in an enclosure add some knobs.
- Tayda Electronics – Has great prices on enclosures and knobs.
- LoveMySwitches – Love My Switches has a great selection of knobs, they also sell enclosures, switches and jacks.