Silicon Tone Bender take 2

Whenever I build something I usually build two. The parts are cheap. If I make a mistake or the PCB doesn’t etch correctly I have a spare. If you build the first and it doesn’t work you can build the second and compare the two.

In the case of the Silicon Tone Bender I used Nocentelli’s strip board layout, which worked well. I built two as usual. I thought the first sounded good so I thought I’d build the second and box it up. Lately I have been trying to use up extra parts I had lying around. I found a box with an etched top that I hadn’t used.

This box was originally going to be Big Muff variant, but the box was over etched. So it was never finished. The design included three controls: Volume, Tone and Gain. which worked out for the Tone Bender.

I decided to add the Fat switch on this one so I drilled an extra hole. I soldered the “fat” cap to the switch and ran a wire to the switch and the PCB.

I used a Green LED and some Knobs I got from Futurlec. These knobs seemed like a good deal at the time. But it turns out that the hole is too small for 1/4″ shaft. They will fit on a knurled press fit type shaft. I hardly ever use those so these knobs had sat in the knob drawer for while. I finally decided to get rid of them with this project, so I sanded the shafts down until the knobs fit.

notice the PCB is mounted on a small hex bolt. I used a nylon standoff. This worked pretty well. I’m guessing it will stand up over time. The small nut has a nylon lock ring in the end.

Silicon Tonebender

I built this Silicon Tonebender posted by mictester over on Freestompboxes. I used this layout. Everything worked the first try and it sounds good. I used BC109CN for transistors. These sounded good and have that metal can with a little tab mojo. I used a ceramic .1µf cap for the input cap and skipped the Fat switch.

The fuzz is so thick you can cut it with a knife. The tone control is useful. Everything cleans up well with volume control. Would I box it up? Heck yeah! This is a keeper.

No need for expensive hard to find Ge devices. I think I might have to get a few more of these metal cans just for their mojo. If I had any complaints I would say that the Gain control lacks range. You really can’t back this off to a mild fuzz. When the effect is on you know it.

This also gave me an opportunity to use some poor quality trimmers that I had lying around.

I used sockets to experiment with different transistors.