This Zeke Bass Distortion is a clone of the D*A*M Ezekiel 25:17 Bass distortion. The PCB came from OSH Park. This worked out well. The board is pretty big so soldering parts is easy. The rotary switch and pots are all mounted on the board, which makes assembly easy, this is a good PCB.
There was no documentation on OSH Park for this, so I reverse engineered the board to match the parts in the schematic. Here is the schematic I used with part numbers that match the PCB.
Overall the board turned out pretty good. I used a socket for the dual op-amp. I threw a random 1458 in that was sitting in a pile of parts on my bench, and it fired up first test. This is supposed to use a JRC 4558. I think I have a couple of these squirrelled away, I’ll dig them out before I box things up. I might try some other op-amps also.
There are three sets of diodes. D2-4 are Ge, D5-6 are Si, and D7-8 are LED. I used some 1N34 for the Ge, and 1n914 for the Si, and random 3mm LEDs from the parts bin.
With 3P4T switch the circuit is only using one pole. I only soldered the pins used by that pole. This way if I made a mistake, it’s been known to happen, I had fewer pins to de-solder. With these switches there is a small ring with a tab under the nut. Be sure to set this for four positions.
To mount the pots, I would suggest making a box first, mounting everything in the box. This will position the pots at the correct height above the board compared to the switch. Then solder from the top of the board. I made some holes in a piece of cardboard, and mounted everything in that before soldering, since I didn’t have a box drilled yet.
I put everything on the test rig, and it fired up first! Good for me, and thanks to bmossma at OSH Park. It’s always inspiring when things work on the first attempt. The sound was pretty good, it didn’t sound like much with guitar, with bass, the effect started to make sense. I tested with my baritone guitar and it seemed to sound pretty good with that also. Definitely more of an overdrive, distortion, than a fuzz to my ears.
I was talking to a friend about distortion boxes and the Box of Rock came up. Which got me thinking, I’d never heard one before, and Z Vex always makes good stuff. I found a schematic in the usual place. It looked like a pretty easy build.
The Box is basically two pedals in series, a distortion followed by a booster. The Box has two foot switches, The first switch engages the distortion and the second engages the booster. The controls for the distortion are Gain, Tone and Volume. The booster adds a fourth knob, Gain/Boost.
The distortion section is made of three BS170 MOSFet stages. The first stage is a SHO followed by a Marshall style high pass filter made of a 470p cap and a 470K resistor in parallel. Then come two more BS170s configured gains of approximately 51 and 15.
Next is a BMP style tone stack followed by an extra low pass filter. The low pass filter is exactly the same as used in the BSIAB II. The BSIAB II also uses the same Marshall style, 470p and 470K, high pass filter between the first two stages.
The B of R includes an SHO booster on the output. I had one of these built already so i decided not to build the stock B of R and instead build just the distortion section. I figure I can place my SHO or any other booster after it for different sounds.
The Ugly Face has an interesting set of options. The Threshold knob has to be the most interesting though least useful. Last year I thought I’d add a tone control in it’s place. I wanted to build an Ugly Face and keep it in 1590B sized box. This format makes it hard to fit more than 4 Knobs. I decided to drop the Threshold and replace it with a Big Muff style tone control.
This was a pretty easy project, I already had a PCB and all of the parts on hand. The PCB I had did not have any space for the tone control. The Big Muff tone control requires, besides the pot, fours parts, two resistors and two capacitors. I remembered seeing an article on the Big Muff tone control over at Beavis Audio research where they mentioned soldering all of the parts on to the pot. I thought about this but decided against it. I have been using and planned to use these 12MM pots. Which seemed too small. Plus the box was going to be a little crowded and didn’t want to risk the parts shorting against something.
[picture of 12mm pot]
I decided to mount the tone control on a tiny piece of perfboard.Using small multilayer ceramic caps would make the whole thing fit easily.
[image of perf layout.]
Last was to run the output of the Ugly Face into the tone control before going to the volume.
[Picture the interior of the box]
I decided to do this box in a plush purple fur.
This is a Roland Bee Baa Fuzz. It’s sort of a booster followed by a two transistor silicon fuzz. The sounds is pretty heavy and doom like. Interpret that how you will. The original came in a larger case with three stomp switches on top, bypass, boost, tone. I used stomp switches for the boost and bypass, and use a toggle for the tone switch.
I built this from the GEOFEX layout. The mighty roar of this pedal demanded more than than puny plastic standoffs could hold. Wussy adhesive backing would not be enough. I chose to go with 440 allen bolts and aluminum standoffs to secure the PCB to the enclosure.
Here’s a project that I built up some years ago. This never found it’s way into a box. I dug it out and decided to try and box it up. Difficult with the number of switches and knobs. I think I have a viable plan to shoehorn it into a BB sized. box.
This is a pretty interesting distortion box. It’s sort of a Tube Screamer, Rat, Distortion +, with an Octave up. When I finish it up it should be all of those things in one box.
This was built using the layout generously provided by R.G. Keen of GEOFEX fame.
This version uses a different input buffer, which more closely resembles the input of the Crash Sync. Though it has a greater gain. I found this gave more sustain. The Ugly Face has a gain of about 200. The Revolting Visage uses a gain of about 1000.
I took the envelope from the Ugly Face which is simple and elegant and seems to work well for this design.
I also borrowed the Threshold from the Ugly Face. Which allows for self Oscillation.
These last two features do not exist on the Crash Sync. But, are a lot of fun to play with.
I changed the output to be directly taken from pin 3 of the 7555. The Ugly Face used a strange arrangement that was also connected to pin 7. The pin 3 arrangement makes more sense to me and is simpler.
This is Way Huge Swollen pickle clone I made. This is basically a Big Muff with using a 14 pin DIP that contains 4 transistors. The tone control also has a pronounced mid scoop compared to the original Big Muff.
I etched this design on the box. The design is based on flames in Tibetan art. I named the box the Shiva Sonic. I figure as the god of destruction and rebirth, Shiva was an appropriate deity for the sound of the Big Muff.
This is a layout for the Big Muff that would fit in a B sized box. It is set up to use a 14 pin DIP since I used a quad transistor array. The pins on this chip are arranged such that you you could use this layout with regular transistors inserted into a 14 pin DIP socket. If you look carefully you can see that I’ve marked the pins E, B and C
I just built up Jack Orman’s FET Muff. This is Big Muff built with FET’s instead of BJT’s. When I created the layout I had the idea that I would keep all of transistors in line so I could use a length of milmax header. I think this made for a better construction. It led to a more organized layout. Though it did cause a couple headaches with component placement.