This is a library of perfboard and single-sided PCB effect layouts for guitar and bass. I'm not an electrical engineer by any stretch of the imagination, just a DIY'er who likes drawing layouts. It is meant for the hobbyist (so commercial use of any of these layout is not allowed without permission) and as a way to give back to the online DIY community.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ColorSound OverDriver

The OverDriver is a dynamic transparent drive that works great with a tube amp. It's essentially a massive clean booster that pushes the amp to overdriven tones. Original units from '69-'70 didn't have a master volume control, but modern versions do and it's a good addition to the circuit. (If for some reason you don't want the master volume, the Volume 3 pad becomes the Out pad.)

I've upped the power filter cap to 47µ and added polarity protection and a pulldown resistor. The original BC transistors used had BCE pinouts, but I've laid the effect out for the more common CBE pinout. Also, the BC169 transistors used for Q1 and 2 will probably be pretty difficult to source, so socket and try out some alternatives (2N3904, 2N5088, etc). Might be a tight squeeze horizontally, but it should fit in a 1590B enclosure.

Here's my build. Haven't boxed it up yet, but I tested it and it seems to work. I used 2N2222s for Q1-2 and a BC550 for Q3, though I plan to try out some different ones. Also, you may want to try a lower value for the gain pot. There's a serious drop in gain once you start turning it down. Since the first stage is based on the Fuzz Face, maybe try a B1 or 2k pot. Reverse log might not be a bad idea either.


  1. I made this, it works very well, I made a video comparing some transistors, thanks for the layout !!!

  2. hi, in my country "BC's" is more common. I get a lot of them out of trash. (has another "word" for a electronic trash in English?)

  3. Hi. I want to build the Solasound power booster pedal. I saw that the electronic sketch is relatively the same like the overdrive version.
    Then. Can i use the present layout to build the power booster pedal? In this case what must i change? 
    Thank you very much.
    Gerald from Belgium

    1. I think the only difference between the Power Booster and the Overdriver was the Power Booster ran on 18v instead of 9v. So just throw in a voltage doubler daughter board and you should be good to go.

  4. Built and working!
    The B1k pot for the gain is a great improvement.
    Used BC549 for Q1, BC148 for Q2, and 2n3904 for Q3. The 2n904 is a must try for sure.
    Also tried Germanium in Q3 with great results.