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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


The Sentinel is a PT2399-based pitch modulator, delay, reverb and drone verb designed by Arnoud Philip (~arph) as part of the DIYSB 10th Anniversary design contest. It's based on the Sewer Pipes ring-verb and the Noise Ensemble. Original thread here, schematic here. Should be able to squeeze it into a 1590B. 

Note: LED2 in the layout is a bi-color LED that could be used externally as a rate indicator or even the on/off indicator. For the later, use the footswitch to break/connect the connection between the common cathode (middle lead) and the 1k resistor going to ground at the top of the board. Also, the 25k trimmer is a fine tune control for the Drone pot.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ashbory Bass Preamp

The Ashbory bass was first introduced in 1986 and is/was a half scale (18") fretless travel bass with a piezo pickup and built in preamp. That preamp is essentially a Baxendall tone stack feeding into the volume control, into an op amp based gain stage. I stumbled across the schematic and thought it would be a good addition to the library. Should fit nicely in a 1590B, or you could wire it into a bass.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

DeadAstronaut Black Triangle

Got another take on the bufferless Tube Screamer. DeadAstronaut has added some extra tone shaping options for tone, gain, and clipping. Pretty versatile tones on tap from light drive into heavier territory. He's also got a PCB with board mounted pots and switches for sale on his site here if you don't feel like wiring all those toggle switches.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Parasit Studio 8-Bitar

For Fuzz Friday, here's a really cool design from Parasit Studio:

The 8-Bitar is a minimalistic octave down pedal with a 8-bit sound (glitchy and gated square wave fuzz). It's small enough to fit inside a 1590A without any special parts.

The design goal with this pedal was to achieve the core octave tone from the Arcadiator, but with as few components as possible. I'm happy with the result since it only uses one chip (a CD4069).

Usual caveats apply for getting the best tracking - humbuckers, neck pickup and tone rolled off.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Pigtronix Fat Drive

Here's an interesting one from Pigtronix. It uses a TL072 to push a CD4049, which is followed by another TL072 pushing a Rat-esque tone control. All the gain stages make for natural compression and tube-like tone without using clipping diodes. Schematic for reference on FSB here (note, I've linked the inputs of the unused stages of the CD4049 to +9v to avoid any unwanted noise). Runs great on 9 or 18 volts and will fit in a 1590B with board mounted pots.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Diamanté Compressor

Stumbled across this one over on the old La Revolution Deux blog. It's a simplified version of the Diamond Compressor, removing the EQ and the blinking LED circuitry. Makes for a much smaller footprint and will fit nicely in either a 1590B or 125B. Here's the schematic for reference.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Demeter Fat Control

Looking for a mid-range frequency booster? This one's apparently really good at it. Schematic and discussion on FSB here.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Ibanez OD-850/Maxon D&S OD-801

There are a host of Big Muff clones and variation, but one of the most sought after clones is the Ibanez OD-850. Like all vintage Ibanez pedals, the OD-850 is just a rehoused and rebadged Maxon design–in this case, the D&S OD-801. While this shares a lot in common with a Ram's Head BMP, it differs greatly in the tone section. Here's Kit Rae's description:

Maxon opted to alter the tone stack for this clone, fixing the bass value across the tone pot sweep... The whole high pass and low pass tone section is incorporated into the recovery stage. What this did was to make the bass and treble sides have a more useful range of sounds. The treble side retains some bass across the sweep, so it is not as ear piercing and trebly as a standard BMP when dialed completely to the treble side, nor do the highs seem to be completely removed when dialed fully to the bass side. It kind of makes finding the 'sweet spot' a bit different sounding than the traditional BMP tone stack, but that is what makes this version unique.

I've laid this out for more common CBE pinout transistors, where as the C828s of the originals are BCE. This follows the first version released in 1974, and will fit in a 1590B with board mounted pots. Here's the schematic for reference.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Toadworks Mr. Squishy

Here's an interesting take on the Orange Squeezer compressor from Toadworks. Extra controls and clean boost capabilities when the Squish control is at zero and the Level control is maxed. Schematic here for reference.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jon Patton Cardinal Tremolo V2

The Cardinal Trem is a harmonic tremolo designed by Jon Patton and meant to emulate the tremolo effect built into several Fender amps from the early 60s (Twin, Super, Pro, Showman, etc). What makes it harmonic? The audio signal is amplified by the first JFET stage, then split into a high-pass path and a low-pass path. Each path is modulated optically with the vactrols, then amplified and mixed into the output. The LFO is designed around a quad opamp (in the original it's a quad, I had to divide it into 2, dual opamps to make it fit) and pulses the LEDs in the vactrols. Schematic and full circuit explanation can be found here.

The L pad will need to be grounded in some fashion for the LEDs to pulse. LED1 can be used as an external rate indicator, either on all the time or as the on/off indicator as well. Jon recommends using optical bypass for this effect (hence doing the Optical Bypass layout on Tuesday 😁), so to use LED1 as the indicator LED, connect it to both pads for the LED on the Optical Bypass board and ground the L pad. If using a 3PDT, just connect the L pad to lug 4 and lug 5 to ground as outlined in the General Layout Notes page.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Optical Bypass

Here's another alternative to the 3PDT for bypass wiring. It's based on the method VooDoo Lab uses for bypass and uses a optocoupler to achieve true bypass using a DPDT. I've drawn up 2 different layouts for this: a standard perf/PCB layout, as well as another PCB I did in Eagle with the footswitch board mounted. There are extra pads so the compact or the larger DPDT footswitch can be used, as well as an extra pad for the resistor so 1/8th or 1/4th watt can be used.

Note, in the board mounted footswitch version In/Out pads refer to the jacks, and Send/Return refer to the effect in/out.

Friday, June 8, 2018

EarthQuaker Devices Dirt Transmitter

To close out EarthQuaker week, here's the Dirt Transmitter. I traced this one myself and below is a video showing the process. It's similar to a Fuzz Face, but a little different. I found this description from (I'm assuming) Jamie over on TGP:

I guess it's kinda like a fuzz face but it started as two gain stages running into each other with an input gain control and a sag on the second stage (bias). Voltage feedback was added and it became similar to a fuzz face in topology but it sounds nothing like one IMO. In this case the sound is totally dependent on the transistors, replace them and it's a whole different beast.

Here's my video on tracing the circuit as well as a demo:


Here's the schematic:

And the layout:

You can also order a few boards from OshPark here.


Added a perf layout for this based off the Eagle board above.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

EarthQuaker Devices Dunes

If the Palisades is too much for you, the Dunes has a much smaller footprint and less controls to get distracted with. Pretty standard Tube Screamer clone with clipping options and a couple tone shaping switches. Might be a bit of a squeeze but it will fit in a 1590B with board mounted pots.

Monday, June 4, 2018

EarthQuaker Devices Crimson Drive (3-knob)

What? A Monday post? Yep. This week is EarthQuaker week. EQD is easily my favorite pedal company, and I own more of their pedals than any other builder. Not to mention I've learned a lot about pedal design from Jamie's work. So this week I'll be posting 3 EQD circuits and hopefully a video to go along with this week's Fuzz Friday.

To kick EarthQuaker week off, here's the now discontinued Crimson Drive. Did the 2-knob version ages ago, but the 3-knob version was recently posted on FSB so I gave it an update. Beyond the addition of the tone control, there's a few capacitors removed compared to the 2-knob version. The germanium transistor is also different–an NPN instead of the PNP–and the germanium transistors were swapped from 1N60Ps to 1N34As. Easy fit in a 1590B with board mounted pots.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Run Off Groove Mockman 2.0

Continuing to knock out the last few ROG designs I haven't laid out. This one's a pretty easy little circuit, emulating the distortion in Rockman amps designed an used by Boston guitarist Tom Scholz. The toggle allows you to go between 80s (classic) and 90s (modern) tones, and it should all fit in a 1590a. Schematic, sound clips and more info on the ROG site.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Barber Dirty Bomb

Gotten several requests for this one. Your wishes have finally be granted! Originals have the Sub Bass control as an internal pot, but it was pretty easy to include it externally, so you have options. It's designed specifically for a 125B with board mounted pots, but would fit in a small box with the pots off-board. Schematic, etc. on FSB.

Friday, May 25, 2018

D*A*M Flesh Head

Here's a Tone Bender Mk. II variation from DAM for Fuzz Friday. Originals use PNP transistors are are positive ground effects, but it could be built with NPN transistors as well (negative ground). This varies from a Mk. II in that there is an added tone control (Flesh), and the fuzz control is a fixed resistor. Schematic here. The perf side of the layout reflects the positive ground orientation of components, and the pcb side the negative ground orientation.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Way Huge Fat Sandwich

"Way Huge" not only describes their enclosures, but also many of their circuits! Not quite as big as the Pork Loin, but still a monstrosity in its own right. 1590BB unless you wire all the pots offboard, then it'd fit in a 125B ok. Schematic and all that jazz here on FSB.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Run Off Groove Double D

Still a few Run Off Groove designs I haven't laid out yet, and this is one of them. It's based around the 4049 IC chip and features 2 channels of amp-like distortion. I've laid it out to fit in a 125B with dual footswitches. Bias Q1 to 4.5v and then adjust to taste as usual. More info, schematic and footswitch wiring diagram on the ROG site.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

TAD Range King

Nice little booster from Tube Amp Doctor. There's still a little bit of confusion on FSB over the correct value of the resistors biasing the base of the transistor, but this should work. Schematic and discussion here.

Friday, May 11, 2018

KMA Fuzzly Bear

For Fuzz Friday, here's an interesting take on the Bosstone fuzz with a few value changes, extra diodes, and a voltage sag control. Schematic and discussion here. I did add a bit of a mod to this–the resistor marked "0-10k" limits the minimum setting of the drive pot. Stock, lug 1 goes directly to ground. But IMO, it's a bit better to have that limiter there, otherwise it's just another way to mute the pedal. So adjust that to taste.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Way Huge Pork Loin

Here's a really big one to kick off the week (might be the biggest dirt circuit I've ever laid out). The original Pork Loins have the Clean Tone, Presence, and Drive Mix pots internally, with 3 internal pots internally, and I've gone with the same configuration here. Schematic can be found here on FSB.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Run Off Groove Nurse Quacky

Here's Run Off Groove's take on the Dr. Q by JD Sleep with mods and improvements suggested by Mark Hammer and Jack Orman. More info, schematic and sound clips here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Darkglass Microtubes B3K

Gotten a few requests for this one and I finally got around to doing it. It's a bit of a hodge-podge–3 dual opamps, a hex inverter, and a JFET mu-amp array. Definitely not fitting this in a 1590B, but will fit nicely in a 1590BB with the pots board mounted. Info and schematic here.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Apocalypse Audio Green Bomb Fuzz

For Fuzz Friday, here's a cool variation on the Fuzzrite circuit by Apocalypse Audio. It takes the classic Fuzzrite, adds some extra gain, and a pretty clever tone control. More info and the schematic can be found here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Catalinbread VariOboost

Here's an older design from Catalinbread, but an interesting design as usual. It's a preamp/boost with a wide range of tone shaping capabilities. Schematic can be found here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Active Baxandall Network

Got a request for a Baxandall tone stack daughter board, (much like the Big Muff Tone Stack daughter board) and thought it was a great idea as it's a great tone control. The schematic for this came from this article, which is worth the read. I've laid it out two ways, one with board mounted pots, and one without that's a little more compact.

Note on the board mounted pots version the fill on the PCB is not ground.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

CultureJam Shoot the Moon

Here's a great optical tremolo designed by CultureJam. Schematic can be found here. D1 is the external rate indicator and could be used as the on/off indicator as well. Just use part one pole of your 3PDT to break/connect one of the leads of D1. D2 and the LDR should be isolated together (heat shrink tubing works great). Tayda LDRs and either orange or red LEDs seem to work well in this circuit. A NSL32-SR3 optocoupler works well too. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Demeter Fuzzulator

Here's an interesting opamp-based fuzz from Demeter for Fuzz Friday. I imagine other dual opamps can be used in place of the LF442, so socket and experiment. The trimmer in the original seems to be set at 2.5k. Schematic can be found here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Boss DS-1 with Keeley Ultra Mods

Got a request for the classic DS-1 with some Keeley mods and since my earlier DS-1 layout doesn't have board mounted pots, it seemed like a good idea. The flip-flop switching has been removed. Here's the schematic for reference.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

TC Electronic Integrated Preamp

Here's a loud one for you (I am not responsible for any blown speakers that may happen as a result of you building this thing! haha)! It's a popular preamp and used as a booster by the metal band Meshuggah. It apparently sounds best run at 18v. I didn't include an onboard charge pump since I know a lot of you prefer different methods for that. Should be plenty of room in a 1590B for a daughter board with your preferred charge pump. Schematic can be found here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Lovepedal Tchula

Another Electra variation from Lovepedal. It's described as a two-stage COT50... I guess the "stages" are the different ways to bias the transistor off the emitter. The stages are switchable via footswitch in the originals, but if you put it on a toggle switch you should be able to fit it in a 1590A. Here's the schematic (this was traced from a cream box Tchula):

Friday, March 30, 2018

Frantone Cream Puff

Happy Fuzz Friday, everyone! Got a few requests for this one. It's a bit like a fuzz in the way a Big Muff is a fuzz–bridges the gap between fuzz and distortion. And it's somewhat similar to a Big Muff with two gain stages pushing a BMP tone stack. Schematic can be found over on FSB.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fender Eric Clapton Active Mid-Boost

Got a request for this one. It's the active midrange boost (of up to 25dB at around 500Hz) found in Fender's Eric Clapton signature Stratocaster. Ended up not board mounting the pots for a smaller board for those building this into a guitar. Here's the schematic for reference.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

MXR Commande Sustain

Here's one from MXR you probably haven't heard of before. It was apart of their Commande line of plastic boxed effects from the late 80s. They aren't highly regarded because of the plastic, but the circuits were pretty well designed. The circuit in question today is a better design than the DynaComp, offering less distortion and more sustain. It does have a little less compression range than the DynaComp, but also less noise. (And really, who needs that much squish? haha) Couldn't find a demo of this one, but the schematic and discussion can be found here on FSB.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Baja VH4

Another drive circuit from Bajaman. He's been on a tear lately! In his words...

Here is my latest build based on the frequency response characteristics of the Diezel VH4 tube head channels 3 and 4, but scaled down into a 9v dc pedal friendly format... I got a chance to try using it on Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" and needless to say it sounded awesome on very low gain setting Channel 3 - just the right amount of searing crunch and in my view one of my best pedals to date!

It will fit in either a 125B with top mounted jacks, or a 1590B with side jacks. If you go 1590B, you'll either have to offboard the pots or use long leg pcb-mount pots and populate them on the component side. I've added extra pads for the JFETs so you can use either DGS or GSD pinout transistors. Schematic can be found here.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Os Mutantes Fuzz

Got a request for this one and thought it'd be a good Fuzz Friday layout. It's got a fair amount of treble and grit on tap and should fit pretty easily in a 1590a. Schematic here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lovepedal Jubilee

Here's Lovepedal's Jubilee–pretty close circuit-wise to the Purple Plexi and Black Magic. Should be a pretty quick build. Note, if it sounds too dark, replace the 47nF cap with a 4.7nF cap. Schematic here.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

VooDoo Lab MicroVibe

Here's the Micro Vibe from VooDoo Lab—aka, welcome to jumper city. Always seems to happen with vibe circuits, but this one will fit in a 125B quite nicely. Pretty standard adpation of the old Univibe with speed and intensity controls. Set the trimmer to 250Ω (and be careful if you adjust it since there's no protection/limiting resistor). Schematic can be found here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

zVex '59 Sound

zVex's new '59 Sound looks to emulate an overdrive '59 Fender Bassman amp and is essentially a tweaked Box of Rock. I've left out the boost section (which is essentially a SHO after this circuit), but can be easily added with the old SHO layout here on the blog.

Also, there's another installment of the DIYLC tutorial up on YouTube today. I actually am not using DIYLC all that much in it... 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Jext Telez White Pedal

Here's a pretty cool one for Fuzz Friday–the Jext Telez White Pedal. It's a recreation of an onboard overdrive unit in a vintage Vox amp used by George Harrison in the late 60s. Schematic can be found here. Pots are board mounted and I've tweaked the Yoko switch to just be a toggle instead of a rotary like the originals, and it should fit nicely in a 125B.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Vertex Steel String

Here's a relatively new effect from Vertex–the Steel String Clean Drive. It's supposed to sound like a Dumble amp and is 2 muamps going into a BMP tone stack. Schematic can be found here.

More progress with the tutorial. Actually wrapping up the DIYLC portion before moving onto the Photoshop bits.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Baja SLO

Here's another one from Bajaman. It's a modified version of his AFD, but tuned to sound like a Soldano amp high gain channel. There are enough differences to necessitate a new board. More info here on FSB. Much like the AFD board, this one has the option for buffered bypass or true bypass. And the drilling template fore the AFD will work for the SLO as well.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Baja AFD

Here's a unique overdrive design by Bajaman over on FSB. You can build it with either a buffered bypass or true bypass. If using true bypass, omit the 1k resistor below the lower TL062, and the 1uF cap and 100k resistor connected to the BP Out pad. To wire for buffered bypass, connect the In pad to the input jack, the FX Out pad to lug 1 of the footswitch, lug 2 to the output jack, and the BP Out pad to lug 3. More info and schematic over on the FSB thread. Thanks to 287m for sharing his layout.

Also, the next episode of the DIYLC Tutorial is up on YouTube. Almost have a completed layout!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

MultiCab Sim

Got a request for this one, designed by Daniel Schwartz. Seems to be a pretty versatile cabinet simulator. Might be handy to throw this in the same box as the Mini Amp from earlier this week. More info, schematic, etc here on DIYSB.

Also the next episode of the DIYLC tutorial is up on YouTube. Forgot to plug it in the post from Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

1 Watt Mini Amp

Here's a nice little solid state amp for headphone use or a small 4Ω speaker. Good candidate for a bench top amp for testing purposes. You can board mount the pot and it will fit in a 1590A just fine.