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, December 30, 2015

Jon Patton's Hamlet Delay

Here's another design from Jon Patton. It's a delay based on the popular PT2399, with an always-on preamp. The preamp is designed to have a flat EQ and won't alter your tone. So the In and Out pads go to the input/output jacks, instead of the switch. You could still wiring this for true-bypass (just jumper the footswitch pads), but it's designed to use a DPDT. Use one side to turn the delay on/off and the other for the LED indicator. Check out his build doc for a thorough and much better explanation of the circuit, a diagram for the footswitch wiring, as well as the schematic. In his layouts he has the Level and Tone controls as trimmers on the board. I chose to move these off-board, as it seems like useful controls to have externally.

Monday, December 28, 2015

'64 Vox Tone

Here's a little overdrive designed by Fred Briggs of the La Revolution Deux blog. Here's what he had to say about it.

Here's another (nearly) new one from me. It's a tricked out super mod of the old Electro Harmonix LPB-1 circuit that produces some lovely singing overdrive tones reminiscent of an old VOX from their 1960's heyday. I took the Lovepedal Englishman (A supposed Vox AC30 / AC15 emulator) as a base and went from there - Firstly I wanted a little more gain, hence the 4k7 collector resistor. Along with more gain I wanted more emphasis and clipping on the higher mids to replicate that treble laden Vox overdrive hence the 82nF bypass cap and the 47k/22nF mids filter at the end of the circuit. These changes make the circuit sound livelier and give it more character. The use of the *super* low forward voltage SB340 diode in combo with the BAT46 diode produces harmonically rick asymmetrical clipping, the levels of which can be controlled using the "Headroom" control. The headroom control also allows a nice rich low end to be retained while allowing the top end to be clipped, as you roll back the clipping a nice tube like "note attack sag" effect becomes prominent - it's quite pleasing and cool to play with. The use of the 2N3565 transistor is due to some tests carried out a while ago where it was found that the 2N3565 sounded best in these sort of applications, you can replace it with a 2N5088 or BC108 or, in fact, any decent gain NPN transistor.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DeadAstronaut Tremshifter

Merry Christmas Eve-Eve, everybody! Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. Here's an awesome tremolo circuit designed by DIYSB member DeadAstronaut. Cody asked me if I could do an etch-able layout since DeadAstronaut has sold out of PCBs for the effect. Check out the original thread on DIYSB for the schematic and more info.

Edit 3/2/16: Added missing resistor in the filter LFO and corrected traces in trem LFO.

Monday, December 21, 2015

EarthQuaker Devices Acapulco Gold

Here's a fun distortion from EarthQuaker. Tonally, it's based on a cranked Sunn Model T amp and uses 2, 386 chips. It cleans up nicely with the guitar's volume, so a good mod would be adding a pot before the input. John K did this and used a reverse log 1M pot.

Friday, December 18, 2015

SolaSound ToneBender Mk III

For #FuzzFriday I give you the SolaSound ToneBender Mk III. The Mark III was a smoother and less aggressive follow up to the famous Mk II Professional. SolaSound built it for several other companies–Vox, RotoSound, Park, etc. There are plenty of layouts for this classic fuzz out there already (there's already 2 on this blog), but I drew this up for a 2-in-1 box I'm putting together (this into a Catalinbread RAH) and thought I'd share. So here's a modern layout for the ToneBender Mk III. Originals used PNP germanium transistors, so the perf side reflects positive ground layout, but the PCB side shows negative ground if you want to use NPN transistors. For more info on the circuit check out this page.

Here's the drilling template for it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


The EchoPathetic was designed by FSB member Allesz (designer of the Crap-Fi Delay and Dirty Punk Repeater). His previous designs use the PT2399 delay chip, but this one is full analog. There's an input buffer based around one side of TL072, then the signal goes onto the 3102 and 3205 chips. It's designed to be a buffered effect with the footswitch just turning on and off the delay section, but I figure more people will want to build it with true bypass. For more info, check out this thread over on FSB.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Jon Patton's Snow Day Overdrive

Here's a cool design by Jon Patton (seriously though, everything he designs is pretty awesome). He was kind enough to share his work and offer a full circuit explanation over on DIYSB and Madbean's forum too. Check out the thread here or here for his schematic and other goodies.

Friday, December 11, 2015

FuzzHugger FX Phantom Octave

The Phantom Octave is an octave/ring mod type fuzz that's very interactive with guitar pickup selection and volume/tone controls. The LED pads are for the one that's under the knob in the video below. You could use it as the on/off indicator, but it might be hard to tell if it's on when signal isn't passing through it. Should be able to squeeze it in a 1590A. From the manufacturer:

Equal parts mysterious and ghastly, the Phantom Octave is a shape-shifting octave fuzz 
monster! No controls? They're not necessary--they're at your fingertips! The Phantom Octave is 
extremely interactive with your pickup selection, picking intensity, and your guitar's Tone 
control. Like its namesake, the octave will disappear with picking intensity and by rolling back 
your guitar's Tone control. Octave effect is strongest with low-output single coil pickups.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Lovepedal Superlead

The Superlead is Lovepedal's take on the Marshall Guv'nor. It has a simplified tone stack compared to the Guv'nor, but has a switch to select between silicon diodes and LED for clipping. Great for 80's metal tones.

On an unrelated note, I made a Facebook page for the blog. I figure you guys can post build pics there more easily if you want and I'll post the layouts over there as well. So head over and give it a like if that's your thing.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Death by Audio Reverberation Machine

Here's a cool dirty reverb effect by Death by Audio. It uses a Belton brick like many other designs, and offers clean reverb with the gain control turned all the way down. But when you increase the gain, fuzz is infused to the signal. You can mount the Belton brick to the board from the solder-side (best to do this once the rest of the board has been populated). It'll probably be too tall with the brick to fit in a 1590B, but a 125B should work just fine.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Bass FuzzDrive

Here's a cool bass fuzz designed by Derringer over on DIYSB. It's based around the classic DIY Bazz Fuss with built in blending circuit. Derringer mentioned that it might need a booster after it. The good ol' LPB-1 should do nicely. Just put it between the Blend pot and Volume pot. Here's the schematic.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Split 'n Blend

Got a request for more blend effects, so let's start with a simple one. You can use this as a daughter board to add a blend control to an existing pedal (or incorporate it into something else you're building), or use it as a stand alone blending pedal. 2N5457 should work just fine for both transistors.

Monday, November 30, 2015

ProCo RAT Project

Here's the classic RAT distortion with on-board pots. All the ProCo RATs are essentially the same circuit, just with a few value changes over the years. For this project, the board can be used to make 4 different versions of this great distortion box: The original RAT, the RAT 2, the Turbo RAT, and the You Dirty RAT. Here's the basic schematic:

The component names from the above schematic follow those in the layout drawing below.

The project file with a full BOM, scaled transfer images, and drilling template can be found here.

Thanks to Cody for verifying this ahead of time for me. You sir, are a scholar and a gentleman.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Escobedo Tytewadd

Here's a quicky from the Folk Urban schematic archive for #FuzzFriday. It's a simple circuit with low power draw, so if you use batteries, this one won't drain it for a while. Q1 can be any medium to high NPN silicon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Catalinbread Formula No. 5

The Formula No. 5 is a 5E3 Tweed Deluxe amp emulating overdrive pedal. It's essentially 2 JFET stages (very similar to the AMZ Booster) with the Tweed Deluxe tone and volume (in this case gain) controls in between. A master volume pot is added at the output for more control. Here's a great demo of this pedal from Just Nick, comparing it to an original Tweed Deluxe.

On the PCB I've added extra +9v and ground pads in case you build this with the DC jack at the top of the enclosure. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tokai Metal Driver

The Tokai Metal Driver was built in Japan in the early-mid 80s and is very similar to the Pearl OD-5 of the same era. In some ways it's basically a Tube Screamer, with the same input/output buffers, but the tone control is rather unique and the sound is apparently very different from your standard TS-9. Original units use 2SC1571 transistors with BCE pinouts, but I've drawn the layout for CBE transistors that you're more likely to have on hand. Here's one of the few demos I could find of it. Skip ahead to around 2:30.

Friday, November 20, 2015

MicTester's 1969 Fuzz Box

Her's a unique fuzz circuit from MicTester for your #FuzzFriday. Here's what he had to say about it:

Way back in 1969, I heard "Inna Gadda Da Vida" for the first time. I realized quickly after building some simple transistor stages that didn't work properly that "the" sound was coming from abused transistors! Experimentation over some weeks led to [this circuit]! Just two pots give an amazing range of distorted sounds and none of the components are critical. 

Please tweak away until you find the sound you want! Alter capacitors, change the transistors–experiment!

The original FSB thread with the schematic can be found here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

LM13700 to CA3080 Conversion Board

A lot of older circuit designs (DynaComp, Ross Compressor, etc.) use the CA3080, which is now obsolete and rather expensive. The LM13700 is essentially two 3080s in one chip, and much more affordable. Here's a conversion board to use the 13700 in place of the 3080. Use long header pins, mounted from the solder-side of the board. These can then be inserted into an IC socket in place of the 3080. I'm not the first to come up with the sort of board, but hadn't seen one on perf. So hopefully it will be helpful to some of you out there.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Seamoon Funk Machine

The Funk Machine is a filter effect that can be used on either bass or guitar (or synth, Rhodes, harmonica, etc). It's also like an auto wah, given that the wah effect is controlled by the string attack of the player. Original units used 2, LM741 chips, but I've laid it out for an LM1458 (which is 2, 741 in a dual op amp). Don't try to use a TL072 or JRC4558, as they will not work in the circuit. Check out the discussion of this circuit over on Tagboard Effects for more info.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Orpheum Fuzz

For #FuzzFriday, I give you the Orpheum Fuzz. There seems to be several versions of this circuit (germanium and silicon), but it's essentially a FuzzRite. Since I've already done a FuzzRite layout, I thought I'd do a different one with onboard pots. It's meant for use with silicon transistors, but you could use some NPN germaniums if you want. 100-150 hfe should work nicely for both.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

BBE AM64 American Metal

Here's the BBE AM64. While "Metal" is in its name, it seems more suited for heavier rock sounds. 70s metal at best. Nonetheless, it's a very good sounding distortion box. The circuit is essentially a Guv'nor with soft clipping instead of hard, along with a DS-1 tone stack.

Monday, November 9, 2015

TubeSound Overdrive

Here's a simple one-knob drive that's ripe for modification. It uses an interesting combination of one NPN and one PNP silicon transistor stacked together. There are a few different values you can tweak to taste. Here's a schematic for reference:

  • The input capacitor (C1) could be increased for more bass.
  • C2 could be increased to 47-100µF for more drive.
  • The output capacitor (C3) could be decrease for more treble.
  • R5 could be replaced by a 10-20k pot, lug 1 going to ground. C2 could then be moved between lugs 1 and 2. This would act as a gain control (much like in a Fuzz Face).
  • R3 (trimmer) could be moved off-board as an alternative bias/gain control.
I haven't tried these modifications, but they should do something interesting. YMMV

Friday, November 6, 2015

Roger Mayer Axis Fuzz

For #FuzzFriday here's Roger Mayer's Axis Fuzz, and it's the 100th fuzz effect on the blog. Maybe I should branch out more... It was designed by Roger in the late 60s for Jimi Hendrix, and is named after the title track of "Axis Bold as Love." It uses a PNP silicon transistor for Q1 and NPN silicon for Q2. So while it will give you some Hendrix-style tones, it isn't quite a Fuzz Face. The schematic can be found here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Casper Electronics EchoBender

Today marks the one year anniversary of this blog. Thanks to everyone for your comments, verifying layouts, and just generally being really cool people. To celebrate, I give you a really cool and crazy delay, the Casper Electronics EchoBender. The EchoBender is a development of/modified Deep Blue Delay. I couldn't quite get it to fit with on-board pots in anything smaller than a 1590BB, but the original is in a giant wedge enclosure, so I guess it's still an improvement. If you feel like wiring 6 pots off-board, you should be able to fit it in a 125B or even a 1590B. From Casper:

The Echo Bender is an echo, distortion and experimental, stand alone noise generator.
It’s capable of creating smooth, clean echos as well as delving deep into screeching, noisy realms seldom heard from a traditional echo pedal.

Here's the link to the 1590BB drilling template.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Tychobrahe Octavia

The Octavia is one of the many legendary effects to come out of the late 60s. It is also one of the rarest pedals of the era, as there weren't many built. Like most effects of its day, the Octavia is a positive ground effect. There are several schematics for it floating around, but the one I based this layout on can be found here. Most positive ground effects I layout I also post a negative ground effect version as well. I haven't done so for this one to keep the classic mojo of the original. If you want to make it negative ground, just rotate electrolytic caps, the 1N4001 polarity protection diode, and use NPN transistors for  Q2 and 3.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Colorsound 3-Knob ToneBender Reissue

I was trolling Google Images the other night looking for schematics and I stumbled across this. I think the only thing this reissue has in common with an original is the enclosure and graphics. It uses a single opamp with soft clipping and a Big Muff-style tone stack. If you use 9mm pots you could probably cram it into a 1590A.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Catalinbread RAH

This one's for those of you trying to nail some Jimmy Page tones. The RAH emulates the HiWatt heads Jimmy used live in the early days of Zeppelin. It uses only 3 MOSFET transistors, and features a 3-band EQ section. I'm going to shut up now so you can hear Andy from PGS put this thing through its paces.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Montarbo Sinfhoton

Here's a unique fuzz box from Italy for #fuzzfriday. Long, warm sustain like a Big Muff, but with better articulation when strumming chords. There seems to be a couple different ways to build this (circuit is the same, just a few components vary), and it's ripe for modification. Using high gain silicon transistors like MPSA18 or 2N5089s and playing with the value of the resistors going to the collectors from the voltage rail is a good place to start. Check out the FSB thread on this effect for more info. Diodes weren't listed in the schematics I saw, but 1N4148s should do the trick.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

JFET Overdrive

I could have sworn I posted this back when I started this blog, but apparently not (hence the 'old school' pcb). It's another of Nocentelli's designs and somewhat similar to the Marvel Drive. Original schematic can be found on the FSB thread.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Earthquaker Devices Hummingbird

Here's a cool variation of the Vox Repeat Percussion tremolo from EQD. It adds some extra controls to the original circuit for more versatility and control. I had a hard time tracking down a schematic for this one and ended up just tracing the vero layout from the Tagboard Effects blog. So here you go internet, the schem for the Hummingbird:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Run Off Groove 22/7

Here's something interesting to do with some of those 4049UB chips. It's a CMOS Big Muff (22/7 being the fractional equivalent of pi). Brian from ROG added a switch to the tone stack to allow for flat response and a super scooped response, in addition to the classic scooped mids. I've also drawn up a version without that switch if you don't want to mess with the extra wiring. Schematic and sound clips can be found on the ROG project page.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Drivestortion Project

I really enjoyed making the Big Muff Project file a couple months ago and thought it would be fun to make a similar project based on the MXR Distortion +/DOD OD250 circuit (in an attempt to combine the 2 names I call this project the Drivestortion). This circuit was also cloned by other pedal manufacturers (apparently this was the Timmy of the 70s), so the project provides component values for a couple of these as well. Let's start with the schematic:

This is the basic circuit for several versions of the DOD OD250, the MXR Distortion +, the Ross Distortion, and the DeArmond Square Wave, just to name a few. The only difference between all these is differing component values (and sometimes not even that). The component names from the above schematic follow those in the layout drawing below.

For a full BOM for 6 different versions of this circuit, download the linked file below. In addition to the BOM, it contains scaled transfers for etching your own circuit board and a scaled drilling template for building the effect into a Hammond 1590B enclosure.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Lovepedal Silicon Fuzz Master

For #fuzzfriday, here's an interesting take on the Fuzz Face circuit. It uses silicon PNP transistors, but is still a negative ground effect (so daisy chaining power supply is still ok). I guess Sean had a bunch of extra 2N3906s lying around. I took a few liberties with the power filtering and polarity protection, but nothing that will effect the original sound. The yellow/ceramic 100n cap going from 9v to ground is optional, as it's not all that necessary, but is in the original. It's setup for board mounted pots if you so desire.

You can find a 1590B drilling template for this effect here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Run Off Groove Britannia

And improvement over the original English Channel project, the Run Off Groove Britannia is an adaption of the classic Vox AC-30 amp into stompbox form. Couldn't squeeze this one into a 1590B with onboard pots, but it's laid out for a 125B enclosure. Pots are right angle PCB mount type, mounted from the solder-side of the board. Check out the ROG project page for a full description, schematic, and sound clips of this circuit.

You can find a 125B drilling template for this here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mad Professor Amber Drive

The Amber Drive is a slightly tweaked Fire Red Fuzz. Not a whole lot of differences between the two other than some value changes, but it's enough to make this not as fuzzy as the FRF apparently.

Here's the drilling template for this one. It should also work for the Fire Red Fuzz.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

JHS MiniBomb

Here's a simple clean boost circuit built by JHS. It's really just the Tim Escobedo Duente JFET boost with a fixed resistor instead of a trimmer. Because of that you probably want to socket that resistor (5.1k) and adjust to the J201 you use. Or you can just squeeze a 25k trimmer on there like Tim designed it. Should fit in a 1590a just fine.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal

The HM-2 is the godfather of all other heavy metal distortion stompboxes. While it was first introduced in the '80s, it's still a highly regarded circuit for metal applications with its high gain and crushing lows, especially if you live in Sweden. Said crushing lows are thanks to the gyrator tone stack (not something you see all that often). Original units only have high and low tone controls, but it's easy to add a mids control, and the layout below reflects that. If you don't want the Mids control, simply connect the Mids 2 pad to lug 2 of the Highs pot. It's a fairly big layout, but you should be able to fit it in a 125B without issue, and if you're really precise with your drilling you might able to squeeze it into a 1590B.

Update July 13, 2016: 
Updated the layout so that the ICs are getting full 9v. Tone stack pots may need to be reduced to 10k.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Zvex Mastotron

Happy #fuzzfriday, everybody. The Mastotron is a heavy silicon fuzz and a variation of the Wooly Mammoth. It can produce a wide sonic range from 8-bit sounds to complete wall-of-fuzz tones. I've drawn this up to fit in a 1590B more conventionally than the Zvex way. You can use PCB-mount right angle pots, mounted from the solder-side of the board. 

I'm going to try and start including drilling templates with layouts that have board mounted pots (or at least the right angle kind). As I have time, I'll be going back to previous layouts with board mounted pots and creating templates for them as well. You can find them in the new Drilling Templates tab at the top of the page. You can find a 1590B drilling template for this effect here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sewer Pipes Ring-Verb

Here's a cool PT2399-based circuit designed by David Edgar (DIYSB member Earthscum). He describes it as, "kind of like playing in a sewer tunnel..." Here's a link to the original schematic and discussion over on DIYSB.

I noticed the schematic image in the DIYSB thread is now broken, so I've drawn up a new one for reference here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Run Off Groove 3 Legged Dog

Got a bunch of CD4049UBE chips left over from building Red Llamas? Here's something else you can do with them. You might need to play with the the value of the 8.2k resistor going to the drain of the J201 to make sure you're getting to around 4.5v there. Also if you encounter squealing or unwanted noise, try increasing the power filter cap from 47µ up to 100-220µ. Sound clip and schematic can be found here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

4ms Tremulus Lune

The Tremulus Lune was designed by Dan Green from Commonsound and is a fantastic sounding optical tremolo. It's a very versatile trem, and has a very adjustable LFO section. The audio path goes through the TL072, and the LFO is created with the 4558. A VTL5C2 can be used, or you can make your own photocupler with an LED (3mm red) and LDR (5k/500k). The LED pads on the right side of the board is for an LFO speed indicator. This LED could easily be used as on/off indication as well. Wire the anode (+) to the board as indicated, and the cathode (-) to the footswitch (typically pin 4 or 7–refer to the General Layout Notes tab above). Then wire the footswitch (pin 5 or 8) to the LED - pad on the board.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Himmelstrutz Fetto

Here's an original design by Himmelstrutz Elektro Art, the Fetto. It's a heavy overdrive/distortion circuit using 3 JFETs (probably 2SK170GR, but the names were sanded off the original traced by SoulSonic). These have DGS pinouts, so they're not J201, 2N5457, etc. One of the unique things about this circuit is the number of removable jumpers on the circuit board. These can be removed to tweak the sound of the effect, along side several DIP switches and 2 trimmers. In the layout below, I've replaced the removable jumpers with DIP switches for easier tweaking. The only jumper that isn't on a switch (and I don't think it was removable on the originals) is the one in parallel with the 100nF output capacitor. Not sure why this one is there. You can check out the schematic here.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Mad Professor Fire Red Fuzz

Here's Bjorn's take on the classic Big Muff circuit. JFETs are used as clippers in the first clipping stage, and a JFET-based gain recovery stage is used instead of the traditional BJT one found in the original. You can use board mount pots from the solder side using right angle PCB mount pots.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Escobedo Idiot Wah

Here's a quicky designed by Tim Escobedo. It's an inductor-less wah, and you can use either a pot or an LDR to control the effect. It's small enough to fit in a 1590a if you want a fixed wah in a small package.

Resonance switch is a SPST.