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, June 30, 2015

Electro Harmonix LPB-1 (and its siblings)

The LPB-1 was the first effect made by Mike Matthews and Electro Harmonix. Like many other effects at the time, it was housed in a small box that plugged directly into your guitar. It was designed to give you a volume boost and push the amp into overdriven territory. EHX still makes the LPB-1 (Linear Power Booster) to this day, as well as its sibling circuits, the Screaming Bird (also known as the Screaming Tree) treble booster and the Mole (also known as the Hog's Foot) bass booster. The LPB-1 and Screaming Bird/Tree can be built on the same board, as the only difference between the two is the input and output capacitor values (100n for LPB-1, 2.2n for Screaming Bird/Tree).

The Mole/Hog's Foot is basically the same circuit, again with differing input/output caps. However, there are 2 added 100n capacitors that make it necessary for a different board.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Run Off Groove May Queen

Here's another "Brian May in a box" circuits, this time from Run Off Groove. The May Queen is a treble booster/overdrive that should get you pretty close to those classic Queen tones. The cap between 9v and the drain of Q3 in the layout below is optional. It's a high end filter, so the larger the values will cut more treble frequencies (2.2n is just a good starting point–adjust to taste). I've added polarity protection, power filtering, and a pull down resistor at the input. You might be able to cram it into a 1590a. For the schematic, transistor voltages, and sound samples, check out

Friday, June 26, 2015

Creepy Fingers FuzzBud

Here's a great sounding one-knob fuzz from Creepy Fingers Effects for your FuzzFriday. It's based on the fuzz section of the Colorsound Fuzz-Wah and follows the basic structure of the Fuzz Face, just with a fixed resistor in place of the fuzz control. Shouldn't be hard at all to fit in a 1590a enclosure.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Catalinbread Galileo Mk. II

The Catalinbread Galileo emulates an Vox AC30 and a Rangemaster treble boost in one to give the user tones like Brian May of Queen. The Galileo Mk. II differs from the Mk. I with fewer controls and in a much more pedalboard-friendly enclosure. It's a bit stripped down from the original, but sounds fantastic, and some say it's easier to dial in tones on the Mk. II over the Mk. I. Comparing the schematic with the Catalinbread Sabbra Cadabra, the Galileo has a very similar structure. The input stage is similar (though not identical), the stacked JFET gain stages are nearly identical, as is the gain recovery stage after the tone control. Though, this makes sense since both are emulating British tube amps and Rangemaster variations. To board mount the pots, use right angle PCB mount types from the solder-side.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Stupidly Awesome Buffer

Here's a well designed buffer by Martin from SoulSonic FX. Use it as a stand alone buffer or as an output buffer in another pedal. Should fit easily in a 1590a enclosure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Greer Amps Sucker Punch

The Sucker Punch uses the popular combination of a JFET and 386 op amp, much like the Lovepedal Black Magic/Purple Plexi, or DAM Sonic Titan. Nick Greer put his own spin on this and it sounds pretty good. The 100k trim pot is to bias the drain of the J201. Set to 4.5v and then adjust to taste.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Millenium 2 Bypass

I guess I'm about 15 years late to bypassing effects using this method, but I thought I'd post it anyway. Like most builders, I generally use a 3PDT footswitch for most of my builds. However, I recently purchased some DPDT footswitches to use on a few effects that either use a weird way of switching (Crowther Audio '77 Hot Cake) or have a built in buffer (MOD 'Verb Deluxe, Pearl/Vorg Warp Sound). I found that the "click" made by these DPDTs was far quieter than the "kuchunk" made by regular 3PDTs, and wanted to use these quieter switches on a few builds. So, I decided to investigate the Millenium Bypass designed by R.G. Keen. So for those of you who like the quieter click of the DPDTs or if you just have a bunch of them kicking around your parts drawer, this layout is for you. I've drawn 2 versions: one is a small daughter board you can mount the LED directly on (perf and PCB), and the other is for PCB mount DPDTs that will cut down on the offboard wiring.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Vox ToneBender Mk I

You might look at this and think, "Gee, it's just another Fuzz Face," when in actuality, this pedal pre-dates the famous Dallas Arbiter stombox. (This is different from the Sola Sound ToneBender Mk I, as the Sola Sound has 3 transistors.) It was made in Italy for Vox and sounds like a Rangemaster and Fuzz Face combined, due to its smaller input and output capacitors. This is also the same circuit as the D*A*M 1966 Italian Tone Bender. I've added a 10k trimmer in place of the stock 8.2k resistor to dial in the bias for Q2 (a 20k trimmer might give you more tweakability), but on the PCB there are pads for a resistor in place of the trimmer if you prefer to go that route. Also, I've added a pull down resistor at the input, and polarity protection and power filtering. Note that this was originally built with PNP germanium transistors and was positive ground. The perf side of the layout reflects this, while the PCB side reflects negative ground for use with NPN transistors.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Folk Driver

The Folk Driver is a low-medium gain overdrive developed by SoulSonic FX after being challenged by Björn Juhl (of BJFE) to create a DIY project inspired by sound of the BJFE Honey Bee. Here's what Martin (soulsonic) had to say about it after designing the circuit back in '09:

My goal was to keep the design as simple as possible, but still try to fit in some tricks. This uses both positive and negative feedback to get its sound. R8 [100k resistor between emitters] is something I learned from the big old red RCA book – it’s positive feedback to boost the gain of the first stage; it was suggested as an alternative to using cathode bypass capacitor in a tube stage, well, it works just as well with a transistor. The combination of R9+C4 [100k and 470p in series from Q1 emitter to Q2 collector] is negative feedback to reduce the high frequency gain and give the signature smooth sound. It also promotes stability in the circuit. I settled on the clipping diode combination after trying several different kinds, and the 1N4001+1N4148 combo had the best sound for this thing and reminded me most of the HB.
The Timbre control adjusts both the low-frequencies and the amount of drive. At the 12 o’clock position is the minimum drive amount. At one extreme it’s max gain with lows emphasized, and the other is max gain with the lows cut. It’s sort of like having the HB’s Gain and Nature controls on one knob.

Should fit in a 1590a just fine. Here's a demo:

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mad Professor Sweet Honey Overdrive

This is a great sounding drive pedal from Mad Professor. Very dynamic and tube-like, the Sweet Honey is a medium gain overdrive that can produce a wide range of tones, from jazz to heavy rock. I've laid the board out for right angle PCB pots mounted from the solder-side of the board, and it should all fit nicely in a 1590B.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pink Jimi Photon Photonic Juergulator Mk 2

Here's Jimi's (second) take on the Harmonic Percolator circuit. Like the original, Jimi's circuit uses germanium and silicon transistors, but with much more attainable components. Here's a link to his schematic, and be sure to read his notes on changing transistors. The 47µ cap he references is located between the 2 transistors directly in the middle of the board. I've added polarity protection and power filtering. Pots can be mounted from the solder-side of the board using right angle PCB mount pots.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Xotic EP Booster

Here's another circuit from Xotic. Simple JFET boost with an output buffer borrowed from the Tube Screamer. Originals have 2SP1815 transistors with BCE pinout, but I've laid this out for the more common 2N5088 with CBE pinout. The originals also have the Bright and Fat switches internally as DIP switches. Having these externally should be much easier on the user, and it shouldn't be too hard to fit in a 1590A. Well, no harder than any other 1590A layout. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Maestro FZ-1A Fuzz Tone

I got to see the Rolling Stones a couple days ago and when they kicked into (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction as their second encore, I realized I hadn't laid out the effect responsible for one of the greatest songs of all time.

The FZ-1 used 2, AA batteries to run off 3v, and the FZ-1A used a single AA battery to run off 1.5v. The circuit was designed to be friendly with the wide range of hFE gains and leaky germanium transistors in production at the time. So when you're picking out transistors for Q2-3, either pick leaky high gain or low leakage and low gain (less than what you'd use in a Fuzz Face). Original units were positive ground effects with PNP transistors. I've laid the perfboard side out for positive ground and the PCB side for negative ground. I've also added some extra components to get supply voltage down from 9v to about 1.5v, so you can daisy chain it with other effects (if you're building the negative ground version).

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Radio France Fuzz

Here's a great sounding Fuzz Face variant from FSB forum member Hozone (Davide Gironi). If you're feeling adventurous, you might be able to fit it in a 1590a. He originally used a 2N5088 for Q1 and a BC547 for Q2, but I would socket and experiment with what you have on hand. Here's what he had to say about it on his blog:

It's a standard silicon Fuzz Pedal circuit, made up using two common NPN transistors, the BC547, and the 2N5088. I've tried to "take it to the limit", to produce an extreme distortion clipping sound. There are three control points on this pedal:
  • the volume
  • the crunch switch, that sets the gain to a low value
  • the stoner switch, that makes the pedal sounds thinner or fatter
It's called "Radio France" Fuzz, cause while playing with different components values on my breadboard, i can even even hear a radio transmission from France (likely AM), which is pretty distant from where i live. Luckily this doesn't happens on the perforated board, but it was enough for me to call it Radio France Fuzz.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Xotic AC & RC Booster

Got a request for the RC. The AC is just a few value changes, so I drew them up to be built on the same board. Seems like a Tube Screamer with a 2-band EQ section to me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mid-Fi Electronics Demo Tape Fuzz

Here's a pretty unique fuzz from Mid-Fi. Built around a dual opamp, the Demo Tape Fuzz recreates the sound of a guitar being played directly into an old 4-track cassette deck. It features a 2-band EQ in addition to the Volume and Trim (gain) controls. I've laid it out for board mounted right angle PCB pots mounted from the solder side.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Zvex Fuzzolo

The Fuzzolo is one of the newer Zvex designs in a 1590a box. It's a stripped down Woolly Mammoth with a SHO added to the end, so it's got a huge fuzz sound. In production versions, there's a moveable jumper internally to go between active and passive pickups. You could use a SPDT switch to accomplish this, and make it easier to switch between the 2 modes, or you could eliminate the 2 input resistors (750Ω and 39k) and use a 50k pot as a pre-gain control. The PW (pulse width) pot pans between a square wave and a wide/narrow pulse width. Like the original, this should fit nicely in a 1590a enclosure.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

One-Knob Fat Fuzz

Here's another quicky for your weekend. This is based on Tim Escobedo's LoFoMoFo, but tweaked for more bass frequencies. This circuit was actually my first build and it sounds great. Although, I made the n00b mistake of using a 10n cap on the input instead of the 100n because I misread the capacitor code. So I guess I should say it sounds good with a 10n input cap. Can't really speak to the stock sound, but it's apparently very fat. Should fit easily in a 1590a.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Crowther Audio Prunes & Custard

The Crowther Prunes & Custard is a unique distortion box good for both guitar and bass. It's a two-stage circuit, built around a TL072 dual-opamp. The first stage acts as a preamp, and the second stage generates the distortion, with harmonic overtones. I've laid this out for on board pots (long leg PCB-mount pots will probably work best mounted from the component side) and it should fit nicely in a 1590B enclosure. The 2 switches are SPST.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Devi Ever Torn's Peaker

The Devi Ever Torn's Peaker is a versatile dirt box, ranging from smooth and crunchy at low gain settings, to thick distortion/fuzz tones as the texture control is increased. The Torn's Peaker is very close to a couple other Devi circuits (Aenima, US, and Never Drive) and it only takes a few modifications to get the Torn's Peaker to the other circuit specs. Here's the schematic from showing the differences between the 4 circuits, and the modifications are listed in the layout image below.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Ersatz Verben

The Ersatz Verben is a pseudo-reverb circuit using a PT2399 for short slapback delay. It was designed by FSB member CultureJam and refined by EarthTones, and based on the Crap-Fi Delay by Allesz. Delay time ranges from 40-140ms. I've laid it out for onboard pots and added polarity protection and an onboard LED resistor. Here's a demo:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Vemuram Jan Ray

Got a request for this one. It's another Timmy knockoff with a couple extra low value caps and a weird resistor array leading to the Bass control.

Monday, June 1, 2015

JHS Superbolt

Here's a popular JHS pedal that emulates old Supro/Valco amps: the Superbolt. It has a remarkable similarity to the Run Off Groove Supreaux and Supreaux Deux. It seems to be a slightly modded Supreaux, with the high/low switch and 18 volt supply of the Supreaux Deux. A charge pump is also added so the pedal can run off a typical 9v supply. You can use an ICL7660 or MAX1044 in place of the LT1054 (though, if you use the MAX1044, be sure to ground pin 5). This one's laid out for on board pots as well as the SPDT switch. Be sure to bias the JFETs to around 9v, then adjust to taste.