Here's a pedal that I'm building and selling at the moment under my brand "Placebo Effects", and I would like to share it with all of you.
It started out when I was building a "Soda Meiser", and I did something wrong when trying to customize the circuit a bit, and I then by accident discovered the sound that I've been attempting to create for a long time.
It does not sound anything like a "SodaMeiser", or anything else that I've heard so far, but the main section is a very typical Devi Ever design.
It is best described as: Fuzzy brass sections on Absinth, with sustain that lasts for a week.
Fat heavy bottom, and very rich harmonics.
Forget about playing chords with this one.
This sound best with (one string) lead melodies and single coil pickups.
This is how it works:
- The "In" and "Out" pots are just as obvious as it sounds.
- The "Voice" switch determines what part of the frequency spectrum it distorts (all high end frequencies passes straight trough without being distorted, so it all happens in the lower/lower mid parts of the specter)
- The "BarryTone" rotary switch selects which of the 4 transistors will piggyback the Q3 transistor and then becomes a kind of caracter switch.
- The "Inverter" flips the 4 piggybacking transistors 180 degrees, and turns it from a high sustain mode, into a pinched/gated mode that has a lot of trumpet like qualities.
- "Trouble" foot-switch removes the caps that are on the "Voice" switch, and sends it into oscilation. This is a very nice feature for making the end of solo's go nuts with feedback and noise, or can be used rhythmic to make pulses and choppy patterns. This feature is very interesting when flipping the inverter into the pinched/gated mode, as it creates a very synth like fuzz sound when pressed.
The fact that the Base of all 4 piggyback transistor is always connected to Q3, they suck energy from the Q3, and is part of the magic in this one.
I found that it is not possible to get it right unless you have 4 transistors connected to the rotary. More or less transistors totally changes the sound (less makes it harsh and bright, more makes it dull and too wooly)
I also found that high Gain/HFE transistors does not work as well as the ones in the 50-200 hfe specter.
I do not mind if people build loads of these and sell them, as long as you keep the name and give me some credits for tweaking the circuit into existence. It's not like I invented the wheel with this one, but it's nice to tell people what it actually is, and where it came from.
Anyway: It's an amazing monster sound that I never have heard from any pedal before, and I think many of you will like it.
For Q4-7 you can try whatever you want actually, as long as it's medium to low hfe NPN.
In the beginning I used sockets and experimented with all kinds of combinations.
I chose these ones because they gave me the most variation of sounds.
Q4&5 are NPN silicon and Q6&7 are NPN Germanium.
The datasheet you linked to looks like it could work nicely. But I would not bother too much with finding the exact part number, but rather try any NPN Germanium you got lying around, or a silicon if you do not have many NPN Germaniums.
I think I had a AC127 in that position for a while, but can't remember why I swapped it, but I suspect that it was because it was a bit too similar to AC176, and that one sounded better.
There were some that I tried that became a bit too gated (it needed a booster in front in order to break trough) when flipping the inverter switch. This was specially the case with some of the russian germaniums made for switching that has a diode inside (between Base and Emitter if I remember correctly)
I have some MP38A lying around, but I did not try them in this one.
The cool thing about this game is that there are no rules, anything is possible if you let your ears decide.
This circuit is totally based on doing stuff completely wrong, so there is no right way to do it
I have not had the chance to make a sound demo of it yet, since I've been a bit busy recording my album these days, and I do not use this pedal for that project. But I hope to get a short sound-demo done in a couple of days...
I live far out on the countryside in a cabin way out west in Norway, and it's both my home and my studio, and I have my workshop where I build pedals and Cigar Box Guitars in Oslo.
I'll be traveling with bus for 9 hours to Oslo tomorrow. It's pedal time again...