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#1
i was just wondering is building distortion, overdrive, boost, and fuzz pedals cheaper then actually buyingt the pedals because id so i would like ot build something along the lines of a boss DS-1 would this specific pedal be cheaper to make then buy? Also what are some other pedals that would be cheaper to make myself?
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#2
You can get a used DS-1 for $20US. A new one for $30US.

Building is only cheaper if it is a rare, expensive pedal. And you have tools and know what you are doing.
Boss buys parts by the hundreds of thousands and has an assembly line that cranks out those things like it's no big deal.

Most people build because it is enjoyable, or because they want something not commercially available. Seldom will you save money.
Last edited by cedricsmods at Aug 9, 2010,
#3
oh well what about EQ pedals i would like to build a 10 band EQ pedal which runs about 200USD so would that be cheaper for me?
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#4
Cedric is right. But, any "tube" pedal will probably be cheaper to build than buy for 250 for a 1 tube build. Building stuff is a thrill, but paying for parts and such is 1- a big hassle, and 2- gets costly quickly. If you really want to know, read up on Geofex, it can answer just about any questions on stompboxes.

edit: For an EQ it may or may not be cheaper. There are ICs designed specifically for filters, Smallbear sells a chip that can do a 5 band EQ with just a few passive parts per band, have two of them and you can make a ten band. Expect to spend at least 100 depending on what you're wanting to include.
Last edited by blandguitar at Aug 9, 2010,
#5
thanks for the help guys and ill go check out geofex now
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#6
In my experience the first few pedals you build are always going to cost quite a bit. That's because if it's your first pedal you have to start from nothing. Once you've done a few pedals you won't need to buy as much each time because you'll have tons of little things like resistors and caps and other odds and ends.

At the point I'm at now I'm basically only buying the enclosures, switches(when I run out), pots (if it's a value or size I don't have), knobs, and then anything specific to the pedal, ie a specific transistor, IC, etc.
#7
well thats more reassuring now i guess that your saying its not going to cost as much over time and i feel like it would be nice to get that feeling of acomplishment of building my own pedal but is it hard working with transitors and caps and all the electronics i dont know much about them and i can do some simple soldering but if i need help my brother is a pro at it so no worries in that department
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#8
Quote by chip46
In my experience the first few pedals you build are always going to cost quite a bit. That's because if it's your first pedal you have to start from nothing. Once you've done a few pedals you won't need to buy as much each time because you'll have tons of little things like resistors and caps and other odds and ends.
It'll drop the price sure, but even at the beginning it's still going to be much much more cheaper than buying (usually). The problem is that you may or may not end up with a working pedal. With a fuzz like a BMP, you can easily build one 5x cheaper from scratch, but there's a good chance it won't work if it's your first time. Once you get to something like a phaser it gets really complicated and it's not really a good idea to build one without much experience. If you have a PCB it's a different story though. Much easier.
I have a ponytail fetish.
..And a labcoat fetish. SCIENCE!
#9
Let's look at some numbers.
Enclosure: $8
3PDT for true bypass: $9
2 Jacks: $3
Power jack and battery harness: $1
LED and bezel: $1
(We are now at $22 and don't have a circuit yet, just the barebones.)
Say it is a simple circuit ...
3 pots: $4
Knobs for those pots: $4
Perfboard or PCB: $3
5 resistors and 5 caps: $3
2 Transistors and sockets: $3-20
Wire: $1
Rubber feet: $1
Paint: $2
Decals: $1

We are now at a minimum of $44 for a super simple fuzz or something. So it would only be 5x less if you normally pay $220 for a super simple fuzz. This is assuming you don't make any mistakes.

oh, and if you need tools ...
Drill press: $80-300
Soldering iron: $20-150
Multimeter: $10+
Pliers: $5
Third hand: $10
Desoldering braid: $2
Last edited by cedricsmods at Aug 10, 2010,
#11
well i think i have most of those tools im just not positive about the drill press but i know my friends down the street have one so no worries and that only leaves around the $44 which isnt bad but i could build a pedal equal to the value of a $220 pedal? thats insane!
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#12
The cost of parts is entirely dependent on the components you choose. The switch, LED, enclosure, and board materials is relatively constant however. You could spend 50 cents per resistor if you chose to do so. I suggest building your first few without stocking extra parts to see if you really like to do it. If not you aren't wasting money investing in something you may not enjoy.
#13
Quote by guitarguyz61
well i think i have most of those tools im just not positive about the drill press but i know my friends down the street have one so no worries and that only leaves around the $44 which isnt bad but i could build a pedal equal to the value of a $220 pedal? thats insane!


No, i think he was pointing out why a pedal is NOT 5x cheaper to build it yourself! I would say a simple fuzz pedal like that could easily be got for $50-60. Trust me, i speak from experience when i say it is NOT worth trying to save a couple of quid on building your own pedal.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#14
He wasn't being serious. He was proving the guy ahead of him wrong.
Last.fm

Good Trades:
lp_dude_2 / miketheslut/ kshands / alexmack

Last edited by Steve-Mo at Aug 10, 2010,
#15
ohhh well now i feel retarded anyways im still thinking about it but if i decide to do this how long would it take to build something along the lines of a fuzz pedal?
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#16
I've built simple pedals (aside from painting the enclosure, but including drilling all the holes) in like, an hour.

give yourself a weekend or something if you haven't done anything like this before and you should be good..
#17
that doesnt sound too bad i mean if it took a week or something i probably wouldnt think about doing this but around 2 days at most since its my 1st time doesnt sound bad and who knows maybe if im lucky ill get it done alot sooner anyways what are some other simple pedals to build besides fuzz, distortion, boost, and overdrive?
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#18
Quote by james4
I've built simple pedals (aside from painting the enclosure, but including drilling all the holes) in like, an hour.

give yourself a weekend or something if you haven't done anything like this before and you should be good..


I disagree that it would only take 2 days. There is no telling how long it might take, it depends on if you're any good with electronics or not.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
#19
well i think imm pretty good with electronics but never worked with stuff like this before and i dont mean this in a cocky way or anything but im pretty smart so im hoping to understand how it works im assuming its somewhat complicated but i have everyone here to translate it into dummy 4 me if i need it
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#21
Vintage Dist+ = ~$250
Mine = ~$40
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#22
well ill look into it now and tell you my decision in a while i guess

also where do you guys get parts from a site or your local stores?
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
Last edited by guitarguyz61 at Aug 10, 2010,
#23
Quote by cedricsmods
numbers
I'm only talking about simple pedals like fuzzes, and distortion. Maybe it's cause I don't live in the US (I like in Japan), but I've built pedals where the parts are only 2000JPY ($20-ish?). The box cost the most, being 1000JPY or so. This was pedals like the Octavia, Tonebender and the Rangemaster.

I admit, maybe I was exaggerating with 5x a bit, but here the BMP is like 10000 or something.

EDIT: I'm talking about bare essentials. Not including paint, decals, knobs and such. This is not including soldering irons and braids, since that's more of an investment that you can always use.
I have a ponytail fetish.
..And a labcoat fetish. SCIENCE!
Last edited by AntiG3 at Aug 10, 2010,
#24
well still from what your saying you did save some type of money and had a good time with it
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#25
Quote by guitarguyz61
well still from what your saying you did save some type of money and had a good time with it
I did it cause I'm interested in electronics and stuff. If you enjoy that kinda stuff, you should definitely try some kind of pedal...Eventually you might make your own effect which is exactly what you want
I have a ponytail fetish.
..And a labcoat fetish. SCIENCE!
#26
yup gotta stay optimistic like that but i would like to know where the guy who made the vitage distortion got his parts for only $40 because ive heard those and they are amazing but theyre pretty damn expensive and i want a distortion pedal and i think i could really enjoy it too!
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#28
well it has all the extras that all players done need like a ditortion pedal that i dont have still after about 3 years of playing it has flanger, chorus, phaser, delay, ect. but it doesnt have like distortion or boost or stuff like that so i would like to build one of my own
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#29
Quote by Comrade Curry
why do you want a pedal if your vox takes care of it all?


The gain settings on the valvetronix isn't great. A distortion pedal is a must to be honest. Plus, if you want a chorus, you have to have the delay on too.
Last edited by blandguitar at Aug 10, 2010,
#30
Quote by blandguitar
The gain settings on the valvetronix isn't great. A distortion pedal is a must to be honest. Plus, if you want a chorus, you have to have the delay on too.


Oh ok yea now that I think about it I remember playing a smaller one of those. It has all the amps and effects right?
#31
Depends on what you build.

It's cheaper for most pedals over 50$.

A lot of pedal are harder to do and all too. Digtal delays, wah's come to mind. Fuzz on the other hand are very simple.
Quote by MH400
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You have 2 options.

1. Tits.
2. GTFO.

#33
Quote by guitarguyz61
i was just wondering is building distortion, overdrive, boost, and fuzz pedals cheaper then actually buyingt the pedals because id so i would like ot build something along the lines of a boss DS-1 would this specific pedal be cheaper to make then buy? Also what are some other pedals that would be cheaper to make myself?

if you dont already have the tools to do so, a case to put the circuit in, knobs, all the parts, etc... then it might actually be more expensive. if its a rare pedal then it usually is less. the cheap way is usually to buy a cheap, used pedal and then mod it to make it sound like an expensive pedal.
#35
Any pedal that uses an OP amp is going to be cheaper to buy new than build on your own. They're already cheap as it is. So pretty much any Boss pedal will be cheaper just to buy new/used.

Anything with discrete transistors or any other funky arrangement, will more than likely be cheaper to build on your own. Especially if you can build your own PCB's.

An excellent example of cheaper to build on your own is a Univibe. New ones sell for sometimes $200-300 from botique builders. I built my own for ~$50. Fuzz pedals are also very cheap to build on your own since they often just have a couple of transistors. Even if you splurge for germanium they are cheap.

So to answer your question, you'd just be better off buying a DS-1 rather than building one. I bought mine on ebay ~5 years ago for $25. I'm sure they're still around that price today.

Quote by blandguitar
http://www.geofex.com/Article_Folders/steelstud/steelstud.htm
Although, you don't wanna use steel for an amp's enclosure.



What's wrong with steel? Lots of factory enclosures are made of steel.
Last edited by earthwormjim at Aug 10, 2010,
#36
you have to remember, its only cheaper and rewarding if the thing actually works. i am no slouch with electronics. heck, its what i do for a living. and yet ive spent at least 3 or 4 hours trouble shooting a pedal i built and have got nothing. i can find no reason why it doesnt work, and no reason why it does the things it does. for the parts + my time, i could easily have gone and bought a used version of the pedal i was cloning. so was it cheaper? nope. have i got anything from it? just cuts, burns and experience


not that im trying to dissaude you, im just saying it isnt exactly as simple and cheap as some people make out. it is fun, rewarding, and often frustrating. if you like electronics and like guitar, it is very much worth doing. just dont expect to save a lot of money doing it. you do it because you enjoy it and you can customize what you build.
#37
Quote by earthwormjim
What's wrong with steel? Lots of factory enclosures are made of steel.


Ah, a magnetic field will induce a current into the steel, and the natural resistance of the metal will develop a voltage across it. This will create a less stable ground and make it more easy for hiss and oscillations to occur. In a pedal it's not a big deal. But in an amp, the transformers present a much larger issue than just shielding from radio interference.
#38
well from what everyone is saying i still think i wanna build my own type of vintage pedal because i would like a really great pedal for a cheaper price and ill start doing more if i like it as i get more experienced also what would be the best place to buy things i need and what would be the best vintage distortion pedal i could probably build?
Guitars
Gibson Explorer
Takemine EG523SC
Epiphone Slash Signature Les Paul
BC Rich Mockingbird ST

Amp
Vox Valvetronix 100watt

Pedals
TC Electronics Ditto Looper
Dunlop Original Cry Baby
Electro-Harmonix Freeze Sound Retainer
#39
Smallbear may sell a kit with what you need, if not general guitar gadgets, buildyourownclone.com , a lot of places really. If you're just ordering from a schematic though, I'd do small bear to start with.
#40
Also, you will most likely save money on signature pedals, as with many, you are paying for a name as well.


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