#1
Hey guys,

anyway I was looking to get into building my own pedals (obviously based off of pedals on the market) and was wondering if anyone on here has already been doing this and if they could give me a few pointers and a good place to start before I just go diving head first into this.
#3
Essentially, following that link will help you build wise. You're going to need basic soldering skills, and understand how to read a schematic. From there, you can use http://www.webphix.com/schematic%20heaven/www.schematicheaven.com/effects.html and http://www.geofex.com and http://www.beavisaudio.com/ for projects. Hope those sites help, and good luck.
CAPITALISM
Quote by diofan88
Naked with a bowl of cereal with headphones.
#4
Different people go about it different ways. The majority of people I see getting into building start off with a GGG or BYOC kit. General Guitar Gadgets and Build Your Own Clone are what to search for. They come with all the parts, pre-drilled enclosure, knobs, etc, etc. The only thing you really have to do (and it's optional), is paint the enclosure. You could leave it bare if you wanted though.

Those type kits are good if you're new to building. To get some practice soldering on the pcb boards, you could also pick of a couple of the BYOC confidence booster kits. I think they only come with the pcb and the parts needed to populate it, no enclosure or offboard parts, so it's a lot cheaper, but it will help you learn to solder on pcbs.

Of course you'll also need a decent soldering iron, solder, solder sucker/de-soldering braid, stand, sponge. I'd also recommend getting a third hand/extra hand tool, they sell them at radioshack. Extremely useful tool. They also make PCB holders that you can find if you want something specifically made for holding pcbs.

The way I started was a slower method, but I think you learn a bit more about how things work faster, if that makes sense. I simply bought a breadboard, and a handful of parts from Radioshack and just went to town. I started off with basic things. Wiring up an LED to the breadboard, see how changing the resistor values effects the brightness. Then wire up a switch to that LED, so you have it on/off. Then I built several basic fuzz pedals. All on the breadboard mind you, so no soldering yet. Finally I bought a couple of perfboards and wired up a few of those fuzz pedals and boxed them up. One of them didn't work right, but after the 2nd and 3rd one I had everything down pat. A good place to learn some very basic electric/audio things is Beavis Audio.

The biggest thing is not to get discouraged if your builds aren't pretty or don't work the first time. Over time you will learn the most common reasons why pedals don't work, and figure out what to look for first when you're troubleshooting. If a pedal I build nowadays doesn't fire up the first time, I can usually figure out what the problem is within 5 minutes or so. It's usually a glaring mistake like a backwards diode or transistor or something along those lines.

Making the pedals pretty on the inside will come with practice and experience. The most important thing is to learn good soldering technique. The last thing you want is to have cold joints, or joints with too much solder. Read up/watch videos of how to solder and the techniques that follow. Being able to solder well is a much more important skill to learn early on than learning to make the wires neat on the inside of your pedal.

Once you've built some of those kits mentioned earlier, you can start sourcing parts yourself. There are a few places that sell really nice pcbs or etched boards, then you just buy all other parts from parts retailers like Pedal Parts Plus, Smallbear, Tayda, Mammoth, Mouser, etc.

Hope that helps.

Edit: Also, for tons of links, check out the Ultimate Pedal Building thread here in this forum:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=630592
Last edited by chip46 at Nov 2, 2011,
#5
i would start with what chip has given you. i suggest the second route (breadboard and components) to the kits, because you will learn more. you end up with simpler pedals, but you start to understand what is doing what. especially if you start with builds like this:
http://home-wrecker.com/bazz.html
it has multiple configurations of the effect, so you can start with the simple one and work through the variations. its got some other options to try in the way of diodes as well. nice way to learn.
#6
As mentioned above, starting with a BYOC or GGG kit is probably the best way to go, at least until you have a basic understanding of how different components work in different schematics. Assuming that you'd get a kit from one of those two sites, I would go with BYOC because their forums are more active, and if you get stumped on something, you can always post on the BYOC forums and they'll help you out (I've ordered from both sites and while GGG usually has cheaper prices, BYOC has a better selection and the forums are indispensable). BYOC also has a few "how-to" threads in their forums, from basic soldering tips to paint finishes and decals. I've built 4 pedals now and modded a handful of other commercial pedals, and my advice would be to start with something simple (with only a few components), as it is easier to troubleshoot them if something goes wrong. The last pedal I built had probably over 100 components and it wasn't working when I finished it; after checking and reflowing every solder joint (+200 solder joints) and switching out different parts, I found out it was just a bad IC.

Here are a few threads to get you started:
Things to know before your first build: http://www.buildyourownclone.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19168

Basic soldering tips: http://www.buildyourownclone.com/board/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6401

Other useful how-to threads: http://www.buildyourownclone.com/board/viewforum.php?f=9

Good luck and always be patient! Once you get the hang of it, building and modding pedals is very addicting =P
Epi Sheraton II or MIA FSR strat > wah Q535 > fuzzface > Keeley C4 > Qtron > Whammy > Liquid Chorus > Triboost > Hotcake > BigMuff > Small Stone > VolumePlus > SpaceEcho > Cathedral Reverb > LoFi > MemoryMan > BYOC vibrato > DD-7 > Vox AC15 C1
#7
Quote by jof1029
i would start with what chip has given you. i suggest the second route (breadboard and components) to the kits, because you will learn more. you end up with simpler pedals, but you start to understand what is doing what. especially if you start with builds like this:
http://home-wrecker.com/bazz.html
it has multiple configurations of the effect, so you can start with the simple one and work through the variations. its got some other options to try in the way of diodes as well. nice way to learn.


listen to this guy. he is good at the fuzzes.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#8
Building pedals is a great way to get into electronics, learn about transistors, op amps, diodes, caps, resistors, but more importantly how they are used in combination to form filters, amps, clipping and whole bunch of other stuff. On top of that you get to build stuff you can use and learn lots along the way.

The above links are a good start.
#9