Me and a friend of mine are trying to design our own distortion made from our own components we bought at radio shack and through Mauser.

We have looked at schematics online ranging from the Dunlop Fuzz Face transistor based circuits to the Boss MXR distortion plus. As a trial to sort of see how they work, we basically recreated the circuits exactly.

The issue we are having is that it sounds like crap. We can get drive out of it and some beef but in the end it sounds like a puny laser gun with lots of humming and unwanted fuzz.

Is there anyone who has experience with building your own pedals who can give me some ideas on how to produce a more professional sound? There is obviously some sort of factor we are missing out on here.

Here are the looks to the schematics we have tried to re-create. Mind you we basically made exact replicas of these piece by piece and it just doesn't sound the same.
We have not soldered it, it is all on a breadboard. Shielding could be an issue, we might need some Gaussian surface over it to block outside noise. I don't think parts have much to do with it, though we have not tried germanium diodes rather than silicon.
the problem with a breadboard is that it is a trap for stray capacitance. so for the mxr distortion +, the 8-10 pf cap that you think you're adding for oscillation prevention could actually be something way different after putting it in the breadboard.

it may be a little more work and soldering, but try prototyping on a veroboard or something similar. you'd be surprised the difference in actually soldering the components.
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A: Crabs on your organ.
What amp/ guitar are you testing it through. SS or valve, humbuckers/ single coils ect?

Also, what others said about bread board, and try mucking about with the diodes in the mxr. I built one on veroboard last year with sockets for the clipping diodes so I could play about with them. Basically what it says on the schematic you linked.
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