Guitar Effects Pedals
My search for a better tone over the years lead me to DIY effects pedals. The possibility of customizing my effects lineup to my liking was just too sweet to not do. I now have way too many pedals. As is true for many DIYers, I got addicted to making pedals for a while, and it seems like I couldn’t help but build another compressor, reverb or delay, along with a lot of other types. I’m not that knowledgeable about circuit design, but I manage to build well enough for my own use.
This first multi effects pedal is my go to traveling light is paramount. I often bring it to jam sessions where there is a random amplifier that may or may not be to my liking.
From roughly right to left:
Klone (based on the Klon) – gray knobs
Compressor (based on the Demeter Compulator) – green knobs
Tube Screamer derivative (tone/clipping options) – black knobs
Tremolo – violet knobs
Delay – blue knobs
Reverb – white knobs (always on)
I use the klone to beef up the midrange content of the Tele – the gain control adds midrange – the key to getting a fat sound Also the tone control both boosts and cuts treble content, so there is wide range of possibilities with this circuit. Some folks use these as overdrive pedals–and it will definitely do that–but for me it’s an overall tone shaper, which I set just to the edge of breakup, and use the guitar volume to clean up for comping.
The compressor also acts as a limiter. I use it to create a sense of sustain and help even out volume.
The tube screamer is for overdrive sounds and has several clipping options and EQ settings.
The tremolo is based on an EA Trem.
The delay is a Deep Blue Delay, used to create additional ambiance.
The reverb is always on with no stomp switch and is based on a Belton brick
Lab Series L-5 Preamp
As seen on the Guitar Gear page, this adaptation of the Lab Series L-5 amplifier from the 1970s is sort of the cornerstone of my sound. I have one on both my gigging and recording pedalboards. It’s a DIY project from by Aion FX, recreating the preamp section of the amp: dual channels, Midrange/Frequency controls, internal compression, and comb filter controls. The left channel is a fairly conventional Fender tone stack with treble, mids, bass and a bright switch. The right channel has the active frequency/midrange controls which is the feature of the original that I found so useful.