Welcome to the Revolution

Hi there, welcome to my blog - La Revolution Deux. It's an odd name - but I like it! Here you will find all the info on my various DIY Guitar effects builds, amplifiers and guitars. Everything from a humble Ibanez tubescreamer to the holiest KLON Overdrive.

You may also find a few effects builds that I am looking to move on - usually in exchange for other effects/gear/cash. You can always check my ebay account to see what I've got up for grabs.

Have fun, enjoy the blog - Fred Briggs :-)


Feel free to get in contact with me about anything you see on this blog or with any general questions about guitars, amplifiers and effects, I'll be happy to answer! Just click the button above to email me directly or alternately my email address is fredbriggs2007 [at] googlemail [dot] com

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Saturday, 20 December 2008

Fuzz - The sound that changed the world

Some kind soul has done a (naughty) favor for us all and uploaded this DVD for us all to watch. You get to see all your favorite (?) fuzz boyz in action. Zvex, Bjorn and the rest! Check it out it's a fun watch!

click here: http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/xpnt2_crazy-fuzz_fuzz-th3-sound

Friday, 12 December 2008

G2D - Custom Cream Tone

I saw one of these:

And in my dream I saw this:

Something tells me they might somehow be related....

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Menatone - King of the Britons

Menatone, well known for their "Amp in a Can" stuff. Well I've had a few requests for a few of the Menatone boxes and thanks to the freestompboxes.org forum here is the "King of the Britons". Marshall-esqe uber distortion, give it a try - I did and quite enjoyed it. I built up the RunOffGroove.com "Thor" though and enjoyed that much more...

Here's a demo;

Here's the scheme:

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Lovepimple Woody : Lovepedal Woodrow

A one knob super amp tone generating machine? Cranked 5E3 Tweed? Just a simple Electra Distortion if ya ask me ;-) And I know you didn't.....

A big thanks to LovePedalDetective at the freestompboxes forum for this one.

Demo video:

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Most Wanted Stompboxes?

You guys are what makes Revolution Deux a worthwhile project. What I want to know is which pedals you all want to see on the site? I'll then do my homework and see if I can cobble together the info that I need to create a few projects for the "most wanted" stompboxes

To vote for the pedals you'd like to see projects for just leave a comment down below with the pedal name and manufacturer.

Happy bounty hunting!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

10 Son of a Clay Jones Overdrives in the pipeline.

Hi there,
I've had so many requests to build up the "Son of a Clay Jones Overdrive" (Which I will refer to as the SOCJOD from now on) pedal for you guys I've decided to produce a small run of them, 9 units to be exact. 

Basically the SOCJOD is a Tubescreamer-808 Overdrive circuit built to Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive/Clay Jones Overdrive specs but without the input and output buffers, for more info on the exact circuit structure see here

The sound they produce is identical to that of the original Landgraff/Clay Jones pedals but they come in a much nicer enclosure (See the image below!) and for a tenth of the price! Of course you can imagine it's all the lovely usual true bypass/geek tech/boutique techniques and quality parts to boot! Great for blues, rock and (If you push it with a booster) even heavier territory. For further ideas about sounds and gear compatibility check out youtube for videos of the Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive and the Clay Jones Overdrive.

OK, how much? Simple: £80 + Shipping*, a decent price that makes it worthwhile for me and an affordable price for yourselves. You're getting a good exchange rate at the moment too, check it out with http://www.xe.com/ucc/ Just look at it, our poor old pound is struggling more than ever :-(

To get your name on the list for one please just drop me an email and I'll get back to you with confirmation whether you are on the list or not. I'm only going to build up 9 because I already have the enclosures painted and my time resources do not allow me to produce a larger run. Expected completion date for the pedals is around 3-4 weeks from now! For anymore info, again, just drop me an email, you can find my address above ;-)

*Insured airmail to the US is £14 so the total cost of the shipped pedal would be £94
  Insured first class within the UK is £5, total cost shipped £85
  Insured airmail within Europe is £10, total cost shipped £90

Monday, 13 October 2008

Lovepimple Purple Pills : Lovepedal Purple Plexi / 800

Here's another delightful Lovepedal design for you. Again produced from the freestompboxes cauldren of joy! As we can all now see it is a simple 386 power amp chip distortion device, been around for years yet still pleasing to the ears. Check out the demo video;

Thanks to all of freestompboxes for the research work and especially Ghandi (for the scheme). Expect a PCB layout soon when it's been verified as correct :-)

And below is the Purple Plexi 800, which is just a slight variation on the Purple Plexi;

On a side note the 386 chip can be quite entertaining, check out Colin's Parallel Universe design over at www.eaced.com in the schematics section for a truly wacky machine!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Want to find a cheap pedal for modding?

Well here is a cool little feed put together by Modman from the freestompboxes forum. Check it out if you want to find a few little goodies :-)


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Baldwin Burns - Buzzaround Uber-Fuzz

Here is another one for you, the sought after Burns Buzzaround fuzz pedal:

Full on uber-fuzz researched and revealed by a number of stompbox experts around the world. Dragonfly of Soulkitchen FX (Check out the crazy boxes!), David Main of D*A*M FX in the UK and various others all contributed to this great piece of DIY reseach and destroy stompbox mythics. Firstly a demo video of the Buzzaround in action:

Turns out to be very similar to the old 3 Knob Tonebenders. Still worth a build though for some real full on fuzz antics. Here is Dragonfly's scheme and the great Torchy's vero.

Here's a tagboard layout from Sinner of turretboard.org:

And the freestompboxes.org forum thread: http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1211

If you want the Buzzaround sound but don't want to have to fiddle around finding three germanium transistors that fit the required gain and leakage requirements check out this Buzzaround-a-like designed by mictester:

I tried this and actually preferred it over my Buzzaround clone - you can get all the original tones and a lot more! Here's mictester's description:

"The original consisted of two stages - a two-transistor amplifier and a distortion stage that could have both the amount of signal sent to it and the bias point adjusted by external controls. The third control was a crude tone control which fed the output. Originally, the output was unbuffered, and the leads and amplifier following would load the unit, and the top end would be rolled off, and often the tone control would have little effect. 

The first stage in the sound-alike is just a high input impedance op-amp gain stage. You may wish to increase the gain by increasing the value of the feedback resistor, but it sounds pretty good as shown. In the original, the first stage didn't really have much effect on the sound - it just amplified it enough to drive the following stage into conduction.

The heart of the beast is the germanium transistor stage. Apart from using an NPN transistor, this remains true to the original (why screw up a classic?), and still gives a wide range of sounds from the thin toppy fuzz beloved of sixties bands through to gated spluttery farts, with smooth warm distortion sounds in between!

The final stage is just a buffer - it isolates the tone circuit from the outside world, and allows a full range of control from muffled to glass-shattering!"

And here's a vero layout for the Buzz-a-like by roseblood11 (the layout is verified):

A recommended hfe for that transistor? About 80hfe, you'll need one with a bit of leakage too for it to work properly. Here's the freestompboxes.org forum topic for more info and help: http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9401

Thursday, 24 July 2008

BJF - LGW = Little Green Wonder

BJF (The designer behind the Mad Professor stuff spoke about his LGW (Little Green Wonder) pedal over on the freestompboxes forum. A schematic was provided:

As Bjorn pointed out there was a 1M resistor missing from the gate of the input buffers FET but I have now fixed that on the above schematic.

Here are a few quotes from BJF on the magnificent Little Green Wonder:

"LGW was made for those that really not could get along with standards
and the idea of it came to me in a request of what a BJF TS style would sound like and the guy told me he'd run a fuzz into TS's to smooth things....and so I wonder why would anyone do that as it would bring funny little artifacts ontop of sound aswell as cut all the lowmids and bass-oh yes I got this tested and listened and understood but still, and you know if headroom was higher this could be avoided and the basic filtering to the treble and then you could also use it with humbuckers and P-90's......."

"The first BJF LGW's were supplied with LF 353 which makes for higher headroom, but many wanted an alternative that would work at lower voltages and that would distort easierly thus TLC272 and for a time both chips were supplied but it caused problems so eventually only TLC 272 and a chip can be bought allover the world without problems."

Note the very unusual tone control that consists of a dual 20k pot! And the green LEDs used for clipping. Not your standard Tubescreamer type overdrive by a long way :-)

Many thanks to all at freestompboxes, and especially Bjorn of BJF for being so forthcoming and helpful about his design!

Check out the Little Green Wonder in operation;

Here are some layout files I was sent, I'm unaware who's they are;

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

HAO - Rust Driver

This thing is said to emulate a 69 Marshall Plexi 50W on 10... Hmmm, OK - Here's the scheme :

It looks like this one was drawn by the great matsumin, one of the legendary Japanese DIY bloggers! Check it out, it's a fairly simple build!

Here is the original PDF Manual: Link!

Here's a decent demo of Hao Rust Driver in action:

Once again. A big Thanks to the Freestompboxes guys for getting this info together and to the people who created it in the first place!

Expect more schemes soon - or just join freestompboxes for a sneak peak!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Fullclone VLOD - Fulltone OCD by Stratotrasto

Had a few requests for this, everyone knows what it does and everyone seems to like it. Anyway, here's the description from the Fulltone website:

"AMPS... if you've ever owned a GREAT amp, like a Marshall 18 watt, a VOX AC15 or a Marshall JTM45, and if you have a place where you can crank them up loud, then you know what I'm talking about. Smack a power chord and you (not only) hear the fundamental notes, but you get (count 'em) 4, 5, even 6 additional overtones ringing into a feedback... notes that you can whistle if your ear is good enough! Think Zep'sOcean or Custard Pie or classic tones, including James Gang, the Beatles, AC/DC, Free., and so on.

Back off the guitar's volume and there are a dozen great other sounds at your fingertips... Clean, spanky sounds, with all the highs and lows still intact. And a Tele still sounds like a Tele, a Les Paul like a Les Paul.

PEDALS... (until now) just can't hold a candle to what a good amp can do if you are really picky. You not only lose all the touch sensitivity, but forget about those complex Harmonics. (For me) It's always been somewhat of a compromise using Overdrive pedals... until now. Ladies and Gentleman, I am proud to introduce the Fulltone OCD. I made this pedal for me, but I think you might like it too."

Here's a demo video of the OCD in action;

And here's a schematic for the OCD (V4):

Fulltone OCD V4

As many will recognise this is nothing but a modified version of the Voodoo Labs Overdrive from many moons ago - allbeit a nice sounding one. Check out the Voodoo Labs Overdrive schematic below and compare it to the Fulltone OCD scheme:

The layout and scheme are provided and work of Stratotrasto of the freestompboxes forum! Many many thanks :-) (Notice he also provided the Zendrive project)

For those of you who prefer vero:

Now I get a lot of emails asking me about the differences between the V1, V2, V3 and V4 versions of the Fulltone OCD. Well here is a PDF file that details the differences between OCD V1, V2 and V3 - compare to the above schematic for the V4 differences and you've got all the info you need on the OCD, here it is: http://www.box.com/s/5ef844ca1fbe0571d91d

*NOTE* When building the OCD be careful to check the pinout of your clipping mosfets match up to the layout, also, you can leave out the germanium diode - this was included in V4 prototype but discontinued in the newest models..

**NOTE 2** If you like the OCD, why not try my redesigned "Super OCD", you can find the project file here: http://revolutiondeux.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/fred-briggs-super-ocd.html

Monday, 30 June 2008

Vsex Tool - Zvex Machine

I've had a few emails requesting this scheme so here it is for you all to view :-)

Here's a demo video here:

And a short description from the Zvex Website:

"I designed this new distortion generator, Machine, with some different limitations. Like try playing chords through it. Hmmm. But put it in front of any string of fuzz pedals, and try to make it disappear. Machine is actually a dual frequency-tripler circuit that uses crossover distortion for the first time in any pedal, ever. It generates the distortion of the wave in the sloped part of the cycle, instead of the peaks and valleys like all other distorters and fuzzes. In other words, it distorts when your guitar string is in the middle of vibrating, while it's swinging, not as it's turning around. That's the same place where your speaker cone is sort of coasting, between all the way in and all the way out. Where nothing is happening, this pedal happens. With Machine you can leave your favorite distorting pedals on and still add a new element of energetic grind."

It's using frequency triplers like Tim Escobedo's "Tripple Fuzz", they sound pretty cool (The Lovepedal Karl also uses this circuit structure):

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Skreddy Mayo - Super Big Muff

[This post also includes info on how to build up a Skreddy Pink Flesh work-a-like]

Here is the schematic of the great Skreddy Mayo - a superb modification of the old Electro Harmonix Big Muff. The tone is supposed to be a match for the classic Big Muff Tone from The Smashing Pumpkins "Siamese Dream" album (The name of the pedal harks back to one of the song titles "Mayonnaise"). Now Marc swears by building these with the exact part type specified so if you want the sound - get the right parts. I built one up on breadboard and it was one of the best muff variations that I have played!
As you can see the scheme is drawn by Marc himself, thanks for that Marc, great stuff!

Now the Skreddy Pink Flesh - Marc himself posts that the mods you need to make to the Mayo circuit (apart from transistor selection!) would be:

C1 – 10u
C8 – 4.7n
Cx – 220-470p
C3 – 68n
Mid Boost: Switch in 4.7n parallel to C9
Add a 100R resistor after Dx

Here's a vero layout for it (Drawn by IvIark - http://www.tagboardeffects.blogspot.com, his site is great and has vero board layouts for just about everything!):

And finally a demo video: 

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Xotic RC/AC Booster Overdrive

The Xotic AC Booster a well loved booster/overdrive pedal, this demo shows why -

And here's a scheme for you:

You can clearly see it is a traditional style opamp based clipper. With one interesting addtion, it has an active tone stack present after the clipping section! Here's some more info, available on the Xotic site: http://www.xotic.us/effects/ac_booster/

Kusi of the freestompboxes.org forum contributed these mods to change the xotic AC booster into the xotic RC Booster:
C1 = 47nF
C2 = 1uF / NP
R8 = remove and bridge
C4 = remove
R5 = 22k
R7 = 250k
Clipping-Diodes = 3x 1N4148 each side

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Klown & Clay Jones/OCD/Zendrive Hybrid

Here are a few images of my latest creations.

The larger white box is my latest Klown, modeled on the Klon circuit but modified for a fatter OD sound, with split gain and blend pots, altered clipping arrangement and altered the op-amp type.

The smaller silver box with blue and white paint is a "new" circuit I've come up with. By mixing and matching, in traditional booteek fashion, different sections of popular overdrive circuits. This circuit is a mix between the OCD/Voodoo labs OD the Hermida Zendrive and the Clay Jones OD. Sounds great, super dynamic and with internal sockets for altering the clipping diode type and position the combinations you can come up with are immense!

Email me for more info on either pedal!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

AnalogGirl - King of Queens Overdrive

Everyone likes originals? Here is the Analogman - KOT (King of Tone) schematic, looks just like a modified Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal to me. But you do get two of these circuits in series when you buy the KOT, which is pretty cool, and the build quality is good. The only problem is waiting time - approx 1.5 years! Here is the great Torchy's project which will allow you to build one half of the KOT, for full KOT build two of these and stick em in the same the box! Thanks again Torch, your a king.

And a demo video of it in action:

Wanna Build a Timmy Overdrive?

Go wild! Here's the scheme, as you can see it's the standard setup now-a-days of opamp with clipping diodes. Paul C, the designer of the timmy has commented alot on the subject of his pedal over at freestompboxes.org. He still sells the originals directly from himself for around $100 I believe - that is simply the deal of the century when your looking at the bootweek industry! GET ONE FROM HIM NOW! If you fancy trying to build one yourself, here's the scheme!

The Timmy has been cloned the world over due to it's great versitility and tone - the Danelectro Cool Cat Transparent OD 1 was a direct clone and the Lovepedal Amp eleven and OD eleven are both Timmy clones. It's a very nice little circuit and well worth playing with. Here's a nice demo video for you:

And here's another interesting mod - using a feedback arrangement ala the BJF Honeybee and my own Hummingbird to reduce the overall gain and brightness of the unit:

And some interesting options for clipping diodes using a couple of switches. Point A is the - input of the opamp point B is the opamp output:

However if you are going to play with diodes heed this advice from PaulC himself:

"I've stated this above, but if you do play around with other diodes/no diodes you have to adjust the output amp or else you may get nasty rail clipping. As is with the gain on zero you've got 6db of gain on the first stage feeding into 6db of gain on the second stage for a total of 12db. Without diodes (and ignoring rail clipping) that 1st stage swings from a gain of 2 up to about 153 in the Tim (500k pot), and 304 in the Timmy (1M pot). This will totally puke out the output amp.

If you want to leave out the diodes for a clean boost, but keep the tone controls I'd mess with dropping the output amp, and just make it a buffer. Then back down the gain of the 1st stage so you don't get clipping. Now you've got a simple opamp booster with bass/treble controls which is actually the original circuit (what a minute - does that mean it didn't start out as a yats??). If I was going with LED's or true mosfet clippers I'd also switch the output amp to a buffer so it wouldn't clip under the larger signal. Better yet if you've got things on a switch have the switch also change the gain of the output amp when you're switching different diodes. You could remove the gain for the large diodes, and put it back for the small. That would solve the loss of volume you get from the standard diode selectors. You could also have some EQ'ing around the output amp to shape things even more. Have it set up to short out the feedback resistor for a flat buffer when using LED's/boosting, or add a cap across the feedback loop and another in series with the inv input to maybe put in a slight mid bump along with the extra gain when using small threshold diodes. Those caps would be added to the circuit, and one pole of the switch would just short out the loop.

I really wouldn't just pull the diodes if I was wanting it to be just a flat booster. There's better ones with more headroom for that.

Later, PaulC"

And some advice on a possible opamp substitutions from twangquack:

"What was not fruitless was experimentation with op-amp substitutions. Unlike a OCD clone on which I did some further tweaking, it was hard to find an op-amp that was a total failure -- that's how sane and well-behaved this circuit is (but in a good way). After trying about fifteen options, alone and dual-stacked, I found that I really liked the TL072 (socket soldered on top) with a BB OPA2134. This is a combo with a bit of added "oomph" that retains the nice treble qualities without adding somewhat extreme tonal qualities that sometimes happens with certain stacked op-amp combinations. I also liked a RC4559 (alone) but it seemed a bit too dark to me, although it had really nice drive -- sounded pretty cool at higher drive levels. But I think I like this pedal to be spankier and used at lower drive levels (hint of grit, or a bit more than a hint) so the TL072 + OPA2134 works very nicely in this particular build."

Here's a vero layout for you:
And the freestompboxes.org forum topic: http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=140

Hermida - Zendrive Project at FSB.org

[NOTE - This post also contains info on the Fuchs Plush Drive & Jetter Gain Stage Red]

Here is the sought after "Zendrive" overdrive pedal. If you're unsure of what these are check out the Hermida Audio Website; http://www.vendio.com/stores/HermidaAudio/item/effects-pedals/zendrive/lid=2384441

And here is a demo video (there are plenty of sound samples on the Hermida website though...);

A full project, presented by the freestompboxes forum member "

Now the Fuchs Plush Drive - Well, it's just a Zendrive clone. Here's the evidence:

And the Jetter Gain Stage Red:

Soulsonic traced one out, here's what he found:

And the Schematic of the Gain Stage Red:

And here's what he had to say about it:

"Yes, it's almost an exact clone of the Hermida Zendrive. The differences are minimal if you can even call them differences. Instead of the "Voice" control, the Jetter has the "Hard/Soft" switch which toggles between two static values of the exact same "Voice" circuit. The 100pF cap has been omitted from the feedback loop of the overdrive section. The Tone control is 100K linear, instead of 50K. A reverse polarity protection diode has been added... that's about it. The opamp type is unknown - the numbers have been sanded off it. The MOSFETs have been sanded as well, but my Atlas DCA correctly identified them as N-Channel Enhancement Mode MOSFETs, which means they are likely the usual 2N7000/BS170 type. Two of the diodes are those same kind of little blue glass ones as Kerry described were in the Zendrive, and the other diode is a 1N60 or similar germanium (also like described as being in the Zendrive)."

Here's the Zendrive topic on freestompboxes for reference: http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=268

Here's the Fuchs Plush Drive forum topic on freestompboxes.org for reference: http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2411