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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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

MJM - London Fuzz Gutshots

Just a few images from a brief encounter with an MJM London Fuzz, Cap values 0.047uF and 0.47uF, for input and output. 10uF Bypass cap, the transistors I couldn't see without ripping them out of the epoxy, I left those be - just go for some standard gain match PNP Germs. Pots - Fuzz was 1K and Level was 500KA. The resistor values you can see in the images, just follow a fuzz face scheme and sub in those values - you've got yourself a London Fuzz (Which was far to bass heavy for me!).

Monday, 25 February 2008

Clay Jones OD Clone?

Above is a gutshot of a new OD that is currently being offered as a clone of the Clay Jones OD. What do you recon? Tubescreamer or not? Why all the goop? Hopefully when "Kris" has made his $$$ he can put the whole thing to bed and explain if he did reverse engineer a CJOD and produce and accurate schematic!

Here is a youtube video comparing the two: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=hQcsK8QU4b4

For now - I still havnt seen any evidence to suggest anything but a Tubescreamer!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Clock of Tone 50 - Modifed Lovepedal COT50

[Image of an Original COT 50 Pedal]

The COT50 has been a boutique favourite for a while now, it's basic and effective and does produce some really nice tones. Here's the description from the Lovepedal Site:

"Church of tone 50. The 50 is an ultra simple pedal, more like a tool in the guitarist's tool box.

I use to go to these blues jams in Detroit MI. They always had some junky amp for jammers to play through. So I came up with this box that would simulate tube amp break up, give me enough of a boost to get above the band for solos and clean up very well with the volume knob on the guitar.

It has a very vintage plexi sound. It was designed to sound like a late 60s plexi loaded with 6550s. Through any amplifier, even a Solid State amp. It cleans up very well, when you roll back the volume knob on your guitar. This works like a pre gain adjustment.

The uniqueness of this unit is in the dynamics. A world of different subtle break up is available at the guitar volume knob. It cleans up so fast at the guitar most people leave it on all the time and work the guitar volume for everything they need. The knob is there for a bias adjustment. Hot biased or trimmed to original signal strength. If your the type of player that digs rolling off at the guitar. This is the pedal you want. Very crystal clear and raw uncompressed tone. This is the Billy Gibbons tone or early Hendrix sound. Depending on how you set the unit and the controls at your guitar.

The 50 has one knob that adjusts the bias of the transistor. This knob will make some noise when you adjust, the old Dallas Rangemasters did the same thing. Set the bias knob for the sweet spot, adjust volume knob on guitar to clean or dirty your signal. The 50 will push your amp! The switch for the 9 volt power supply is located on the input jack. So make sure you unplug the unit at the input jack to turn unit off. Carbon Batteries sound best to me (dollar store 2 for a buck). But try alkaline to see which you like best.

"Some of the best tones in this box come by simply adjusting your volume and tone at the guitar."
There is a lot of different shades of gain in this box and it sounds great with any guitar/amp combination."

Along with a demo video of the original in action;

But the original isn't why we're here - it's the Clock of Tone :-)

EDIT - Demo video (Not me playing!) of the Clock of Tone 50 circuit ; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFBIZkjEw34 :

EDIT 2 - Here is another sound sample, it's got a master volume (470k pot at the end of the circuit) and a pot controlling the clipping threshold of the diodes (if I remember correctly a 10k pot worked pretty well..). It's the "Electric Church Pedal". http://skipregan.com/archives/535/electric-church-pedal/

I tried a COT50 booster the other day - nice tone, I thought, but it could be better! So I got my breadboard out and modified away until I was happy! More bass response was a must so I changed th input and output caps from 47nF and 100nF to 56n and 120nF, only a slight difference but it's enough to give your tone an extra thickness. Also I wanted to alter the clipping response slightly, it seemed a little harsh to me. I swapped out the 1N60 diodes used originally and went for some 1N270 Ge diodes, this softened up the top end a little. You can also see the 47nF cap in parallel to the diodes, this acts as a highpass filter and removes unwanted sizzle - no more "Icepick". If you want those extra highs reduce the value of the 47nF cap :-)

Finally, as always, I wanted more versatility. This is where I came up with the "Nature" control to accompany the already present "Structure" control. The Nature control allows you to blend between a full on thick boost and a rangemaster style treble boost, a nice feature to add I thought. The Nature knob is fairly interactive with the Structure knob, for example with the Structure knob at min and the Nature towards treble boost you get a pretty high treble boost but with the Structure at min (and Nature still towards treble) the treble boost is much less pronounced and it just takes away a little bottom end from you tone and prevents a muddy bottom end.

Well with those mods the COT50 became a useful little pedal... Just got to send the finished article back to my buddy now, see if he likes it ;-)

Here is a great vero layout for the Clock of Tone 50 from Torchy :-)

Here's a mojotastic tagboard layout by IVIark of http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.com:

EDIT - Here's a sound sample provided by AndreGarcia57 and it shows the differences in tone between transistor types BC108 and 2N5088, on low, medium and full gain settings:

"COT50 BC108 - 0 - 0s
COT50 BC108 - 5 - 21s
COT50 BC108 - 10 - 30s

COT50 2N5088 - 0 - 56s
COT50 2N5088 - 5 - 1:10s
COT50 2N5088 - 10 - 1:29s"

Here's the sample:  http://www.4shared.com/audio/XB5sVR9Y/DRIVE50.html

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Klown Centaur: Modified Versions!

Here is the first of a few:

Complete with splatter paint job as seen around ;-)

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

L'Overdrive de la Révolution Trois

The next offering in the "L'Overdrive de la Révolution" Series is here! Trois!

Scheme typo's updated!

-EDIT 2- 1n4148 diode should be a red LED...

It's a light overdrive/boost effect (There isn't a great amount a clean headroom here though) utilizing a Jfet stage running into some germanium clippers all cascaded into a common Mosfet gain stage. It's a very dynamic and resposive circuit, I wanted it to be controllable from your guitars volume and tone pots, goals which it definatly scores!

Inspiration for the front end JFET section was taken from the great runoffgroove "Omega" project which is a great versatile booster project which really is worth a build. I loved the way the Omega's "Range" control worked and wanted to see this put into use in an overdrive circuit, a few simple ideas later and here you have it: "L'Overdrive de la Révolution Trois".

There are loads of notes on the schematic image identifying possible mods and changes. A great one is the alternate clipping setup - which I am actually currently using in my build :-)

Give it a try on breadboard, it's a super easy build and a great sound to boot! You won't be dissapointed :-)

Please post any comments, feedback or questions below. Or feel free to email me, my adress is at the top right of the page, don't forget to remove the formatting though! There is also a discussion thread on the http://freestompboxes.org forum, in the "DIY Projects" forum.

Here is a great vero layout from Torchy :-0 Now you have no excuse for not building this ;-)

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Clay Jones Overdrive

The saga continues. Some say it is a Landgraff clone, others dispute this. Of all the Gut shots and images of the CJOD I've seen they all seem to point towards a Landgraff clone.

As lautmachine of the Freestompboxes forum said: "Can anyone show evidence to suggest that any of the 50 CJOD's were not TS / Landgraff inspired circuits?"

Here is a version that Clay produced early on:

Clearly you can see it is a Tubescremer derived circuit: Input buffer, output buffer, opamp, asymetrical clipping diodes - it's all there.

Now, later CJOD pedals had a differing layout to them. Analogguru, also of the Freestompboxes forum, posted up this tracing of a later model of the CJOD:

This tracing matched up with at least 4 other later production CJOD pedals:
No. B11 for Donner Husk (Donnerbox)
No. B17 for "Smudged" (The name was smudged out in the picture)
and two others of unknown serial numbers.

As you can see for yourself, the later model CJOD layout still conforms with a Landgraff/Tubescreamer clone with two LED's used for clipping. Minus parts values we pretty much have here what it is. Unless someone can prove me wrong!

So, anyone want a CJOD Clone? Contact me, I'll be happy to sort you out ;-) haha.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Freestompboxes.org - Up and Running!

The forum has been transfered :-) The forum is now on "Premium" hosting so expect much smoother posting and reading! The forum has come a very long way in just over 6 months, let's keep it growing and really make it the best uncensored DIY FX forum on the net :-D

*NOTE* The old forum address is no longer valid, all subforums there have been closed down - To access the foum now you must go to freestompboxes.org!

Enjoy your time there ;-)