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, 13 May 2009

Catalinbread - Dirty Little Secret

This is a fairly new offering from Nic at Catalinbread effects. Check out the page here: http://www.catalinbread.com/DLS.html

There are plenty of demo videos on the Catalinbread website but here is an extra one;

The Dirty Little Secret has been getting rave reviews for a while now and that was enough to spark peoples curiosity as to what was going on inside. The guys over at freestompboxes.org opened one up and this is a schematic drawn up by WhiteKeyHole;

Here is the part list;

Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret - Part List

Part Value

C1 0.05uF
C2 100pF
C3 0.22uF
C4 4.7uF
C5 0.05uF
C6 0.022uF
C7 470pF
C8 200pF
C9 0.05uF
C10 47pF
C11 2.2uF
C12 0.033uF
C13 10uF
C14 100uF
C15 0.003uF
C16 147pF
POT1 100KB
POT2 100KB
Q1 2N5457
Q2 2N5457
Q3 2N5457
Q4 2N5457
Q5 2N5457
Q6 2N5457
R1 1M
R2 47K
R3 10K
R4 1M
R5 1M
R6 4.7K
R7 470K
R8 22K
R9 200K
R10 4.7K
R11 22K
R12 200K
R13 1M
R14 470K
R15 12K
R16 1M
R17 1M
R18 47R

A great vero layout from Harald Sabro (check out his site here for more great vero layouts; www.sabrotone.com);

As you can see - stacked mu-amp stages, a great way to get some serious marshall rock tones. I've not built one up yet but when I do I'm going to give mine an adjustable voltage supply ranging from 18V - 4.5V, these stacked mu-amp stages react very differently to altered supply voltages, articluate and dynamic at 18V and a softer, more compressed feel as you lower it down.

All in all the Dirty Little Secret looks like a great little pedal, much fun to play with :-)


  1. The buildquality of these is terrible - PCB is only attached to the enclosure by the pots and switches

    if the wingnut on the switch gets a little loose it will break the PCB next time you stomp down on it.

    Cheap, soft, type of batteryconnectors like those used in toyradios in the 80s

    and the customer support tops that - you'll be ignored for weeks until they either decide that they're not going to honor the warranty or you might hit the jackpot and they'll not honor warranty and you'll be insulted by Nic..


  2. @Con - that's why we build it DIY-style! :-)

    Owh, come on Mr. Briggs. It's been awhile. Updates, updates! (Yea, you only get these kinda comments on those 'My Sad (or Beautiful) Life'-type blogs, but hey, you have some bril stuff.)

  3. Hi Con,

    My name is Nicholas, the owner of Catalinbread. We've built 1000s of pedals with this method and have yet to have one pot or switch go bad as a result of being PCB mounted.

    As far as customer service, we have a guy, Erksin, who answers inquiries daily (Mon-Fri). If that ain't good enough call me 12PM-9PM PST Mon-Fri (503)407-5712

    In 7 years I've always honored warranty. NEVER have I rejected a warranty. So lets not make up stories, ok!? If you find this tone insulting, hate it for you. I am defending myself.

    @ Mr. Briggs... Thank you for backlinking this page to ours @ Catalinbread! I've seen some killer looking DIY Dirty Little Secrets as a result of your page!


    1. ^ Thats legit! Long live Catalinbread. Die snotty solder-jocky! lol

  4. I have owned and used many C-bread pedals. I had an SCOD go bad, and they honored the warranty quickly. The build quality is not bad at all, that post above is ridiculous. All these pedals sound great.

  5. I have owned a SCOD and a DLS. Both are sold now due to financial problems. Their build quality was without a doubt excellent. The SCOD was used heavily in rehearsals, gigs and recordings, clumsily stepped on while abusing the knobs (and probably unwillingly stepping on them, as well). NOTHING ever happened to it. And the customer service they provide is excellent, too.

    So, to cut a long story short... do your research on the net and in forums, ask around and get opinions before believing posts such as Con's (or even mine for that matter).

  6. How bad can Catalinbread be if the owner actively encourages DIY builds, as opposed to charging hundreds for the time and plastidip spent concealing the circuits?

  7. I'd just like to pipe up and say I f&&king love Catalinbread pedals, the build quality is well up there with the best small/medium scale builders.

  8. first place i EVER heard anyone bitch...everyone i know absolutely loves them, and the fact that the owner supports the diy community, and has offered to personally make right any issue says a LOT about the caliber of himself and his company. right now, i can't afford to buy pedals too much...i prefer to build my own to learn, and every time i read a schematic or look at a layout i learn more, about how to create the tools i need to build to create them sounds cluttering up my head...hats off to the entire diy community and all the boot-tweak guys that have made it possible for some idiot like me to build the tone of my dreams...

  9. ^^ +1 - the DLS and Formula No 5 are some of my fav builds so far. I can't stop playing the DLS when it's running at 18 volts!

  10. I am gonna give this a shot! I love the DLS pedal! I build tube amps and jfet pedals.

  11. Hi Guys !
    I have some problems with this one ...
    Effect sounds like it should (Old Marsall tone), it makes his job, but have (very) low output volume ... (lower than bypass volume except all pots are full !!!) and "light" gain (middle with my LP but almost "clean" with my strat RI62) ...
    Anyboby have the same ??

    (sorry for my language ... i'm french, not too good in english ! lol)

    for information, I didn't find exact values for 200k resistor and 200p cap (R1 & R14 are 220k, C2 is 220pF)

    Is it possible that's the pb's cause ?
    C10 is not 3nF but 3.3nF
    for this cap, I've used this one :

    Is it ok ?

    Thanks a lot !!! I would this DLS sounds like demos !!! Love It !

    1. For info :
      I changed 220k res. by 200k yesterday (not yet the caps).
      Output volume is better !!! I think it's "normal" volume but I can't try mine & the original to compare.
      Gain is not to high that I would like, but "marshall sound" is here on my Fender Blues Deluxe RI.

      Dynamic is really awesome (and more on 12,15 or 18v, more headroom & dynamic but less gain) !!!

      Thanks for this site & your job


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