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

Search This Blog

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Crowther Audio - Hotcake Overdrive

Here's the Crowther Audio Hot Cake overdrive. Here's the description:

"The Hotcake was first produced in 1976, while Paul Crowther was in the UK with the band, Split Enz. The Hotcake is designed to leave the undistorted component of the guitar sound unchanged, while providing a nice fat distortion sound without resorting to a treble cut circuit which will also affect the guitar tonality. With the Drive and Presence controls set to minimum, and the Level at around 2 o'clock, you should be hard pressed to hear any change in the sound at all when you switch the Hotcake in and out. You can get a clean volume boost by increasing the Level control. Increasing the Drive will give you a thick distortion sound with a little bit of edge to it, and the Presence control adds some mid-range punch to the sounds. The Hotcake also handles chords well. It is recommended that the Hotcake is patched between the guitar and amplifier, rather than into an amplifier's effect loop. Generally speaking, if you are happy with your guitar and amplifier combination, the Hotcake will work well as a primary distortion. "
Here's a demo video of the Crowther Hot Cake:

There are two schematics for this one - a 1977 version and a 2003 version:

As the schematic shows it achieves it's overdrive by pushing the opamp into clipping. It should sound terrible but it doesn't. It's been noted by Bajaman that the 1977 Hot Cake is smoother and more "Marshallesque" while the newer 2003 version has a glassier more Fenderish character....

Here's a PCB layout for the Crowther Audio Hot Cake. It's done by SoulSonic and utilizes "mojotastic" components: http://www.box.com/s/da2mzsrsm7ysy0u555ts

Here's the freestompboxes.org forum topic for reference: http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=85


  1. question: can you name all the specific types of components used please?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.


Comments are welcome on Revolution Deux. However, please do not spam links to unrelated sites - these comments will be removed! Thanks - Briggs.