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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 :-)


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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Penny Pedals - Fingerprint

The Penny Pedals Fingerprint has been out for a couple of years and is a decent sounding overdrive pedal that can do full on octave glitch fuzz when the texture and gain knobs are set in the right positions. Here's the *long* description from the Penny Pedals website:

"My newest pedal is a collaboration between myself and artist Laura Bennett. Known for painting unique designs on a few other company's pedals, this is the first time anyone has actually let her create her own pedal from the ground up, including the sound of the circuit and a blank canvas on the box.

Using inspiration from certain bands, sounds, even just random words, the sound of the pedal pays homage to that "wall of sound" heavy distortion. The pedal has lots of available gain and volume, similar to the clear but still insanely heavy sounds of bands like My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Jesus and Mary Chain, etc... It's a high gain pedal for those who don't want to sound like a cliche heavy metal sound, a nice blend between high gain amp-like distortion, fuzz, gated fuzz, octave fuzz, and everything in between.

The controls are volume, gain, and texture. volume and gain are pretty easy to understand and work in the traditional ways, but texture is a unique feature. The only way I could create the tone we were after for this was to make the circuit as amp-like as possible, and that's where the texture control comes in; it is sort of similar to the negative feedback found on some amps, except controllable. At it's lowest settings, it lets the rest of the circuit take over for nice "normal" distortion pedal sounds, from clean-ish "just there" grit to high gain crunchy tones. As you turn the texture up, things get more fuzzy, and seem to have even more gain with more of a fuzz than distortion flavor... then, about half way, a slight gate kicks in, allowing you to have an eerie brief silence between notes (this depending on the gain knob also)... and with the gain full up, and the texture maxed, odd, crazy octaves and random notes happen, almost uncontrollable... low notes instantly trigger a lower octave then jump up to the root, creating broken robot type sounds reminiscent of a traditional octave fuzz... high notes fizzle and chords make sounds that are just... well... weird.

Truly a fun, unique collaboration and an awesome looking and sounding pedal."

Here's a demo video of the Penny Pedals Fingerprint in action:

Here's the schematic drawn up by CultureJam:

Here is a vero layout:

Note that the newer Fingerprint pedals have a bypass switch to switch the gain pot to full on. Aparently the NJM386 is pretty important to the overall sound of the pedal. It's just another 386 design (there are a few about now!), but they do produce a fairly decent tone. The only real interesting part here is the texture control which is just operating as a feedback loop to force the circuit into oscillation. The Experimentalists Anonymous Parallel Universe utilizes a 386 chip but it forces it into oscillation in a slightly different manner and it's got a wider range of tones than the Fingerprint (Although it is more complicated to build!). If you're into making a racket build one of these - here's the schematics for the old and new versions (both are decent enough):

And, as usual, the freestompboxes.org forum topic for reference: http://freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2503

1 comment:

  1. OH! YES
    Thank you. You know if that last circuit does +o- well with clusters/jazzy chords? I enjoy some ring mod if i can control it (fingers/levels)


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