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 :-)

CONTACT ME



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

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Jonny Greenwood - Radiohead Gear

[NOTE - this post contains projects for the Marshall Shredmaster, BOSS SD-1, Demeter Tremulator/Fulltone Supa Trem, DOD 440 EF, MXR Phase 90 and the Magnus Modulus Delay]

Jonny Greenwood - guitar experimentalist supreme! Well, I've always been interested in how he made all those cool guitar sounds that he layered on the classic albums "The Bends (1995)" and "OK Computer (1997)". Well, I've done a bit of research and I've decided to put together the DIYers guide to building your own Jonny Greenwood-esqe pedal board. So what gear did he use around that time? With a bit of digging around the internet here's what I've come up with:

Amps
Fender Deluxe 85 Combo / 1x12 (Used for overdriven tones - note this amp is SOLID STATE!)
Vox AC30/6TB Top Boost Combo Reissue / 2x12 (Used for clean tones)

Guitars
Fender Starcaster Electric Guitar
Fender Telecaster Plus Electric Guitar (Custom cut off switch with Lace Sensor pickups)

Pedals
Boss FV-300H Volume Pedal
Boss LS-2 Line Selector / Loop / Power Supply 
Boss RV-3 Reverb Delay
Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive 
Boss TU-12H Chromatic Tuner 
Digitech WH-1 Whammy Original 
DOD 440 Envelope Filter 
Electro-Harmonix Small Stone Phaser USA 
Marshall Shredmaster Overdrive / Distortion
Proco RAT Distortion Pedal
Demeter Tremulator Tremolo
AKAI Headrush Delay Loop Pedal

Rack
Mutronics Mutator Filter / Envelope Follower 
Roland RE-201 Space Echo Tape Delay / Reverb

Here's a few images of his pedal board (A little later on than '95-'97 I believe):



And here's an image of Greenwood's stage rig cira 1997 (3):


So there you go - we've seen his rig, now how do we put it together? What order do we go for and what can we build and what should we just give up on and buy?

Looking at the task realistically we can DIY a fair portion of his pedalboard; we're gonna need the Marshall Shreadmaster or the ProCo Rat for those over the top distortion tones Greenwood favours, we can DIY a Boss SD-1 (A basic a Tubescreamer derivative) and also a decent Tremolo unit, the DOD 440 Envelope Filter won't be a problem either, the Small Stone Phaser is can also be DIY built (but I'm probably going to go for something a little different here). Obviously we're not going to even attempt a DIY build for the Digitech Whammy, The Boss Digital Reverb, the Roland Space Echo or the Mutronics Mutator*. So what can we do to replace the effects we can't DIY - well, we'll find work-a-likes, something that will get us as close a possible sound or I suggest cheaper more readily available alternatives that you can purchase...

Here is what I'm going to suggest as the DIY solution to Jonny Greenwoods setup:

Marshall Shredmaster, Boss SD-1, Volume Pedal, A/B Switch/FX Loop, Demeter Tremulator Tremolo, DOD 440 Envelope Filter, MXR Phase 9, DIY Magnus Modulus Delay...

That means if you're really wanting to go for the full Jonny Greenwood setup you're going to have to buy at least the Whammy pedal, a Reverb Pedal and a Volume Pedal. Here are some links to the cheapest available on amazon:



For the guitar you're going to need a single coil equipped guitar, a telecaster for authenticity if that's what you're after. Installing a kill switch a-la Jonny is pretty simple:


Regarding amplifiers you could go for the dual amp setup utilizing a simple A/B line switcher or you could use a single amp with some of the effects placed in a FX Loop switcher, the choice is yours. In this article I'm going to detail the dual amplifier approach. So, without any more delays; on with the builds!

Distortion - Marshall Shredmaster

So first up - the Marshall Shredmaster:


And here's an idea of what it sounds like in Jonny's hands. Take a listen to this:


It's a pretty killer high gain sound. Here's the schematic, pcb transfer and layout:


Overdrive - BOSS SD-1 Super Overdrive

Now we move onto the Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive:


Basically we need to build up a tubescreamer circuit with a few subsituted values. Here's the SD-1 schematic:

And a PCB layout for the classic tubescreamer, when you see the pdf file you can see it includes the parts substitutions needed for the Boss SD-1 (4): http://www.box.com/s/x60qzuje77mouj5xcbve

A/B Line switcher

An A/B Line switcher is a very simple piece of equipment that allows you to switch your input signal between two seperate outputs. The BOSS Line Selector is doing this job in Jonny's setup but we can make a much cheaper/simpler design by following the project file available at tonepad.com: http://www.tonepad.com/getFileInfo.asp?id=107

Tremolo - Demeter Tremulator

Now for the tremolo. It's been well documented that Jonny used a Demeter Tremulator:


Here's what he managed to create with that classic tremolo sound (I love this song!):


So how do we build one? Well here's the schematic, pcb transfer and layout:




As you can see the layout also offers the option to build up a Fulltone Supa-Trem which is just a copy of the Tremulator with a few mods....

Envelope Filter - DOD 440 EF

Now we move onto the envelope filter, Jonny is reported to have used the DOD 440 Envelope Filter:


These are fairly simple circuits and easy to build. In fact there is a full project already available on the GeneralGuitarGadgets website here: http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/projects/19-filters-envelope/119-dod-440-envelope-filter, I can fully recommend GGG, their service is excellent and they've been around for years. JD Sleep knows what he's doing!

Here's a little demo of the DOD 440 in action (it's actually the project from GGG):


Phaser - MXR Phase 90
So Jonny originally used the Electro Harmonix Small Stone Phaser, I'm going to suggest building something a little different. Main dual to the complexity of the Small Stone and the rare nature of the parts (CA3080 chips!). The MXR Phase 90 is a very popular phase pedal used by many famous artists over the years (Eddie Van Halen, Matt Bellamy of Muse and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine) and is relatively simple to build. Tonepad.com has a brilliant PDF Project file for the MXR Phase 90 here: http://www.tonepad.com/getFileInfo.asp?id=42

Now, you'll notice you need to use matched Jfets for the build, here's some info on performing the matching (From the great R.G Keen): http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/fetmatch/fetmatch.htm

Delay / Modulation Pedal - Magnus Modulus

For the delay pedal/space echo substitute I'd recommend building one of these:


It's the Magnus Modulus delay circuit designed by Forced_Fire pedals. It not only offers the standard straight delay options but full modulation of the delay line so you can garner chorus, vibrato and the standard "tape flutter" effects seen in the original Roland Space Echo. It also has the capacity to do the self oscillation effects heard on many Radiohead tracks. Here's the schematic, PCB transfer and PCB Layout files:




Pedalboard Signal Routing:

Ok, so now we've built all our FX and bought the ones we can't build. How the heck do we order them on our pedal board. Here's a quick hand drawn diagram of how you can do this:


So you've probably worked out that you're going to need a fairly large power supply to handle all those FX. You can see below there's an Amazon link to some decent quality DC Pedal Power Supplies:



OK, so that's about it. If you have any questions or comments please either email me or leave a comment at the bottom of this article :-) I hope you enjoyed it!

Briggs!

*(although there is an option to build a "work-a-like" of the Mutronics Mutator. The Oakley Filter Box was designed in 1997, a schematic is available here: http://www.emusic-diy.org/Schematics/Oakley/FilterBox, I'd only attempt to take this build on if you're an absolute pro - that thing is complex!)

References:
1) - http://www.greenplastic.com/coldstorage/gear/jonny.php
2) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonny_Greenwood#Equipment
3) - http://vintage.guitargeek.com/rigview/510/
4) - http://www.tonepad.com

4 comments:

  1. hey riggs, LOVING what you've done with the site man...keep it coming!!
    peace!
    p

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Might be an error - everything I've read indicates he used the Deluxe 85 for the clean amp and the Vox for the dirty amp. I just got rid of a '97 Deluxe 85 (actually 65 watts output) - the clean side was clean all the way up to 10 (which was rattling the windows out of the frames). You couldn't stand in the same room with it. The drive channel was interesting, but the "parallel" channel function made it worthwhile. The clean channel was "too clean" and the dirty channel was obviously LED-clipping, but combining the two made for an interesting sound.

      Delete
  2. Everything here is great except for the signal path, which isn't what he uses at all.

    If you actually want to get Jonny's equivalent in terms of order, use this:
    Guitar - Phaser - Demeter The Tremulator - DOD440 - Whammy - A/B Switch <
    a. Marshall Shredmaster - Volume Pedal - "Dirty" Amp
    b. Boss SD1 - Reverb- Magnus - "Clean" Amp

    Note that the BOTH the clean amp and the dirty amp are set to clean sounds, it's just that Jonny always uses the dirty amp with the Shredmaster, whereas he often doesn't have the SD1 turned on with his clean amp.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Mr. Briggs, MAgnus Modulus Delay schematic looks like the DirtyBaby of madbeans, maybe one attemp to recreate the DDM EHX.??

    ReplyDelete

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