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 18 April 2012

Sarno Music Solutions - Steel Guitar Black Box

The Sarno Music Solutions "Steel Guitar Black Box" is a product I've been aware of for a while but never really paid too much attention to. With me recently being asked to look at some full pedal board solutions I started to think about using tube based buffers a'la David Gilmour's Pete Cornish pedal board which uses unity gain tube preamps (buffers ;-) to replicate the input of a tube amp and eliminate the loading effects of long signal chains. The Steel Guitar Black Box does exactly this. Here's the description from the Sarno Music Solutions website:

"The Steel Guitar Black Box™ is the ultimate tone enhancer for amplified musical instruments. It is a simple device using a single vacuum tube, yet it has a profound effect on just about any instrument signal that you pass though it. The SGBB is a true, audiophile quality, vacuum tube pickup driver (buffer/impedance matcher) especially designed for enhancing the tone of magnetic or piezoelectric musical instrument pickups. Originally developed for use with pedal steel guitar, the Black Box is equally effective at breathing life into and enhancing the tone of upright or electric bass, electric or acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, Rhodes or Wurlitzer electric piano, synths and keyboards, drum machines, lap steel guitar, studio mix tracks, and more.

Ideally the SGBB is placed directly after the instrument's pickup. This pickup/tube relationship is at the heart of it's intended purpose, and by having the pickup directly "see" the tube, all of the benefits of the tube are maximized, and all of the potential of the pickup is captured. The Black Box's output will easily drive just about any device without subjecting your sound to tone-killing capacitive loads or inadequate input circuits as found in many effect units. Even though the Black Box runs clean, there is a very subtle amount of harmonic distortion and dynamic compression naturally created by the tube which adds a warm, sweet and musical smoothness that you just can't achieve with the use of transistors or digital modeling devices. This natural tube characteristic is at the heart of the Black Box's ability to bring out and enhance the richness of any amplified instrument's sound. "

Dirk Hendrik of dirk-hendrik.com traced one of these little beauts out and shared the schematic: http://www.box.com/s/50ae41644b7af8eaa7e8

Cheers Dirk! 

So if you're looking to build yourself up a front end for a large pedal board here you go - it works like a treat according to all the reviews out there and it's not too complex to build. 


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