Saturday, May 31, 2014

Other Guitar-related Electronics Projects I've Done

Eventually, maybe I'll do a post about these projects:

1) A TS-808 (Tube Screamer pedal) clone I built. Sounds pretty good. I've actually used it live in front of my Peavey Classic 30 with good results.

2) My A/B/Y footswitch with tuner bypass mode and 4 LED status indicators. Does an awesome job of adding channel-switching and channel-jumping to my Trinity TC15 amp I built from their kit ( It also has a "tuner/bypass" mode with an output jack to feed a pedal tuner - also works great as a mute switch. The LEDs are indicators as to what routing mode the pedal is currently in. Channel A & B LEDs are obvious. Instead of lighting both in Y mode, the Y LED lights when it is in Y mode, but the A or B light is also still lit in this mode to indicate what channel it will return to when the Y mode is deactivated. I included a 555 chip to flash the bypass mode LED - basically an idiot light to remind me why the guitar isn't making any noise. The A/B/Y lights also are still indicating their current mode while in bypass mode so I will know what mode I am in after I turn off the bypass. I can also mute, switch to another routing mode, then unmute. VERY flexible and well worth the time and expense!!! Way cheaper and more features than your typical passive ABY footswitch available today too! This was a very easy build and except maybe for the 555 IC flashing LED circuit, this could easily be a "first build" for someone new to electronics.

3) A reverb pedal using the "Belton brick." I am actually extremely pleased with how this thing sounds. I used the mediuim-decay model brick. Google "Box of Hall with dwell" for the design I based mine on. No pic of the outside yet. Nothing to see really, just three knobs, a stomp switch and an LED. No labels or anything yet. Of course I am still working on perfecting my stand-alone tube reverb unit, but this will tie me over until I get that working and in a proper cabinet. It will also be a quick-and-dirty reverb for when I don't want to lug the stand-alone out to a gig for whatever reason.

Designing an all-tube push pull stand-alone reverb unit

I finally fulfilled a long-time dream of mine and I built my own all-tube guitar amp. It is a 15-watt clone of a Matchless HC-30. The kit was purchased from Trinity Amps. It sounds phenomenal. It does not have any reverb though, so I set out to build a stand-alone reverb unit. I did not want to do the obligatory Fender 6G15 for no other reason than just to be different.

After a lot of research, I made this design based on the Firefly by Doug H. (see and the stand-alone reverb design in Kevin O'Connor's book "Tonnes of Tone" (see

Version 1.0:

Wasn't quite "there." After my initial observations and some feedback from the fine folks at and Trinity Amps ( - you MUST check them out if you are at all interested in building your own tube guitar amp from a kit) I made some changes and improved things.

Version 1.1:

This brightened it up a bit and took care of some nasty red-plating of the 12AT7. Sounds a lot better and the tube no longer burns my fingers to the touch. I still think it could be better though. I am still experiencing some hum - probably because of my inexperience with layout. You can post comments here if you have ideas for improvement,  or over on the forums at and I have some threads where we are discussing this.

Next thing I will probably try is changing the cathode resistor from 1k5 to 1K.

The unit on my workbench:

The unit on top of my TC15 build and my TS-808 clone I built: