Hand Wired Tone
27 Mar 2011

Hand Wired Tone

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I’ve always been known to be a bit of a tinkerer. If you were to ask my father, some of his “fondest” memories would be of me taking his electronics apart. Of course then, I didn’t know how to put it all back together.

Fast forward to today. Modifying guitars and building small audio electronics has become a hobby of mine. I’m constantly searching for a unique, authentic sound crafted by my own hands. Naturally I was curious about building my own guitar processing pedals, that’s when I learned about General Guitar Gadgets pedal kits.

I ordered the Ibanez™ Tube Screamer™ Replica. The price was great and shipping was fast. The online instructions were clear and detailed, anyone with some soldering skills and knowledge of basic electronics could work their way through them.

These kits take the hardest, most discouraging aspect out of building projects; sourcing parts. Finding all the elements to these circuit designs can involve multiple vendors and alternate parts, for beginners this can be a daunting task. Another big advantage is the etched circuit board, this piece alone is a whole other ball game.

Having a well lit, clean workspace will keep you from misplacing any of the small parts. I definetly recommend a small set of tools before you decide to get started. At minimum you should have:

  • A 25Watt or variable heat soldering iron.
  • Damp Sponge
  • Solder Pump or Solder Braid
  • Diagonal Cut Pliers
  • A Third Hand (link)

Since getting hooked on these pedal kits I’ve also built a Marshall Blues Breaker Replica, a Dan Armstrong “Orange Squeezer” compressor and an Atari Punk Console from Synthrotek. Here are some great sites for getting started building your own guitar pedals.