Friend and prolific pedal builder, Scott of Mezei Tone, once warned me about the overwhelming addiction that comes with building your first guitar pedal. What started as a simple DIY Tube Screamer project has exploded into 22 hand built guitar pedals of all shapes, colors, textiles and functions with plenty more on the way. I can’t say I wasn’t warned.
I can’t say I wasn’t warned.
The creative process and tangible outcomes are what keep me hunched over my workbench. Fine tuning the signal path of a guitar to create beautiful, sometimes raunchy, sometimes reckless, sounds is an exciting experience. Different finishing techniques for the enclosures complete the personality of each build.
A majority of the PCBs for my pedal projects come from MadBeanPedals. A purveyor of nothing but the finest PCB boards. They also have an amazing forum with a huge amount of information.
All of the enclosures were finished with either paint, decals or fabric. The Morris Chorus was etched with ferric chloride acid. Here are a few of my favourites:
Sourcing Components and Enclosures
- Tayda Electronics – Great for resistors, caps, transistors, switches)
- Small Bear Electronics – Rare components. Switches.
- Pedal Parts Plus – Enclosures and knobs.
- Mammoth Electronics
- Mouser – Has everything but is quite difficult to navigate.
- Ebay – watch out for counterfeit ICs and 3PDT switches. Great for cheap, bulk components.
Kits & PCBs
AEMCON 2017 DIY Workshop
In 2017 I ran a workshop for the Alberta Electronic Music Conference about building DIY audio electronics. We focused the workshop around building a simple filter pedal based on the BBE Maximizer circuit. You can download the entire presentation below: