DIY FX Pedals

Welcome to my DIY FX pedals page.

I’m often working hard behind the scenes on various FX pedals, and when I build or modify a pedal and think the info is relevant I’ll post it here.

There are several custom built Rowbi FX pedals so far on this page.  Please note that all my pedals are built for me, and I don’t build pedals for anyone else (with a couple of exceptions as detailed below).  But the info is here for you to use as you wish, for educational purposes:

See below for:
Rowbi FX – Evil Twin
Rowbi FX – Filthy Rat
Rowbi FX Custom – Chris George Klone
Rowbi FX Custom – Chris George Drive
Rowbi FX – Lil’ Screamer
Rowbi FX – Rock Box
Rowbi FX – Rowbi Tone 50
Rowbi FX – Valvecaster
Rowbi FX – Distortion++ (MXR Dist+ Clone) – Built 2013.
Rowbi FX – EV Amp (MXR Micro Amp Clone) – Built 2013.
Rowbi FX – OCD (Fulltone OCD Clone) – Built 2013.
Rowbi FX – Screamer (Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808 replica with mods) – Built 2008, modified 2012.
Rowbi FX – Dirtbox (Ibanez Overdrive II OD-855 replica with mods) – Built 2012.
Rowbi FX – DT Switch Box (Line 6 DT25/DT50 foot switch) – Built 2012.

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Evil_Twin_(Klone)_v5_mockup

Rowbi FX – Evil Twin

Coming Soon…..

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Rat Pedal

Rowbi FX – Filthy Rat
Following This is a previous version of the Pedalparts.co.uk Rodent kit.  This is essentially the standard 3 pot version, with a clipping switch (i.e. standard silicon diodes, vs LED (Turbo Rat) and also germanium diodes (You direct Rat).
This was my first attempt at enclosure etching, and while it turned out quite good, and with only a few rough marks, it’s not something I’m in a hurry to repeat due tot he time it takes to prepare the enclosure, print the mask, etch it, clean up the enclosure, and then paint the etched parts before sanding the enclosure and clear coating.

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Chris George Klone Pedal

Rowbi FX Custom – Chris George Klone
Following on from the Chris George Drive below, I’ve decided to construct one other custom pedal.  This is a one off and is owned by Chris George (world renowned guitar demonstrator and west end guitarist).  Chris wanted a drive pedal similar to the Klon Centaur, but with improved bass response, and bass boost. – The pedal has the usual Gain (Grunt) and Volume (Loud) controls from a Klon, but I’ve tweaked the treble control circuit to affect the tone rather than just the treble.  It’s essentially a cross between a treble and a tone control.  Aside from that there’s a ‘Balls’ switch, which is a bass boost.

On delivery of this pedal, at the Marshall Theatre on 19th May 2015, Chris tested the pedal through a cranked JCM800 2203, a 1974X and a 1962 (Bluesbreaker).  Chris really liked how this pedal doesn’t colour the amps tone, yet it gives it a real fat boost – particularly with the bass boost (Balls) switch engaged.

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Rowbi FX Custom Chris George Drive Pedal

Rowbi FX Custom – Chris George Drive
To date, the only custom pedal I’ve made for someone else.  This is a one off and is owned by Chris George (world renowned guitar demonstrator and west end guitarist).  Chris wanted a clean boost with a bit more oomph and a way to boost treble too – So that’s what he got.  a boost knob (Thrust knob) and a treble and tone boost (scream knob).  There is a set and forget volume control inside the pedal for fine tuning, but that’s a ‘set and forget’ control.

Chris has given the pedal a good work out, and had this to say: “The pedal sounded amazing on my recent tour! Although it’s not a gain monster, there is plenty to add some sparkle, particularly on vintage amps. Thanks again for it, I’ll definitely have it as my go to OD pedal from now on.”

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20131214-001455.jpg

Rowbi FX – Rock Box
Another pedalparts.co.uk kit – this time it’s the ‘Rock Box’ kit, which is essentially a clone of a Zvex box of rock clone, with a post vol boost, which itself is a clone of a Zvex Super Hard On.

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20131214-001522.jpg

Rowbi FX – Valvecaster
I used the circuit from http://www.beavisaudio.com/projects/ValveCaster/ and tried a few fixed resistor values for the tone circuit instead of a potentiometer.

Rowbi FX – Lil’ Screamer
A striped back tube screamer clone, built using the PCB kit for the little screamer from pedalparts.co.uk.

Rowbi FX – Rowbi Tone 50
This is a silly experiment which worked very well. It’s actually 2 pedals in 1 box, but with no FX bypass. The footswitch switches between the 2 FX but never turns them off – one or the other are always on. Both kits are from pedalparts.co.uk. One is the Box of Tone 50 (Lovepedal Amp 50 clone) and the other is a Boner Boost (Zvex Super Hard On).
The experiment was that after building the pedal with 1 kit, there was lots of spare room in the enclosure – so I filled it with the 2nd FX kit and drilled the side of the enclosure for the knob.

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Rowbi FX – Distortion++ (MXR Dist+ Clone)
Rowbi FX – EV Amp (MXR Micro Amp Clone)

Both made from General Guitar Gadgets kits. I bought both these kits without enclosures, and used Hammond’s pre powder coated enclosures (1590BRD for red and 1590BLG for light grey).

Micro Amp kit: https://www.generalguitargadgets.com/projects/15-boostersrouters/70-mxr-microamp-project

Dist+ Kit: http://www.generalguitargadgets.com/projects/17-distortion/103-distortion-plus-replica

Here are the vector graphics files (Adobe Illustrator format) which you can use as drilling templates for a Hammond 1590B, and also for getting engraved in traffolyte (that’s what my top panels are engraved in, instead of using decals): https://app.box.com/s/y1bgoflxd9jqsm5i5prf and https://app.box.com/s/vdgr07r9glqopznecm92

Here’s some pics (click photo for full size version):

20131206-202751.jpg
Andrew_Roebuck_D++_For_Engraving_After_paths_v4  Andrew_Roebuck_EVG1_For_Engraving_After_paths_v8

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Rowbi FX – OCD

Built using an online schematic for the Fulltone OCD rev3.

It’s housed in a Hammond 1590B. The wording is applied using a waterslide decal.

here’s the vector graphics file (Adobe Illustrator) for the decal: https://app.box.com/s/0h3560jjh22jd638yx9r

Here are some photos of the build (click them for full size versions):

OCD_External

OCD_Internal

Here’s an image of the decal used (click picture for full size version):
basic-v2

Here’s the parts layout used for this project (this is instead of a schematic).  Click it for a larger version:

Fulltone-OCD

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Rowbi FX – Screamer SC1

General Guitar Gadgets ITS8 – Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808 clone. Build December 2008 – January 2009, Modified Jan-Feb 2012.

MOD done from MOD instructions (part of the kit).
Mods done: Asymmetric Clipping Modification with 1N914 diodes. one in D1, two in D2.
Keeley 808 reissue mods.
Diode lift mod with included on-off-on switch, on is diodes, off is no clipping, and the other on uses LEDs for clipping diodes.

See General Guitar Gadget’s site for all schematic and build instructions, not to mention the ability to buy a kit with all the mod parts I used. There’s an instruction guide for the stock Tube Screamer clone, and also for carrying out the mods I’ve listed above (which I did) and some other mods I decided not to do.

General Guitar Gadgets – ITS8 Instructions

General Guitar Gadgets – ITS8 Kit Purchase

Click here to download the drill template for the ITS8 kit when using a Hammond 1590BB enclosure (note that the coloured encolsures have 2 additional letters, so for green it’s 1590BBGR, but it’s still the same size as a 1590BB).  It’s in Adobe Illustrator 8 format, so can be opened in any later Illustrator version (you can download a 30 day trial for free from Adobe) or you can open it in Inkscape, which is a free vector graphics package.

Click the pictures for a larger version:

    

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Rowbi FX – Dirtbox DB1

BYOC 855 Drive Kit – Ibanez Overdrive II OD-855 clone. Built January 2012.

MODs done :
replaced 100K R9 with a pair of parallel 220K resistors, giving 110K stock. 2nd footswitch (Filth switch, aka boost) removes 1 of those parallel resistors, thus making R9 220K. That switch at the same time swaps out C9 from the stock value of 0.0022uF (2n2) tantalum and replaces it with 0.01uF (10n) tantalum. the higher resistor gives more gain, but can increase highs, but changing C9 helps to then reduce the highs a bit for more balance.

Voicing switch is a 3 position switch. Removes diodes in the middle position. Uses a pair of 1N60 diodes (sounds a little quieter and more vintage) or 1N4148 sound more modern in the side positions.

Here’s a link to buy he kit, and it also details some mods you can do, including the mods I did above: http://www.buildyourownclone.com/855.html

Click here to download the drill template for the OD855 kit when using a Hammond 1590BB enclosure (note that the coloured encolsures have 2 additional letters, so for orange it’s 1590BBOR, but it’s still the same size as a 1590BB).  It’s in Adobe Illustrator 8 format, so can be opened in any later Illustrator version (you can download a 30 day trial for free from Adobe) or you can open it in Inkscape, which is a free vector graphics package.

        

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Rowbi FX – DT Switch for Line 6 DT25 and DT50 amplifiers

Line 6’s outstanding DT25 amplifiers can accept a simple TS channel foot switch, or a TRS dual channel and reverb foot switch. The Flagship DT50 amplifiers can accept a simple TS channel foot switch.

Just through testing (as I have no official info about this) I believe the logic of the channel switch for both amps means that it seems to power an LED in the foot switch if there is one built in, when channel B is enabled. For the reverb switch on the DT25, the logic seems to be reversed, and the LED is on when the reverb is off. So I decided to make my own foot switch and then use DPDT foot switches and have the LEDs in the pedal powered from a battery, and keep the LED circuit totally isolated from the channel and reverb switching circuit. This means the LED illumination logic is correct (LED on when reverb is enabled), and I can be sure no damage is done to the amp, if it can’t really cope with powering the LED circuit.

So I designed a pedal that can be used for either a channel footswitch for either DT25 or DT50, or a channel and reverb switch for a DT25.  Only one of the outputs can be used at once with DT amps, but as the LED power circuit is totally seperate to the switch, you can actually use both outputs for an amp that uses a pair of TS cables, one for channel and one for reverb (like a Marshall DSL50/DSL100).

Here’s a rougth schematic, but use it totally at your own risk: DT switcher schematic

Click here to download the drill template for the top of the DT Switch enclosure when using a Hammond 1590B enclosure (note that the coloured encolsures have 2 additional letters, so for black it’s 1590BBK, but it’s still the same size as a 1590B).

Click here to download the rear drilling template for the same enclosure.

They are in Adobe Illustrator 8 format, so can be opened in any later Illustrator version (you can download a 30 day trial for free from Adobe) or you can open it in Inkscape, which is a free vector graphics package.

      

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