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Topics - joecool85

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That Klick Knob has released their eponymous product.  For $20.99 you can get a knob that you can "set."  The short of it is that you can pull it up and turn as per normal, or push it in and have a settable detent to your favorite position.  Neat idea, but not sure how successful this will be.  First, it only comes in "strat style" knobs.  Second, is this even an issue?  Many guitarists I know just run their guitar wide open.  The ones that don't, change settings on the fly regularly and don't have a "sweet spot" necessarily.  Still, A+ for innovation, it's definitely something I've never seen before!

What do you guys think?

Guitar News / Teisco coloring book challenge
« on: May 14, 2020, 01:48:50 PM »
Teisco has set up a coloring book challenge.  Download one of their pages, color it, upload to Instagram and caption your entry with the #myteiscopedal and tag Teisco at @weareteisco.  The winner takes home a Heritage H-150 Dirty Lemon Burst electric guitar! :dbtu:

Amplifier Discussion / Official SSGuitar kit, on-board options
« on: April 24, 2020, 10:49:55 AM »
It's been decided, we're doing a battery amp!  It's all pretty much nailed down on paper, I'm ordering parts soon to breadboard it in completion.  I have a couple more decisions to make, and I'd like you to help!  Please vote on what we should do for our on-board options!

Guitar News / EHX 5mm - 2.5w micro amp
« on: April 15, 2020, 01:42:08 PM »
This isn't technically news now, but I just found out about it, so it's news to me!

Electro-Harmonix (EHX) released the 5mm last fall.  It goes along with the 44 Magnum and 22 Caliber (now retired), as a pedal-sized power amp.  With only a volume knob and a bright switch to control it, this little guy rocks.  Honestly, if it had a gain knob and could take 4 ohm speakers (it is only rated for 8 and 16 ohm loads), this might be the perfect little jam box.  As it is, with a basic preamp or even EQ pedal in front of it, you can sure do a lot!  Best part, it sells for $64 USD!  It's even assembled here in the US!

I'm looking at (finally) designing some official SSGuitar kits to sell here.  Right now I'm thinking about the first one I should do.

Option 1: Small 9v battery-based amp with gain, tone, volume controls (more controllable than Little Gem/Ruby by way of using simple preamp for distortion and LM386 for power amp rather than LM386 for both)

Option 2: TL072-based preamp with Vox style tone stack (treble and bass controls), gain, volume.  I'm thinking this would be a single channel affair with LEDs for clipping.  With the gain down it would run clean (below the LED clip voltage).  Crank the gain up, clipped by the LEDs and distorted.

Either way would be sold as a PCB or PCB and components.

Guitar News / Virtual concerts and live streams
« on: April 06, 2020, 02:04:18 PM »
Artists have been doing live streams and free online concerts for quite some time, but there definitely is an uptick right now with current global stances on physical distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19. shares some of the most popular artists doing it now:

Way Huge has debuted a new pedal with an existing circuit inside.  The Chalky Box is actually a Saucy Box, but with chalkboard paint on it.  Sounds silly, but this is actually pretty neat!  I think I would considering finishing a DIY pedal this way.  Not 100% sure I'd spend $119 on this one from a store, but I rarely buy pedals and if you are one who does, this isn't out of line price-wise with anything else on the market.  Check it out!

Schematics and Layouts / Simple guitar cable tester
« on: March 23, 2020, 02:46:49 PM »
This is a super easy to build cable tester circuit with low parts count.  I built mine with junk I had in my drawers.  (Note the  crappy quality stereo jacks being used as mono jacks since I don't want them in anything with sound going through them lol).

Here is where I found the circuit:

Changes: I chose to omit the speaker.  I also did it as positive ground (and flipped the LED connections accordingly) because I had an all metal dc jack I wanted to use and rigged it up for standard "pedal power" where the shield is positive.  Lastly, I used 3mm LEDs and a 1k resistor instead of the listed 330 ohm.

No lights on means the cable is electrically open.  Just the red LED on means there is a short.  Both lights means you are in business!

Schematics and Layouts / 5th Gear Overdrive v3.0
« on: March 19, 2020, 02:47:30 PM »
I've had some time recently and have made some adjustments to the 5th Gear Overdrive I designed in college (  This is pretty fantastic now.  No more noise when adjusting gain level, awesome clean when rolled all the way down.  Using my telecaster with regular Fender single coils it has a great edge of breakup sound around 10 o'clock, coming into solid rock and roll territory around 2 o'clock, then full on screamer at full gain.  Not quite metal gain, but honestly, getting close.

Try it, you might just love it!

Guitar News / Coronavirus hitting the music industry
« on: March 11, 2020, 02:05:47 PM »
All performing artists are going to start feeling the hit of Coronavirus, even if they don't get infected.  Most large venue concerts have been cancelled or probably will be soon due to mounting concerns of the virus spreading even farther.  I recommend what others have been saying for a while now on this: wash your hands regularly, stay away from large group gatherings, keep yourself healthy (eating properly, exercise, plenty of sleep, etc) so you can combat it if you do get infected.

D'Addario has released their "casein" picks.  These picks are suppose to be reminiscent or tortoiseshell picks but instead of being made of plastics, they are made of dairy proteins.  Sounds cheesy to me, but if they work, I'm all for it!  That said, at $21.99 for a single plectrum, I might stick with my Dunlop Nylons!

For under $100 USD (exact price not released), you can get 55 hours of play time on this flat response acoustic amp.  Perfect for vocals, acoustic guitar, or (my thoughts), electric guitar with a pedal board!

Guitar News / It's 2020, and Germanium Fuzz pedals still sound awesome
« on: February 07, 2020, 09:45:40 AM »
It's pretty amazing that germanium transistors are still in existence in modern life.  They are temperamental, difficult to find, large (relatively speaking), and OLD.  Germanium transistors came into existence in the 1950's, but were largely replaced by silicone transistors by the 1960's.  They do still exist even now in certain applications, one of them being guitar fuzz pedals.  Here is a brand new fuzz pedal using germanium in 2020 and it sounds awesome:

Guitar News / $109, 13AWG power cable makes your amp awesome?
« on: February 07, 2020, 09:39:38 AM »
Snake oil has taken a new low.  There is now a $109 guitar amplifier power cable claiming that it increases clarity of your amplifier.  Seriously folks, this is nothing special.  It's a large copper cable.  If you are getting line loss on your stock 18AWG power cable, use a shorter cable.  Or buy a 14AWG or 16AWG cable to replace it.  Monoprice has them for less than $5 for the 14 gauge version.  For some reason, the reviewer at Guitar Player seems to think it makes an audible difference.  I highly doubt this claim.

I think this is a fantastic idea.  Rather than make an amp that does 50 different amp models, and probably only at a mediocre level, the Fender Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb emulates one model only.  It looks and sounds almost identical to the original Deluxe Reverb it is modeled after.  It's also half the price of the actual tube version, as well as half the weight.  I think this is a pretty firm solid state win.

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