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Topics - joecool85

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Hamstead Soundworks has released a new single knob, clean boost pedal.  The Ascent Amplitude doesn't seem to be technically anything terribly new or interesting.  But socially, it sure is.  They are employing tech members that normally work with Iggy Pop, AC/DC, and The National, to put these together - helping people that were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  On top of this, part of the remaining profits also go to a charity to help struggling musicians.  I think this is a great idea.  If their booster plays half as well as their social concept, it's money very well spent.

Electro-Harmonix (EHX) has released the new Cntl Knob (pronounced "control knob").  This pedal can be used on all devices that have a TRS "EXP" or "expression" pedal input.  It simply has two knobs and a footswitch between them.  Set EXP1 to your first sound setting, and EXP2 to your second.  Then toggle through them at will.  It's a simple device, but for $39, I could see this being very useful for a lot of people!  Plus it looks pretty darn slick!

The Newcomer's Forum / MOVED: Music Electronics Forum
« on: July 06, 2020, 11:31:44 AM »

Crew Nation, set up by Live Nation, is helping musicians and those who tour with them (road crew etc) who need financial support due to not being able to tour etc to support themselves.  Fender has decided to help out with this and is now supporting Crew Nation with the sale of some Masterbuilt guitars.  These guitars were built at home by some of Fender's best luthiers and they look great!

According to, the Shure SM57 and SM58 earned the 1st and 2nd place spots respectively for best cheap mics in 2020.  This isn't terribly surprising since they have been at the top of their game since they came out over 50 years ago.  Check out the others in their top 8.

Abominable Pedals, God City, Chase Bliss Audio, and Cooper FX are some of the latest companies to start actively promoting the end of racism.  I hope that this continues and eventually gets to the point where it isn't necessary because racism dies out.  Call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

Guitar News / DryBell releases "The Engine" - $299 preamp pedal
« on: June 04, 2020, 01:47:43 PM »
DryBell has announced it's newest pedal, The Engine.  Selling for $299, this is a preamp pedal "for all those that love 1960's style non-master volume amps."  The concept sounds good, and the clips sound pretty good.  But it seems a convoluted way to get the sounds they are shooting for.  There are two preamps on board, A and B.  You can control either one, or put them together with A or B coming first in the signal chain.  They both have tone controls but not your typical TMB stack.  Preamp A has Level, Gain, Tone, and Shape.  Preamp B has Level, Range, Low, and High.

Perfect?  Too complicated?  What's your take?

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!

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