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Topics - joecool85

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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.

Guitar News / Fender under new ownership
« on: January 28, 2020, 03:08:15 PM »
Fender has announced that they will be under new ownership - sort of.  Currently there is joint ownership between Servco Pacific and TGP Growth.  In the agreement, Servco Pacific will be purchasing TGP Growth's shares - making Servco Pacific the majority share holder.

Guitar News / Five best amps at NAMM - according to Music Radar
« on: January 28, 2020, 03:06:14 PM »
Music Radar has shared their 5 top amps from NAMM:

Not sure I would totally agree, but I wasn't there either!  ;)

No pricing, but my guess is $80-100.  They claim 3,000ma, not sure if they mean mah, which is different.  Regardless, kind of a neat piece of kit.

Amplifier Discussion / Best way to tap power for 9v reverb?
« on: January 24, 2020, 08:27:26 PM »
I'm thinking about adding reverb to my K20-X and rather than build out the circuit as the K30RX (they share the same board), I'm thinking of using a Belton brick.  This would require 9v DC to supply it.  I'm leaning towards simply attaching a basic 7809 regulator to the positive line of the +/-18v PSU output.  I know that technically this would draw a few ma off that end of the PSU potentially making it unbalanced, but I can't image it would be an issue.  So, what do you guys think?

Guitar News / Mooer digital amps in the marketplace - Mooer SD series
« on: January 23, 2020, 07:54:02 PM »
Mooer Audio has released a new line of amps, the SD series.  They are bluetooth equipped digital solid state amps.  Boasting 40 preset slots and 25 amp models along with 30 or 75w of solid state power, these amps should shine at small gigs and rehearsal spaces as well as in the bedroom for solo practice.

Guitar News / More new amps at NAMM
« on: January 22, 2020, 11:46:32 AM »
While tube amps definitely did come out to play, I'm looking at you Suhr Hombre, it seems solid state held it's own as well.

BlueGuitar Amp X: name their pick of the top 4 best amps at NAMM and 3 of them are solid state:

While I'm not sure there was ever a need for this, it is interesting.  Rainger FX has released the Minibar pedal.  A stomp box that only functions when it has liquid poured into it.  It will then sample the liquid and based upon unknown properties, it will register with the device and choose a tone for you.  For $159 you can have this on your pedal board - though I have to ask, why?

Apparently the more conductive the liquid, the higher the gain.  The darker the liquid in color, the darker the tone (more bass).


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