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Author Topic: 5th Gear Overdrive v3.0  (Read 635 times)

joecool85

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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 (https://www.ssguitar.com/index.php?topic=11).  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!
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 02:50:57 PM by joecool85 »
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paelgin

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Re: 5th Gear Overdrive v3.0
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2020, 09:38:42 PM »
Thanks for posting that. Looks cool, might try it.

Which diode is the LED and which is the 4148?

Can two general purpose NPN transistors be configured as the darlington, or does the sound depend on the characteristics of that particular transistor?

Phil in gorgeous Young Harris, Georgia, USA

joecool85

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Re: 5th Gear Overdrive v3.0
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2020, 08:20:02 AM »
Thanks for posting that. Looks cool, might try it.

Which diode is the LED and which is the 4148?

Can two general purpose NPN transistors be configured as the darlington, or does the sound depend on the characteristics of that particular transistor?

Phil in gorgeous Young Harris, Georgia, USA

It doesn't matter which diode is which as long as you have them facing opposing directions.  I haven't built it with general NPNs as a darlington, but others have on diystompboxes, and it seems that it works fine.  That said, I had another person build it and try a bunch of trannies and couldn't get the exact same sound as MPSA13 with anything else - close enough to work, but not quite the same.  Take that for what it's worth!
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Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X
thatraymond.com

paelgin

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Re: 5th Gear Overdrive v3.0
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2020, 10:55:50 PM »
Thanks for the clarification. 

But, but, but... I don't know if I can afford that because that one Darlington transistor costs 45 cents each!  (Mouser, as of 4/2/2020).  lol

Of course shipping is $7.99, so I wish I had seen this yesterday (I ordered the 2nd round of parts for the Peavey mixer I am repairing), but I forgot to turn "Notify" on.  I'll see if I need more stuff once I get the known bad parts replaced.

Phil in gorgeous Young Harris, Georgia, USA

paelgin

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Re: 5th Gear Overdrive v3.0
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2020, 06:17:16 PM »
Well, I just finished assembling and testing my building of this pedal.  My thought process about how to build it went through several different versions. Since I had this little box that I thought would work (boy it is really tight), I decided against my original plan for a perfboard construction.  I decided for point to point in free air.  Now all I have to do is insulate everything and fold it into the little box.  Here is a picture.

It really does have almost clean tones when the gain is dialed down.  And it gets really gritty when up!  I need to adjust the volume (output level) when I change the gain, but for testing, I just suffered...  Because I am mostly a rhythm guitarist, I probably won't use this full on, although for some boogie-woogie (Key to the Highway shuffle, for example) I might use it. Also attached is a voice memo converted to mp3 that I made while testing.

I think I will try this on my bass.  That might be pretty cool!

Thanks for posting the schematic and construction tips.  It's a fun little project.  I added an off-on switch since I got non-switching jacks although I think I could have gotten one that connects the -9 volt (ground) lead only when plugged in (but I was in too much of a hurry to research and think it through).

Phil in gorgeous Young Harris, Georgia, USA

joecool85

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Re: 5th Gear Overdrive v3.0
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2020, 07:01:36 PM »
Well, I just finished assembling and testing my building of this pedal.  My thought process about how to build it went through several different versions. Since I had this little box that I thought would work (boy it is really tight), I decided against my original plan for a perfboard construction.  I decided for point to point in free air.  Now all I have to do is insulate everything and fold it into the little box.  Here is a picture.

It really does have almost clean tones when the gain is dialed down.  And it gets really gritty when up!  I need to adjust the volume (output level) when I change the gain, but for testing, I just suffered...  Because I am mostly a rhythm guitarist, I probably won't use this full on, although for some boogie-woogie (Key to the Highway shuffle, for example) I might use it. Also attached is a voice memo converted to mp3 that I made while testing.

I think I will try this on my bass.  That might be pretty cool!

Thanks for posting the schematic and construction tips.  It's a fun little project.  I added an off-on switch since I got non-switching jacks although I think I could have gotten one that connects the -9 volt (ground) lead only when plugged in (but I was in too much of a hurry to research and think it through).

Phil in gorgeous Young Harris, Georgia, USA

Glad to hear you are enjoying it! One of my favorite sounds is with the gain set so it just barely breaks up.
Life is what you make it.
Still rockin' the Dean Markley K-20X
thatraymond.com