• Paypal Donations!

    Please support our website!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 95 other followers

  • Category Menu

  • My Top Clicks

  • Photos

    The preamp board wired up. This is the original preamp board. The circuit was adding a simple reverb circuit that totally ruined the sound of the amp so later we bypassed and removed this part of the circuit. The third socket from the left and its associated circuitry were removed.

    The preamp board wired up. This is the original preamp board. The circuit was adding a simple reverb circuit that totally ruined the sound of the amp so later we bypassed and removed this part of the circuit. The third socket from the left and its associated circuitry were removed.

Wes Yoder Is At It again With “Damn This Crooked Road”

My buddy Wes is back in the studio and recorded a cover of Damn This Crooked Road by Chris Knight. Some of you may remeber Wes from our video of “6th Avenue Heartache” by The Wall Flowers

Maker Faire 2011 – The Future of Education Panel by Element14

The 2011 San Mateo Maker Faire was a great success! So many wide-eyed kids (and adults) visited the element14 booth to witness a live taping of The Ben Heck Show, to see Ben Innes and the official unveiling of his stunning art installation piece as well as to see the culmination of the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge. This panel Features Jeri Ellsworth, Ben Heckendorn, and Mitch Altman. The panel Moderator is Michelle Dobson.

Surviving Pink Floyd Members Reunite at Roger Waters Show in London

The surviving members of Pink Floyd reunited onstage tonight at London’s 02 Arena during a stop on Roger Waters’ Wall tour – marking only the second time that Nick Mason, David Gilmour and Waters had played together in the last 30 years. Waters and Gilmour performed “Comfortably Numb” as the crowd at the arena went absolutely insane, and during the finale of “Outside the Wall,” Gilmour returned to the stage alongside Mason, who played a tambourine.

As he did on the original 1980/81 tour, Gilmour played his epic solo on the top of the Wall. Last July, Waters promised that Gilmour would play the song during one show on the tour, but drummer Nick Mason’s involvement was kept a secret. They last performed together at Live 8 in 2005. Original keyboardist Richard Wright died in 2008.

via Pink Floyd Reunite at Roger Waters Show in London | Rolling Stone Music.

Paul Stanley of KISS On Hearing Loss

A medical condition impacting his ability to hear did not stop legendary entertainer Paul Stanley of KISS from pursuing his dreams. Stanley made it big and he says you can, too.

In the video at the link Stanley goes on to mention visiting http://soundrules.org for instructions and tips on how to save your hearing. As a lifelong musician that suffers from partial hearing losses I cant help but to wholeheartedly agree!

via Paul Stanley of KISS.

LM386 Altoids tin amp – Hack a Day

Hacker friend and cohort Dino Segovis is back again with the fifth installment in his “Hack a Week” series. This time around he has put together a 1/2 watt audio amplifier that would make for a great weekend project. He’s a big fan of the LM386 amplifier chip because it does so much in such a small package. Since it is so versatile, he used it as the centerpiece of his Altoids tin amplifier.

via LM386 Altoids tin amp – Hack a Day.

555 Contest Winners Announced!

Last night @ChrisGammell and @JeriEllsworth announced the 555 contest winners… Somehow I missed the live announcements but HERE is the link to the contests homepage where the recorded video announcement and the prize winners list may be found.

My congrats to all the winners but especially to everyone involved. There were lots of great entries. The judges were:

The top prize “The Mims/Camenzind Prize” is a painting of a 555 chip donated by artist GnomeNCandle and it went to:

Tom Jenner for his – 555 Servo Controller

I personally did not have an entry due to month-long chinese parts shipment schedules combined with having to move 30 miles and a broken wrist. I was planning on entering a replica of the 1937 Hammond Novachord made completely and accurately out of 555 timer chips. I still am going to build this but at a much more leasurely pace than the month-long time limit of the contest. I will not profess that it will have near the depth and beauty of sounds and tones as the original but it should approximate it fairly closely with all of the same features. You may find details of this glorious instrument and its tale of reconstruction here!

Dead Flowers – Rolling Stones by Wes Yoder

 My friend Wes Yoder performs Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones on acoustic guitar! Great job Wes! You can find Wes’s youtube channel at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/betterdays67

6th Ave. Heartache by The Wallflowers. Take 2!

6th Ave. Heartache by The Wallflowers. Wes Yoder Doug Kovach Take 2! (Includes mistakes) Wes was cool and played right through like a pro. This is what live music is about!

Me and Hoolio jammin out in the woods!

Me and Hoolio jammin out in the woods just outside of Brewster Ohio at one of our old hangouts. We had to go on this venture simply for old times sake like when we were years younger. We both decided on this trip that we were both getting to old for such childish antics… Yeah right, lol! Video was recorded in july of 2010.

Suddenly I see

Suddenly I see

Last live performance in Second Life before I broke my arm. I got to practice for 2 hours the night before thankfully. It was recorded for me by a Facebook and Second Life friend.

Wah Pedal Quick Repair

A friend brought his wah pedal to me in a completely broken state… So I fixed it…

Sometimes

I wrote the music for this on an old upright piano when I was 14 and often used it as a warm-up stretching excersize… until this past January when a broken left wrist (fretting hand) prompted me to find other musical outlets besides my beloved guitar. I was playing around with a VST synth I designed and programmed on my own and quickly entered the chords riffs and beats for this practice tune and when I heard it played through my synth I knew it needed words immediately. So I sat down and wrote them out and recorded a basic vocal track over it, produced it, and this is what came out. My friend Tally suggested that it needed a beat change in the middle and I agreed so I changed it and everything else just sort of fell in place. The photos are my own photos taken during a few different storms in the mountains south of Tucson Arizona. Recorded January 2011

DIY Fuzz.Bender Germanium Tone Distortion Pedal

 

Here it is as the Duo.Glassix Fuzz Bender. This video has been featured at both http://www.hackaday.com and http://www.makezine.com.

Thanks guys!

Catch the details, links, and schematics below the video!

The pedal is a cross between the Fuzz Face of Jimi Hendrix fame and the MKII Professional of Jimmy Page fame. The footswitch on the left switches between the 2 modes and the footswitch on the right bypasses the effect. The knob on the left is the attack knob which adjusts the disortion charachteristics while the knob on the right controls the output volume. Both of these pedals are considered to be the holy grail of distortion pedals and many a dollar has been spent in acquiring either. Here I have combined them into what is arguably the finest distortion device ever presented to musicians. I have used military grade Germanium transistors in the circuit to prevent the dreaded temperature based instabilities and also to provide the healthy germanium creaminess both of these pedals were known for.

First of all the basic circuit is the Fuzz Face. There is a ton of information about this pedal online but this is what I used to create this pedal:
http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/fuzzface/fftech.htm

And:
http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/fuzzface.php

Now… The Colorsound MKII Professional Tonebender circuit: Be warned this is a beastly fuzz pedal. The circuit is not to complicated since it is only one gain stage more than a typical Fuzz Face added to the front of the Fuzz Face circuit. You may find information about the MKII Tonebender here:
http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/mkII.php

And here is the specific schematic I used:
http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/mkII/mkIIschematic.gif

You will note there are many variants of each schematic and pedal. I specifically chose the earliest versions of each pedal to work with simply because these are the ones using the Germanium Transistors. Later versions of both of these pedals switched to Silicon Transistors which changed the sound. Some people prefer the sound of Germanium over Silicon and vice versa. Some folks even like to mix and match and you will encounter many such circuits on the WWW.

The problems with these types of pedals are their strange POSITIVE ground power supply (on earlier models) and transistor gain drift with temperature (also on earlier models). Later models switched to Silicon for stability and consistency not to mention being much cheaper. Transistor biasing can affect the sound and sonic tone of these pedals and you can certainly hear differences between a good or bad biasing of the transistors. The way I recommend to build the circuit is on breadboard so you can swap out biasing resistors to fine tune the circuit to your particular transistors and their specific gain structures. Take my word for it. It will be much easier to do on breadboard then after you have already soldered the board together. There are several locations to acquire Germanium Transistors. Steve Daniels over at http://www.smallbearelec.com/ provides both gain tested and pre-biased transistors and resistors sets. He also provides non-tested transistors for a few bucks less but you must measure and test each transistor to find its gain and biasing resistor amounts etc… Or not! The companies that built these pedals did no such thing. They simply built pedals using the next part grabbed out of a bucket of parts. So with that said the tone is completely up to you.. Its your pedal so build it so it sounds amazing to you and that is good enough!
Here it is in its final form as the Duo.Glassix Fuzz Bender. The pedal is a cross between the Fuzz Face of Jimi Hendrix fame and the MKII Professional of Jimmy Page fame. The footswitch on the left switches between the 2 modes and the footswitch on the right bypasses the effect. The knob on the left is the attack knob which adjusts the disortion charachteristics while the knob on the right controls the output volume. Both of these pedals are considered to be the holy grail of distortion pedals and many a dollar has been spent in acquiring either. Here I have combined them into what is arguably the finest distortion device ever presented to musicians. I have used military grade Germanium transistors in the circuit to prevent the dreaded temperature based instabilities and also to provide the healthy germanium creaminess both of these pedals were known for.

First of all the basic circuit is the Fuzz Face. There is a ton of information about this pedal online but this is what I used to create this pedal:
http://www.geofex.com/article_folders/fuzzface/fftech.htm

And:
http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/fuzzface.php

Now… The Colorsound MKII Professional Tonebender circuit: Be warned this is a beastly fuzz pedal. The circuit is not to complicated since it is only one gain stage more than a typical Fuzz Face added to the front of the Fuzz Face circuit. You may find information about the MKII Tonebender here:
http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/mkII.php

And here is the specific schematic I used:
http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/mkII/mkIIschematic.gif

You will note there are many variants of each schematic and pedal. I specifically chose the earliest versions of each pedal to work with simply because these are the ones using the Germanium Transistors. Later versions of both of these pedals switched to Silicon Transistors which changed the sound. Some people prefer the sound of Germanium over Silicon and vice versa. Some folks even like to mix and match and you will encounter many such circuits on the WWW.

The problems with these types of pedals are their strange POSITIVE ground power supply (on earlier models) and transistor gain drift with temperature (also on earlier models). Later models switched to Silicon for stability and consistency not to mention being much cheaper. Transistor biasing can affect the sound and sonic tone of these pedals and you can certainly hear differences between a good or bad biasing of the transistors. The way I recommend to build the circuit is on breadboard so you can swap out biasing resistors to fine tune the circuit to your particular transistors and their specific gain structures. Take my word for it. It will be much easier to do on breadboard then after you have already soldered the board together. There are several locations to acquire Germanium Transistors. Steve Daniels over at http://www.smallbearelec.com provides both gain tested and pre-biased transistors and resistors sets. He also provides non-tested transistors for a few bucks less but you must measure and test each transistor to find its gain and biasing resistor amounts etc… Or not! The companies that built these pedals did no such thing. They simply built pedals using the next part grabbed out of a bucket of parts. So with that said the tone is completely up to you.. Its your pedal so build it so it sounds amazing to you and that is good enough!

It seems as though I will hopefully be manufacturing a couple of productions runs of the updated version of this pedal. Same specs and transistors and mostly the same circuit but 4 modes of operation as opposed to the 3 modes this pedal has. By the way the owner of this pedal still loves it and uses it everyday both on stage and in the studio. I also constructed his custom designed 100 watt tube amp as well as the channel switching device. He has had no problems at all in the past 4 years with any of them. The only things in his rig I did not make were the guitar and the cords and the pick. I have made two more of these pedals and they sold right away. I barely had time to finish them because they were so eager to use them. The creamy lusciousness of the germanium allows full chords as well as single notes unlike a lot of modern distortion devices. I will make an announcement on this thread when the new pedals are available for sale if anyone is interested. I have not had the time nor the place to do any electronics work in the past few years due to life and medical problems but now I am back to stable again so look for new devices again soon! My website is http://www.duoglassix.com . My YouTube channel is also DuoGlassix.

6th Avenue Heartache Live!

Live performance of 6th Avenue Heartache by Wes Yoder and myself. Recorded on August 2010, Beach City Ohio @ 3:30am.

%d bloggers like this: