Guitar Effects Pedals

guitar effects

Here are some really simple projects for building guitar effects pedals. I mean REALLY simple. I’m sure that a little more than this goes into the brightly colored commercial boxes and there is always room for some gouging. Unfortunately this site seems to have stagnated. I’d like to see more simple effects like this, but I’m guessing the curator got a little burnt out building circuits using pixel art.

[thanks alex]

21 thoughts on “Guitar Effects Pedals

  1. That A/B box is not very good. You’ll get a huge loss of tone and signal, there is a much better box which is A/B/Y which is lossless and not that much harder to build. They don’t show you the pretty pictures, but they have a schematic for just about any effect you would want at

    There is a multitude of build it yourself guitar gear there. Any of them I’ve built have worked, so I trust the schems. Really you need to be able to figure out the layout of the parts, and know what needs to be put by what and in which orientation to other parts to get good sound. Effects/audio are very picky.

  2. It should be noted that you can’t get a true bypass with a double pole double throw switch, so it still has to go through the circuit somehow. What you need for true bypass is a triple pole double throw (three on/off together). The exception people have built is the Millenium Bypass, which is not included in the above circuit. It would add more parts than are actual in that circuit to use that type of switch and get any good tone when you switched it off.

  3. The A/B box is not a signal splitter but a switch. One output gets shorted and the other is connected to the input. No splitting is going on; you just select which output gets connected to the input. This is lossless.
    It’s stupid how it’s using a DC supply just for indicator LEDs. Why not use a DPDT toggle switch instead of the hard-to-find 3PDT and just use the position of the handle for indication?

  4. hey, does any one know how to modify the a/b box so that 2 inputs go to 1 output. like say i have 2 guitars with the output going into the a/b box as the input and haveing one output on the box where i could switch between them.

  5. Boris:
    The signal of a guitar is very weak. You can’t power LED’s with it so you always add signal. A common use is the 9v because it doesn’t drain very quickly, and you can prebuild the entire power/plug/switch units before any of the main circuit. This saves time when making many boxes (boxen). You also need some type of buffer (the caps) for when you switch, otherwise you get a popping sound in the amp (you go from no signal for an instant to a signal, which is an infinately large change). When you are playing guitar live you don’t have the ability to switch an actual toggle with your hands, and it is pretty hard to do with the feet, so a stomp switch must be used. You can’t really tell whether a stomp switch is on or off by looking at it. Hence LED’s in almost all units.

  6. for more info on DIY guitar effects the best place by far to go is Aron’s DIY Stompbox forum.

    the projects on that site are pretty simplistic. if you have a look on arons forum then there’s a host of other stuff. go look at some sites in the link section. ive spent a good deal of time there and other places and the majority of my effects are either homebuilt or modified

    and marnargulus, you can get true bypass with a DPDT switch, all the effects on that site are TB

  7. I’ve tried building the Fuzzbox for some time, and its a real enigma trying to get it to work. I get no ‘nice, warm, fuzzy’ distorion, just a square wave. Is it [supposed] to do that?

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