About the D.I.Y. Vintage Guitar Effects Circuits & Schematics Pages
If you are like me and insist on the finest results in audio reproduction, I would like to recommend Essence Audio Accessories - Audiophile quality leads and connectors.
I started my experience with electronics rather unintentionally back around 1973. I had the idea to build some guitar effects I was using at the time straight into my guitar. At the time, I had a friend who was studying electronics, so I asked him how I could achieve that goal. His reply was 'it can't be done'. I didn't believe him and eventually did the job myself.
The initial results were admittedly electronically crude, rude and unrefined, but they did actually work. Over time, with a lot of practice, tinkering and an unexpected revisiting (ee-gads-gasp!) of the physics I had learned in highschool, I eventually got to a point where I was able to design and build a few (quite sophisticated) circuits of my own.
Most of the Guitar Effects and related circuits you will encounter in these pages are very basic (at least from an electronics perspective). They were collected over many years, then later culled down to less than half their original number, finally archived and of course, largely forgotten. Since noticing a resurgence of interest in vintage effects and a D.I.Y. approach, I decided these schematics might be of interest to someone ... perhaps that's you?
Most modern (largely digital) multi-effects stomp box designs make these vintage circuits look like they belong in some ancient arcane manuscript full of weird spells and dark magic. But I guess, that is essentially their charm ... and ... as long as you can get your hands on the parts and the tools required, the process can be a lot of fun, perhaps even educational.
It's a shame that so much of today's miniaturized SMD (Surface Mount Device) technology no longer lends itself to a 'hands-on' approach for device mods and tinkering (unless you have a microscope and the steady hands of a surgeon).
About the provided Vintage Guitar Effects / Stomp Box circuits and schematics:
- Circuits will be rated/categorized according to difficulty in three levels:
Easy, Moderate Difficulty and Advanced, depending on the skill level required. This is somewhat arbitrary and is intended as a guide only.
- Where possible, the original source will be credited and links to any additional information on the web (in forums etc.) will be provided. Where further information is provided via an external link, you are on your own. Obviously I can't validate everything that gets posted on the many and varied guitar related forums. Some forum posters are nothing short of brilliant, some don't have a clue what they are talking about (or so it would appear).
- The Vintage Guitar Effects circuits are (for the most part) scanned in from my personal (and now somewhat ancient) archive. For simplicity of access, circuits are provided for download in PDF and/or JPG format.
- Remember the disclaimer ... You build these projects at your own risk. There is no warranty provided as to the accuracy of the information presented. For example: Some circuits were published with errors. If I have access to the subsequently published corrections, these will be included. There is however no guarantee of this.
- And lastly, but certainly not least. Remember that any mods you make to a recently purchased (current technology) device, will almost certainly VOID the warranty on that device. You have been warned!
Vintage Guitar Effects Projects & Related Links:
More coming soon ...
Octave Divider (The Rocktave Divider by Craig Anderton - circa 1983) is an analogue octave divider circuit for guitarists that will (due to parts non-availability) require some reworking of the circuit. It's still however a useful starting point for anyone with some medium to advanced electronics knowledge.
Useful External Links:
Most D.I.Y. guitar effects resources on the Internet are available only through forums. In particular, if you want access to downloads of the circuit schematics, this means signing up (which is generally free) and becoming a member of the forum. Some of the more notable forums are listed below.
Incept: Wizard - 130909
Last Updated: 130910