Rhythm & Detonation
29Sep/100

Shine On

I made this pedal for Marquand Schramm, a very good friend of mine. Marq played guitar in my first real band back in high school, and we recorded two CDs. We went to the same high school, and he played trumpet in concert band with me.

Marq wanted a Clean Boost Pedal "like an MXR Micro Amp." Now there's nothing wrong with the Micro Amp, but I talked him into letting me build an AMZ Mosfet boost instead. Jack Orman designed this circuit as the most transparent boost; it doesn't color the sound in anyway. It's a single-stage Class A gain stage with a flat frequency response.

This pedal ended up being very special for me, because it's the first one I've built completely from scratch. I recently began etching my own PCB's, and while this is the third circuit board I've etched, it's the first one to make it into a pedal. Etching a PCB is fun, but it's also very scary. I'm still a little terrified of an etching solution that erodes metal. I know I scared my neighbors when I walked out to the trash the other day with goggles, a face mask, rubber gloves, and an apron.

I used tonepad's layout to etch the board and painted the 1590B Hammond enclosure in glossy yellow paint from Krylon. I used a cream-colored MXR knob with a rubber stopper on it so the pedal can be adjusted by foot. I finished the pedal with a yellow waterclear LED.

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