Guitar Pedal – 40 Year-Old Tone

Fusion 360 Model of the Guitar Pedal

A buddy of mine (a few hundred years ago) used to make fun of the guitar tone of 40-year-olds. Shit happens. So does 16 years….FAST. He turned 40 recently and this was a great opportunity to rub the whole hubris-laden mess in his face and give me a chance to design my own first guitar pedal.

Always Breadboard Before You Build Kids

“Design” is a strong word. There are so many circuits on the web and in my spot, I’d be an idiot not to grab one. (I didn’t have much time.) Of course, I can’t copy exactly. I’m way too original. (Rolled eyes.) What I can do, is use absurd capacitance values to create atrocious mud on purpose. Then, I can do similar filter tricks to make it as harsh as possible. The end result is one of the worst sounding things ever concocted.

I should note that pedal people like to obsess about diodes. While I’m fully aware of the voltage-current curves of diodes, I have no clue how that affects sound. More importantly, all my good amps are in storage. So, I just grabbed some diodes and I’m not sure I even bothered matching them. Good!

Tossing a PCB and a few pots into this enclosure WAS going to be easy….until I forgot about the 9V battery.

This pedal started life with that “rough” aluminum finish. I powder coated it myself and milled the text on my CNC. That last sentence took like a week of work, btw. Neither of those processes is nice to the beginner….or intermediater either.

In the end, the pedal functions. It’s true bypass. The light comes on when it’s supposed to. I’d say that satisfies all goals. Mission accomplished.

The final “product”

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