Build Reports

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Keith
Score:
-2

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Vortex

Project: Vortex (Bouteek Distorter Preamp)
Variant: Stock Build

Build description

Fairly easy build. This is easily one of the best overdrive/distortion pedals I’ve ever used. It can get incredibly heavy, but the tone never gets thin or fizzy at the top. Perfect for crushing rhythm but just as excellent for creamy, smooth lead work. Excellent pedal.

Modifications or part substitutions

Built everything just as written in the documents.

lgragson5618
Score:
-2

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Blueshift Chorus

Project: Blueshift (BOSS® DC-2 Dimension C)

Build description

I built two of these. The first one I was confused by the documentation and ended up installing the headers on the wrong side of the board. Probably my fault. It was easier just to start over than to try to fix it as desoldering the original board was just too much stress. Hint for dummies like me – the holes on the top board have to match the trim pots on the bottom board so you can get to them after assembly. Anyway, second time was the charm. It sounds great. Set up with an oscilloscope was pretty easy. Sonically it met my very high expectations. I’m having a problem with the LED. It flashes when I plug the power supply in and then goes out. It worked for a while and then stopped. But it always flashes when I plug the power in so I’m not sure what the problem is. Any hints appreciated. Thanks for a great project and board…

Phil
Score:
0

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Azimuth

Project: Azimuth (Zendrive)
Variant: 1590B

Build description

I built mine stock. Super easy (compared to vero which I usually do) and sounds great!

Phil
Score:
3

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Refactor with Bass and Voice Mod

Project: Refractor (Klon Centaur / KTR)
Variant: 1590B

Build description

I built mine according to the schematic except for 2 mods. I added a BASS knob by converting the tone circuit to a BASS/TREBLE baxandall. This involved swapping a few of the component values on the board, and adding a small vero on with additional components tucked in next to the stomp switch. I attached my marked up schematic with rough vero layouts.

The Voice mod allowed 3 switchable values for C8 (390pF). I found that I wanted a little more clarity, but boosting the tone knob wasn’t that helpful, since the tone knob boosts both mids and highs. Switching out C8 for different values helped me get around that. Here are the cap values I used for each switch position. I also put these caps on a small vero board.
Position 1: 122pF (100pF in parallel with 22pF)
Position 2: 22pF (switch is off)
Position 3: 392pF (220pF, 150pF, and 22pF in parallel) (similar to original klon)

Thomas J.
Score:
2

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Ares “Gray Box”

Project: Ares (EP-3 Preamp)

Build description

I built this to Aion’s specs using Vishay RN55D resistors, Panasonic electrolytic and film caps, and C0G MLCC for the picofarad caps. I did not measure the transistors but chose to instead systematically choose them by ear. This is partly because, though I’ve built at least a dozen DIY audio projects, I know very little about circuits and can’t even read a simple breadboard diagram to build the testing circuit (I should get on that). But the better reason is that I’d rather trust my ears, and I humbly suggest other builders try what I tried, even if you have the skills I lack. I purchased 5 of each JFET as Aion suggests, and I set out to audition the pedal with all 25 possible combinations.

This sounds like tedious work, but it probably goes a lot faster than you’d expect. In my case, I didn’t even need to try all 25 combinations. I distinguished my transistors by keeping each one in its own small zip bag (leftover from Small Bear orders), labeling each set of bags “1” through “5”. Using sockets, I kept one 2N5485 in place and tried each of the five 2N5484s against it in turn, playing a short series of chords and riffs, both clean and dirty, trying various knob and switch positions. I jotted down quick notes with each test. The fourth 5484 I tried was a clear standout; for some reason that one clearly had some magic the others were missing…only one of them sounded “bad” but the rest were either harsh or nondescript. The fourth one did exactly what I hoped, added some kind of intangible, musical, harmonic deliciousness that was subtle, but I definitely missed it when I turned it off. OK, promising. I then put in a different 5485, and again cycled all the 5484s against it in the same order, taking notes. Once again, 5484 #4 sounded easily the best. At that point, since the 5484 seemed to keep its good properties against multiple 5485s, I decided that must be the one…OK, the 5484 was chosen. I then kept the magic 5484 in place and auditioned the five 5485s against it. There was indeed a clear standout pairing, with one of the 5485s sounding best — the one I tried initially, actually — and that was that, the transistors were chosen. The whole process took about 25 minutes (probably not much longer than building a test circuit and testing 10 transistors); I have no idea how the chosen JFETs measure, and I don’t care.

The pedal sounds really great, and instantly became an almost-always-on pedal for me. I decided to forgo artwork and labeling and keep it a humble gray box with blue knob/LED. I had a 125B enclosure on hand so I used that. I tried it both at the end of my pedal chain, and the beginning (well, after tuner and fuzz). Both sounded good but I prefer it at the beginning. One of the simplest/cheapest builds that Aion offers and well worth it. And again, I really think people should commit to auditioning transistor pairings by ear. With any luck it won’t take too long, and you won’t be stuck wondering, “They measured ‘correctly,’ but are they really the ones I think sound best?”

Modifications or part substitutions

125B enclosure

Mr.x
Score:
5

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Tremendo tremolo

Project: Luna (Tremulus Lune)
Variant: Nsl32 vactrol

Build description

Easy to build, good sound and funny to play, its kinda noise at high gain

Modifications or part substitutions

Used nsl32 vactrol, working to get a better one

YanivT
Score:
1

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Great distortion!

Project: Tempest (BE-OD/Dirty Shirley)
Variant: Straightforward BE-OD

Build description

Made this one recently.
It is a great distortion. Very open and balanced to my taste. Marshally in sound.
Actually, the only one I find better that the Tempest is the Vortex (which is one of the best drive pedals I have ever built or heard, cannot post a build report for it from some reason).

Aion boards are top notch as always. The best on the market.

Modifications or part substitutions

None.

Jean-René
Score:
2

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Colorsound Power Boost

Project: Plasma (Colorsound Overdriver)
Variant: 18v Power Boost

Build description

A transistor based boost which works at 18v. Artwork has been silkscreen in two colors.

Modifications or part substitutions

Charge pump etched mini board added to give 18V when running on a regular 9v adapter. I used PN3565 transistors which work just fine.

Bernd P.
Score:
2

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Fuzz NKT 275

Project: Solaris (Fuzz Face)

Build description

Resistors: Dale CMF-55 & Vishay Metal Film Resistors
Capacitors: Panasonic SMF & FC / ELNA RFS Silmic II
Transistors: NKT 275

Modifications or part substitutions

I used a 5K-C Pot // 3K3 Resistor = 1,99K to make the fuzz more versatile (Cesar Diaz Sqaure Face Texas Fuzz).

Ace Pepper
Score:
-1

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Retro Delay

Project: Vector (Deep Blue Delay)
Variant: Rebote 2.5

Build description

Just finished my 2nd build of the Vector. I built the Rebote 2.5 version because I’ve built those before and I had those parts in the shop.

There appears to be a mistake in the Rebote version parts list. R18 – Deep Blue Delay says 33r, Rebote says OMIT. You MUST have something in R18, you cannot OMIT. This is in the 9vdc power supply path. If you OMIT R18 you will have no 9v past the LED. This is shown in the schematic. Rebote parts list should correct R18 to “33r” or “JUMPER”. Once I put a 33r in R18 everything worked fine. Hope this helps somebody. Drove me crazy for a while getting the circuit to work.

The delay sounds great! Super smooth and quiet. Possibly quieter than the Rebotes I’ve built on other PCBs/layouts. Very solid build too. I like it a lot!!

Modifications or part substitutions

Rebote 2.5 – R18, parts list says OMIT. I put in 33r, needed to complete circuit. See schematic.