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Old 24th July 2003, 03:59 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Philly Berbs
Question Hard clipping a guitar signal

Does anyone know how to make a compact circuit to hard clip a guitar signal?
I've been using a "Black Ice" module to add some subtle overdrive but I'm looking for something to take my tube amp over the top. I know using a high output pickup will have the same basic effect but I don't want to change my current setup with the exception of the mentioned circuit...
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Old 24th July 2003, 04:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: winlock,wa.
Default clipping...

You might try 'arons stompbox forum.' What you're describing is usually done with diodes in such pedals as the 'rat' ,'big muff' and many more. There are schematics,layouts, and more available online and it's an extremely rewarding hobby to find out how/why these things work.(Also,once you're set up with basics,it's MUCH less expensive than purchasing these 'noise toys'.)
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Old 19th January 2004, 06:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2005
Default What value pots do you use?

Using a 1 or 2 meg pot for your volume might do it. This will give you more output but there is also a chance of having microphonic problems. Basically anything you do to increase your signal gain going into your amp can cause issues with microphonics and/or feedback particularly with tube amps.

You could also build a small onboard pre-amp that simply boosts your guitars output by a few decibels. It's small, runs on a 9 volt and you can fit it into your electronics cavity easily. You can also use a stereo jack in your guitar that will turn it on and off when you plug your guitar cord in.

I know the guy, from online, that owns this site and he's very informative on tube amps. Anything tube related he can probably help you accomplish.

It really sounds like you want more gain from your tube amp and if the black ice isn't doing it I'd simply mod the amp for a greater amount of gain. It's typically an easy mod.
Also sounds like you want the simple setup that I'm a real stickler on having myself: guitar, cord and an amp.
Honestly we shouldn't need more. Myself I'm a solid state kinda guy for the most part but tube amps have a lot to offer as well. Just please NO DIGITAL!

Hopefully we'll see more sound tailoring models in quality solid state amps as well as the tube amps. Behringer's done a good job of this while keeping everything analog. I know Peavey is trying this out as well with their new analog line.
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Old 21st January 2004, 02:40 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Detriot, MI
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Default REd Fuzz

Hey, I just built the REd Fuss from www.generalguitargadgets.com . (under effects projects/distortion. It either used 2 silicon diodes or LEDs to clip the signal. It sounds pretty cool and was real easy to make. I'm not sur eif this is what you're looking for but i tried lol. If this is and oyu want to build it, you might want to buy the "Ready to solder PCB" from generalguitargadgets. It's like 15 bucks (he doesnt have it listed, but e-mail him and he'll probablly make you one) and it made the project alot easier. in teh four days it took to ship i got the rest of the parts all ready and finished it the night i got the board. it was quite fun..
say what? .. be careful with your ears.
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Old 22nd January 2004, 02:29 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2005
Default Another thought

For what you want you should probably just build a pedal. I'd build the Gus' Muff Fuzz if I were you. It's very similar to a Big Muff Pi only it is an IC based circuit. Personally I think it's better for a more natural tube sound whether you are running it through a tube amp or not.

The Smash Drive is a really easy build and will definitely drive your signal into hard clipping.
There's a huge variety of pedals you can build and everything you need to show you how is online.
Like someone mentioned earlier to this post, you won't be wasting money on noisy store bought pedals either!

Oddly enough the pedals you find schematics and instructions for online are generally noiseless.
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