What's on the bench - Custom Shop

For the past few weeks/month we have been working on a custom shop build for our friend Gavin (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfnM4xAxWzYmlcOpx5dscvA/videos) He bought a Littlebox earlier on this year to use with his bass guitars, the first bassist to jump on-board (as far as we are aware). He loved it so much, he decided to build a Bad Penny Custom Shop with us. We talked through his ideas and threw some ideas back at him and eventually settled on something solid. So here it is so far.

As you can see, Gavin wanted to splash out on the fancy pants vintage components for all that additional mojo, so there's a school of tropical fish in there as well as some vintage Philips, some vintage carbon resistors all working to send those ac176s into fuzzy heaven. This is an NPN germanium circuit as Gavin wanted a clean blend. Now, as we aren't one's to go with the easiest option out there, we tried and tested a bunch of clean blend options, low component count FETs and such but felt it just wasn't isolated enough for what we wanted to achieve.

Here's what we ended up with. This is a dual, dual op-amp circuit which splits the original signal out too two independent paths. It's quite component heavy but, the pros out-weigh the cons here. The blend on this has very little, if any noticeable, spill from the opposing channel, allowing for heavy manipulation of either channel. This meant that not only could Gavin have a clean blend at his finger tips, but also a nice clean boost tacked on to the end, allowing him the ability to bump the clean signal volume up to match that beautiful fuzz, pictured above. After building and testing this, I got back in contact with Gavin to pose him a new potential option, to which Gavin was even more excited over. Gavin's unit now has, not only a clean blend with the ability to boost that bad boy, but a the stomp of a footswitch, can now send that clean signal out to a new FX loop chain of his choosing (pre-boost of course, we aren't monsters). At this stage, the unit is all in it's separate parts but, with any luck (and if the Rona leaves us alone) we will be putting it all together in the next week. Oh yeah, I forgot to even talk about the main board.

So this mean machine. It's tagboard, yeah you get that, and as I said above it's an NPN germanium fuzz circuit. What I didn't mention is that it is a Tone Bender clone, a mean one of that. There's some additional volume than the standard schematic would allow and a slightly reduced tone filter as, even though I like taking things to extremes, the stock filter is just nasty dialled hard treble. Anyway, as I say, this should be finished by the end of next week. After that I'll be working on another custom, one of two which I'm having to keep hush-hush, as well as getting some pedals ready for our coming give-aways. Stay tuned and more importantly, stay safe. Mark

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