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< Drive Bastard > High Gain DIY Overdrive pedal project

PostPosted: March 19th, 2014, 11:01 am
by maz
Quick Overview:

    - Level of complexity: 1/3
    - Nb of parts: 24
    - OP Amp IC: LM741
    - Type: High Gain Overdrive
    - Buffered: Input - 2N3904
    - Nb of pots: 3 - (Drive Tone Level)
    - Schematic tested: Breadboard
    - Soundtracks: Yes
    - PCB Layout: Yes
    - PCB tested: no

The Drive Bastard is an High Gain Overdrive project based on the LM741 single OP Amp IC. I choose the inverting input since they are not as usual as the non-inverting circuits. This is a 3 knobs pedal (Drive - Tone - Level), drive control can be adjusted from mild to a quite agressive overdrive level. The frequency response is inspired from the Tube Screamer to emphasize the mid frequencies, while the tone control is very responsive. This is a very dynamic pedal with a modern sound color, simple but effective!

You can also experiment with other diodes, led and maybe some fets, symmetric or asymmetric, soft or hard clipping, it is a matter of taste. I also had good result using 4 1N914 (or 1N4148) diodes, 2 of each seried and hooked symmetrically just like this :

---- >| ---- >| ----
---- |< ---- |< ----

The 2N3904 can be replaced by any NPN transistor, 2N5088 2SC1815 ... Just make sure to check the correct pinout. The DPDT dirt switch (including R6) along with R7 could all be replaced by a 1M log pot.

The IC can also be swaped with a TL071, but I prefer the LM741. I actually don't have anything else in my part stash but I'm sure you can use many other single OP amp like the NE5534 with good result.


:clip: Clip 1 (2.40Mb) - MP3 : Various music at different setting.
Recording: Stratocaster (bridge dual blade (rail) single humbucker) -> Drive Bastard -> Run Off Groove Condor Cab Sim -> mixer (Flat EQ) -> soundcard -> software (some reverb added).

:clip: Clip 2 (858Kb) - MP3 : D Tuned
Recording: Same as above but different mixer EQ.

:clip: Clip 3 (1.60Mb) - MP3 : Six (6) takes mixed together starting from drive at 0, 9 o'clock, 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, at max, and finally at max with the dirty switch activated.
Recording: Guitar (same as above) -> Drive Bastard -> Beltone AP-A tube amp (clean at low volume, 8 inches speaker) -> SM57 shure mic -> mixer (Flat EQ) -> soundcard -> software.

Schematic < Tested on breadboard > :


:pdf: Download the complete pdf project file for direct PnP transfer, layout, part list and schematic.

:txt: Download Bill of Materials in txt format.

* You access, view, download and use the content solely at your own risk. Trademarks are property of their owners.

Have fun!

Re: < Drive Bastard > High Gain DIY Overdrive pedal project

PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 7:50 pm
by bugs
Sounds awesome! This is a kind of high gain overdrive I am looking for since a very long time :yeah:

Re: < Drive Bastard > High Gain DIY Overdrive pedal project

PostPosted: May 6th, 2014, 1:24 pm
by backslash
I agree this thing sounds like the pros! really I like it :great: