welcome to Apocalypse Audio, your haven for DIY guitar effects in the end times. so, start prayin to the fuzz gods, savin up those parts, and remember, when the big one goes off- keep your transistors shielded from those pesky electromagnetic pulses!


Apocalypse Audio- Thundertone

here's something i churned out the other day. i have been thinking about modeling the Supro Thunderbolt with FETs, but then thought- i just got in these cool new Tesla GE's, why not use those? so that's what it is, the preamp section of the legendary amp used by Page and supposedly Hendrix, done up NPN germanium style. i had to eliminate a few resistors towards the end to bring up the volume and lowered the value of an emitter resistor to up the gain a bit. also, i made the resistor on the input variable so you can adjust the input impedance for guitars with different pickups.

the real gem of this circuit is the tone pot- totally counter-clockwise you get a nice full range tone with plenty of mids. as you go clockwise it goes to a very muffled tone, and as you go even further, it goes to a very thin, cutting tone. there are some very cool sweet spots, and a lot of versatility. i like it better than a regular muff style control, but it does cut plenty of signal- hence the two gain stages after it.

it's a cool sounding circuit. nicely voiced and does a good overdrive type sound. if you don't have the trannys, you could change out the 33K Rc's to trimmers and adjust to taste. the tesla trannies are extremely consistent, so no trimmers needed. the layout below uses some large axial caps and is yet unverified, but hopefully i'll get it done sometime soon.

XXXUPDATEXXX the large parts PCB is being retooled due to infestation of mutant roaches. stay tuned! XXXUPDATEXXX

XXXXUPDATEXXXX i was made aware that there could be DC voltage on the tone pot. you may need another capacitor after it to get rid of crackle that may be present. a .047uF cap off of lug 2 of the pot should remedy this. i'll amend the schem and layout after i do some more experimenting. XXXXUPDATEXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXXXUPDATEXXXXXXXXXXXXXX I built up the Thundertone with the old mojo parts layout and it works with no tone crackle!I will be revamping it for a tighter layout. XXXXXXXXXXXXXUPDATEXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

take it easy!

here is a new PCB using common size/value parts.


La Revolution Deux

mr. fred briggs, one of the main men over at freestompboxes.org, has a cool blog happening with lots of great layouts. it seems to be mainly centered around "bootweek" pcb layouts, effectively demystifying the mojo and bringing us all squarely down to earth. a truly commendable effort! there are also some of mr. briggs own diy designs, which i've heard have quite a bit of mojo(the good kind) themselves! check it out HERE.


e. euro effect projects

HERE is my compilation of eastern european effect schematics. many of these designs are very interesting, my guess being because they were made in a sort of vacuum. fuzz faces and tonebenders were not around for cloning(actually that's not totally true, you'll find the occasional FFclone even behind the iron curtain), so they had to come up with designs of their own. included are some yugoslavian diy projects(THANKS BORISLAVGAJIC!), some very cool russian jfet designs by victor kempf, and even a couple east german production fuzzes. these are a great look at different ways of achieving interesting effects when copying previous designs wasn't an option, and some are straight up clones. check them out, there is some cool stuff!

The Toecutter- PCB layout

i whipped up this layout in Eagle last night. hopefully i'll get to building it soon and get it verified. The Toecutter's sludge can't be stopped!




HERE is a link to the Toecutter thread at FSB.org.