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Scratchbuilt Wah Project #2


Paul Marossy
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I decided to try out some new ideas for a DIY wah. My first one was pretty hardcore DIY, but I think this one is within the grasp of the average DIY'er. All of the parts are easily obtainable and easily fabricated with very basic tools. The circuit is a Maestro Boomerang, and I think it sounds really good with the yellow reissue Fasel inductor that I used.

Check it out: http://www.diyguitarist.com/DIYStompboxes/DIY-Wah2.htm

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Wow! I like it. It's small. You do such clean work on the electronics too.

What's the price break down for the enclosure and the aluminum needed to fabrictate the foot pedal part? I need to build a simple volume pedal for my stuff, and this looks like a fun project to do for that.

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Simply awesome. Some day I'd like to try one of these, but in the meantime it's still really cool at least reading the instructions and watching the project unfold. :D

Greg

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Nice one paul...what are you going to do with all these wha's!!!

Seriously... you might want to look into other ways of avoiding the pot mechanism...I know it's not "vintage" but it'd be interesting...and since you've got the mechanics down you might want to look into some other effects for pedals...phasors or even a delay (I'd like to see that one)...

I think Ansil or someone was playing with those cheap little samplers (you know 30 seconds of record)....you could make a cheapo sample effect...My Korg AXG1 has something like this that you can use the pedal to play back the last few seconds of playing, backwards, forwards, sped up or "scratched" by using the foot controller...pretty wacky...but it's a thought...with practice you can fly in backwards parts with your foot...psycadelic

pete

Oh...I'd like to request you do a delay...I love delay but you dont see too many home builds....

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Paul, I keep all those problematic things like the gear set and such in stock for Linemaster and Lincoln Electric footpedals. I like the piece of pinion/rack but it can be so much cheaper to just buy stuff that someone else has paid the manufacturing costs on. I think a Lincoln full-turn to tilt gear set is like $9.00. PM me and I will send you a stock set of gears NC. Can't improve on anything else, though. You and I have the exact same approach to "new stuff". Make a good prototype and, if it works well, make one better. Don't you just LOVE aluminum extrusions? Even just the dumb square-cornered channel and stuff. I make a 3-pedal control out of heatsink extrusion that is SO simple to put together, once you mill a bunch of the slots out.

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  • 3 years later...

Yeah, I know this thread is around 4 years old, but I had a question and I figured this was the correct place to ask it, so, here we go.

I was wondering what would sound better for a metal (As in the genre) Wah-Wah pedal, a yellow Fasel inductor, or a Red fasel inductor?

Any thoughts would be greatly apperciated. :D

-Stormy

Edited by StormLeader
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Yeah, I know this thread is around 4 years old, but I had a question and I figured this was the correct place to ask it, so, here we go.

I was wondering what would sound better for a metal (As in the genre) Wah-Wah pedal, a yellow Fasel inductor, or a Red fasel inductor?

Any thoughts would be greatly apperciated. :D

-Stormy

If it were me, I would use the yellow Fasel. I honestly can't hear much of a difference between the red and yellow ones, though. Nothing strikingly different about them, anyway.

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Scratch that last post, I have a engineer that can build me the enclosure. :D

Next question:

Although your Schematics (which are amazing) don't include the Wah to Volume pedal switch, I wouldn' think that it would be to hard.

The switch would bypasse everything execpt the sweeping pot, Correct?

Once again, Thanks for all the help. :D

-Stormy

Edited by StormLeader
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StormLeader - you shouldn't need anything much more than the voltages of the power supply you're dealing with. In electrolytic caps, 12 and 16 volt are common values. I often use 24 volt caps in my pedal builds, because I have an 18v supply for some of my pedals and I don't want to bust something the day I mix up the power connections (even though they're color coded!) Don't go too large, because the size of the capacitor will be quite large and you'll have a hard time fitting everything in!

You really only have to worry about the voltage rating on electrolytic capacitors - most any film capacitor you buy is going to be rated for voltages considerably higher than you'll be dealing with in a guitar pedal. Usually you'll see voltage ratings like 50v or something when dealing with low voltage film caps. These are still quite small, particularly in low values of microFarads.

If you don't have a local supplier for parts you need, I'd recommend ordering from Small Bear Electronics - (smallbearelec.com) they sell parts to the pedal building community, and will have most all of what you need. Steve's a great guy.

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Thanks Pierce, I'm a total n00b to pedal building, you guys have been of great help. :D

And yeah, I have a local supplier but I'll be ordering some parts off of Small Bear. :D

I have yet another couple of questions for you Paul, in the schematic you have a 48K Resistor, but neither Small Bear or Hutch & Sons (My local Electonics store) has a 48K Resistor, where would I find one? I'm also wondering where you got your pot, because SB nor my local store has a long-shafted 25K pot.

Once again, I cannot thank you guys enough for the huge amount of help you have given me, this is going to be one of the coolest 4-H projects that I've ever done. B)

-Stormy

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Thanks Pierce, I'm a total n00b to pedal building, you guys have been of great help. :D

And yeah, I have a local supplier but I'll be ordering some parts off of Small Bear. :D

I have yet another couple of questions for you Paul, in the schematic you have a 48K Resistor, but neither Small Bear or Hutch & Sons (My local Electonics store) has a 48K Resistor, where would I find one? I'm also wondering where you got your pot, because SB nor my local store has a long-shafted 25K pot.

Once again, I cannot thank you guys enough for the huge amount of help you have given me, this is going to be one of the coolest 4-H projects that I've ever done. B)

-Stormy

Just use a 47K resistor, it won't change anything. For the pot, you can use a 100K Dunlop Hot Potz II. It's been reported to me that it still sounds good with a 100K pot instead of a nearly impossible to find 25K pot.

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25K seems like a value you'd see much more in active electronics or line-level signals. I wonder if there isn't one inside of a volume pedal designed for keyboards or some such?

Oh - just checked the Ernie ball website - they have a 25K version of their volume pedals, for use with active electronics or keyboards. They also sell the long shaft 25K replacement pot with the bit the string goes around for 15 bucks.

granted, gutting an Ernie Ball pedal to make this (although you can also re-purpose the chassis, too) isn't the most cost effective way of doing this, but you might run across one cheap. And knowing that they make a 25K volume pedal makes me think that some of the other volume pedals for keyboards and such are also 25K.

I have an old Crybaby shell, and I have to say, repurposing those is handy, except finding pots that mount into those is a pain in the arse.

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Thanks for the anwsers guys, I went ahead and order a 25K pot off of SmallBear, It was something like $1.25 so I figured, Hey, what the heck, I'll try it. If it works, Great! If not, I'll probley go with the Hotpotz. :D

Thanks for all the help, I couldn't have got this far without you guys. B)

P.S: And Paul, I've very sorry about your job. :D

-Stormy

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Oh - just checked the Ernie ball website - they have a 25K version of their volume pedals, for use with active electronics or keyboards. They also sell the long shaft 25K replacement pot with the bit the string goes around for 15 bucks.

Huh, I didn't know they had those available. I will keep that in mind for future reference.

Thanks for the anwsers guys, I went ahead and order a 25K pot off of SmallBear, It was something like $1.25 so I figured, Hey, what the heck, I'll try it. If it works, Great! If not, I'll probley go with the Hotpotz.

Thanks for all the help, I couldn't have got this far without you guys.

P.S: And Paul, I've very sorry about your job.

If you plan on using your wah a lot, you'll want the Hot Potz as it will last a very long time. Regular pots aren't designed to take the kind of abuse that a wah pot will see.

Thanks for the condolances on the loss of my job. I went from making good money with fully paid benefits for me and my whole family to being way below poverty level for a family of four in just one day. Hopefully things will work out... :D

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If you plan on using your wah a lot, you'll want the Hot Potz as it will last a very long time. Regular pots aren't designed to take the kind of abuse that a wah pot will see.

That's actually something I dislike about the Ernie ball pedals - while the pots seem to last more than I thought they would, they do use normal conductive carbon potentiometers. I've been thinking of retrofitting mine with something like Andertons volume pedal descratcher. I wonder how well that would adapt to use in a wah? It's been ages since I've looked at the circuit.

I have had some success with using LED/LDR combos as well; nice thing about that is you can often use what works as a pot and get different resistance out of the LDR.

I'm rambling.

Also, best of luck Paul. I wish I could offer more than condolences.

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If you plan on using your wah a lot, you'll want the Hot Potz as it will last a very long time. Regular pots aren't designed to take the kind of abuse that a wah pot will see.

That's actually something I dislike about the Ernie ball pedals - while the pots seem to last more than I thought they would, they do use normal conductive carbon potentiometers. I've been thinking of retrofitting mine with something like Andertons volume pedal descratcher. I wonder how well that would adapt to use in a wah? It's been ages since I've looked at the circuit.

I have had some success with using LED/LDR combos as well; nice thing about that is you can often use what works as a pot and get different resistance out of the LDR.

I'm rambling.

Also, best of luck Paul. I wish I could offer more than condolences.

Yeah, regular pots jusst aren't going to last that long. That's why I like the Hot Potz, they are supposed to last for a million operations.

On the Anderton de-scratcher circuit, I think it's noisy. I like my DOD FX-17 wah/volume pedal the best. It's compact, there's no pot inside to wear out, and it's VERY quiet.

Thanks for the well wishing, I appreciate the spirit behind it. :D

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