Author Topic: Honey bee mods/improvements?  (Read 774 times)

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ItsGiusto

Honey bee mods/improvements?
« on: June 30, 2017, 09:32:43 AM »
I recently built a Bjf honey bee clone using the vero layout here:
http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.com/2012/02/bjfe-honey-bee-layout-2.html?m=1

It basically follows this schematic:
http://homemadefx.web.fc2.com/HBOD.GIF

While I love the sound of it if my guitar (vintage style strat) is on 10 and the drive knob is up full, anything less than that any I don't get any distortion. It's basically a clean boost otherwise. Maybe that's the point of the pedal, but it would be nice if I could get that drive more consistently throughout some of the pedal's other settings.

I'd like to mod the pedal to get more gain, but I'm not sure where is the best place in the circuit to do it. I could change the green LEDs to red, but I also don't want to fundamentally change the character of the circuit. Maybe I could change the drive pot from 500k to 1M. Or just increase the value of R5 (the one in series with the drive knob), maybe even put it in a switch. Unsure what value resistor to use (currently it's 3k). But would that be the best method? Any other recommended places to up the gain that would be better?

As a separate issue, I also feel like both the drive and nature pot rapidly change character from 8 to 11, and the rest of the turn is useless. I don't really know why the nature and drive are audio pots. Perhaps using a linear nature and drive, and maybe a log volume would be beneficial. Thoughts?

Plexi

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2017, 10:06:52 AM »
Hi there!
If I'm right: maybe it's some kind of short at the input.
Did you check the input caps?

Change the pot for a bigger one, won't make it produce more gain in that place.
Maybe you could try to change the clipping diodes for 4148's and see how it goes.

Drive and nature are Log pots: did you have that kind of shape on them?
To you, buffered bypass suck tone.
To me, it suck my balls.

ItsGiusto

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 10:33:58 AM »
Yep, I'm using log pots, but I'm thinking they might be better off as linear - the taper is too rapid.

I could check the input - I didn't consider that I had something wrong, but I guess it's possible. I tested all the capacitors and resistors for correct value before I built the circuit. I'm not sure how I could test them now that they're in the circuit. Suggestions?

duck_arse

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 11:16:56 AM »
as for your log pots, try rewire them backwards. if the taper feels better, you could replace them with "C" taper reverse logs, or live with them backwards.

can you give us some voltage measures from your build, all the IC pins, and any transistor/fets in sight, also your Vbias reading. and photos of your build, we allays like to have a sticky-beak.
"Here they call me Macgyver I can do everything with nothing" - GiovannyS10

"dags, etc" - Slowpoke101

sorry, I must have pushed the wrong button.

ItsGiusto

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 12:53:43 PM »
Thanks. Good idea with swapping the wires on the log pots.

I'm away from home for a couple of days so I can't get these measurements for a bit. But I don't necessarily think the pedal is faulty. A couple of people on some forums say that their experience with strat and honey bees matched mine, including my experience of that when the nature knob is fully ccw, there's much more gain.

What about my idea of putting R5 on a switch with a higher value? That seems to me to be the best way of just adding more gain to the circuit. Does that make sense? Maybe use a 47k instead of a 3k? Or is that too much?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 01:05:03 PM by ItsGiusto »

robthequiet

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2017, 03:57:38 PM »
I agree with Plexi-- try changing the LEDs to 4148s or some other diode -- if you want more distortion from the pedal. The pedal may be designed to hit the amp with a bigger signal and make the amp do the distortion. You may also get a better result from putting a clean boost pedal in front of it or an overdrive pedal after it.

If I were to tinker I might try playing with the values of R4, R5, R7 and R8 or changing the 500K pot to a 1M, but it's not on my breadboard at the moment, so, totally experimental suggestion.

PS -- just read your post -- I would say increase both R5 and R4.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2017, 03:59:39 PM by robthequiet »

Nocaster Cat

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2017, 04:08:01 PM »
I made the following changes to mine and haven't looked back. Changes correspond with the schematic you posted.

R13 - 4K7
R14 - 4K7
C1 - .047F
C10 - .047F
Changed from symmetrical to asymmetrical clipping.
Nature Control - C5K (I felt this gave a better sweep and more control over the tone).

Changing R13 and C10 yielded more output (volume) without changing the character of the pedal.

Kipper4

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2017, 04:33:30 PM »
IIRC it's a similar circuit to the BJT Sweet honey. Right ?
Which I really like. It's an always on.

Which op amp are you using?

Heres the Sweet honey

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eWf8bulApFQ/TxAQlYh4VQI/AAAAAAAAAc4/nawMm2aJJ6Q/s1600/SweetHoney_schematic.png
Jellybean dodging since 2012.
Smoke me a Kipper. I'll be back for breakfast.

thehallofshields

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 04:34:16 PM »
IIRC it's a similar circuit to the BJT Sweet honey. Right ?

The Sweet Honey (SHOD) was created by the same circuit designer, but some topology changes were made to keep it from being redundant. The main thing I see in the SHOD is the use of a second opamp instead of a FET (with negative feedback) for the output stage. U2 in the circuit also has an LED for additional asymmetric clipping.

thehallofshields

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 04:41:33 PM »
There is a new Honey Bee pedal on the market made by a company called One Control. It's schtick is an On/On DPDT that switches from 'Vintage' to 'Modern'. The difference sounds like added lower-mids for a more crunchy humbucker sound.

The overall topology of the HBOD is very similar to the Rat, and my guess is that this mod is tweaking values in the op-amp feedback loop like the Rat Reutz-Mod.

thehallofshields

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2017, 12:06:37 AM »
Wouldn't the easy solution to the OP's request to lower the clipping threshold?

Swap the LED's in the Feedback Loop with Silicon Diodes
Swap the Silicon Diodes shunted to ground with Schottky Diodes.


thehallofshields

Re: Honey bee mods/improvements?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 04:30:29 PM »
As anyone tried tweaking the gain control?

1M Pot? Switch the Series Resistor from 3k to 470k?