Author Topic: ToneBender Clone (First build)  (Read 264 times)

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ToneBender Clone (First build)
« on: September 10, 2017, 09:29:21 AM »
Hey guys!

Been loving pedals, and doing some simple repairs earlier, and I guess its time to get my feet wet.
The reason I chose this particular project is that this is the circuit my dad built into his guitar in the early 70s images: https://imgur.com/a/y7U4C, gutshots: https://imgur.com/a/kVLr1 .

I had to do some detective work to figure out what pedal it was, and indeed, the Vox Tonebender (v828). Could be a JEN Tonebender of JEN Fuzz, as all these are exactly the same pedal from the same fectory with the same board and parts. Mine is the one with SFT363E and SFT337 transistors. These are nowhere to be found for a reasonable price.

I have soldered all parts back together, although without the DPDT switch. It works, and it sounds killer!

My plan is to go through the attic at my parents house to find the original chassis, and get everything back in original order, then sell it to finance a build of two clones, some tools, and what I need to build a guitar body, so I can use the other spare parts from my dads old project. I would keep one clone, and give one to my dad. He still plays, but mainly uses some ZOOM multifx.


So, I am basing it on this build: http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/vox.php , keeping the original for reference for now, and have a couple of questions.

Parts list here: http://fuzzcentral.ssguitar.com/voxbender/voxbenderpartslist.txt

1. Can i order all the parts (Except transistors) at AliExpress and expect the quality to still be fine? The main reason for this is taxes and shipping to Norway. Plus, I get like 100pcs of almost everything for little money. If not, what parts are fine to go AliExpress?
2. What transistors will be closest? I have been looking here, but not sure what to make of it http://www.smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/tone-benders-and-similar/
3. What would be the best way to add a LED to indicate on/off, hopefully without changing the tone too much.
4. How do you guys usually mount the PCB inside the enclosure to keep it from jangling around inside?
5. The parts list suggests Stereo input jack and mono output. why?


Thanks in advance, and apologies for my sometimes sketchy english.

patrick398

Re: ToneBender Clone (First build)
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 08:24:05 AM »
Hey!
Welcome to the forum, you've come to the right place. There are some fantastically knowledgable people here who will be able to offer you far greater insights than me but just to get things moving i'll help with what i can :)

1. Can i order all the parts (Except transistors) at AliExpress and expect the quality to still be fine? The main reason for this is taxes and shipping to Norway. Plus, I get like 100pcs of almost everything for little money. If not, what parts are fine to go AliExpress?

I'm not sure what the taxes and shipping issues are like for you but when ordering in bulk a good option is always http://www.taydaelectronics.com
It can take a couple of weeks to arrive but their prices are unbeatable for a lot of stuff.

2. What transistors will be closest? I have been looking here, but not sure what to make of it http://www.smallbear-electronics.mybigcommerce.com/tone-benders-and-similar/

Had a quick look around the web, looks like early models also used OCS76 transistors but i think these are tricky to find too. I'll leave this to someone who knows more!


3. What would be the best way to add a LED to indicate on/off, hopefully without changing the tone too much.

There are lots of different wiring options, everyone has their favourite. This is a simple one that i like:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IhNTi22GX_M/T8JmMvmVJNI/AAAAAAAABQ4/GF7tQj0Shks/s1600/StompboxWiring.gif

4. How do you guys usually mount the PCB inside the enclosure to keep it from jangling around inside?

Personally whenever possible i try to find a way of board mounting the pots or at least some of them. Using right angle PCB mount pots is the best option but lots of people don't like this and use mounting posts:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Self-Adhesive-pcb-mounting-pillar-12-7mm-/253094969676?var=&hash=item3aeda2c14c:m:mk_KihyMzDw9XBUstrg6BGw

5. The parts list suggests Stereo input jack and mono output. why?

This is so you can run the pedal using 9v battery or power supply through 2.1mm jack. The stereo input jack means that the battery is 'turned off' when you unplug the jack from the pedal and it doesn't drain while not in use. Similarly, if you look at the wiring diagram above, when the power supply is connected this also disconnects the battery to stop it draining when not needed. Personally i never include battery snaps when building as i never use them so using mono input jacks is fine


apologies for my sometimes sketchy english.
Your english is superb!

Hope that helps a little, someone who actually knows what they're talking about should be along soon...
Peace
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 08:25:51 AM by patrick398 »
'It's the musician's law. Colonel Gaddafi could not lay down a bass hook, Mark. That should be clear even to you.'

EBK

Re: ToneBender Clone (First build)
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 01:03:35 PM »
4. How do you guys usually mount the PCB inside the enclosure to keep it from jangling around inside?
I use double-stick foam tape sometimes.  Other times, I just let the board float and insulate anything that could potentially short out with some gaffers tape (typically, I'm taping the backs of be pots or enclosure walls).  I enjoy building large circuits in small enclosures, so I usually find that my boards don't have a lot of jangling room anyway.    ;D
No affiliations. If I glowingly mention specific merchants or products, it is because I like them without having to be paid to like them.

smallbearelec

Re: ToneBender Clone (First build)
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 04:03:22 PM »
Hi--

The Vox TB was a Fuzz Face with some differences in component values. It was made in both germanium and silicon versions; you have the germanium. So my usual comments about building a Fuzz Face apply:

--If you are looking to nail a specific tone, breadboarding first is a Must. Many sources, my store included, can sell you a pair of matched germanium devices that will sound "like a Fuzz Face". But tweaking the bias resistors and adjusting the coupling cap values has to be done to suit your own taste and should be done solderless before committing to a build. More information on transistor selection is here:

http://diy.smallbearelec.com/HowTos/FuzzFaceFAQ/FFFAQ.htm

and here is an article on breadboarding the silicon FF:

http://diy.smallbearelec.com/HowTos/BreadboardSiFF/BreadboardSiFF.htm

Welcome to the Forum and Happy Construction!