Thank you for your kind comments. My first impression is that it's a much more 'refined' pedal than the Valvecaster. I would guess it's better engineered, the gain being built up stage by stage, rather than the Valvecaster's sledgehammer approach. Also, the Valvecaster's second triode cathode is connected directly to earth, which I don't think is good practice having poured over dozens on tube circuits recently - the 'right' was seems to be:
- a 1K resistor in series with a cap (say 10uf)
- an LED (or diode) with the LED's cathode connected to ground and it's anode connected to the triode cathode.
I really only just finished it, tested it and posted the pictures, the tone is good! First thing I noticed was that I usually have my Valvecaster volume at about 10 o'clock - hardly anything, on the Pepper Shredder unity is round about 2 o'clock. Tomorrow I have band practice, so I will be testing and comparing it more fully with the Valvecaster and the other distortions I use - DIY MXR D+ and Boss (original) Blues Driver.
I have no hiss or hum issues; I put a 10uf cap across the power rails. The only other change I made was for the 6111 heaters, they require 6.3 volts. I'm running on 12 volts, so I just put the two tube heaters in series.