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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  Anyone build effects directly into guitar? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?  (Read 14262 times)
80k
Posts: 252


Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« on: May 08, 2009, 10:14:29 AM »

I'm considering working on a project where I install a fuzz, boost, and tremelo directly into a guitar. I'm wondering if anyone has done this and/or has posted a thread detailing their results?

I'm currently pondering the following ideas:
- removing the tone pots on the guitar and re-using those two holes for the depth and rate knob of the tremelo. One of these pots can be a push-pull to turn the effect on or off.
- add a push-pull pot for the boost (to control gain, and push-pull will turn it on or off)
- add a dpdt toggle for the fuzz. The fuzz would be hard set for maximum fuzz and unity gain, and the volume knob on the guitar can be used to clean it up.
- Route the wood to allow for a 9V battery compartment in the rear.

I don't currently have a guitar to use for this project (I don't want to hack up my Am Std Strat), so I'm still looking for a proper guitar for this project.

Curious if anyone has done this or has any thoughts or suggestions?
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MikeH
Posts: 3087


Mike H - Ann Arbor, MI


WWW
Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2009, 11:24:44 AM »

If you took a strat style guitar, but put a hardtail bridge on it and removed all the springs and crap, you'd have a lot of room to work with in there.
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"Sounds like a Fab Metal to me." -DougH
Andi
Posts: 386


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2009, 11:32:25 AM »

Not quite the same but I built a Variax rehouse.

There's a lot of space behind the bridge of most guitars to fit a PCB.
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Mick Bailey
Posts: 334


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2009, 11:37:26 AM »

I once owned a cheap Kay guitar with built in effects (see http://www.vintaxe.com/boards/viewtopic.php?=&p=578 - though this is not my actual guitar). It actually played reasonably well and didn't sound too bad experimentally. The main downside is the fixed order of the effects which doesn't allow rearranging them for different tonal variations and the fact that you can't swap guitars and keep the same effects. I really like the idea of getting rid of cables and having a tidy arrangement built into a guitar.

A consideration is that the mods would probably devalue any decent guitar. Body routing could be minimised by using SMDs to get the module size right down so that it fitted within the existing control cavity. Depending on the guitar, standard components may even fit if the PCB is carefully designed and the smallest components used.

I wouldn't fit the 9v battery into the guitar - use phantom power instead which will allow you to use a battery or mains adapter. Saves a lot of addition work and reduces risk of slipping with the router.
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Taylor
Posts: 3919

The clean energy source of the future.


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2009, 11:37:51 AM »

Personally, I don't see much point unless there is some performance interface built into the guitar for controlling the effects, i.e. people who mount Kaoss pads or fuzz probe antennae in the body. If you're going to do this, I'd suggest working something like into the guitar so you can control the effect while you play. Something like this:

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=68566.0

You will be going through batteries very fast powering 3 circuits from one battery. I try as much as possible to avoid using batteries, since they get thrown out when they are about 1/5 or 1/3 depleted, which is a huge waste of energy and creates way too much extra trash.

It's possible to power the circuit through your guitar cord if you use a stereo cable.
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biggy boy
Posts: 432


Glen Ontario Canada


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 11:57:39 AM »

I have two guitars with effects.
One of them is a treble boost/ bass boost.
the other is a distortion that goes from clean boost to all out metal.
they are both commercial made boards with surface mount components.
The one with the distortion is handy.
I take that guitar with me to my lessons, it handy I don't have to take a pedal.

I have thought about making my own board for distortion for on-board, but I have no need for more guitars with it built in.


Glen
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80k
Posts: 252


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 12:46:26 PM »

Although I'll likely stick with battery (so that I can use any old cable), I am going to try my best to keep it really low power requirements. If it gets beyond 15 mA current draw, I will probably forgo one of the effects and just put in two.

I do like the idea of controlling tremelo rate and depth on the guitar, but admit there is otherwise little point to having them in the guitar, other than it being a cool project. So I will probably only be doing this on a very cheap guitar! Smiley

MikeH, good suggestion on the strat style. That is true that it would give quite a bit of room to work with.
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neil411
Posts: 88

Neil VZ


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 12:58:27 PM »

I took an old basket-case Teisco hollowbody and added the EA tremolo circuit, with the boost switch mod. There was a ton of room and the guitar had a plastic switchplate for the electronics. You could do the same with just about any hollowbody, and maybe even cut a small hole in the back and get a small cover plate.

I mounted a small battery holder into the side so I don't have to take it apart to change the battery. 

There's also a lot of extra room in LP type guitars, and you could route out more without anyone knowing.

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modsquad
Posts: 448

Stan - Austin, Texas


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 01:24:38 PM »

Oh no not this topic again.   Put the hands up and step away from the keyboard...Friends don't let friends build effects into a guitar.   icon_twisted
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"Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light, not because he is afraid of the dark but because the dark is afraid of him"
JKowalski
Posts: 1137


Chris S.


WWW
Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2009, 02:05:14 PM »

I'm considering working on a project where I install a fuzz, boost, and tremelo directly into a guitar. I'm wondering if anyone has done this and/or has posted a thread detailing their results?

Curious if anyone has done this or has any thoughts or suggestions?

Right here XD

The coolest guitar ever put on the market! 1960's Vox Starstream. It has tremolo, fuzz, treble/bass boost, a built in hand controlled wah pedal, and a e-tuner.  icon_eek

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWC1uzg-Yr0

I am working on a replica of this guitar for my brother, however it will probably only have the tremolo and fuzz.

I have also put a fuzz inside my bass guitar. It had two volume pots, one for each pickup. But, each pickup sounded EXACTLY the same. So all they did was make it annoying to control the master volume, as you had to adjust both pots. So i switched one out with the fuzz. I'm just waiting for a 3PDT toggle to finish the project up.

I think it's nice to have effects in your guitar! But, when you make it, you have to be careful of what you put in and how you do it. You want to consider:

1. What effect(s) do I use all the time and I want to control in real time?
2. How do I lay out the controls in an easy and accessible way?
3. How to I minimize the current draw of my circuit so I don't have to worry about batteries?

If your plan does not answer these three things effectively, then there's not much point putting it in (unless it's just plain awesome)

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80k
Posts: 252


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2009, 03:56:50 PM »

JKowalski,
now that's what i'm talking about. Smiley
That is one sweet guitar. I've always loved those Vox's (Phantom/Teardrop/Mark VI). I knew they put effects into some of those, but i never knew which ones nor seen them in action. That youtube video is great.

Yea, I definitely want to minimize current draw. I am also considering just fuzz and tremelo to simplify things and minimize power consumption.

So you are working on a Vox replica? Did make the body yourself or did you find a source for them? I'd love to have one of those coffin-esque-shaped Phantoms myself.
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Kitarist
Posts: 110


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2009, 04:42:00 PM »

effects in guitars hehe that was popular in the 60s and 70s Cheesy Cheesy
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GREEN FUZ
Posts: 1484


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2009, 05:01:24 PM »

I recently built and installed this in a tele deluxe.
http://www.aronnelson.com/gallery/main.php/v/album174/ALEMBIC+STRATOBLASTER+2N3819.gif.html

Works very well.

This method of attaching the pot directly to the veroboard traces is good for mounting directly in a guitar. It cuts down on wiring and the whole unit can be fitted in an already existant hole, replacing a tone pot for example.

I`m currently working on a similar layout for the Os Mutantes fuzz. Hopefully they`ll both run off the same battery.
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Transmogrifox
Posts: 1234


WWW
Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2009, 05:34:22 PM »

I had a fuzz in my guitar for a while (Epi Les Paul).  There was plenty of room in the Epi for the battery and the board so there wasn't any need for invasive work..  Since it was experimental, my install job reflected that and it eventually started having problems so I removed it.

I think if I did it again, I'd make a base PCB with a socket on it and build FX boards to plug into the socket.  I could easily change FX boards and sequence at will. I would keep a blank socket board to set everything to passive if I wanted to keep stuff clean.
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trans·mog·ri·fy
tr.v. trans·mog·ri·fied, trans·mog·ri·fy·ing, trans·mog·ri·fies To change into a different shape or form, especially one that is fantastic or bizarre.
liddokun
Posts: 1331


Nam-An Dinh-Missisauga, Ontario


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2009, 05:34:34 PM »

I've been wanting to install effects on my guitar, but I'm worried about shielding issues.
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To those about to rock, we salute you.
80k
Posts: 252


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2009, 06:04:30 PM »

effects in guitars hehe that was popular in the 60s and 70s Cheesy Cheesy

And they are about to make a comeback!  Wink
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JKowalski
Posts: 1137


Chris S.


WWW
Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2009, 06:12:50 PM »

So you are working on a Vox replica? Did make the body yourself or did you find a source for them? I'd love to have one of those coffin-esque-shaped Phantoms myself.

I made the body myself. It's a semi-semi hollow (solid but with large chambers and with an F-hole), and it's nearly done. I am working on the neck at the moment, I should finish soon. I'll post a pic of the guitar so far, if you want to see it.

Mine is the teardrop shape, like in the video.

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80k
Posts: 252


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2009, 06:31:26 PM »

So you are working on a Vox replica? Did make the body yourself or did you find a source for them? I'd love to have one of those coffin-esque-shaped Phantoms myself.

I made the body myself. It's a semi-semi hollow (solid but with large chambers and with an F-hole), and it's nearly done. I am working on the neck at the moment, I should finish soon. I'll post a pic of the guitar so far, if you want to see it.

Mine is the teardrop shape, like in the video.



cool, yea i'd love to see a photo if you have one!
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Toddy
Posts: 60


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2009, 04:44:19 AM »

Thanks for the YouTube video! The fuzz sounds like a Vox Tonebender. Is that the circuit in the guitar?
What would they have used for a tremolo circuit? I didn't know Vox even built a tremolo circuit (for a guitar or pedal) except for the one in the organs and the solid state amps. Would they have used that tremolo circuit in the guitar? Because it would obviously be dumb to put tubes inside a guitar!

Toddy
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petemoore
Posts: 18794


As Yet Unrated


Re: Anyone build effects directly into guitar?
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2009, 07:08:32 AM »

  Yupp.
  But don't have any more EFX in Guitars.
  Compressor is often the 1 or first thing I turn on...for space and battery consumption reasons it's in a floorbox.
  I had an inboard Stratoblaster once...pretty nice..I used a DPDT/100k linear pot to do the honors, and re-worked the on/off pull volume controls so as to have something closer to unity volume between on and true bypassed.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009, 07:45:02 AM by petemoore » Logged

Convention creates following, following creates convention.
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