Author Topic: Need Help Buying Parts  (Read 3183 times)


Need Help Buying Parts
« on: May 10, 2007, 03:53:56 PM »
Hello Aron and everyone else.

I've never built an effect before and I'm considering trying to build a FF. I really don't know much about electronics but after reading all about schematics for 5 hours I think I can build one.

I'm having some confusion about the parts. I know what size capacitors and resistors I need but I was wondering if their were certain brands or manufacturers that are more reliable. I see a lot of websites selling these things but they can't all be the same.

I've heard that I need 2 aluminum electrolytic capacitors and 1 film or ceramic and I know the sizes. For resitors I wasn't sure what kind to get. I've seen carbon, carbon film, metal film and a few others. Is there a specific type I should buy?

With transistors I know the best kinds to get are PNP Germanium ones like the NKT275 or the AC128. Is there a place where I can find these? If not then which transistors would be the next best option for that vintage FF tone, preferebly PNP Germanium. Also what website can I find these parts at that is reliable?

If it helps any I was planning on building a PNP version with Negative ground. I think that makes a difference what parts I need.

The only other things I need cleared up would be little technical things like what type soder and wire. Like I said I've never done this before and these are probbly pretty basic questions but no matter where I look no one tells you anything specific so I thought I'd try here. Thanks, Alex
« Last Edit: May 10, 2007, 03:57:05 PM by ledzeppelin308 »


Re: Need Help Buying Parts
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2007, 04:10:22 PM »
Hey Alex, welcome to the forums.  Here is a parts purchasing guide straight from the FAQ: .  Also be sure to read the FAQ's and links at the top of the page, they make for good, informative reading.  Also check out R.G.'s article on different types of caps .  Also dano12 of Beavis Audio Research has a great article (still in progress?) available at

RG's article on Carbon Comp resistors:
PNP's:  Try searching the forum.  Smallbear is probably the best bet if you want a sureshot set of pnp's.  If not you can order some on ebay, build a leakage tester, and measure leakage and hfe. You can try local stores to see if they have them. 
Solder: I suggest 63/37, I forget who suggested this but boy I love it.  Gave my 60/40 away. 
Wire: Myself and many others will suggest Small Bear's 24 gauge pre-tinned wire.  It's just easy to work with. 

Read the FAQ's it will definately help you out.  Have fun Alex.



Re: Need Help Buying Parts
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2007, 04:17:49 PM »
Thanks alot. These help clear up my confusion. Hopefully I can start building as soon as possible.


Re: Need Help Buying Parts
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 04:34:31 PM »
Hi Alex
This is a great place to find a lot of condensed information about pedal building. You`re off to a good start by just reading up on stuff and trying to absorb it. If you are a complete beginner, my advice, and I am speaking from personal experience is to buy a kit from somewhere like here.

There are other sites aswell.

This may sound like a copout but the learning curve is quite sharp when you have to take too many technical things in. With a kit you get all the parts you need to make a complete pedal and you can concentrate on learning skills like soldering without stressing about all the little details. For a modest amount of cash you should get most of the things you need, including solder, pots, wire, enclosure etc. The feeling of satisfaction you get from a completed build that actually works should spur you on to explore further and take on more complex projects.

Or of course there`s the beginner project right here.. ;)

Good luck.