So today is Earth Day. A day where most office buildings have an electronics recycling day. I was walking into work and I spied something that didn't look right in the pile. It was a Peavey bass head. It took a second for it to register, It was only 8 am and I hadn't had any coffee yet. I snagged it. I looked it over and it turns out it is a Peavey 400B from 1978. That's right...78! I haven't had a chance to test is...I've been at work all day and we, surprisingly don't have a bass cab here. But, i did take it apart and it looks good. It's old and it smells like a homeless man's foot but I think it might work. Here are a couple pictures.
This my friends is the BLACK MESA! The layout and design of the board was done by Madbeans Pedals. The circuit is designed around the gain stage of the Mesa Triple Rectifier. This, as you can see, was a complex build. There are quite a few parts and lots of things that could go wrong. So because I built this for a friend I decided to treat it as an "attention to detail" build. This was very fun and challenging at the same time. After the frustration on the Uproar I need this to go smooth. That's not to say that this didn't have it's own challenges. The decal took 3 attempts. On the fourth it worked. The fourth came out the "best", as you can see it came out wavy. I suspect it's because I used cool water instead of warm when applying the decal. This caused some of the edges to not adhere to the metal and allowed the clear coat to get under the decal.
The circuit, overall, is VERY cool! The board is designed with a "boost" option. It's hard for me to call it a boost. I consider it more like a switchable contour setting. It does boost the signal a bit but not dramatically. Overall, The amount of gain available and the vintage / modern switch make this monster a substantial beast!. It's a great sounding build and this thing has all the tone you could ask for. The switch wiring was a bit difficult and it took a TON of patience and quite a bit of attention to detail. All in all it was a lot of fun. I hope you guys enjoy reading. I'll post a video of it soon. Thanks for checking it out.
Here is a build report for the Uproar I did for a coworker. The Uproar is a clone-ish of the Shur Riot distortion pedal. The board was designed and laid out by MadBeans Pedals. The 3PDT board was given to me by Laurence from BitchesLoveMySwitches. I exclusivly get my enclosures, jacks, and most of my knobs from him. he is THE BEST!! The PRES MOD was also incorporated along with the Clip switch. The PRES MOD cuts the mids and adds a capacitor in series with another to "boost the highs and lows". This gives it more of a "tube" like distortion feel. The Clip switch allows you to choose different clipping diodes to the circuit. There is a combination of LEDs, Germanium diodes, and silicone diodes, to add different textures and warmth to the overall sound. All that is tech talk for "FLIP THESE SWITCHES AND GET YOUR FUCKING FACE MELTED!!" But seriously, this thing has enough gain and volume to keep up with any boosted 5150 or 6505.
The build overall was very frustrating for me. It was my fault, and that was the more frustrating part. I had the board all together and I was testing in then I noticed the Gain and Vol knobs were working backwards. No biggie, I thought, WRONG! After 2.5 hours wasted on rewiring and audio probing the board meat its death at the rate of anger against a brick wall. I still can't find all the pieces. The second board came out much smoother and went together like a charm. The only oops I had was I accidently wired the 9v from the board to the GND on the 3pdt daughter board. Once again rushing and not paying attention cost me an hour of testing and cussing. But needles to say I got it together and the thing sound FUCKING METAL!!. In the end I am Pleased with the pedal and my coworker loves it.
Time for some pictures! Unfortunately these will have to do, I didn't have a chance to record a demo.
Gut Shot Top view
This is a 125B enclosure. I did the paint as a distressed look. I feel like a distortion pedal needs to look a little beat up. The art is done on a water slide decal and the clear coated over with enamel spray clear coat. Thanks for reading.