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Homemade Clean Boost

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Guitarfreak, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    Here is a fun little idea that I had whilst sitting on the crapper (don't you get all your great ideas here?) and now I really want to do it. Basically I just want a simple one knob line boost to boost my guitar signal cleanly before it hits the amp. What components would I need? How much would it cost me? Is this a realistic goal?
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    check out the DIY Stomp Box sites and forums

    Jack Ormon ... Keen
  3. dave_p

    dave_p Active Member

  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Going on the number of products responded with, it looks as if people have been sitting on the crapper for years...
  5. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    All of the blueprints that I have found seem to require a PC board, why? Isn't there a way to do it with simple components? Maybe an in line 9 volt? Bunch of capacitors? It would be great to have gain or color control or something like these blueprints have, but really all I want from this is maybe +20dB of gain before the amp. A simple line boost. I don't have a degree in electronics though, so I don't know exactly what that would take.
  6. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Time to learn to read a schematic? You don't need a PCB, hell some people even think point to point wiring sounds better (crazy I know...). Pick a project and fight through it, you might pick up a few new tricks along the way. The projects Kev posted are good place to start your research.

    With the clean boost what are you trying to accomplish?
    Something like an active guitar pick up? or are you trying to overdrive the input on the amp?
  7. Spase

    Spase Active Member

    I used to build PC board prototypes all the time with wire wrap stuff. We just go straight to PC boards these days, though. It's just cheaper.
  8. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    From a recent thread of mine (the reamping one) I learned that less signal going into the front end of the amp results in less gain from the amp. I want this device to be able to boost the guitar signal significantly without losing frequency response or coloring the signal in any way. If this turns out to be an expensive project I will just have to let it go for now because I don't have the budget for an actual name brand clean boost FX pedal.
  9. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Ok so you basically want an active pickup, that cool. It could even be onboard if you like....

    A simple transistor or op-amp should do the trick.


    Simple is good...to start
  10. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    That FET preamp looks very close to what I am looking for. I would still be able to make this into a little stompbox right? I would prefer that because I'd like to be able to run all of my guitars through it, as well as my reamping signals. Is +3dB going to be enough?
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    yes you should be able to. +3dB is a signifcant boost. 1.4 x the voltage output of your guitar.
    6dB is double the voltage.

    The output voltage of a typically guitar pick up is ~100 mV and 1 V RMS
    so 3dB of gain would give 140mv to 1.4V RMS

    these are crude numbers, just rough estimates...

    Now the input of your amp will distort with a voltage or anwhere from 2V to 5Vrms typically.

    3dB should be in the right ballpark and a good safe start.
  12. dave_p

    dave_p Active Member

    just get the book i linked, i has complete parts lists, schematics, and instructions. teaches how to read schematics etc. there are line boost and pre-amp projects in it as well as others. all can be wired point to point on perfboard. im telling you, this is what you are looking for.
  13. Guitarfreak

    Guitarfreak Well-Known Member

    I am looking into it. It's not a bad price for what it is if it's any good. Do you own one?
  14. dave_p

    dave_p Active Member

    yes, i do. i built a few of the projects, a bass fuzz being the most elaborate. It is very easy to followand build the projects. there is a boost project that sounds similar to what you want, a pre-amp, ring modulators, tube style fuzz, metronomes, mini recording amps. even a peter frampton style talk box.

    Its a little O.G. , some of the stuff is dated, but its all solid, tried and true stuff.
  15. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    That Craig Anderton book is a great foundation to start with. He wrote for Guitar Player for years on technology. He is now the editor-in-chief for Harmony Central. His dedication to Les Paul on that site is still posted and is great....check it out.
    Note: I, too have built a few of his kits from that book.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    The Craig Anderton book is the Bible for all DIY beginners. Theres no telling how many boutique pedals companies it has spawned.

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