I wanted to drop a note to let everyone know that you don't need to be scared of this pedal build. It was my first build (after failing to get the confidence booster to work), and like many of you, it didn't work right away. However, there was nothing wrong with my build. I discovered that the pedal didn't do what I wanted because I didn't know how to set up the trimpot and sensitivity control properly, and I didn't know how to best play the pedal. Please don't be afraid, and don't give up if it doesn't "work" when you first plug it in. It probably needs to be set up correctly. I later discovered a couple easy mods that made the swell even longer. I've built about 30 of these now, so I want to share what I've learned. Below are some of my tips & mods for this pedal:
- The trimpot sets up the JFET transistor much like the one in the phaser. Each JFET is different, so this control fine tunes the circuit for the particular JFET you have. Make sure you follow the instructions closely when setting this up, and keep tweaking until it's perfect.
- The sensitivity control is just as important as the internal trimpot to get a playable swell. I find it is best to set it up as low as possible while still allowing the signal to pass through & the sustain to ring out.
- Try running a compressor or drive box in front, and a delay or reverb after. The compression makes for a much longer sustain and fuller swell, and the delay/reverb makes everything spacious, full & smoother sounding (especially between notes)
- Make sure you MUTE the strings between each note!
- The easiest modification to increase swell time is to change the tantalum capacitor. Usable sizes are in the 1-2.2uf range. If you want even longer swells, I've used 10uf & 15uf, but the downside is that the effect "resets" much more slowly.
- Another easy modification that doesn't effect the reset time is to change the attack control to B100K
If you want to hear how powerful these simple modifications are, check out a couple of my videos at http://www.youtube.com/VonRutter
. The Echo Ohce & Bumble Bee pedals both have Slow Gear clones in them.