Designing the Hard Bargain distortion pedal

Posted by & filed under Distortion, Overdrive, and Fuzz, Projects, Stompbox stuff.

For this post, I’d like to take you through the process of designing a pedal, from initial idea to completed PCB and pedal. Everyone has their own way of doing this, so I thought it might be interesting for people to see that way I work on something like this. Pedal (or Synth) design is a combination of engineering decisions and aesthetic choices, and engineering in the service of those aesthetic choices. That’s what makes it so fascinating to do!… Read more »

Digitech PDS-1550 Programmable Distortion pedal analysis

Posted by & filed under BBDs+Delays, Distortion, Overdrive, and Fuzz, Stompbox stuff.

The Digitech DOD PDS-1550 was a member of the 1980’s Digitech “Dual pedal” range. It’s a pretty weird thing, and that’s partly why I’d like to take a closer look at it here. During my analysis of this pedal, I’ve discovered its dirty secret. Let’s get one thing out of the way early on though – despite being called a “programmable distortion”, it’s not programmable in any sense we’d understand today. “Tweakable” is more like it. You can open up… Read more »

Boss MT-2 Metal Zone pedal analysis

Posted by & filed under Distortion, Overdrive, and Fuzz, Stompbox stuff.

The Boss MT-2 Metal Zone distortion pedal is one of the most complex drive pedals there is, and has probably the most sophisticated (and least understood!) tone control circuit on any mass-market pedal. It’s also quite a divisive beast, with some loving it, and others hating it. It’s a great pedal for modifications – easily available, cheap, and rugged. This article is a technical analysis of the different stages in the pedal, finding out what each part does to the tone…. Read more »