Fuzz Pedal

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Introduction: Fuzz Pedal

About: My name is Randy and I am a Community Manager in these here parts. In a previous life I had founded and run the Instructables Design Studio (RIP) @ Autodesk's Pier 9 Technology Center. I'm also the author of…

Once you have your guitar and learned how to play in time with a metronome, the only thing left to do is rock out. However, as you might have noticed, no matter how hard you rock, it just does not sound right. That is because you are missing something. As many guitarists will tell you, the secret to rocking out is actually fuzz. Before you can do any serious rocking out, you are going to need to build a fuzz pedal. Fortunately, making your own fuzz pedal is a lot easier than it may sound.

Step 1: Go Get Stuff

You will need:

- (x2) 2N3904 NPN Transistor
- (x2) 100K Ohm 1/4-Watt Resistor *
- (x2) 10K Ohm 1/4-Watt Resistor *
- 22 uF Electrolytic Capacitor
- 0.1µF Ceramic Disc Capacitor **
- 0.01µF Ceramic Disc Capacitor **
- 10K-Ohm Horizontal-Style Trimmer
- 5K-Ohm Linear Taper Potentiometers
- 100K-Ohm Potentiometer
- Multipurpose PCB
- SPST Lever Toggle Switch
- (x2) 1/4" Mono Panel-Mount Audio Jack
- Hexagonal Control Knob
- 9V Battery Snap Connectors
- Alkaline 9 Volt Battery
- DPDT specialty stomp switch
- Sturdy metal project box

* Carbon film resistor kit. Only kit necessary for all labeled parts.
** Ceramic capacitor kit. Only one kit necessary for all labeled parts.

Please note that some of the links on this page contain affiliate links. This does not change the price of any of the items for sale. However, I earn a small commission if you click on any of those links and buy anything. I reinvest this money into materials and tools for future projects. If you would like an alternate suggestion for a supplier of any of the parts, please let me know.

Step 2: Mark

On the top surface of your project box, measure in one inch from one of the shorter edges. Next, make two marks that are 1/3 and 2/3 of the way between the edges of the shorter distance. These will be for the potentiometers

Measure in one inch from the opposite side of the front of the case. Make another mark that is 1/2 way between the two edges. This hole is for the stomp switch.

On the side of the case make two marks for audio jacks where you would like, so long as they won't interfere with any of the other parts that will be installed.

Following the same logic as the audio jack marks, make one last mark for a toggle power switch.

Step 3: Drill

Drill the two holes for the potentiometers with a 9/32" drill bit.

Drill a 1/8" pilot hole for the stomp switch and then widen it to 1/2".

Drill two 3/8" holes for the audio jack.

Finally, drill a 1/4" hole for the power switch.

Step 4: Solder

Build the circuit as specified in the schematic.

For now, don't worry about attaching the potentiometers, stomp switch, audio jack or power switch to the circuit. These will be wired in later, after they have been installed in the case.

Step 5: Wires

Attach a black wire to the center pin of the 5K potentiometer and a red wire to the pin on the right.

Attach a black wire to the left pin on the 100K potentiometer and red wires to the two other pins.

Step 6: Audio Wires

Attach a black wire to the ground lug on each of the audio jacks. Attach red wires to the signal lugs on each of the jacks.

Step 7: Install

Install the audio jacks and the DPDT stomp switch into the metal case.

Step 8: Wire

Solder each of the red audio wires to one of the center lugs on the DPDT switch.

While you're at it, solder together one set of outer pins.

Step 9: Attach

Attach the potentiometers to the circuit board as specified in the schematic. Keep in mind that one of the potentiometer wires will be later attached to the DPDT switch.

Step 10: Cut Brackets

Cut out two brackets using the template file attached to this step. They both should be cut out of non-conductive material.

I cut out the larger base bracket out of a thin cork mat and the smaller potentiometer bracket out of 1/8" rubber.

Step 11: Put in the Pots

Line up the rubber bracket with the holes in the case and install the potentiometers into the case.

Step 12: More Wiring

Wire the remaining potentiometer wire in line with the audio-out jack's wire on the DPDT switch.

Connect a wire from the remaining DPDT terminal lug to the audio-in point on the circuit board.

Step 13: Power Switch

Connect the red wire from the 9V battery connector to the center terminal of the power switch. Connect another red wire to either of the switch's outer terminals.

Step 14: Switch

Install the power switch into the case.

Wire the black wire from the 9V clip to ground on the circuit board and the free red wire from the switch to +9V on the circuit board.

Step 15: Power

Plug in the 9V battery.

Step 16: Case Closed

Install the large insulator panel between the circuit board and the bottom plate of the casing.

Screw the case shut.

Step 17: Knobs

Attach your knobs onto the potentiometers.

Step 18: Plug and Play

Plug your guitar to audio-in and your amp to audio-out. Then, rock out.

Did you find this useful, fun, or entertaining?
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6 People Made This Project!

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206 Discussions

0
astanczak25
astanczak25

Question 4 weeks ago

I see you have made a more recent, updated version of this. Are all of the parts the same between this one and and the new one? Or are they different?

0
randofo
randofo

Answer 27 days ago

The schematic is basically the same. More broadly, there's some difference in terms of the materials used to build the different pedals.

0
astanczak25
astanczak25

Question 4 weeks ago

Hi!
I want to add an led diode to show when the pedal is on/off. How would I include this in the circuit schematic? What would I attach it to?

0
toderhythm
toderhythm

5 weeks ago

Hello, can someone please share a wiring diagram?

0
adamkaleta10
adamkaleta10

Question 5 months ago

Just built this on a breadboard, the fuzz sounds great, but the effect is about 5 times quieter than the bypass, what is going on? I had to use a 10k pot instead of the 5k, but that should decrease the volume that much, should it?

0
randofo
randofo

Answer 4 months ago

I do not know from your description alone.

Here is a better / more current version I have made of the same thing. Maybe it would be easier to spot your mistake by looking at the instructions here:
https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Guitar-Pedal/

0
rkvianna
rkvianna

Question 7 months ago

Thank you for this awesome introduction to pedal building, after many years i have finally pulled the kit out of the Jameco box it came in (hooray social distancing)! However, instead of the prototype board, mine came with a neat little PBC labeled 20904, but no board diagram. Is there one available, or will I have to reverse engineer it against the schematic?
Thanks again, very excited to get started!

IMG_3620.JPGIMG_3619.JPG
0
randofo
randofo

Answer 6 months ago

I apologize for that. Jameco originally produced the board / kit and they didn't label the components. Fill in the ones which make sense by shape and I can try to help you fill in the rest (if you get stuck).

0
Brucela
Brucela

Question 6 months ago

Why is there no demo audio?

0
randofo
randofo

Answer 6 months ago

There was originally a sponsored Radioshack video with audio, but that was removed from the internet and I never recorded a sound clip. It sounds like fuzz. You can build it on a breadboard using the schematic in Step 4 in a short amount of time and see what it sounds like.

0
Serkan U
Serkan U

Question 9 months ago on Introduction

Hi, thanks for sharing this project. I'm thinking on building one for my keyboard soon. It would be great if you reply my two questions:
1. If I wanted to build a stereo version (like two circuits in one box), would using only one battery do the same job?
And, 2. Would this work with the line signal of my keyboard?
Thanks in advance :)

0
randofo
randofo

Answer 9 months ago

1. Yes. It would just drain the battery faster.
2. No. You would probably need to add some sort of voltage divider on the input to reduce the line signal.

0
thechiliman
thechiliman

8 years ago on Introduction

I would like to make it with LED diode. Where should i put it? Thanks

0
randofo
randofo

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

The foot switch is not currently wired to deal with an extra LED. Would you just want it to indicate whether or not the switch was pressed or whether or not the pedal was on?

0
randofo
randofo

Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

You need to wire the LED and a resistor (try 330 ohm perhaps - or 1k ohm to be on the safe side) between power and ground. When the circuit is turned on, the LED will glow.

0
brunapersona
brunapersona

Reply 12 months ago

Hello! I really wanted to add a led too! If I change to a 3pdt key, where would it be the circuit input and output of the scheme? Thanks! :)

0
randofo
randofo

Reply 11 months ago

Basically, if you add 3PDT foot switch, you would wire it as per a DPDT switch.

You would then have an extra set of 'spst' switch pins that are not being used. The LED would just be wired in series with this.

Basically, when the switch is pressed, it closes and completes the LED circuit which essentially is just a simple LED circuit that is (for all intents and purposes) separate from the fuzz circuit.

For instance:

9V power >>> 220 ohm resistors >>> LED >>> Unused switch pin 1 (left)

Unusued switch pin 2 (middle) >>> Ground

Unused switch pin 3 (right) is not used