MADE IN CANADA
This DB-1 Distortion/Boost Pedal Kit by Next Gen Musical Ltd. is a boost pedal at its core that can also be made into a 70's style distortion pedal. It includes the instructions and parts for both configurations, as well as some advanced distortion modding discussion to help you better understand certain parts of the circuit and how to modify them to your needs. The circuit was originally designed by Tom Freeman of Tom Freeman Audio Effects, a Canadian pedal maker.
As a boost pedal, the level control is a clean control that can reduce volume or add a slight clean boost. The gain control increases the volume significantly, and introduces a little grit as it's turned up past 12 o'clock. We suggest running it with the level maxed, and the gain to taste for the amount of boost you want.
Using an op-amp as the core of the circuit, the pedal can be powered by up to 18V. The higher the voltage used to power the pedal, the more clean volume there is available before it gets gritty. Note that when built in the "boost" configuration, this is NOT a high gain pedal. Even with the gain maxed out, it adds very little grit to the signal on its own. Boost pedals are used to overdrive your amp's tubes, or to increase your level a bit for things like solos.
As a distortion pedal, it's very raw sounding with a lot of attack, similar in design to the classic MXR Distortion+ and Ross Distortions. We have added an advanced modification and experimentation section that describes how you can experiment to find the perfect distortion. Depending on your choice of components, it can be anything from a subtle distortion to a high gain monster. See the distortion mod section for details, if you're brave enough.
BUILD DIFFICULTY: 2/5
Download the full instruction manual here for a detailed description of the recommended tools and skills required to complete this kit.
*Note: The kit does not include a printed copy of the instruction manual. The manual is available as a download only.
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I built mine in the distortion configuration with a switchable clipping section including a Nanolog N2. It sounds great! With experimentation I've found that I prefer an asymmetrical setting with two of the stock diodes. The supplied documentation is very thorough and helpful. My kit had been sent with two incorrect resistors, but Nextgen sent out the correct ones very quickly. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with this kit!