Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional  [schematic]

Discussion regarding early stompbox technology: 1960-1975 Please keep discussion focused and contribute what info you have...

Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Masuto » 30 Mar 2014, 23:56

Hi i decided I will build my latest oc75/76 tone bender mkii on vero, just like the original.
I followed Electric Warriors layout.. EW youre an hero to me.. :horsey:
I used 2 x 0.012uF instead of 0.01uF (and 22uF instead of 25uF but i read this doesnt accounts for tone shaping or voicing): what differences (if any) should i expect tonewise from these changes?

Heres my build so far...still not complete.
http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0091009/photo ... 522638694/
What do you think?
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby LucifersTrip » 31 Mar 2014, 00:06

Masuto wrote:Hi i decided I will build my latest oc75/76 tone bender mkii on vero, just like the original.
I followed Electric Warriors layout.. EW youre an hero to me.. :horsey:
I used 2 x 0.012uF instead of 0.01uF (and 22uF instead of 25uF but i read this doesnt accounts for tone shaping or voicing): what differences (if any) should i expect tonewise from these changes?


insignificant since the tolerances are generally more than the small changes you made...the material of your pick will matter far more

Heres my build so far...still not complete.
http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0091009/photo ... 522638694/
What do you think?


looks very cool

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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby bato001 » 31 Mar 2014, 01:08

Keep us up to date on your build. Looks good so far!!! Post pics, Voltages and a sound clip if you can. :thumbsup
"Ever wondered how some of your favourite guitar players got their tone? Me too. Probably a good amp and lots of practice." Little Lord Electronics Homepage

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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Masuto » 01 Apr 2014, 04:20

...and since i am at it, i am also making a vero build for a triplet of oc84s that i bought from a trusted seller..

http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0096009/photo ... 3548062825

Any recommendations on the layout using oc84s? Shall i keep it as per original, oc75 style?
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Electric Warrior » 01 Apr 2014, 13:26

Masuto wrote:Hi i decided I will build my latest oc75/76 tone bender mkii on vero, just like the original.
I followed Electric Warriors layout.. EW youre an hero to me.. :horsey:
I used 2 x 0.012uF instead of 0.01uF (and 22uF instead of 25uF but i read this doesnt accounts for tone shaping or voicing): what differences (if any) should i expect tonewise from these changes?

Heres my build so far...still not complete.
http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0091009/photo ... 522638694/
What do you think?


hero? :oops:
0.012 is well within MKII specs. They often came with 0.015µFs, which give them more low end.
You might want to increase the power filter cap to 50µF, as Sola Sound did. If your MKII is oscillating, this should fix it.

Don't bother with a trim pot at Q3C. It's not very useful. If you don't have a good range of transistors to swap around and it turns out you need a trim pot to set a better balance of hiss/cleanup and gating, you'd want one at Q2C.

Masuto wrote:...and since i am at it, i am also making a vero build for a triplet of oc84s that i bought from a trusted seller..

http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0096009/photo ... 3548062825

Any recommendations on the layout using oc84s? Shall i keep it as per original, oc75 style?


That will probably work.

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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby copachino » 01 Apr 2014, 23:55

i want to build this pedal, im wating for the parts, but, im will be using normal poly caps and electro caps, by normal i mean not vintage ones, do ypu think that the tone of the pedal will be changed??, the transistor in within the specs of the MKII are from small bear
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby DrNomis » 02 Apr 2014, 01:07

copachino wrote:i want to build this pedal, im wating for the parts, but, im will be using normal poly caps and electro caps, by normal i mean not vintage ones, do ypu think that the tone of the pedal will be changed??, the transistor in within the specs of the MKII are from small bear




I made a Mk II using modern caps and to be honest there was no difference in the Tone, the transistors you use, and how the circuit biases-up will have the most effect on the tone you get...... :thumbsup
Genius is not all about 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration - sometimes the solution is staring you right in the face.-Frequencycentral.

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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby copachino » 02 Apr 2014, 03:44

DrNomis wrote:
copachino wrote:i want to build this pedal, im wating for the parts, but, im will be using normal poly caps and electro caps, by normal i mean not vintage ones, do ypu think that the tone of the pedal will be changed??, the transistor in within the specs of the MKII are from small bear




I made a Mk II using modern caps and to be honest there was no difference in the Tone, the transistors you use, and how the circuit biases-up will have the most effect on the tone you get...... :thumbsup



i see, but as many builder use those axial caps and carbor resistors, i was thinking that they have many things to do in the sound, but when the trannies arrive i will give it a shot using the tonepad layout fot pcb
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Masuto » 02 Apr 2014, 12:00

Electric Warrior wrote:You might want to increase the power filter cap to 50µF, as Sola Sound did. If your MKII is oscillating, this should fix it.

Don't bother with a trim pot at Q3C. It's not very useful. If you don't have a good range of transistors to swap around and it turns out you need a trim pot to set a better balance of hiss/cleanup and gating, you'd want one at Q2C.


:popcorn: ah so thats why they changed the value of the filtering cap!...will that fix all the headaches?

I have a pretty good selection of transistors, i just like to tweak them and mix them to get the best tone..but being lazy i have not yet built the transistor leakage tester.
To tell you the truth, one of my last builds had trimmers on EVERY trannie. And even the one on q1 was useful..at certain settings it gave more highs and opened up the sound. The one on Q2 helped compensate whatever i did on the Q1's, and trimmer on Q3 sets the balance between fuzz and attack.
They look ugly, but they are useful imho.

Now this build was a per specs, using your layout on diystompboxes, and for this i had the triplet chosen and tested.
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Masuto » 02 Apr 2014, 12:44

DrNomis wrote:
copachino wrote:i want to build this pedal, im wating for the parts, but, i will be using normal poly caps and electro caps, by normal i mean not vintage ones, do you think that the tone of the pedal will change??, the transistor within the specs of the MKII are from small bear


I made a Mk II using modern caps and to be honest there was no difference in the Tone, the transistors you use, and how the circuit biases-up will have the most effect on the tone you get...... :thumbsup


I would agree too. But alas, the guy that sells me the modern components, who has been in the trade of electronics since the dawn of man, :P , told me carbon composition resistors conduct better, or something like that. He doesnt sell them though..and he is very amused by my interest in old caps, i always try him, 'you wouldnt happen to have one of those big, old ones, in this value?' 'no...and if i did, you would want them with their value scratched off and coating bruised right?'
Ahahaha
But in tone caps i can tell the difference between a pio and an orange drop in my lespaul.
I guess this debate could go on forever (as it is anyway), we will never know the answer.
I just like them to look vintage. So i buy vintage stuff in little dusty places.
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Electric Warrior » 02 Apr 2014, 15:50

The components in vintage units are not much different from modern components. Resistor were usually carbon film, caps were metallized polyester or styroflex. Nothing fancy.
As the original layout was designed for axial components, it's works very well for these. Or vero in general. You can bend the leads to reach any row on the board easily, so it's less of a headache to come up with a nice layout.

Masuto wrote::popcorn: ah so thats why they changed the value of the filtering cap!...will that fix all the headaches?


It may make transistor selection a little easier because you won't have to deal with that issue. To keep things simple, you could just add another 25µF in parallel with the one you already have on the board if you experience any squealing at full attack.

Masuto wrote:I have a pretty good selection of transistors, i just like to tweak them and mix them to get the best tone..but being lazy i have not yet built the transistor leakage tester.
To tell you the truth, one of my last builds had trimmers on EVERY trannie. And even the one on q1 was useful..at certain settings it gave more highs and opened up the sound. The one on Q2 helped compensate whatever i did on the Q1's, and trimmer on Q3 sets the balance between fuzz and attack.
They look ugly, but they are useful imho.

Now this build was a per specs, using your layout on diystompboxes, and for this i had the triplet chosen and tested.


I tried substituting all collector resistors with trim pots as well, but I found it was overkill. It makes things more complicated than they need to be. The circuit works fine as is, provided you're using the right transistors. You usually need to swap things around to make it behave well and sound spectacular, but in my experience it's hard to get far off by putting a random set of OC75s into the stock circuit.

You don't really need a leakage tester as long as you know your transistors are pretty leaky. Just go by ear and pick what sounds nice and behaves well.

copachino wrote:i want to build this pedal, im wating for the parts, but, im will be using normal poly caps and electro caps, by normal i mean not vintage ones, do ypu think that the tone of the pedal will be changed??, the transistor in within the specs of the MKII are from small bear


Careful, I believe small bear sets come (or came) with suggestions for resistor substitutes to bias Q1 like a Rangemaster and Q2 and 3 like a Fuzz Face with Q3C at 4.5V. It may still be a good set for a MKII.

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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Masuto » 02 Apr 2014, 16:36

Electric Warrior wrote:You don't really need a leakage tester as long as you know your transistors are pretty leaky. Just go by ear and pick what sounds nice and behaves well.


Thats what i usually do. It was more a way to get to know what does what..
I found useful to test the mkiis both with my tube amp AND my solid state.. Making sure they sound great whatever the setup. :block:
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby jalmonsalmon » 02 Apr 2014, 18:23

Here is my latest Mk II based off of Turretboard.org's layout (tbmk2damacarisrevfinal.pdf) and I have been toying around with several transistors and these OC75s do the trick nicely.
I hot glued a bias pot on the side for Q3c and for Q2 I still have a pot inside to mess with but I think it is at about 35k right now instead of the 47k fixed value... I basically set the Q3 bias resistor to a sweet spot and then adjusted Q2 to where the pedal is on the verge of oscillating - Pedal sounds fantastic btw! I have made other tonebender mk IIs from other layouts and they more or less sound the same to me and I think the biggest difference would be the transistors used...
OC75s are really in your face! I have OC84s as well that work great and I have even tried some russian transistors GT108v for Q1 and Q2 and AC125 for Q3 with great results... cannot go wrong with this pedal for sure -
I really like the 15n caps for some bass on this build...
Image
Image

cheers!

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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Electric Warrior » 02 Apr 2014, 19:03

100k at Q1's base? That should sound more compressed than a stock circuit, like those JMI things.

Spectacular looking hammertone!

Masuto wrote:Thats what i usually do. It was more a way to get to know what does what..


Yeah, that would be good to know. Three hfes plus three leakages are plenty to mess around with. I should really get into the numbers :mrgreen:
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby jalmonsalmon » 02 Apr 2014, 20:56

Yeah that is 100k.
I may have to try out a 10k resistor there later and see if I like that better... I may put this circuit on a breadboard and mess with it further.
I had another tone bender inside a nice enclosure with no graphics that sounded AWESOME... OC75's I sold it and really miss that one hahaha :slap: layout was from Ulysses and has the same 100k on Q1 base so I was trying to
get that same sound, but it is different LOL
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby LucifersTrip » 03 Apr 2014, 06:03

jalmonsalmon wrote:Yeah that is 100k.
I may have to try out a 10k resistor there later and see if I like that better.

There's no reason to think black and white. Just throw a 100K pot in there temporarily, set it to where
you like it & replace with fixed resistor.

You probably want to set it to where you have a good sweep on the fuzz control from dirty to compressed.
As EW wrote, if that's set too high, it'll be too compressed, so the fuzz sweep won't be good
(instead of dirty to compressed, you'll have compressed to more compressed).
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby jalmonsalmon » 03 Apr 2014, 14:50

LucifersTrip wrote:
jalmonsalmon wrote:Yeah that is 100k.
I may have to try out a 10k resistor there later and see if I like that better.

There's no reason to think black and white. Just throw a 100K pot in there temporarily, set it to where
you like it & replace with fixed resistor.

You probably want to set it to where you have a good sweep on the fuzz control from dirty to compressed.
As EW wrote, if that's set too high, it'll be too compressed, so the fuzz sweep won't be good
(instead of dirty to compressed, you'll have compressed to more compressed).


Now that is a great idea! I am not really a fan of anything compressed and will try out a pot there and write down the value I like.
Such a fun circuit to play around with LOL

thanks!
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby Electric Warrior » 03 Apr 2014, 15:03

LucifersTrip wrote:
jalmonsalmon wrote:Yeah that is 100k.
I may have to try out a 10k resistor there later and see if I like that better.

There's no reason to think black and white. Just throw a 100K pot in there temporarily, set it to where
you like it & replace with fixed resistor.

You probably want to set it to where you have a good sweep on the fuzz control from dirty to compressed.
As EW wrote, if that's set too high, it'll be too compressed, so the fuzz sweep won't be good
(instead of dirty to compressed, you'll have compressed to more compressed).


Right, he might actually like a different value better. I just assumed the 100k ended up there by mistake, as it's seems to be pretty much an all balls out vintage kinda build.
That error seems to be quite common. I just hope it's not some unusual variant I haven't seen yet. :mrgreen:

Upon closer inspection it's probably based on the latest Sola Sound reissue. Apparently Dave can make OC84s work equally well with the 100ks (OC81D) or the 10k/47k (OC75/Impex) setup.
I'm not sure how much transistor selection can make up for the different bias setups. With OC75s, I'm pretty sure the original setup will probably bring it closer to vintage territory, sound wise.
Judging by a couple of youtube clips of OC75 builds with 100k I've seen, the difference appears to be quite noticeable.
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby DrNomis » 03 Apr 2014, 15:15

I've got some low Hfe OC81D transistors which I tried in a Mk II circuit breadboard and they worked fine after tweaking the values of two resistors..... :thumbsup
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Re: Sola Sound - Tonebender Mark II Professional

Postby jalmonsalmon » 03 Apr 2014, 17:22

Dumb question cause I see them on mouser/ebay but those 5uF and 50uF caps are pricey so I just use 4.7 and 47 uF caps and use the ones that are measured on the high side...
But does anyone actually use those Sprague atom caps at 5uF and 50uF or does that really matter?
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