21st Century Big Muff

Stompboxes circuits published in magazines, books or on DIY electronics websites.

21st Century Big Muff

Postby mictester » 16 Jun 2010, 16:08

I decided to put an op-amp "wrapper" around the standard BMP clipper stages, and add my favourite tone control for real versatility. As drawn, it sounds really good, but has more top end than a normal BMP because there's no input loading effect. The capacitor in the feedback around the first op-amp stage could be increased in value (I have 47 nF there at the moment), to give a roll off similar to that which the original transistor input stage would cause, but other players like the brighter top end, so I've left the diagram as originally drawn (on a napkin, in a pub!)

This is a "halfway" design - I was going to add electronic switching, and some other modes of operation to the "full" version. You'll see that it can be switched to "Jumbo Tonebender" mode in this version.

In the next version, there will be "Stock Old", "Stock New", "Russian", "Creamy", "Jumbo", "Swollen" and may be other modes too. These will be selected by electronic switching. It also occurred to me that it might be worth allocating two sounds to two foot switches, so that it was easy to switch between a low gain "Russian" mode and a screaming "Creamy" mode.... The possibilities are endless, and I know I'm going to end up building loads of these with preset resistors inside and DIP switches to select sounds, and no external controls except the bypass footswitch!

Here's the circuit schematic as it stands today, and this is a really worthwhile version:
BMP21.png


Enjoy!
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby mictester » 16 Jun 2010, 16:09

Moderators - could this be put into the correct section, please?
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby lolbou » 16 Jun 2010, 16:11

mictester wrote:Moderators - could this be put into the correct section, please?


Done! :wink: Thanks for sharing... I'm really looking forward your electronic switching between different muffs. Some more stuff to learn from! :D
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby andersom » 16 Jun 2010, 17:21

:applause: Really nice stuff looking for your finished stomp
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby Cups » 21 Jul 2010, 02:45

I had a similar idea. Yours came out much more refined though. Great job.
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby aquataur » 21 Jul 2010, 10:14

Great job man.
Seems the idea of proper buffering is finally catching roots on a broader basis :D

Soundfiles?

have fun,

-helmut
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby stringsthings » 24 Aug 2010, 19:16

mictester wrote:I decided to put an op-amp "wrapper" around the standard BMP clipper stages, and add my favourite tone control for real versatility. As drawn, it sounds really good, but has more top end than a normal BMP because there's no input loading effect ...



excellent design. i love BMP circuits! :thumbsup

one question:
is that some of the straight signal going into pin 5 of the 2nd op-amp stage? if so, is that to retain some pick attack? ( sorry, two questions :D )
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby mictester » 25 Aug 2010, 19:05

stringsthings wrote:
mictester wrote:I decided to put an op-amp "wrapper" around the standard BMP clipper stages, and add my favourite tone control for real versatility. As drawn, it sounds really good, but has more top end than a normal BMP because there's no input loading effect ...



excellent design. i love BMP circuits! :thumbsup

one question:
is that some of the straight signal going into pin 5 of the 2nd op-amp stage? if so, is that to retain some pick attack? ( sorry, two questions :D )


No. Pin 5 just sees bias voltage (½ of the supply voltage), which is filtered by an electrolytic capacitor to ground. Biasing the two halves of the op-amp package like this is quite common.
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby stringsthings » 25 Aug 2010, 22:09

thanks for clearing that up

in my excitement over seeing a cool BMP circuit, i missed that 22k and 10uF going to ground. :oops:
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby mictester » 25 Aug 2010, 23:49

stringsthings wrote:thanks for clearing that up

in my excitement over seeing a cool BMP circuit, i missed that 22k and 10uF going to ground. :oops:

Don't worry - it's an easy mistake to make. However, you've got me thinking....
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby devastator » 03 Dec 2010, 19:04

I installed a switch to remove from the circuit the 2 first clipping diodes a la tonebender jumbo, but something seems weird . In this mode the sound is like if I mixed "dry" signal with the fuzz one. I think I saw semone complaining about that too but I'm not really sure.

is it normal ?
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby MicMicMan » 03 Dec 2010, 20:18

given the way it's biased and the impedance of that tonestack, maybe you have some part of the signal circulating through the biasing part of the circuit ?
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby mictester » 04 Dec 2010, 09:28

MicMicMan wrote:given the way it's biased and the impedance of that tonestack, maybe you have some part of the signal circulating through the biasing part of the circuit ?


No. There's a 10µF capacitor from the junction of the biasing resistors to ground to ensure that there's no audio on the bias (10µF looks like an AC short in this kind of circuit).

I built another of these last week (an order from a local guitarist), and included CMOS switching. I'll post the amended diagram including the CMOS. The switching was entirely silent, and there was no residual "break through" problem. I was more than happy with it!
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby DrNomis » 04 Dec 2010, 09:52

I was thinking of building myself a Big Muff Pi,but making some mods to it like replacing the original tone control circuit with a Marshall tonestack.... :)
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby mictester » 04 Dec 2010, 09:57

DrNomis wrote:I was thinking of building myself a Big Muff Pi,but making some mods to it like replacing the original tone control circuit with a Marshall tonestack.... :)


Go ahead and try it, but you'll find that you might have to reconsider the impedances around the tone stack. I find that the two band "James" circuit gives a huge range of tones, including the traditional "scooped" tone.
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby MicMicMan » 04 Dec 2010, 13:06

oh
that's right i didn't pay attention to that cap
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby Dirk_Hendrik » 04 Dec 2010, 18:20

Why is the gain control of the opampstage (gain of 2 to 22) called "level"? :scratch:
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby MicMicMan » 04 Dec 2010, 18:56

because it's directly linked to the output level of the effect
not using a divider as a volume at the end of the effect, but rather playing with the gain of the last "buffer" stage allows you to have a constant (and very low) output impedance
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby Dirk_Hendrik » 05 Dec 2010, 09:02

MicMicMan wrote:because it's directly linked to the output level of the effect
not using a divider as a volume at the end of the effect, but rather playing with the gain of the last "buffer" stage allows you to have a constant (and very low) output impedance


Thanks!
Now tell me something I don't know.
Naturally a gain stage will influence the level and, yes, naturally an opamp stage will give you a constant low output impedance.

Thus the question remains, why is a gain control called "level"? (while the only reason it will suggest level is because that tonestage gives such an attenuation that with a make up gain of 2 it will still suggest being turned all the way down)

Other than that, what's the reason for the series-connection of those 1n and 10n caps?
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Re: 21st Century Big Muff

Postby Chugs » 05 Dec 2010, 10:40

Perhaps Mictester has an abundance of 1N and 10n caps but no 500pf or 0.005uf in his parts box?
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