Tonefiend DIY Club:
The Bad-Ass Distortion Has Arrived!

Warning: It’s fin-ished!

Here is the fourth and final part of the Tonefiend DIY Club’s first stompbox project: The Bad-Ass Distortion is a variation on the popular Electra circuit, beloved by many boutique builders. Once you box up the mess project, you too will be a boutique geek.

Here’s a sketchy little demo.

17 comments to Tonefiend DIY Club:
The Bad-Ass Distortion Has Arrived!

  • DohminSemper

    this is pretty cool my friend. i have to make it. do mammothelectronics ship worldwide?

  • Chiller

    Just finished the box, and it sounds great! You do appear to missing a few steps – connecting the input of the perf board to the input jack, connecting the output of the perf board to the volume pot, connecting the ground of the battery clip to the sleeve of the input jack, and connecting the ground to the output jack, IIRC. I was able to figure it out on my own, but for completeness you’ll probably want to add those steps to the guide.

    Thanks again, and I look forward to the next project!

    • joe

      Hey Chiller! Thanks — I’m glad you like it! And even more glad that you were able to get it done despite the missing steps in the PDF. Argh! I just uploaded a new version with those omissions fixed. Thanks so much for catching them.

      At some point, I followed the lead of many builders and just stopped connecting the output jack to ground. I’ve never encountered any negative results. But no harm doing so if you like! :)

  • BroKen

    Joe, great job, and great sounding box! Thanks!

    A couple of notes, after completing Part 4: on page 16, after installing the volume pot, we desolder the wire from lug 1, but never get around to connecting the output from the perfboard in the instructions. And on page 19, there should be four wires connecting to ground (including the ground wire from the DC power jack).

    Still and all, I doubt I could have done it without your directions, photos, and encouraging comments and replies. Looking forward to the next one! Warm regards.

  • Danny

    Joe,
    I finished this up last night, and it works perfectly, and sounds great.
    Because of your explanations along the way as to how and why things work, I was able to figure out the missing steps without any problem, I think.

    I think I’m going to let my son do most of the work on the second project. Really looking forward to it.

  • Derick

    Hey, I’ve not built this yet but plan to soon. Love the whole site, keep the blogs coming.

    What amp/guitar were you playing in the demo?

    • joe

      Thanks for the kind words, Derick! Glad you’re enjoying it! The guitar was a Hamer 20th Anniversary with Antiquity Humbuckers, a ’62 Tremoverb head into a 1×12 cab with an Alnico Blue. The mic is a Royer R-121. :)

  • rockNrolla

    This whole series has been great.  I was wondering, though, if it would be possible to use a B100k to fade between 683 and 154 input caps to allow for tone adjustments (I use a bright tele and a much darker Gibson), similar to the tone circuit in the Bulk Fuzz project. Would this work well, or would it just suck tone?

    • joe

      You absolutely could — and it would sound frickin’ awesome. I’ve used those exact values in that exact fashion. But don’t rule out trying the fatter/deeper sound on the Gibson and the thin, sizzling one on the Tele. They’ll sound great too. :beer:

  • Matt L.

    Just got done building the Bad-Ass last night; first build and I had a blast. Thank you Joe for opening up the world of stomp box construction to the masses, and making it easily obtainable for that matter!

    Question: I play a lot of bass guitar. What are the main changes that one would make to the circuit if you wanted to build a Bad-Ass Bass version?

    My suspicion would be that it would do with the input caps, but I was not sure. 

    Thanks. 

  • Just finished boxing up mine, looking forward to trying it out some more tomorrow. I didn’t realize when I ordered my boxing kit from Mammoth that you have to select the right quantity of knobs, so right now I only have one! I’ll know for next time at least.

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