Monday, July 22, 2013

Maton M225 - Fixed Finish

Way back in one of my early posts, I told the tale of my old Maton M225 that had a damaged finish.

For a good deal of time I had assumed that I'd need to sand it back, so never bothered dealing with the problem.

More recently I'd been reading up on furniture finishes as I am working on a few things for the house.
One finish piqued my interest was French Polish. One reason was that its old fashioned and another was that its fairly easy to repair with a bit of rubbing & alcohol.

I wondered whether it would be any good for fixing my guitar.
Since it wasn't in the best of condition I figured that I couldn't make it much worse.
Actually I had bet on it doing nothing at all.

Turns out my intuition was wrong.

I have pressurised isopropyl alcohol for cleaning circuit boards, so I sprayed a bit and started rubbing it in with my index finger.

Almost immediately it began to to change the finish.

Ten minutes or so later and the damage had disappeared & my guitars appearance was much improved.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

So long and thanks for all the riffs.

I sold my Surfcaster to purchase a Bass VI. 
The new owner seems pleased so far.

Make some music, man & thanks for assisting my gear obsession!


Monday, July 15, 2013

You shall not BYPASS!!!!

In the workshop, I am not known to be particularly tidy (ok, ok not just in the workshop).

Over the years I've built loads of circuits, some have worked, some need to be recycled. Of the ones that worked, only a handful have ended up in enclosures. Some of those have ended up being shipped in and out of enclosures. Others have been on my to finish list for years.

Recently I decided to "finish" some of those circuits.
By finish, I mean mount them on a panel and not bother with any of the bypass circuitry.

One reason I took this approach is that I only have a handful of enclosures. Another reason is that of the circuits that have ended up  in pedals, I rarely use any of them except for special effects.

My plan is to only mount the best circuits in my enclosures and the rest will end up in a kind of modular synth type deal.

Perspex is cheap and easy to work with and I like the idea of being able to see the guts of the machine. I've deliberately engraved the panel with dodgy markings, just to go with the whole dogs breakfast aesthetic.

Some of the boards have been purchased from manufacturers(Tonepad, MFOS, etc...) but most have been built on Strip/Perf/Tag board or other hobby boards.

There comes a bit of an issue with leaving circuits to languish in a box for a long time. That issue is forgetfulness.

Yep. I've got circuits that I can't identify.

In my first perspex panel I have the following:

  • One of them is a wee distortion circuit that I thought might be a Harmonic Percolator clone, butafter much rummaging in my paper files I discovered the Jordan Boss Tone. The sound is kind of complex as there is a bit of a waveshaper effect to it with a weird fizzy decay. I also wired the gain backwards, so you have to turn it anticlockwise to get the dirt.
  • Tonepad Rebote 2.5 Digital Delay circuits. They have a nice lo-fi charm to them especially at the longer time scales. Running them in series yields some interesting effects, and the variation between parts on each board ensures that the tone from each is unique to itself.
  • I've also cobbled together a simple passive clipping circuit based on four pairs of diodes and an eight way DIL Switch. It does need a fairly high signal to drive them, so really needs to have a clean booster in front of it ala: Electra Overdrive. The diodes I used were what I had on hand. Germanium 1N34A, 1N914, Red LED & some brown thing that I have no idea of what it is, but produces a more fuzzy clipping than the others. The cool thing about the arrangement with the DIL switch is that I can put any combination
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