Why go through the hassle of building your own pedal? There are more than a few reasonably- priced off-the-rack options out there if you’re looking for a modern clone. With building there’s so much room for error—a stray drop of solder, a resistor mysteriously disappearing, paint smudging—yet there are enough DIYers ready to take on the task to necessitate a budding build-your-own kit industry.
Perhaps it’s the feeling that you’ve created part of your signal chain, or the ability to design a piece of your gear—maybe it’s just man’s innate desire to put things together. We’re not talking meticulous part selection and prototyping leading to your own original creation. If you’re in that league, it’s best you skip past this section. We know there’s a crowd that’s too advanced for kits, but there’s an even bigger crowd begging for a piece of the action.
Inspired by the beginner-to-intermediate level go-getters, we’ve taken on three kits from three manufacturers at three very different difficulty levels. From a paint-by-numbers, simple-circuit PCB project to a tool-your-own-board and case (with room for your own tweaks), we hope to guide the curious to the appropriate kits. In the following pages, you’ll find the tools you need, the time it takes, and how complex the project is—along with our (only slightly biased) impressions of the final sound.
Tone Clone Pedals Retro Screamer
Build Your Own Clone Overdrive 2
Small Bear Electronics Tremulous Bear