Danelectro - CTO2 Transparent Overdrive  [schematic]

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Danelectro - CTO2 Transparent Overdrive

Postby Greg » 12 Jan 2009, 09:33

After reading good reports everywhere about the Danelectro CoolCat Transparent Overdrive, I decided to buy one... expecting to be disappointed. Well, it's sounds really good. I mean REALLY good.
Naturally it came apart straight away.. :mrgreen:

It's a diode clipper with a TL072 opamp, possibly a Baxandall Tone Control.
I'd trace it, but I'm not really familiar with smd... if I post some good pics or send them to someone, would someone with smd experience like to trace this one out ?
It'd be a lot quicker than me trying to identify what the parts are, but I can work with them on markings, etc.

This will be great project for the DIY community IMO.
I'm sure it's nothing Earth Shattering, but it's simple and sounds great..
+ it's already True Bypass.
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Re: Danelectro Transparent Overdrive

Postby TubeDude22 » 12 Jan 2009, 14:51

Thanks for the mini review. I'm considering picking one of those up for myself. What guitar and amp did you test it with?
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Re: Danelectro Transparent Overdrive

Postby Greg » 13 Jan 2009, 02:15

I mainly use a PRS Custom 22 Soapbar - the model with 3 P-90s.
For quiet use I have a modded Fender Champion 600 and for louder.. a Tophat Supreme 16.
I suspect this OD will sound good with pretty much anything though because it actually lives up to it's name and is pretty transparent as far as eq goes, so you don't have say a mid push that suits certain guitar/amp combos, etc.

I hope someone will trace it.
I can give it a go, but I know I'll spend most of the time trying to identify components.
Who's the smd expert here ?
I think AnalogGuru might be up for it, but I haven't seen him for a while - vacation ?
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby ShortScaleMike » 14 Jan 2009, 12:30

I've heard great things about these aswell. A lot of people have claimed it's like a Klon but it doesn't have that thick midrange character the Klon does (which may or may not be a good thing) but it does seem to sound good. I'm going to pick one up at some point.
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby Greg » 14 Jan 2009, 13:02

I've now realised the difficulties of reversing this thing:
-You can't see where many traces go without removing components.
-Not all components are marked.
-The silk screening makes it hard to see where some tracks go.

I think I'm going to just take everything off the board and measure it individually, clean the silkscreening away, and then trace...
I doubt I'll put it back together... the through hole components, pots, etc are very hard to remove, and I'd say the pcb will get overheated in places, so I'll probably trash it for the team.
Luckily they're pretty cheap and hopefully I can build a clone after the effort and tweak away..
That's what we do :mrgreen:

BTW Shortscalemike.. I have a Klon, I don't think this sounds anything like it.
The Klon really takes over your tone, this doesn't at all.
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby briggs » 14 Jan 2009, 14:44

I'm looking forward to seeing this Greg! I'm into the Danelectro range of pedals. Mybe post a few photos and we might be able to identify the circuit structure a little better and work out if it is a clone or a new one!
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby Greg » 14 Jan 2009, 23:51

briggs wrote:I'm looking forward to seeing this Greg! I'm into the Danelectro range of pedals. Mybe post a few photos and we might be able to identify the circuit structure a little better and work out if it is a clone or a new one!


OK.. I'll try to get a decent pic up. :thumbsup
It'll probably be tomorrow.. busy day today.
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby Greg » 16 Jan 2009, 02:46

I probably need a better camera or better skills to get a really clear pic, but these will give you an idea of what's going on... TL072 opamp, 2 silicon diodes each way in the feedback loop plus an unmarked cap. Dual concentric pot for the Treble and Bass:

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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby Greg » 28 Jan 2009, 08:31

I finally got around to tracing this... it took about 3 hours as I struggled with the smd a bit.
When I finished it I was more than a little surprised at the result - you might be too...

Here's a hint:

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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive  [schematic]

Postby Greg » 28 Jan 2009, 08:34

And here's the schmatic for the Danelectro Transparent Overdrive.
Just change the 2 power filter caps to 100uf and that's it !!

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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby WhiteKeyHole » 28 Jan 2009, 08:41

Oh shi-...
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby modman » 28 Jan 2009, 08:54

:shock: :scratch:

I mean -- when did Danelectro start producing the Transparent OD? Harmony central review don't go back further than last year.... :hmmm:

Danelectro boys reading this forum?
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby soulsonic » 28 Jan 2009, 09:20

Oh man... TGP is going to have a collective freakout... almost as bad as if you had opened it and found a Klon Centaur inside.
Crazy that they'd pick the Timmy out of all the simple stripped Screamers out there.
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby RnFR » 28 Jan 2009, 09:26

it's pretty new. just came out as part of their Cool Cat line- metal case, true bypass, etc.. in a vid i saw with a dano rep at NAMM, the guy specifically mentioned that they were as good as "boutique" boxes.

now we know why! so far the the two that have been traced so far are the peach fuzz and the timmy. can't wait to see who else they ripped off.

at least they're good designs!
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby Greg » 28 Jan 2009, 09:44

soulsonic wrote:Oh man... TGP is going to have a collective freakout... almost as bad as if you had opened it and found a Klon Centaur inside.
Crazy that they'd pick the Timmy out of all the simple stripped Screamers out there.


Yeah, I was surprised they didn't even tweak the thing... all the values are the same.

Sorry - other changes are the opamp and there's no switching on the diodes.
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby briggs » 28 Jan 2009, 15:21

Wow. We all knew there was the potential for mass fx builders to do this.... As it's been said before - freestompboxes is the least of their worries.

Kudos to PaulC though!
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby Uma Floresta » 28 Jan 2009, 15:52

Woah! I didn't see that coming! :o
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby moltenmetalburn » 28 Jan 2009, 16:00

WOW! after all the recent talk in the Timmy thread it seems crazy that danelectro of all people are the ones to rip off Paul C and sell for profit, Not one of us! Makes me feel bad for paul as danelectro may steal a huge portion of his sales once this get out...
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby The Rotagilla » 28 Jan 2009, 16:08

If true...that's f**ked up.
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Re: Danelectro - Transparent Overdrive

Postby sevinisthenumber » 28 Jan 2009, 18:04

nice.... :D
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