Systech - Harmonic Energizer  [schematic]

Discussion regarding early stompbox technology: 1960-1975 Please keep discussion focused and contribute what info you have...
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joegore
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Post by joegore »

Hi folks --

I'm new here, and still have a lot to learn about the protocol — not to mention making stompboxes that don't short out.

But I'm wondering if there's anyone's interested in collaborating on a project to recreate and improve the Systech Harmonic Energizer — a fab distortion/filter effect that rates "Hen's Tooth" status in Analog Mans Guide to Vintage Effects. It's a bit like playing a cocked wah into a fuzz, but more controllable and extreme, especially on high-resonance settings.

I have a battered but functional original, which I played years ago on the Tom Waits song "All Stripped Down" (low-resonance setting) and on the Action Plus song "Jets" (high-resonance). I'd love to see it exist as a nice little stompbox. It's really unique and cool. You can download MP3s of both tracks from the "audio clips" folder at http://idisk.mac.com/joegore-Public?view=web. It appears right at the top of "Jets" and about 45 seconds into "All Stripped Down."

The catch: I'm new at this, and lack the tech know-how to render this effect as a schematic or layout. But if any of the smart folks here are game, I can provide high-quality pics and answer any sonic questions.

Any takers?

Best,

Joe

Best,

Joe
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Post by analogguru »

Systech Harmonic Energizer — any interest?
:shock: :shock: :lol: For sure.....
I can provide high-quality pics and answer any sonic questions.

Any takers?
Why do you wait.... :thumbsup

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Post by Bside2234 »

I'm with AG on this one! Go for it!

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Post by Sickle »

Impressive resume, Joe! Thanks for helping to bring another rare build to the group!

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Post by joegore »

Awesome, guys! I'm out this evening, but I'll take and post some pics tomorrow.

Best,

Joe

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Post by toneman »

anything like the Hadley Harmonic Converger?? :hmmm:

https://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic ... =converger
BIG discussion on that a bit ago :slap:

curious and curiouser :thumbsup

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Post by chicago_mike »

This pedal was used by Les Claypool on a couple primus tracks..

I thought it was a fuzz with some kind of eq, where you can "select" the freq's to distort.
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Post by joegore »

Yeah, Les has one. I used to play with him a lot.

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Post by PurplePeopleEater »

Hi Joe, and welcome. You've definitely come to the right place to get it sorted out. Posting clear photos of the internals (top and bottom pictures of the circuit board, wiring and pot connections, etc) and being available to answer questions about anything that isn't clearly visible is the key to getting a functional schematic. Feel free to ask any questions as well.

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Post by lohstah »

yowser ! tom waits, pj harvey... respect !

cheers,
lohstah

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Post by joegore »

Hehehe -- I'm going to enjoy all that "respect" in the few minutes before you realize what a lame-o pedal builder I am.

Okay — I've got audio clips and pics at http://idisk.mac.com/joegore-Public?view=web in the Systech Harmonic Energizer folder. Note that these are large pics — about 8MB each.

The guts look all original, and even I can tell that the circuit looks fairly simple. Not for me — for YOU!

Selfishly speaking, I'd love to emerge from this process with a schematic and a vero layout (I haven't tackled PCB-making yet.)

I'm stoked about meeting you all. Fred Briggs turned me on to the group, which I'd known about, but not realized how cool it was. Aside from all the info here, I tend to share a pretty similar take on the meanings — and limits! — of intellectual property.

I worked at Guitar Player magazine during the ’90s boutique boom, and thrilled to all the cool stuff from Jorge and Zachary and Vlad. The Prescription Experience pedal changed my life. Of course, it took me more than 10 years to realize it was a Foxx Tone Machine. Nowadays I alternate between recording/touring, writing about music, and most recently, working as an near-full time consultant for Apple. (Not sure if it's going to bum people out to talk music software here, but I did lots of work on Logic 8 and created all the amp and stompbox sounds for the upcoming GarageBand ’09.)

After years of collecting, reviewing, and recording with this stuff, it's fascinating to actually learn how to make them go. I've build 50 or 60 pedals, mostly just copying other people's stuff — which I guess qualifies me as a boutiquer. Now I'm at the point where I can usually mimic a $300 boutique box for $30 in parts and $2,000 labor. ;)

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Post by lolbou »

Nice!! 8) Will be easy I think...

Thank you!

edit: for those using vector-based sofwares for PCBs, I attach a modified track side with -almost- linear tracks... In case it helps (I'm sure it will at least help me..)

any info on the PCB dimensions? I'm already tracing it on Inkscape at the wrong scale, will only have to adapt it to make it available... :lol:
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Post by RnFR »

welcome joe! looks like we have another valued member of our wonderful little stain on the stompbox universe.

lovin the waits tune, and pj harvey is one of the coolest females in RnR as far as i'm concerned. must've been very cool.

and of course- i'm lookin forward to seeing what makes this box tick.
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Post by moltenmetalburn »

"The Humans Will Never Destroy Us"

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Post by lolbou »

The PCB's traced (I know, easier part of the job 8) )... Still it needs adjustments as regards to dimensions (which I don't know) and drilling hole sizes which looks large to me...

I can add a layer with components but can't really guess all the values (especially for resistors, being colorblind)...
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Post by moltenmetalburn »

yours is much nicer than mine lol!
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Post by lolbou »

moltenmetalburn wrote:yours is much nicer than mine lol!
Cheers :) But mine is not transparent yet !! :D :D
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Post by lolbou »

Ok, for those with sharp eyes to read resistor values and caps...

Here's the layout (seen from the track side)... The 1N414... diode is not represented since I can't determine its orientation...

Just print and add values, my file can be updated afterwards...

Bonne nuit tout le monde!
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Post by joegore »

The PCB dimensions are 3 inches by 5 inches. (Sorry, metric people.)

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Post by lolbou »

Scaled!! Don't feel sorry about using imperial units... When I think of all those weird units and 32nds, 64ths of inches, I really appreciate my metrics... Boring but efficient! Imperial is more "poetical" to me, and reminds me of my work experience in England...
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Last edited by lolbou on 22 Jan 2009, 22:16, edited 1 time in total.
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