Tonefreak - Abunai 2 OD (Boutique on BYOC boards?)

General documentation, gut shot, schematic links, ongoing circuit tracing, deep thoughts ... all about boutique stompboxes.
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modman
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Post by modman »

I'm not saying anything about other people, I'm just quoting what I read.

Here we go
I yield a pretty good soldering iron, so people like BYOC, General Guitar Gadgets and DIY Stompboxes have enabled me to make recreations of my favorite pedals with some of my modifications. Not only that, but building my own pedals has given me more appreciation to the masters, which certainly includes BJFE!
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On that website, we find another old friend, but lets go back in time.

OCT 2006
IIIBOOMERIII 10-23-2006, 04:22 AM wrote:

tonefreak - Abunai 2 OD
What a great pedal!!!! I talked with Dereck for a while before I had him
make this pedal for me. He is a great guy and answers all questions you may have. Can't wait to have him build another pedal for me!

The Pedal "Abunai 2":

The Abunai 2 has (from left to right) a volume knob, tone knob, and drive knob. In the center above the tone knob is an 3 mode switch.

This is a highly moded TS 808 circuit with 3 modes, "Marshall", Diode Lift, and TS 808.
...

Eddie
Wow, he said it. But it gets better: somebody already gut shot it:
10-24-2006, 12:17 AM tonefreak
Originally Posted by imcorn
Anyway for those interested, the Abunai 2 OD is just basically a BYOC 808 screamer clone with additional mods
It was nice of you to point that out. You can also say there are many pedals on the market that are basically TS808s with mods... not sure what your motive was to bring something like this up, but if anyone would like the details of anything I make, I will gladly share them.

There have been some changes to the Abunai 2. Most recently, I started outsourcing my enclosures... hand painting, although fun, took too much time.

I'm also going to have my own PCBs made, but, until I have time to do so, I will continue using the BYOC ones.

All my parts are sourced from Mouser, Small Bear, Digikey, and a local electronics store (no, not Radio Shack).

Nothing has changed with the design... I'd like to make some changes, but, again, I need to find the time.

There are no smoke and mirrors here... tone is tone.
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But at this point there is no Boutique yet. But revealed or not, we are going through with the release. He should really have a licensing deal with BYOC if he uses their boards, I think.

First CA, then Japan:
05-01-2007, 08:16 AM tonefreak wrote:
Originally Posted by TheWarmth wrote:
Dereck, when can we expect your next official pedal to be released. The Abunai 2 is the only one that you're selling through dealers so far, right?
The Abunai 2 is the only piece I'm selling here in the US. Next will be the Dragonfly Distortion co-designed by a great designer, Andy Carrell. I have the schematics... I just have to find some time to prototype and then get impressions from my testers. I also have something up my sleeve for a chorus... I think it's something many have been waiting for, if I can pull it off. I've summoned Andy Carrell's assistance again, but this time in laying out the PCB for me, so the committment is pretty much there if the prototype pans out.

Japan will see the Abunai, Abunai 2 and Clean Lift (Mosfet boost). And possibly the Dragonfly Distortion.

I am just one person but I want to keep my business moving forward, so in order to facilitate growth, I've commissioned experienced hands to help move things along.
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Japan? Anyway, lots of TS question on the boar in March, and in February, purple, misdrilled boxes for sale:

https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/ ... #msg414002

Meanwhile in March 07, there is the Purple OD in small box

Then this message at diy:
Wanted: ExpressPCB Consultant « on: 25-05-2007, 13:37:50 »
I'm currently working on 3 other PCB layouts and could use an extra pair of hands to speed things along.

The project is laying out a PCB using ExpressPCB's software for a chorus.  I will provide the schematic.  Only individuals that have experience in ExpressPCB.  I need this project to be turned around in a 7-days time.

The price for completing the project is $100.00 and I will need to see a couple examples of your work.

My references are $uprema and Dragonfly.
...
Thanks!
And shipped in JUL 07!

Don't anyone dare ask for the schematic ! [smilie=a_whyme.gif]
:D :D

ps: there is also a tremelo coming (posted today), is that the EA that BYOC sells?

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/showth ... p?t=274467[/b]
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Post by RLBJR65 »

Nice piece of sleuthing there! I do believe you have uncovered the birth of a new boutique builder.

Don't know about BYOC but as long as it is not altered or a copy GGG and Tonepad don't really care what you do with their PCB's. If you bought it from them it's yours to do with as you see fit.

That came up in a thread at DIY concerning an ebay auction. It got kind of funny as I recall, with Phillip of FuzzCentral complaining about someone selling an altered copy of his altered copy of the original FF board :roll:

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Post by soulsonic »

Is this yet another case of a woefully ignorant booteeker?

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Post by Dirk_Hendrik »

soulsonic wrote:Is this yet another case of a woefully ignorant booteeker?
Nope,
It's just another completely unskilled DIY-er who hopes on a piece of the bouteek cake.

I don't expect from anyone that he's able to do PCB layouts. However when I considered myself a bouteeker I would definitely keep that inability to myself, let alone be in the open that my "bouteek" pedals are BYOC kits. (Which, other than being pretty good kits, could use some skilled PCB redesign as well..)
Last edited by Dirk_Hendrik on 31 Jul 2007, 10:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by soulsonic »

It makes me sick.
Seriously, these Children need to stay out of the world of Men.

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Post by goaltoday »

Embarrassing. :shock:

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Post by bajaman »

Aw - give him a break everyone has to start somewhere :lol: At least he isn't a big headed ignoramus like some others that will remain unmentionable :wink: He is at the very least honest about his abilities and now that he has figured out which end of the soldering iron to hold he is up and running - stay positive, there are plenty of negative a$$holes in this business - no need to stoop to their level. I wish him all the best, and hope he learns enough to contribute something new and exciting in the future. :wink:
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Post by briggs »

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. This is the extent that the booteek industry has reached. I wish someone would come along and blow all this out of the water, I really do. New designs, new sounds and a new way of thinking!
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Post by soulsonic »

Well... I'm a wannabe booteeker myself, and at least I'm working on the "new way of thinking" part... I practice what I preach. I complain about all these other booteeker fools because they fall very far short of my own personal standards.... and I don't think my standards are really even that high - just what I would believe to be acceptable professional standards.
But then I guess that's the problem; these guys are not professionals, and they don't know how to do things in a professional manner.

I also have very high standards for how something must sound as well as how it must perform in a professional live situation. I play regularly in a band, and if a new device can't survive one of our shows, then I know it needs redesigned. Several other of my devices have been touring with another group, and they've been giving them quite a grueling road test.

As far as my designs go: the only thing that concerns me is good sound; so sometimes something may be based on a familiar circuit, but other times it may be something more novel. It all depends on what's needed and what sort of a device it is. At any rate, I don't believe in cloning. I have an obsession with trying to improve any circuit I build.

Ultimately, I'd rather not be known as a booteeker, but eventually I'd like to be a "real" company on par with any of the other respected builders and manufacturers out there. I've already spent my time in Purgatory, working for the "Behringer of the Booteekers" aka, WeberVST, and I think it's time to come into my own. Lord knows I have the raw building experience. I couldn't even begin to count the number of individual devices I've built for them. Hundreds and hundreds to say the least. It was valuable experience, but also a humiliating experience. They are a terrible company to work for.

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Post by markm »

Could be the EA.
Could be a modded Schaller Trem perhaps?
Join together with the "Banned"!

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Post by markr »

BYOC doesn't care what people do with his PCBs. There are dozens of builders using his PCBs and/or selling his completed kits. He asks them to keep the BYOC name out of it though... so that if something goes wrong, the builders' customers aren't kicking his door down for support. I got that info from one of those builders.

The problem, in my opinion, is that dozens of small-timers are building the same pedals... whether stolen DIY projects or legit BYOC projects. Consider the never-ending search that many buyers go through to find that one perfect pedal for their needs. How long before buyers end up with three of the same pedals (under different names, of course) and wake up to it?

I do wonder when the industry is going to come crashing down as a result of fly-by-night builders who don't care about anything other than their immediate money-making venture.

It's come down to amateurs selling orange-drop caps and teflon-coated wire instead of pedals. Look at all of the hype text for an unknown pedal... there's a couple sentences about the functionality, then paragraphs of crap about mojo-filled caps, resistors, wire, etc.

/rant

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Post by markm »

markr wrote:BYOC doesn't care what people do with his PCBs. There are dozens of builders using his PCBs and/or selling his completed kits. He asks them to keep the BYOC name out of it though... so that if something goes wrong, the builders' customers aren't kicking his door down for support. I got that info from one of those builders.

The problem, in my opinion, is that dozens of small-timers are building the same pedals... whether stolen DIY projects or legit BYOC projects. Consider the never-ending search that many buyers go through to find that one perfect pedal for their needs. How long before buyers end up with three of the same pedals (under different names, of course) and wake up to it?

I do wonder when the industry is going to come crashing down as a result of fly-by-night builders who don't care about anything other than their immediate money-making venture.

It's come down to amateurs selling orange-drop caps and teflon-coated wire instead of pedals. Look at all of the hype text for an unknown pedal... there's a couple sentences about the functionality, then paragraphs of crap about mojo-filled caps, resistors, wire, etc.

/rant
Very true.
In Google searches, I have sometimes found "companies" selling their wares which are usually the same TS808-type or Fuzzes.
Can't rule out Boosters though.
Booster are big, big $$$ these days with big profits because there's not much to them.
If you look through the posts from the Ampge archive, VEX even comments about the SHO being 75 cents worth of parts!
Join together with the "Banned"!

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Post by modman »

Way huge did it too, for the first few pre production run boxes:

https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/ ... #msg456073
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Post by briggs »

I guess everyone has to start somewhere, but surely before you sell tham as your own you at least design your own boards!
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Post by Dirk_Hendrik »

briggs wrote:I guess everyone has to start somewhere, but surely before you sell tham as your own you at least design your own boards!
Indeed you have to start somewhere... We all did. But now, how many of us here started as "now I'm a bouteeker and will learn along the way how to build pedals". That's starting with the $$ as primary focus. I guess most of us here just started off building their stuff out of their personal need or lack of cash.

Using BYOC boards to me is just the same as using GGG board layouts and calling oneself a bouteeker, naturally with all the boeteek mojo crap in place (best components (the cheapest at smallbear)), (TB switching (I don't know anything else..) but admitted, TB sells better) etc etc.

Here's another example:
http://acapella.harmony-central.com/for ... ?t=1687739

Just what the world needed! Another DIY-er mod with zero experience who's going to do standard mods...

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Post by bajaman »

That is why we are here :wink: - to help lesser experienced friends to better understand and therefore develop their electronic skills and knowledge 8)
As 10CC sang - "Art for Art's Sake, and Money For God's Sake"
Personally, I enjoy learning new skills and often simple tricks that can turn ordinary pedals into something special. this is what drives me, HOWEVER, I have to pay the bills too, so i work full - time repairing amplifiers, speakers and pedals for the local musical community here in Christchurch, New Zealand. I get to see the right and often the wrong way of doing things - and occasionally the truly inspired way of doing things :wink:
When I come here though, i like to give back what I have learned, free of charge. I believe - Give and you shall receive ( but I never expect anything - just the opportunity to share the knowledge).
I guess I will always be a Hippie at heart :lol:
Cheers
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Post by modman »

The pedal for which the layout was taken over from Anderton, was serial #002. Regular production units had a new board. Does show how small this diy world is
Dirk_Hendrik wrote: Here's another example:
http://acapella.harmony-central.com/for ... ?t=1687739

Just what the world needed! Another DIY-er mod with zero experience who's going to do standard mods...
and standard pedals. I wouldn't be surprised to see a seven knob fuzz ??
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Post by tonefreak »

Wow. Rough room. I was studying my traffic analytics and this place came up because it's directing traffic to my site. I guess it was more to see what kind of dirt you all can get on me?

I will openly answer any questions I can to clear the air of any assumptions or rumors about me or my pedals. Let's start with some of the comments generated so far.

1) I do design my own PCBs. In the beginning, I wanted to lend my support to BYOC, so I had no problem using their boards. But doing the mods on perfboard got very tedious. So I hunkered down and learned the ExpressPCB software, made a schematic, and layed out my own PCB for the Abunai. Did the same with the Dragonfly and Clean Lift. If anyone would like a pic of my PCBs, look harder on the Internet because it’s out there… they are far from the BYOC design, which are still great, IMO. And, BTW, Keith, the owner of BYOC, has been nothing but supportive of what I have been doing… even though I no longer buy his boards.

I hired someone to do the Kai Korus PCB for me... someone I met over at DIYStompboxes. I had the schematic, but not the time. Again, I wanted to give support to a site and community that has helped me tremendously. There have been lots of uneasy feelings between that site and builders, so I thought it would be a good idea to work with some of these skilled people to show the DIY community there is at least one builder who wants to work with them and compensate them for their work. I have a lot of work to do and I’m not shy in going to the DIY community to ask for an extra pair of hands.

I want unification between DIYers and pedal companies… maybe I’m naïve.

2) Am I a woefully ignorant bouteeker? Am I a completely unskilled DIYer? Do I make you sick? Am I embarrassing myself? Where to start… I know… Christopher Nix. Chris is a good friend of mine and it just so happens he’s a music director and artist over at Soundplay Records in Florida. I was building stuff for myself at the time and shared some of what I was doing with him. Chris put forth a challenge and my first pedal built for someone else was born! He liked it, spread the word around and before you know it, I got really busy. Right place, right time and right person… and a lot of luck. I didn’t set out to be the next bouteeker… not at all. But, with the prodding and support of my guitarist friends who really liked what I was doing, I decided to make a modest go at it.

Tone Freak, LLC is my company name and my DBA is Tone Freak Effects. Anyone who has ever endeavored to set up a company knows the investment in time and money involved. Am I a fly-by-nighter? I certainly hope not because I’ve invested a lot in making sure the structure of the company was set up right.

3) “Now I'm a bouteeker and will learn along the way how to build pedals”? Nope… although many here would probably disagree. In the beginning, I just made pedals that my friends wanted. They paid for the parts and I built them with some of the common mods you see out on the internet. After a while, they all wanted the same TS808 variant with the same mods, so I decided to standardize everything, design a proper PCB with the most requested mods built-in and eventually, put it all in a case with silk screen… so it looks more professional. The Abunai was born! Abunai was my dog that passed away a while ago… being that he was an Akita, I thought it a fitting name for this OD and it’s a nice tribute to a dear friend. I did not have $$$$$ on my mind because I did all this without charging for labor in the beginning… they were my friends after all. Am I making money now? Yes. Am I profitable? No, and I won’t be until some time next year, but I’m fine with that because I have a 5 year plan. Again, starting a company is a large investment.

Am I upset by some of the comments made here? Not really, but I am disappointed. Why didn’t anyone try contacting me directly? Why feel the need to have to do any type of “detective” work?

I am in Southern California… if anyone wants to come by for a visit, you are more than welcome. I love talking about guitars, amps, and, of course, pedals. Feel free to email me or if you just want to talk, I will even give you my cell phone number. But lets put an end to all the rumors, guessing and “detective” work. If you still deem me an “unskilled DIYer” after meeting or talking with me, then at least it will be from first hand experience.

Oh... sorry for the novel.

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Post by soulsonic »

It's really refreshing to see a builder come out and lay it all down in a frank and civil manner. I can see that it is certainly possible to rush to judgment when you only have half the story. I'm sorry if I was overtly rude with my remarks, I just get really steamed up over those guys out there who DO fit the mean-spirited descriptions I used. I apologize for assuming you are one of them. I wish you the best of luck with your business. I'm a big fan of ExpressPCB too!

Now if only the other pedal builders could be as decent and polite as you.....

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Post by bajaman »

thanks tonefreak, for dropping by and thanks, for the explanations etc. :)
we are not all anti booteekers here, so please feel free to contribute or use anything you find here ( a small acknowledgement is all that is required in most cases, if you use anything learned here for commercial gain - credit where credit is due :wink: )
And - good luck with your pedal making :wink: :)
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