DIY guitar effects pedals combine the electronics and music worlds. Here we are barely scratching the surface of this fun hobby.
Basically for building a pedal you have 3 main options. You can modify an existing guitar pedal, buy a kit or make one on your own based on schematics.
You can get a books like the Electronic Projects for Musicians or find plans online, but what do all the symbols mean?
To build guitar effects pedals you will need to know how to look at schematics.
We created the graphic below with some of the basic symbols you might see on a schematic to get you started. Click on it to make it bigger.
You will need to know how to solder. See our The Beginner’s Guide To Soldering.
Below we have 2 DIY pedals and 2 kits you can put together.
DIY Guitar Pedals
Randy over at Instructables has a great write up on making this pedal. He walks you through drilling the proper holes on your box and wiring up the parts to create this pedal that gives your guitar a fuzz sound.
The circuit in this pedal or stompbox, originally appeared inside a guitar called Electra. Premier Guitar is calling this version of the circuit PG Distorion. They have an extensive PDF of how to build the guitar pedal and take you through testing it on a breadboard and soldering it together.
Guitar Pedal Kits
Over at DIY Hacking, they have a tutorial for building an Arduino Uno based guitar effects pedal. This project has the electronic schematics or you can buy their pre made board kit and just solder on the components. The kit is roughly $37.
This is a neat project as you can program the pedal to have different effects.
This kit from buildyourownclone.com is a remake of the classic late-60’s Fuzz Face pedal. Add some serious fuzz to your guitar sound. B.Y.O.C. has a large variety of kits and most are in the $50 range.
The original Fuzz Face pedal goes for anywhere between $100 & $150, so this kit is a bargain.
Happy pedal building!