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The Analog Delay Project - Ambience

jfromel

Member
Messages
1,127
I never thought I would make a delay, there are just so many of them out there but I just finished up modding and re-housing an Ibanez ADL and the results are nothing short of spectacular. It would be a while but I may have to design a delay in the next year.

It seems that there is no perfect analog delay, although the DM-2 and the Malekko are pretty close. So I set about to make myself a delay I would buy.
1. Increase the delay time past 350ms and still sound halfway decent.
2. Change the feedback control so you can easily find that balance between trailing off and self oscillation to lay down an ambient floor.
3. True bypass
4. Ability to adjust feedback and delay time with my feet and not use an expression pedal.
5. More precise control over the delay time between 200ms and 400ms.

So I got this delay that was damaged in shipping, I gutted it and put it in a 125B enclosure. If anyone else is thinking this is a good idea think again, the board is about 1mm too wide to fit so I took the belt sander to the board.
So after replacing all the caps in the audio path, new op-amp and messing around with the time and feedback controls, I got everything I was after. The delay time is way up there around 500ms but the fidelity drops after about 375ms. Re-capping and new op-amp helped a lot. With the feedback almost maxed and the delay time between 350-400ms it pretty much lays down an ambient floor without trying.

Here is what I put it in......, like all my other work the enclosure is etched. After doing the Starry Night for a customer I thought a bit if Edvard Munch would be perfect for an ambient echo.

Bottom Left pot - Delay Time
Bottom Right pot - Feedback
Top Right pot - effect level.
The eyes are the LED's I did a really cool treatment with them by making a reflector cone inside the pedal and used some clear silicone for aquariums. When I put the LED's in place it squished a bit of the silicone out and made the eyes bulge just a bit and they are squishy.
 
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Shredcow

Member
Messages
834
I've got a question...

Does the voltage matter? I've yet to hear anything that sounds like the Deluxe Memory Man and that's on 24v...
I've tried running some digital delays on 12v (after verifying that the circuitry can handle it) and the end result was a bigger, clearer delay.

I'm not a tech but I tried it out of curiosity... Now I'm wondering if the voltage DOES make that difference... or if I can get a DMM-like sound in a small box.
 

dorfmeister

Member
Messages
3,713
I love my Shape EQ.

Within what ballpark do you imagine the price for the delay you will be designing?

I like the Munch engraving on the surface.
 

jfromel

Member
Messages
1,127
Thanks for all the props guys

There is a reason I put this in the forum and not the emporium, this one is not for sale, at least not yet. I don't have a price for it but with the cost of the chips these days it will be mid to high $200's if I ever take it to production. I am building 4 DM-2 clones so at least 3 of those will be available. I am hoping to do be able to tweak the DM-2 circuit the same way I did this Ibanez, I think it will be a tad brighter.

RE: voltage - IMO the best way to run a BBD is with a voltage regulator to spec for maximum performance. In the case of the Seraph that would be 5.9v for the delay line, the rest of the circuit can run on higher voltage. That being said one of the principals in my design philosophy is to optimaize performace with 9.6v which is a brand new battery or 9v 200ma regulated adaptor. It's not hard to take 9v and ramp it up to 18v internally.

I have never been able to get in to the DMM, it's I size thing. I am just not willing to devote that much real estate on my board to one delay (I am running 4 right now).

Anyhow if I get a design rolling on this the TGP crowd will be the first to know:)
 

blue_lu

Member
Messages
571
THIS is really, really good. I would buy it. if theres a list, please put me on it.
looking forward to the dynavice btw ;)
 

jfromel

Member
Messages
1,127
This is quickly becoming one of my favorite pedals. I clocked the max delay time and it is right at 1/2 second, and the fidelity is still pretty nice through the second repeat with the delay time maxed especially on the lower notes. With the delay time above 350ms there is a lot of degredation of tone as the regeneration is increased and higher notes can be ringy before degrading to a wash.

The ability of this thing to lay down an ambient floor is just awesome, very much like a trashy reverb except it sits back in the mix so the dry signal does not get lost.

I would describe the tone as soft, warm and musical, not as bright as a DM-2 but not dull and thuddy like the re-issue AD-9.

The size is perfect and I really like how the controls are laid out. Rolling the time forward decreases time, rolling the feedback forward decreases regeneration and rolling the level forward increases the delay signal.

Anyhow I think I need to make at least a limited run of these. The PCB from the ADL does not fit in a 125B but the AD-9 is almost the same circuit and will fit just fine, since I will re-cap the entire audio path and remove the bypass circuit and the dry out circuit there is not much left of the original but the board will be a Maxon/Ibanez AD9. This does not sound anything like an AD-9 but this limited run will be modded and re-housed AD-9's. I don't think a re-issue will work, it uses a different chipset, so I gotta destroy original ones. I have an AD-9 coming in in a few days and I will tweak it and see how many of these I can do. I think I will cap the Munch design at about 25 total.

I will start sending PM's out to start the list after I get the AD-9 here at the shop. Unfortunately I don't think there is a way to keep the price down on this because I will have to buy an original AD-9 and then tear into it, and the artwork does take a bit more time than my other pedals. It will be right around $325.

I will try and get some clips together as well.
 
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jfromel

Member
Messages
1,127
I just verified that I can do these with a vintage AD-9, the re-issues will not work. I am in the process of buying AD-9 pedals and converting them to "Ambience". Price will be $300 or if you want to supply your own AD-9 pedal the conversion will be $175. I am only going to do 20 enclosures with "The Scream".

Eventually this will be a pedal built on a PCB of my design but that is a while down the road. Because these are custom orders I will need 50% down or your AD-9 to start.
 

teleking36

Member
Messages
3,947
i need to get put on this list.

i also need money to magically appear in my bank account right now.

i need one of these, John!!!
 

fugot

Member
Messages
732
is john quickly becoming one of the top boutique pedals builders here or is this just me..??

seraph, shape eq, ambience delay...
 




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