What do you need to know to build a clone?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by journo, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi,

    I have no knowledge whatsoever of electronics. I have soldered the odd cable in my 35 years as a musician but am not experienced.

    Now I got this idea that I would like to build a clone.
    What do I need to know?
    Where can I learn?
    What equipment do I need?

    Any thoughts and tips appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  2. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    Good soldering skills is probably the #1 thing. If you can't solder well the chances of having intermittent problems and reliability problems down the road is pretty good.
     
  3. blong

    blong Member

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    Molecular genetics and cell culture.:D

    Actually, you would need to understand the physics of electricity, capacitors, resistors, amplifiers, etc. The quality of the components, including the wire, pots, solder, etc could affect everything. I'd rather buy, unless you are really interested in learning how to build an amp.

    It might be good to sit in with an amp repairman and do an apprenticeship there, but the ones I know are pretty odd and secretive. Maybe take a small electronics repair course at a local community college.

    Just my thoughts.

    Bob
     
  4. dosmun

    dosmun Member

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    That is not necessary to build a pedal clone. It is pretty much a paint by numbers type thing from what I understand. Knowledge of the other stuff is very helpful in troublehshooting if it doesn't work but if you take your time and solder everything well it should be pretty simple. I believe they also offer support as well.
     
  5. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi Dosmun,

    Thanks for the info.
    I guess I should have mentioned that it was pedals and not amps I wanted to build.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  6. Highway Jones

    Highway Jones Supporting Member

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    To build a clone, you just need to know how to follow directions. To troubleshoot your problems after the build, that's where experience and a bit of knowledge come in to play.

    www.diystompboxes.com

    www.generalguitargadgets.com
    www.tonepad.com

    The above links are good starts. Start with a simple project like a boost or fuzz and work your way up.
     
  7. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I just finished a uni-drive clone for a customer. If you're doing a kit, it really is simple. If you're working from a schematic only, it requires a little more knowledge. And if you want to make changes to the circuit, an even better understanding of electronics. The good news is that there's a wealth of info available.
     
  8. blong

    blong Member

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    My bad, I thought you were talking about an amp clone.

    Still, good knowledge of those items might lead to some interesting variations on a clone that could improve the circuit, tone, etc.

    Bob
     
  9. trucks

    trucks Member

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    BYOC is a great place to start. They also recommend starter tools. Another easy starter pedal is the Tweak-o from SmallBear (see projects - also tools in their stock list). Read the directions at either site and you will see what you are in for.

    It really only takes learning to solder. The remainder of the skills required for a kit are basic. A good reference is the Basic Soldering Guide. Make sure to look at The Basic Soldering Guide Photo Gallery. Before you start on your kit, go to Radio Shack and get a pad-per-hole board (breadboard) and some cheap resistors, capacitors, etc. of different sizes. Total cost is $3-4 dollars. Use this to practice. You'll quickly learn and be ready to build.

    Lots of information over at diystompboxes.

    When you want to upgrade your tools, see Audiologica's suggestions. This is directed at the audio builders, but the tools are the same. Those guys know the good stuff and how to spend money almost as well as us.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Gary
     
  10. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi,

    Thanks very much to everyone who has contributed to this thread.

    The info has been good and sometimes I feel ready to do it and sometimes I feel too inept to even think about it.

    I've read a lot about RadioShack. We don't have that in Sweden so I will have to find a similar store.

    Thanks again!

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  11. Kaiser

    Kaiser Member

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    I´ll be trying it too!!
     

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