Effects Links...

If you've ever wanted to build your own guitar effects or want to see what's involved in doing so, here's a good place to start.  Most of these sites have been around for quite some time and offer up schematics, build info, techniques, and modification ideas. Some are more detailed than others, but all are highly recommended.

  • Ampage - a wide variety of info on guitars, effects, amps, etc...
  • AMZFX - mostly original projects and a bunch of links and schematics to see. The site is run by Jack Orman, who is one of the fixtures of the DIY scene. Jack has recently been offering boards for his effects and are super high quality and highly recommended. I have a bunch of stuff of his that are permanent fixtures on my own pedal board.
  • DIY Stompboxes - loads of info about recreating and modding a crapload of commercial effects and a bunch of original ideas.
  • FreeStompBoxes - this site tends to be a hotbed for schematics for everything and anything. It tends to be a bit more "gloves-off" approach to providing info on commercial effects.
  • Fuzz Central - lots of mods for commercial effects and a bunch of schematics for some vintage stuff.
  • GaussMarkov: DIY FX - the site features lots of circuit boards and layouts but more importantly a lot of explanation about what it is you're looking at. I've learned more about EagleCAD (PCB and schematics editor) from this site than any place else on the web. Highly recommended.
  • GEOFEX - one of the most informative and longest running sites on the web. This is a great site to find out WHY stuff works (or doesn't).
  • General Guitar Gadgets - JDSleep is one of the reigning king's of the DIY effects sites. Great source for boards, pedal kits, as well as custom made effects pedals! Terrific site for beginners as well.
  • GuitarPCB - Barry's printed circuit boards and parts (all for sale on this site) are some of the best in a rapidly expanding market. Great guy to deal with and highly recommended products.
  • Madbean Pedals - another stellar PCB sales site and great to deal with. Insanely detailed builds and layouts and the PCB transfers are available if you decide to etch a board yourself. At these prices, why bother?
  • Mammoth Electronics - more than just another electronics supply house, these folks are highly specialized in the effects and audio market. Great prices and great service make this a regular haunt for me.
  • MCM - a very wide selection of product and product is usually in stock. This is a much larger supply site than most DIY folks are used to but the service is terrific.
  • Mouser - these folks are one of the most established supply houses on the continent. Crazy good to deal with and a vast selection of product.
  • Officially Licensed Circuits - A site dedicated to producing kits for a few of my favorite sites: Runoff Groove and Tonepad. If you haven't built any effects or just want to get it right the first time check these guys out.
  • Pedal Parts Plus - as the name implies this is a highly specialized end of the electronics supply business. I've had terrific dealings with these folks and the prices are killer.
  • PedalEnclosures - I've never dealt with these folks but I intend to. I hear great things about the product.
  • Runoff Groove - can't say enough about these guys. They tend to be more on the original side, rather than clones. You'll catch me one day of the week proudly wearing my ROG tee-shirt (that I paid for). Take the hint and send them money so you can look as good as I do.
  • Schematic Heaven - the name says it all...a lot of info on effects and amps. Great source if you are trying to repair anything. No hand-holding here, so you're on your own.
  • Small Bear Electronics - this is hands down the best resource on the planet for effects specific electronic parts, tools, and supplies. Great service, painless to deal with, and great pricing. Just tell Steve that Gordy sent you and he'll drag you out to the parking lot and beat the crap out of you (just kidding...).
  • TDSL Schematics - here's another great reference site for repairs and oddball schematics you will have a hard time finding anywhere else.
  • Tone God - this site features a bunch of rather exotic and original schematics and ideas with a healthy dose of attitude.
  • ToneClone - another PCB site and although there is a smaller number of boards to chose from the quality is just stellar.
  • Tone Frenzy - a lot of resources here but little to do with DIY. If, on the other hand, you want to hear what a particular effect (either common, vintage, or boutique) you'll likely find the sound file here. All played by a very skilled guitar player.
  • Tonepad - Francisco Pena and Matt Burnside have some of the tightest boards in the DIY business and is one of my favorite sites. A wealth of schematics. Another great source for boards.