For my electric guitar, I used digital effects for years, mostly because it was more convenient to have a slew of effects available at the push of a button. Those of you who use digital gear for effects know exactly what I mean.
A few years ago, however, I played through someone’s analog pedal board (their tube amp included) and fell in love with the warmth of the sound coming out of my instrument. So not long after that, I sold most of my digital gear and used the proceeds to begin building an analog pedal board with the basic stomp box configuration.
Along the way I discovered buildyourownclone.com. This company has been around since 2004 and builds DIY effects kits for guitar players. Their kits range from around $70-130. You do need to have some ability to solder small electronic connections on a PCB, but in reality you don’t really have to know much about electronics, since they provide incredible instructions to help you through the process.
You’ll also get a lot of help through their FAQ at the site. I had to return a defective rotary switch, and with a little inquiry and explanation, they replaced it for free with free shipping.
What I didn’t realize was that these kits are assembled using only the highest quality components, so once your pedal is completed (and working), you’ll have the equivalent of a boutique pedal costing 2-3 times that amount.
With some patience and steady hands, you can build a high quality pedal that will last for years.
In my case, with minimal soldering experience, I was able to build the pedals for my board in about 4-6 hours.
In my case, my son-in-law custom spray painted my boxes for me, then I applied the decals printed from my computer, and finally a few coats of clear to protect the finish. I have a combination of pro pedals and these ‘kit’ pedals. Without question the kit pedals are my favorite and sound amazing. My pedal board also works perfectly for acoustic, electric, and bass setups.
So, if you’re looking for options for stomp boxes, check out products at B.Y.O.C (They sell amp kits, too). You can get way better effects for a third of the price and have a piece of gear you’ll be proud of. Trust me on this one.
Until next time…
Bill Maxwell has over forty years of guitar playing experience and over twenty years of teaching students how to master the fretboard.