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Guitarist and Musician Project: Make Your Own Digital Delay Pedal

This is a low-cost, easy to follow project that appeals to all of us who have wanted to sound like a guitar god at some point. Delay pedals are a staple effect of so many musicians these days. Take U2’s The Edge; his sound is almost entirely based on the use of delay.

The Instructable for this project goes light on the actual electronics, but fortunately many more detailed writeups exist already. The case for it gets more attention, and you can tell – it looks professional.

One note that is made in this interesting piece by RG Keen on the economics of pedal building – if you’re doing this to try to save money, don’t. Cheap delay and effects pedals can be bought new for as low as $20 – and used for even less. But there is a real value in building something yourself, so make sure to calculate that aspect in as you prepare yourself to embark on this project.

My schematic is largely (read: almost entirely) based upon Casper Electronics’ EchoBender pedal, which is in turn largely based on Tonepad’s Rebote 2.5 Delay pedal, which is in turn, more or less, based upon the example schematic in the PT2399 datasheet. Having breadboard all three, I personally can not hear a significant difference in sound between the Casper Electronic version and the one on Tonepad, which some people say is superior sounding (the one in the datasheet just sounds flat). The nice thing about the Casper Electronics version is the inclusion of a feedback pot, which gives a really full sound to the echo effect.

You will need:
(x1) “BB”- sized Steel Enclosure
(x1) PT2399 Echo Processor
(x1) TL072 low noise op amp
(x1) LM7805
(x3) 100K potentiometers
(x1) 50K potentiometer
(x1) 5K potentiometer
(x1) PCB
(x1) DPDT stomp switch
(x1) SPST toggle switch (SPDT okay)
(x1) Power jack (with cut-off)
(x2) 1/4″ mono jacks
(x5) Knobs
(x1) sheet 1/16″ santoprene rubber (McMaster-Carr 86215K22)
(x1) sheet 1/8″ cork

(x1) 100uF
(x3) 47uF
(x1) 4.7 uF
(x6) 1 uF
(x3) 0.1 uF
(x2) 0.082 uF
(x3) 0.0027 uF
(x2) 0.01 uF
(x1) 100 pF
(x1) 5 pF

(x2) 1K
(x11) 10K
(x2) 15K
(x1) 100K
(x1) 510K
(x2) 1M