JuansoloFX isn't really a thing. It's essentially a name that ended up being adopted for Cleggy and my DIY Pedal exploits. Basically a couple of blokes who occupy their spare time building guitar effects pedals for shits and giggles.
This all started in 2009. I decided to learn to play guitar, I managed to get as far as a few chords then thought, I'll build an effects pedal. I'd done some electronic bits and bobs in my youth and still had a soldering iron, so I picked up a BYOC Tubescreamer kit and off I went. Well all I can say is that I still only know a couple of AC/DC riffs, but I've made a few hundred pedals since... I might have got a bit carried away!
Cleggy is the more technically inclined of the two of us, so when it comes to circuits and valves (toobs in the US), he's the man. He also is a ninja with epoxy coatings. Assembleage, 'creative' ideas and very occasional circuit wrangling is more my area. But we overlap a fair bit these days, with him doing a lot of the board population and me doing the physical layout, decals and installs.
Out latest collaborator is Jason (Jubal81), who's been doing a load of PCB layouts for us. He has an odd ape fetish, but is also a bit of a warrior when it comes to eagles and gerbils.
We are NOT a commercial entity!
Now that's not to say that we don't do the odd custom build or indeed often purge the pedal mountain. But that's all to keep the hobby as self funding as possible. Which it is, just about...
We also collaborate quite a bit with other players in the DIY scene. Because that's the spirit of it. So for example, we're part of the co-operative that is Grind Customs FX, and we've occasionally worked with a few others also.
So with that in mind, don't get in touch with us asking to build you a cheap knock off of the latest boutique fad. I really don't like that shit (and we're not that cheap...). Likewise don't try to get us to make you a clone of someones pedal that's currently in production. We'd rather not. Where we make clones, we tend to make them for ourselves and the only time they ever come up for sale is when the pedal mountain gets out of control and we have to thin the numbers in our own stashes.
That said, interesting custom builds I can be sometimes pursuaded to do. Multi's that have a purpose are something I like doing, also wierd and unusual effects. Then there are the 'standard' pedals.
The DIY gallery contains just about everything Cleggy and I have ever built. Plus some tutorials and links for people who want to have a stab at building their own effects. Which I highly recommend!
The main sections are (mostly) in chronological order. So the stuff at the top of the lists were built most recently. The stuff at the bottom, warts and all, are the earliest.
This was just an idea I had when the pedal mountain was getting stupidly out of control. Choose the best effects of each type and make a range of sorts. The original idea was to sell them, but when not a single one was bought, I decided to strip all the dull graphics from them and just re-build them for myself. So these are what I consider to be the go-to's of DIY pedaling. There are a couple of clones in there I won't sell that I did because I really like them. But otherwise, these are all pedals I can build as 'standard' pedals. What you wont get on them is the artwork that I've put on mine.
Some of these are Grind Custom effects. Some are modded versions of them to how we like them. Some are our own concoctions based on other things. Generally speaking, I like simplicity, so some effects we've taken options out of and pre-set them to what we think they do best.
Where ever possible we've done a standard layout, I want them to fit into my preferred Camden Boss enclosures, which are compact to take up as little pedal board room as possible, while remaining stable. I also insist on using opto-switching for the stomp for reliablity reasons. It's a little more expensive to do than the usual 3PDT, but in our experience, way, way more robust. Also there are other advantages to the opto-switch in that it minimises pop and gives near as damnit true bypass all in one neat package. The idea is to build compact, easy to use, robust effects.
a note on clones & DIY stompage
Because of the tolerance of components, the accuracy of the schematics and how they're built, no clone is going to sound exactly like an example of the original pedal. As such when I say something is a clone, I say it's 'based on' whichever pedal it's a clone of.
I also try and credit the peeps I've got PCBs from and the like. I'm not trying to claim credit for anything that isn't mine. If it seems that way, it's not on purpose and I apologise. The Boobtube for example, was based on an idea that someone else came up with first (as are most things to be fair), which we then tweaked quite a lot. Plus we've thrown that one straight back to the DIY community to build should they wish to. Indeed TH Custom sells a PCB for it now. Rully is doing one for the SuperJudge, and there are some others that exist in one form or another at Grind/IDA (STM800, Machete, Ultrastoner & Supernature). Which is the whole point of this. As without that community, we'd have no cool pedals to build.
My parting thought is thus; the pedal market is full of contradiction, hypocrisy, deception and ever so inventive marketing bullshit. Yet within that same market there are some really cool guys turning out some great gear, and I like to think that we can all co-exist. So I really don't want to piss off the enlightened guys who are currently supportive of the DIY scene.
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