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 Post subject: Octave up module for CJ
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:04 pm 
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Hi Folks -
I recently built the Crown Jewel (love it, amazing what it can do), and first the treble booster module (works very well) and now my problem, the octave up module. It barely works; must be cranked to 11 to produce a useful amount of volume, and it's very very distorted/fuzzy. There is some octave action going on, however, barely audible. I'm sure things are not working correctly.
I've tested continuity for every contact top of PCB to bottom, reflowed all solder joints, tested the resisters and diodes in circuit - all seems as it should be. I'm flummoxed! I'll upload some pics in case they're helpful.
Also built the confidence booster without problems (nice). And I've built several tube amps, modified my dyna comp successfully, etc, so not a total beginner :)
Any suggestions would be mightily appreciated!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:30 pm 
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Are you sure that you got the two different kinds of transistors in the correct positions?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Yup, checked it at least four times! Thanks, and happy Thanksgiving!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:12 pm 
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Some better pics:


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:52 pm 
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Reflowing all of your solder joints only takes a few minutes and often solves effect circuit problems when nothing else appears to be amiss: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52188

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:40 am 
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Thanks. I’ve done reflow already, but can certainly try again. Only takes a few minutes.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:51 am 
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Try this: boost level at 1 - 2 o'clock, switch to the neck pickup, back off on the tone on the guitar, play notes around the twelfth fret. Do you hear the octave then? This is not a POG, or that sort of thing, it's more of an analog ring modulator. You're not going to hear the effect all the time.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:06 pm 
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Thanks. I'd seen a comment in another thread about this, and yes, there is some effect audible then, but only with gain at full or nearly full. Volume is very reduced with gain at 60%, in fact at any gain it's lower than unity.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:56 pm 
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Since I can't see any component errors and you've said the transistors are in correctly, I would say there might be a solder issue. Certainly in the posted pics there are some blobby joints. Even though you've reflowed, I would suggest taking some solder off with some wick and reapplying a smaller amount. We want to see the mythical Hersey's Kiss, not a round mound. Otherwise, we may need some measurements to pin down the problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:42 pm 
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Do you know how to take DC voltage readings with your multimeter?

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:29 pm 
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mmarsh wrote:
We want to see the mythical Hersey's Kiss, not a round mound. Otherwise, we may need some measurements to pin down the problem.


I'm working on it


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:55 pm 
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duhvoodooman wrote:
Do you know how to take DC voltage readings with your multimeter?

Yes I do! Any testing gladly done.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:59 pm 
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Hey -
I've wicked away quite a bit of solder, especially where there were adjacent contacts. I painstaikingly reflowed, adding the minimum amount of solder only when necessary, shooting for the 'Hershey's Kiss' finish. It's a bit neater now.
One thing I've noticed - If I crank the Level control on the main drive, pushing the module harder, it works more effectively, but still needs to be around 3 o'clock+ or there's a big drop in volume. I think I'm getting closer to what's expected from this module, but I also believe it should work alone as a boost/octave.
With boost on and drive off, it must be fully cranked, and doesn't sound very good. I notice in this configuration, sustained notes begin to fade in and out as they decay. I hope this is helpful.
Ready to test voltages!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:26 pm 
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I think it's working correctly, it's just not doing what you are expecting. It is a green ringer based octave up. It is not a boost at all, so you will need to have the boost volume all the way up for unity gain from the module itself. It will be a little fuzzy and distorted. That is normal. It will not give you a pristine octave up with perfect tracking like the POG or other digital octave generators. This is an analog octave up that is more similar to the Octavia, Ampeg Scrambler, Univox Super Fuzz, et als. Chords should sound very muddy and distorted. Notes may decay abruptly if signal drops below a certain level, so it will always sound better when used with the distortion channel. The octave will be less pronounced in certain places on the neck than others. Typically, you'll get the most pronounced octave effect with the neck pick up while playing around the middle of the neck. You can use it by itself, but it's really intended more to turn the Crown Jewel into an octave distortion.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:54 pm 
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Alright, thanks, everyone for the feedback. I didn't expect a true octave pedal, but I'd hoped for a little more.
It's been very puzzling trying to diagnose the problem, when I'm so careful about my work!

I built the treble booster first, and that thing is off the charts, so the bar was high. I guess I have to reset my expectations. I'll approach the module with this in mind.

Thanks again, I appreciate everyone's help!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:52 pm 
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Update- thought everyone would be pleased to hear the octave up has become my favorite module! After everyone set my expectations, and I listened to some YouTube videos of similar circuits, I better understand what to expect and how to use the effect. Thanks everyone for your time and help!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


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