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bass overdrive pedal

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I've never used an effect pedal with a bass, i was always pretty happy with a good amp and never really needed to change the tone beyond what the amp could do. But my older kid had a cheap programmable pedal that broke, and i thought it would be a fun project to make a pedal kit together as a replacement. 

One of the more generally useful effects is adding some dirt to the sound, and when i looked at Build Your Own Clone, the overdrive kit for bass was also one of the simpler kits to make. Of course i got 2 kits so we could each have a pedal when we were done.

The kits come complete with all parts and unpainted cases, all we had to do is finish the case and  (This photo is from the BYOC kit page)

photo of pedal kit components

We painted the cases first so they'd have time to dry, then got started on the circuit boards. The instructions are well done: granular enough to keep track of the 45 electronic components, taking each group separately. The board itself is also nicely laid out, with clear space for each part and a neat layout when you're done.

With the board populated, you build the rest of the components in place in the box, which gets increasingly fiddly as you have more parts to work around. The trickest step is the first one going into the box, because you have all of the pots and the LED loosely installed and have to line them all up. In the end it's not hard to break that down into smaller steps that keep the alignment and required spacing below the board.

circuit board installed in a small metal box

The cases just needed a little deburring around the holes and degreasing. We ended up painting them, picking different but equally punny theme. Elton found a cute photo of a baby plover bird, so named their pedal the Ploverdrive. I got some water decal paper to create labels and an outline, then painted a rendering of Super Grover to make mine the Groverdrive.

two painted and assembled pedals, one is a grassy green with a black drawing of a baby bird, the other yellow with a painting of super grover

Mine worked on first try. Elton's worked when on but the bypass didn't work, turns out they had two of the switch wires swapped, an easy fix. 

I've used mine at a couple of band practices so far, and i'm still learning how to dial it in. There's a lot of range in the drive adjustment, and it's easy to dial in a balanced level between on and bypassed volume. I like it, and i'm finding some space to use it on a couple of songs.