February 6, 2012

Building A Clone Of The Deep Blue Delay

I decided to build something different than a dirt box this time. Everyone raves about delays and I have never played or owned one before. I kept looking for a simple delay with parts that are easy to source and inexpensive. The Deep Blue Delay, a digital delay based on the PT2399 designed by Björn Juhl, the owner of BJFe, caught my eye and I decided to build it. Being a member of FSB I quickly found the thread about the pedal. Being a beginner myself and never having tried building a delay pedal before I decided not to try to make my own layout for now and go with what's already there and build mictester's vero layout (you might've to sign up, not sure).
  

I also decided it was time to get away from the plain metal-box look of most of my pedals (I have two solid-color-powdercoated boxes, but that's also a bit boring). I thought about spray painting, but that's not a good idea in my apartment. I decided to finish the enclosure with acrylic paint and a brush and try the BJFe inspired look of labelling the box by hand. This is how the box looked after color and clear coats:


I know now that if i don't want this wavey look with the aluminum shining through, i should use a primer. However, in this case that look fit perfectly with the deep-blue, waves, sea, etc. theme. The finished pedal looks like this (this is the one from the header of this blog). I had to cut the vero board a bit and leave out the battery because the layout was pretty big and I wanted to fit it into a 1590B sized enclosure.


You might've noticed that there is a fourth knob that the original doesn't have. This is a volume control. I added a 25kB pot in series with the 12k resistor in the feedback loop, because I heard about a possible volume loss with the pedal in some instances. This proved untrue in my case (in some cases this is probably due to tolerances in the parts combinations), but the volume boost is a nice feature. Turning down the mix knob (taking the delay out of the signal) the clean boost is a cool feature to have. I changed the IC for a TLC2262, which sounds a little bit better on the cleans, but it's not a necessity. Here's the schematic including the mod i did: 


Building this pedal is highly recommend as it is a pretty easy build for a delay and is tons of fun. I sourced all my parts, including the PT2399, from Tayda because they have the cheapest prices and I've never had problems with them.

Update 03.06.13: due to some questions and issues about the stripboard layout, I would recommend to rather build this pedal with the layout Mark from GuitarFX Layouts posted here. It is verified and fits in an 1590B-sized enclosure including a battery.

18 comments:

  1. Inspiring post! I'm trying to come up with some graphics for my deep blue delay clone and I'm tired of my regular old straight up text labeling. This would be a good chance to try some blue swirlies. Looks great!

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  2. could you clarify whats going on with c3 and r8? its a bit confusing where they are going on the vero layout.. thanks! :)

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  3. This finish is amazing - what'd you clear coat it with?

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  4. @Kato: Thanks! Glad you like it, although it was more of an accident with the blue paint ;) Drawing letters with a brush isn't as easy as I thought.

    @Pegasus: I know what you mean, c3 and r8 share a hole at i2 on the vero. so just stick both legs in the same hole and solder.

    @Tristan: It's clear coated by brush with simple shiny acrylic clear coat from the craft shop.

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  5. In your layout the 2 DGND pins (4&6 on the PT2399) are not connected to the AGND, is this correct?

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  6. yes (pin 6 is not a DGND but VCO). Works that way, haven't tried grounding pin 4. Not sure if there will be a noise difference (I have found both layouts).

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  7. Ok,

    Hopefully my Tayda package will arrive soon so I can start experimenting!

    Thank you for the inspiration!

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  8. thanks! To be honest, I posted this layout because that's what I used, but if I'd build it again (and I might), I would definitely use the one Mark at tagboardeffects posted. That one after the update also has the AGND and DGNG grounding.

    http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.de/2012/02/mad-professor-deep-blue-delay.html

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  9. Hey people, if anybody wants, i created professional pcb (Im only 16y old :DD) for that, with silkscreen components values as text layer and one-sided pcb ready to print mask (file extension is .xps, win7 can open it without installing any program) and you are ready to print for photo-way pcb. Send me an email, i will post you anything what you want about this pcb, as .pcb file that you can modify in ExpressPCB (best and f****n´ EASY program), i can send you xps ready-to-print file of silkscreen or bottom copper layer... My email is yeayer555 (a) seznam . cz. Seeya!

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  10. Hi!

    Where is the r19 resistor from the stripboard? Is it supposed to be the 100k from the output to the ground?

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  11. Hi János,

    no there is no R19 on the stripboard, you're right. Remember this is not my layout, and the schematic doesn't show a 220k resistor. The 100k from output to GND is optional and I added it in my version to the stripboard (it's originally not on there).

    cheers

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  12. sorry if I sound like a complete idiot, but what does Reg mean on the first picture (I just started doing this stuff this past summer, there's my reason if I sound like an idiot)

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    1. ok, after looking at all the pics I found out it was a transistor
      (facepalm to myself)

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  13. Hi! First of all, I just want to give you my congratulations for the good post!
    I tried to build the pedal yesterday but I had a problem with the REPEAT knob.
    The problem is that when I turn the knob to the left, a big noise starts and gets higher and higher until I turn the knob totally to the right. The other two seem to work properly.
    Do you know what could it be?

    Thanks a lot in advance!

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    1. That is just the delay occilating all analog delays do it

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  14. I just finished mine, aaand the only thing that works is 9pin switch and a volume knob. the moment I switch it on, nothing really changes. everything is in place and soldered well...
    maybe anyone had a similar issue? :(
    please, if anyone had the same issue and solved it, tell me what was wrong

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  15. Hi , Sorry I am still learning i wonder if you could help , I was going to build The Deep Blue , from FX guitar Layouts . With the added volume mod. I didn't understand how to ground this build is there something I must do differently . Best Regards Stu.

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  16. Hi Stu,

    in this stripboard layout, the ground is called "batt -", but it works just like a regular gnd. In the Guitar FX layout it is called "gnd". Look up the standard pedal wiring and connect all grounds to the enclosure via the rings on the jacks.

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