Where can I find schematics for guitar effects?
When I wrote the first edition of the Guitar Effects FAQ, there were no effects
schematics sites on the world wide web. In fact, there was no world wide web,
only the usenet news groups. It was only after the introduction of the
graphics oriented net that there were any schematics available on the net at
The first schematics web site was set up by Jamie Heilman (aka
"Leper") as "Leper's Musical Microarchive". It's still
there, but has been in hibernation for about years now. That site was
the outgrowth of a collective of effects nuts that communicated through email
and swapped schematics by snail mail. As the site grew, it ate up more web
space at the college server that housed it, and chafed under the size
restrictions. Jack Orman requested, and after some consultation between Jamie
and me, was granted
permission to post the whole mess at his web site, and later all the
schematics were put on the schematics repository at ualberta. As the web grew,
so did the number of places that posted schematics, and especially the places
that simply copied all the files and re-published them. Today (late 1999)
about half of all the schematics available on the web are still the same ones
from Jamie's archive. There are some new ones, as well.
However the number of places to look have grown hugely. In addition to GEO,
you can find schematics
- Leper's Musical Circuits Archive
- This is the first online collection of effects schematics, and probably the largest.
Put together by Jamie Heilman
Related Circuits page -
- This site archived most of the schematics from Jamie's site. There is a mirror
site as well.
- Aron Nelson's DIY Effects site
- One of the more complete sites available
- Swedish schematics site - the schemo's are in English
- Another Swedish site, good schematic collection
DIY Projects for Guitar Players
- Schematics and beginner information. JD has proven himself a good writer
of this kind of stuff - AND he uses initials, too! 8-)
- Tube Screamer and Fuzz Face mods, other
- GM Arts
- Articles on distortion, amps, a few schematics
- Schematics and beginner info
Clarke's Zone of Distortion
- Mods for the Tube Screamers and and some others.
- A smallish collection, but schematics you won't find other places
- Swap Site for Guitar
- Some layouts for effects PCBs
for Music II and Tom's
- Primarily oriented to analog synthesizers, but with some guitar effects
- Primarily synthesizer circuits, some guitar effects
as well. Most are in .pdf format and need Acrobat
Reader to view them.
- Paia Electronics
- An old line effects/musical electronics supplier.
- Electronic Projects for Musicians by Craig Anderton
- Electronic Projects for Guitar by Robert Penfold
...which outline not only the schematics, but how to read them and how to
find parts, how to make boards and packages and boxes, etc. If you have no
experience with effects, get one of these books first. In fact, get them
anyway. They are very good references for people interested in effects.
- Guitar Player
Other schematics are available commercially in back issues of this
magazine, where Anderton wrote an irregular series of articles starting in
the seventies in which he would outline an effect and how to build it.
Some of these are significantly different from or more flexible than
- Others ...
Other electronics-related buildit magazines have published articles on the
odd effect or two over the years. These include Popular electronics,
Radio-Electronics, Electronics Technology International, Electronics Today,
a little-circulated rag called Poly phony, and another called Electronotes
(although the Electronotes articles are primarily oriented towards analog
Effects kits are available from PAIA Electronics, 3200 Teakwood Lane,
Edmond OK, 73031, 405-340-6300. It is useful to write these folks and
request a catalog if you're interested in effects. John Simonton is
the president at PAIA, and is on line at PAIA.aol.com, or was for a