Building the Dyna Red Distortion Clone Kit

The Dyna Red Distortion Clone Kit was one requested by one of our customers and it’s a great sounding distortion pedal.  It’s “lighter” than the Devi Ever Hyperion Clone Kit and slightly more complex to build, but it’s still a pretty easy build and one that doesn’t disappoint.

Prerequisites

First, there’s a few things you’ll need and a few optional parts I chose to use.

Getting Started

First, cut your board to size.  Double/Tripple check your count before cutting because if you cut it too small, there’s no undoing it.  Use a Sharpie/permanent marker to mark where you’re going to cut it.   There’s a number of ways to cut your veroboard, here’s a few:

  • Miter/Chop Saw (My favorite)
  • Bandsaw
  • Dremel with Cutoff Wheel

Next, map out where to make your strip cuts.  Be sure to mark them on the back side of the board and not on the copper/strip side since this will give you a backwards layout.  Once again, use a permanent marker to mark them and double-check them.  For cutting the tracks, I decided to use the tip of my Unibit and drill just enough to cut the strip, but not any further.  I used a toothpick to poke through the holes so I could easily identify which one to drill on the strip side since the board was marked on the top side.  Here’s what that looked like.

drilling the veroboard tracks

Next, solder your jumper wires onto the board.  I like using CAT5 Ethernet Cable for jumper wires since it’s inexpensive, it has thin insulation that cuts down on bulkiness, and it goes a long ways.  Some people use 0 ohm wire, either will do.  I usually follow this step with soldering the resistors onto the board.

Your board should look something like this at this point.

BJFE Dyna Red Distortion Clone Build - Adding The Resistors

Next I continue by adding the diodes, polybox capacitors, ceramic disc and the polyester film capacitors.  I then add the sockets and usually save the electrolytic capacitors for last.  The order is more of a matter of preference, I usually do it based on clearance space to add the components and the rigidness of the parts.  I intentionally held off on soldering the electrolytics in this build because of the clearance issues with the 100uF capacitor near the IC chip.

 

Sockets For Your IC and Transistors

As I mentioned earlier, these are optional, but highly recommended.  Not only do they prevent accidental overheating of your parts, but they make changing out these parts very simple.  But why would you change them out?  Well, if they ever are faulty or if you decide to experiment with other parts, you’ll appreciate this.  Different transistors will yield different characteristics and will affect the circuit’s performance differently.  Since transistors are very inexpensive, it can be fun to experiment with a few to see what the results are.  Same goes with the op amp IC.  At the very least, I almost always socket the IC chips and JFETs.

Your build will probably look something like this at this point.  I haven’t added the electrolytic capacitors yet.

BJFE Dyna Red Distortion Clone Build - Adding Diodes and Socket

The 100uF Electrolytic Capacitor

This one is a bit large and doesn’t fit in place without a little tweaking.  I decided to let it rest over top of the 3K resistor and just bend the leads to fit.  The important thing is to make sure the leads don’t short out on any of the other leads and that the case of the capacitor doesn’t touch the IC chip pins.  I use a pair of needle nose pliers to shape the leads.

 

Finishing Up The Board

The last steps I take are to solder the wires for the off-board wiring and then install the IC chip.  I also saved the electrolytic capacitors for this step.

BJFE Dyna Red Distortion Clone Build - Finishing The Board

Why don’t the LEDs on the board light up?

It appears they weren’t designed to do so in this circuit.  Instead, they’re being used for their properties as a diode and not for their light-emitting capabilities.  So don’t worry or consider them defective if they don’t light up.

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