Thursday, 27 July 2017

Sola Sound MKIV Tonebender

I think the best description of the differences between the MKIII & MKIV tonebender comes from non-other than the captain:

The origins. Tone Bender MKIII, Tone Bender MKIV. Same party different frock. Aside from the obvious differences in the enclosure type of these pedals any true solid definition of which is what in regards to circuit type is and will always be a little bit of an ambiguous subject. The way I always made sense of it in my head was in regards to the biasing. The early MKIII's were choppy, heavy, clumsy, a fuzzy lump hammer. The later MKIV's were smooth, dynamic, articulate, a distorted boxing glove. In between, you have a foggy transitional period. Even with the those definitions in place it never always runs true.

Couldn't find a video of an original, so I figure the best example of the pedal is going to be the DAM version. Want to be clear, this layout is for an original Tonebender MKIV not the DAM one as travis pointed out.


  1. I have one of these and it is fantastic but I jumpered the output resistor in mine. Probably not too many people modding their DAM pedals out there xD

    So just a tip for everyone building this, if you want more than unity gain you should wire tone 2 directly to volume 3 instead of through the 220K resistor on the board

    That brings me to my next point. I'm not sure where this schematic came from but I'm seeing many discrepancies from my pedal. This schem is completely whack, if you build this it is in no way a clone of the DAM

    1. correct. forgot to add a note that the schematic came from an original MKIV not one of the DAM recreations. i just couldn't find a video with an original MKIV, but found one for one of the DAM versions.

    2. Travis, could you elaborate on the differences between the DAM version and this one?

    3. No offense, I think there are already more than enough "DAM clones" out there. David is actually a cool guy that has shared a lot of valuable information with the DIY community, yet countless DIYers either badmouth him because his pedals are usually expensive or try to profit by associating themselves with his brand. The ones that badmouth him are usually clamoring to "clone" his stuff which is really weird. Not saying you fall into either category, but if I post this information I will inevitably be contributing to what I think is kindof a problem in the stompbox world.

      The changes are obvious things that anyone with a fundamental understanding of the circuit would make. Everyone wants this circuit to be louder and less thin in the bright setting. Nobody buys 6.8uf caps. Stuff like that.

    4. have to agree with travis. the reason i added the dam fuzzsounds is the information has been out there for a long time and the captain has been kind enough to share some of the info himself.

  2. corrected an error in the layout.