DIY Simple Fuzz Pedal

May 3, 2010, 5:23 p.m.

I've been wanting more experience making analog effects for my guitars and keyboards.  I did a lot of searching on the net for things I can make with common components I was likely to have on hand and found this very easy DIY project.

Simple Fuzz Pedal I found a simple circuit using an LM386n power amp chip and some diodes to make a fuzz effect. The recording below was made using a squier telecaster, and the fuzz pedal run through a clean keyboard amp.  It was recorded with a shure sm57 and no other effects were added.

I modified some of the capacitor values based on what I had available, I went with a .01uF ceramic (instead of .1) and 100uF electrolytic (instead of a 220).  The results was a little disappointing at first, more of an annoying background buzz than a fuzz or overdrive.  I played with the supply voltage and realized that lower supply voltage resulted in the fuzz kicking in at lower volume levels, I found the optimal supply voltage to the chip was just below 5V.  If you're setting up to use this with a 9V battery, you can use a voltage regulator or potentiometer to allow you to change the voltage to tailor the sound of the effect.