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Forum Home > Layout Gallery - GuitarPCB Build Documents, Mods and Tips > Red Special plus Tone TwEQ guide

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(6) Years in the making. We started off with the RunoffGroove circuit MayQueen which Tonmann modded by adding some tonal changes as well as an amazing SAG control giving ultimate versatility. This is no One Trick Pony! Go from a Queen style "Fuzz Boosted AC" sound to Boston style tones with the bump of a mid control using our awesome Tone TwEQ circuit.

The pedal cleans up nicely with the guitar volume and sounds great with single coil pickups too. Add a Tone TwEQ, Mini Me chorus, Dr. Phybes phaser and our D'Lay for the ultimate artist style tones.

Lets break this down a bit...

The circuit by itself has the tone of a Cranked "AC" stlye amp being pushed by a GE Rangemaster Fuzz.

The circuit was originally based on an old circuit from Runoffgroove that we felt had tonal issues as well as other limitations since it was an always "Full Up" sounding circuit.

The transistors used in the original ROG circuit also did not work well with the circuit as I envisioned it.

While many others have tried to Mod this circuit over the years (likely for all the reasons above) I have not come across one that nailed a usable gigging tone that I was looking for.

Years ago I enlisted Tonmanns help and he very kindly offered some mods and suggestions:

  • Added a Sag Control to allow for cutting back on the "Full Up" tone so it can be less Fuzzy.
  • Added a tonal capacitor to allow more bass to come through (original was too bitey and bright).
  • Changed values of other tonal capacitors to adjust it to a more flat frequency response.

Now the final circuit sounded smooth with a much flatter frequency response that could be worked with.

All that being taken care of the Red Special still sat on a back burner for a while (a long while) because I felt that it needed to have more tonal options so that it would not be just a One Trick Pony so to speak. It does have a useful Tone control but I was interested in having a lot more control for a wider degree of changes.

As most of you know we introduced the Tone TwEQ circuit a little while back and one day I was thinking about "Combos" and the whole idea hit me and it all came together. I could use the Tone TwEQ circuit in series from the output of the Red Special and now have an ACTIVE -  Bass, Mid and Treble control at my disposal to use in tandem with the Red Special.

The results were spectacular! I could go from a Queen style tone to a Boston style tone with just a few minor adjustments.

A few words about how to use the Tone TwEQ with the Red Special or any other circuit for that matter.

  1. The Tone TwEQ is an Active EQ so do not turn things to 10 just because you can!
  2. General rule of thumb is to adjust the Volume to unity gain first. Do not add and perhaps reduce a little.
  3. Set the three Tone Controls to roughly 12:00 for a flat response.
  4. Now that you have it setup, each Tone control can add up to 15dB of gain or cut in the same manner.
  5. As a Bad example do not turn the Volume up and then turn the Treble up or you will get noise and hiss!
  6. Take time following the steps to learn how to properly work the Tone TwEQ and you will be rewarded.

Good Example1: Boost Mid to 2:00 leave everything else flat. Similar to a Boston style tone.

Good Example 2: Lower Bass to 10:00, Flat Mid and Boost High to 2:00. Queen style tone.

Final Note on above examples: AFTER setting the tone pots as desired, you should re-adjust the Tone TwEQ LEVEL control to restore unity gain. This will ensure compatibility with other circuits downstream when punching this combo into the signal path.

Keep in mind that with the Red Special you can fine tune your Tone with its on board Tone control as well and add to that adjust the SAG control to dial out some of the Fuzz till it suits your rig (ears) and still sustains nicely.

It should also go without saying that using your Guitar's Volume control is another amazing tool which works so well with the Red Special your Guitar should be considered as part of the circuit!

Please enjoy the Easy Wiring Guide for two boards in series below

(download it for a large clear image)

Finally here is a video using the above example for you to hear for yourself.

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Every rig (Guitar, Pickups, Amplifier, Playing Style and your Ears) will produce different results! This is only a guide. You tweak it and make the Magic!

As a side note 9mm pots with (nut and washer) will fit perfectly on the Tone TwEQ boards and will also match the Lug Numbers on the board perfectly.   Give you any ideas?  :)

I hope this helps not only explain a little more how to get the most out of the Red Special circuit but to also learn how to properly take full advantage of the Tone TwEQ circuit in tandem with any of our other circuit board offerings here at GuitarPCB.


February 11, 2016 at 12:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 8793

And here is an alternate wiring guide courtesy of Wilkie1 :)

PC = "Right Click - Save As" to download for a large clear image.

Do not repost on other sights. Use direct links only.

February 13, 2016 at 2:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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