So I am making a DIY overdrive pedal, and was wondering if anyone has any good parts that increase the quality of sound created or give it a more "overdrivey" sound. So, if anyone has any basic components that I should be using or any trade tricks I should know to make my pedal better, please let me know. All help is appreciated and much thanks to anyone who helps! :D

I actually have a schematic that I am roughly following currently and if anyone has any advice on how this can be improved, please let me know.

Here is that schematic: enter image description here

  • 3
    It isn't so much that specific components alter the sound (beyond very simple things like volume) but that combinations of them - specific circuits - have the desired effects when acting on the signal. It would be nice to see some comprehensive resources on this subject, but I'm sure they abound on the internet (whether they are comprehensIBLE is another matter)
    – Darren Ringer
    Jun 4, 2015 at 23:51
  • Have you read articles by Rg keen, Mark Hammer? Try to find Craig Anderton articles. Also read all you can on the modder/cloner sites. This tagboardeffects.blogspot.com/?m=1 Is a good site. Read all the comments on a particular pedal, see what people say.
    – user6591
    Jun 5, 2015 at 3:47
  • Do you mean component values (e.g. 22nF vs 47nF), types (e.g. ceramic vs. film) or brands (e.g. Sprague's "orange drop")? This is going to be a very opinion-based issue, and although you can give generic guidance (higher capacitance -> "darker" tone control) you're probably best off buying a range and trying them out in a breadboard.
    – jonrsharpe
    Jun 5, 2015 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


That circuit will not really give overdrive. It will give you a fuzz based distortion, as the diodes clip the signal. There are a couple of tricks used in the circuit to make that clip less harsh, but that's really all this circuit does.

The 'parts' or components used are not really relevant here to make it more 'overdrivey', because to make an overdrive sound you would not use this circuit. You would use an overdrive circuit, ideally with a valve to allow for the graduated break-up of the sound, rather than the hard clipping here. Simply replacing that transistor with another won't do much, and as for all the resistors - they just let you move parts of the signal closer to one or other rail.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.