A musical tone is a huge part of the music world. It’s not just the sound you hear, but how it’s produced. The pedals and amplifiers that create the tone of a guitar or bass are an important part of their playability and sound.
Being said that, several companies specialize in creating unique guitar pedalboards for musicians who want to make their own custom pedalboards for their instruments.
General Guitar Gadgets has a wide range of products to choose from. This includes PCB assemblies, DIY guitar kits, and stompbox accessories. These can be used to make custom pedalboards that fit into any standard pedalboard slot on your guitar or bass.
The company offers a variety of options for different types of pedals: analog-style pedals like wah wah, fuzz bass pedals, and distortion pedals; digital effects like chorus, flanger, and delay; and even software-based effects like reverb. The company also makes it easy to design your own pedalboard with a variety of different options available on its website.
General Guitar Gadgets
Are you looking to add some guitar-specific accessories to your setup? General Guitar Gadgets is a go-to brand that specializes in unique pedalboard PCB assemblies, DIY guitar kits, and stompbox accessories.
If you’re a musician, chances are you’ve heard of General Guitar Gadgets. They make a variety of accessories and gear to help musicians get the most out of their instruments. And they’re all made with high-quality materials. So they’ll last you for years.
In this post, I am telling you about the most famous products of General Guitar Gadgets (that I have personally purchased and used): the PCB assembly for your pedalboard, a DIY guitar kit, and accessories that help musicians get the most out of their instruments. I’ve tried all of these products and can confirm that they are of excellent quality. And in some cases, even better than similar products from other brands like BYOC.
Kits by General Guitar Gadgets
|Top Featured Kits by General Guitar Gadgets|
|Kit||Things to Love|
|Klon Centaur Replica||
|Toct Octave Replica||
|EXHF Big Muff PI||
Well, I personally used their Klon Centaur Replica. It’s a 100+ effects pedal that came loaded with everything I needed to create a wide range of sounds and textures.
The pedal is made up of two sections: one for the delays, modulations, distortions, and compressors/EQs; and one for the reverbs.
Each section has its own set of controls that allow you to set up each effect according to your preferences. For example, you might want a compressor that’s on an aggressive setting with a long decay time so it gets more aggression out of your signal. Or maybe you want something different—something shorter-lasting but still aggressive enough to bring out the tone in your guitar. The Centaur Replica allows you to do just that!
The Centaur Replica Kit by General Guitar Gadgets also features a MIDI In/Out jack and an Expression Pedal input. As well as both DC power inputs (the pedal uses 2.9V batteries). On top is an On/Off stomp switch, Tap switch, and six multifunction rotary knobs for adjusting different parameters in each effect category (delay, modulation, distortion, reverb, volume, and boost).
This guitar kit along with others like EHX Big Muff PI Replica and Toct Octave Replica Complete Kit is perfect for guitarists who want to get into the world of effects and don’t want to spend a lot of money on them. They are also great for guitarists who have been playing for a while and are looking for an affordable way to experiment with different styles of music.
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The Centaur Replica Kit is an awesome kit that gives you the same great sounds you’ve come to expect from something like the Line 6’s delay and modulation models. It is one of the most fun kits I’ve ever tried, and I can’t get enough of it!
The kit lets you experience the sounds of iconic pedals like the EP-1, Roland Space Echo, and your favorite fuzz-phaser. It even has a built-in tuner so you can tune up your sound in seconds.
It works like this:
1). Step on both the On/Off switch and then scroll up with the On/Off switch, and down with the Tap switch.
2). To keep it simple, there are no menus other than those two switches. Just power up, and you’ll be at the same settings where you left off in just a few seconds.
3). The tuner is easy to use. Just hold down the Tap switch while you’re playing. And it will handle all of the tunings for you.
4). The new Multi-Effects Processor makes it easy to dial up great sounds. Simply press down on the “model select” knob and you can change the effects category like “Reverb” or “Overdrive,” and then scroll up and down to select what kind of effect you want out of the 24 available. The new processor also has a built-in tuner so there’s no need for an extra pedal on stage.
5). You can access presets by scrolling through the various choices with your foot. Not only are all of these effects faithful reproductions of legendary pedals. But they’re also an affordable way to sample different sounds and styles.
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Some of my favorites were the Tube Echo for that EP-1-style tone without all of the hassles; it’s great for getting just what you want out of your signal chain without having to mess around with settings or designating certain pedals as dedicated effects boxes (like some other companies have done). The Wah Wah also has a classic tone that’s reminiscent of the Vox version, but it’s even more versatile due to its ability to sweep through different frequencies and an added “kill” switch for muting the signal entirely when you’re not playing.
PCBs by General Guitar Gadgets
|Top Featured PCBs by General Guitar Gadgets|
|Kit||Things to Love|
|Super Booster PCB||
|Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face RTS PCB||
|Ibanez Tube Screamer Replica PCB||
I’ve been working on the 27V Super Booster PCB for a few weeks now. And I’m really impressed with what it can do. This transparent booster adds no color to your sound, which is great if you want to keep it clean and clear. The treble control gives you an ultimate booster effect pedal that really packs a punch: it adds up to 20dB of unadulterated gain. The delays are fantastic, with a harmonically rich tremolo.
The bitcrusher has been useless so far, but I have found the reverbs to be useful in certain situations. My only substantial complaint about this pedal is its noise floor; if you turn the mix past three o’clock, you get an unusable amount of hiss. Is this a problem unique to this particular FV-1 chip, or is it present on other chips that also run at 3.3 volts? I wonder whether that’s true or not; if so, how much headroom and noise performance can you expect to get out of this pedal?
I got my PCBs in the mail, and I was ready to go.
First off, if you’re not familiar with this kind of thing, I’d suggest doing some research on how to build pedals from PCBs. There are plenty of helpful sticky threads on how to build pedals from their PCBs, and model-specific threads for assistance in building each model PCB. And if you need more help, there are always the forums!
I headed off to my local electronics store with my list of parts and got to work on building the circuit. It was nice having a full-on schematic to refer back to as I wired everything up—the board was really nicely built and worked like a charm.
Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t all smooth sailing: the electronics newbie had to do some brainstorming in order to work out a few things that confused me with the PCB layout through the help forums. Luckily enough, though, I was able to get things working by working through them together with some trial-and-error tweaking; once they were working properly, they sounded exactly how I wanted them to!
The tone control had a nice wide range—from thick bass-heavy (like when playing “Siamese Dream”), down into scooped mids (like when playing “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”), all the way up into bright trebly tones (like when playing “Zero”). The tone control was a great feature, as it allowed me to play around with different sounds very easily.
The three-knob distortion/fuzz circuit was very easy to dial in, as one would hope.
Although the Opamp Muff circuit is better suited to live situations, I still found that it was too scooped in the mids for my liking. I wanted to try and get a “tighter” overdriven type of distortion tone—one similar perhaps to what you might hear on some Muse tracks.
The usual mods that are all over the Internet do not apply in this PCB. Thankfully, people in the community contributed ideas that helped me refine my design. I added two new switches to the circuit: a mid scoop/peak switch and a loose/tight fuzz switch.
Accessories by General Guitar Gadgets
|Top Featured Accessories by General Guitar Gadgets|
|Kit||Things to Love|
|Heavy Duty 3PDT Footswitch||
|Drilled 1590B Enclosure||
I was looking for a 3PDT heavy-duty footswitch that could add true bypass to an effect pedal, and I came across the General Guitar Gadgets.
This is a great product, and it’s super easy to use. It has a latching configuration (the one that is more widely used). So each time you hit the switch the 3PDT changes between ON and OFF, which makes it perfect for any effect pedal. The only thing I would change about this product is that it doesn’t have any instructions. But if you’re not familiar with wiring up pedals or circuits, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out how to use this.
The manufacturer claims this footswitch can handle up to 10 amps of current. But if you’re using an effects pedal with less than 5W of output power, I’d recommend using something like a buffer between your pedal and amp before turning on your guitar signal (unless you’re playing through an amp with a higher rating).
Another one of their accessories that I tried and tested was the Black DC power jack.
I love the Black DC power jack for guitars. I used to have a regular DC power jack, and I had to keep switching it between my phone, my laptop, and my guitar amp. It was so annoying.
But this one is so much better. It has three connections: ground, battery, and DC power. When you connect a power source to the jack, it disconnects any current flowing through the battery (if present) to prevent draining. It also has a total length of 18mm, so you can easily drill through your panel or enclosure with a 12mm diameter bit.
I’m going to be completely honest with you. I’m a huge fan of General Guitar Gadgets Kits, PCBs, and Accessories. I’ve tried every company out there. But I keep coming back to GGG because they’re just so affordable. And their products are really great.
The only drawbacks I have with them are that they don’t have in-depth instructions for beginners to get started, especially people who aren’t electronics experts or have a decent parts stockpile on hand. However, if you can read schematics, troubleshoot, and do field repairs, then General Guitar Gadgets is the right choice for you.
If you’re a beginner in electronics or if the idea of building circuits intimidates you, consider buying your kits from Build Your Own Clone (BYOC). Their manuals are better written and more detailed.
But I still prefer GGG because they offer choices on enclosure size and something is always on sale below their low, always-low prices.
Have a good day!