Nerd Projects

When I was in college I took a circuit design course and had to solder together a circuit board. That was in 2003, I think. Maybe 2002. A long time ago. I haven’t done anything remotely similar to that since.

For a while now I’ve had this secret desire to buy a build your own amplifier kit and build the whole thing myself. I want to build a clone of a tweed Fender Deluxe. It’s supposed to be a simple build and it is a legendary amp.

I’d like to do this, but the idea of actually wiring it together is terrifying to me. The solution, of course, is to find a smaller scale project and do that first. Like, practice, you dig? There’s also the small matter of not having any of the tools required.

Today is one of those days where I feel myself getting close to pulling the trigger on a wiring project. Build Your Own Clone is a company that sells kits for all sorts of guitar gear. Their stuff is supposed to be excellent. I was surfing around their website today looking for something simple to use as a first project. Some kind of fuzz pedal maybe? How about a treble booster, those are supposed to be dead simple.

Then I saw they have a Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal clone. I don’t know if it’s an easy build or not (the reviews say it is, but are those people first timers? Who knows) but I’ve been thinking about picking up a Bluesbreaker style pedal anyway. Wampler makes one. Keeley used to make one. Analogman makes the mother of all Bluesbreaker style pedals, the King of Tone and I’ve been on the waiting list for one for over two years. Maybe I could build one to hold me over until I bubble up to the top of the list.

Also, amazon has all sorts of inexpensive soldering kits that include everything I remember using in that circuit design class so many ages ago.

I do not want to spend money on any of this stuff… but I’m thinking about it. Thinking about it pretty hard. Who knows, build a pedal or two, then build a tweed Deluxe… then what? I bet I could find a 4×10 tweed Fender Bassman clone somewhere. Maybe even the amplifier the Bluesbreaker pedal is supposed to simulate, the Marshall 1962 aka The Bluesbreaker (so named because Eric Clapton used one on the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album in 1966).

Fantasizing about guitar gear… that’s a new high of nerdness for me, I think.