Tuesday, March 15, 2016

LeSpork Bass Prototype - The MOSFET and Me

We both know
What could have been
On Sunset strip
Our broken dream

So, this actually has little to do with Robbie Williams and bears little resemblence to Jack Gantos or The Trouble in Me.  But, my first foray into the world of mosfet devices was a success.  Due to availability of parts on hand, I ended up with a cross between the AMZ and Blue Dragon Mosfet Boosters:

http://www.muzique.com/schem/mosfet.htm

http://www.maxgreco.com/fun/bd.html

Besides reference to Jack Orman's circuit, Max Grego also gives a nod to the Catalinbread Sagrado Poblano Picoso!  As described, it sounds like an interesting bass guitar effect, despite the demo in the following link being done with a guitar on a Super Chili Pocoso build:

http://tagboardeffects.blogspot.com/2013/01/catalinbread-sagrado-poblano-picoso.html


Per comments about the Poblano Picoso, the 2N7000 has a cleaner sound than the BS170, which correlates with the description in Wikipedia of the 2N7000 as a FETlington:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2N7000


Anyways, my homebrew Mosfet Booster has a 2N7000 mosfet, 2.2K fixed for Rd and Rs, a 10M3 fixed biasing the Gate, a 0.1u output cap, and 2/3 of a 2N2222 acting as a protection diode.  I left off the tone control and simply put a 100k fixed across the output to ground.  The lack of a resistor across input and ground was noticeable when plugging and unplugging, so I'll put something hefty in for controlling the pop next time.  About 5V was the closest I could get to the low end of Jack's suggested bias voltage of 4.5-5.5V at point A=Drain, and Max Greco did not offer any suggestions here other than to leave it to the user to play with the 100k for biasing the beast.  The circuit seemed to sound cleaner when I pushed the voltage at A up to about 8V.  That put Vref at about 2.4V, and it was too late in the day to play loudly enough to tell how clean it really was.  I was using a B5k instead of A5k for a gain pot, and found the 4 o'clock position, about 0.7k, to be the limit before the clean boost started slipping into a somewhat understated but tasty overdrive.  This calls for more experimentation at higher volumes to find reasonable Vref and bias voltage levels, and try it along with a master volume plus tone control with a clean recovery stage.

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