Archive for the ‘Boss FA-1 Clone’ Category

I’m currently sold out of the SDD-3KP and FA-2 pedals with no immediate plans to produce more as I plan to focus on other projects. I may consider making updated versions in the future, or maybe offer them in a kit form if there is enough interest in something like that.

I’m quite proud of the quality achieved in the production of these pedals and I’m confident they will serve their owners well for many years to come.

If you have ideas of what you’d like to see (updated versions with extra features or perhaps a kit) let me know!

The last one!

The last one!

Here’s a quick shot of the Boss FA-1 clone (with footswitch) all completed! These are shipping out as soon as I finish the wiring on each one.  As you can see, I’ve decided on a new knob with a red indicator line that is somewhat reminiscent of the original:

FA-1 Clone

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This post was a long time in coming but I’m glad that at last I can finally share a pic of the new FA-1 clone enclosures.  These took a lot longer then they were supposed to, but I think the end results have been worth the wait.  I had them painted and silkscreened months ago, but there was a problem with the silkscreen: it was positioned just about 1/8″ off from where it was supposed to be.  I didn’t think that was acceptable.  So I had to have them sanded, repainted, and silkscreened over, and this added a lot of extra time to the job.  However, I’m really pleased with how they look now.  In my opinion they are very sharp-looking with the lime green paint and black lettering.  As you can see, I’ve decided to call this pedal the “FA-2”.  It’s basically an  FA-1 pedal with some modern upgrades, but retaining the vintage styling.  I’m calling it a “FET Buffer Amplifier”  instead of “FET Amplifier” since the FET in the circuit is not really used to amplify but to provide a high input impedance. The amplification is done by opamps.

There will be two versions, one without a footswitch (traditional FA-1 style) and one with a footswitch added.  For those interested in purchasing one, feel free to contact me to get on the list as I’ll be ready to accept deposits on these soon.

I’ve been working on a new enclosure for my FA-1 clones and these should be ready soon. Here are some preview pics:

I’m planning on two versions – one with and one without a footswitch (the more traditional style).  Whereas the original FA-1 had die-cast (aluminum) enclosures, these will be sheetmetal (steel) – but they are every bit as rugged if not more so.  The sheetmetal design is easier to fabricate since it can be stamped instead of being machined.  Complicated cutouts are easier (i.e. square hole for  slide switch).

A common question you might ask about a boost pedal like the FA-1 is how much gain does it provide?  Looking at the schematic, we see that the volume knob is inside the feedback loop of the first op inverting amp, IC1.

FA-1 Schematic

FA-1 Schematic

The voltage gain of an inverting op amp is given by a handy formula: Vout/Vin = -Rfeedback/Rin where in this case Rin would be R5 (15k), and Rfeedback is the 1M pot in parallel with R6 (470k).  When the volume knob is turned to the maximum, the total resistance is 320k, and 320k/15k yields a voltage amplitude gain of 21.3. To convert this into decibels, take the log and multiply by 20, in other words 20 * log(21.3) = 26.6 dB.

(These formulas I used came from Horowitz and Hill’s The Art of Electronics.)

Well last weekend (July 4th) we finally had a break in the weather here in the northeast (June was a total washout) and I got to painting the enclosures on Monday.  Unfortunately, by Tuesday it was rainy again!  I thought I could try some clearcoating in the basement but I discovered there were issues with the humidity causing problems in the finish.  Not good. On two of the pedals I had to sand the clearcoat off. (Argh…) So, lesson learned, I waited until today (when it was dry again) to proceed with further clearcoating and some repainting.  And here they are in their puke green glory …


Now all that is left is to put on the decals!