First up, grab this excellent document from mightyohm.com that'll give you some great tips on soldering and general board fettling. MightOhm.com
We've got our own document explaining some ins and outs of basic component recognition etc. More will be added shortly. download THE BASICS
If your build isn't working, check the following:
- You've read the instruction doc fully. Sometimes there'll be notes about component placement or small hacks. Read the doc. Twice.
- Is your test wiring correct? One of the most common faults is having the jack socket ground lugs connected to each other but not to any other ground point. Ensure all your grounds are connected. Haven't done the test wiring stage? Don't ask for help.
- Check you have all the components in the right place and the right way around. We simply don't have time to check every resistor and cap you have on your board is the right one in the right place.
- Ensure you can actually solder. If your board looks like someone has thrown chunks of molten metal at it, that's your problem right there. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but this isn't kids messy play time. Being able to solder properly is essential. If you send us pictures of something that looks bad please don't be offended by our honesty.
- Check your power is correct, i.e. the correct polarity and the correct voltage. See notes in the instruction documents. If using a battery to test the circuit, ensure it is healthy.
All the above checked? Time to break out the audio probe and the multi meter and read R.G. Keen's troubleshooting guide
These kits are carefully put together to get you as close to the real deal as is possible at a reasonable price. Most of the time they are pretty much identical to the original they're based on whilst, in the case of 'vintage' pedals, using modern components where some are unavailable. However, they are not pretending to be original units.
Blindly following join-the-dots diagrams and listed resistor values may get you a working fuzz, but you'll learn nothing in the process. Don't just look at the board and stick in the parts. Learn to read schematics. Maybe find out what each component is actually doing and how they combine to do what they do. The whole experience is much more rewarding when you understand what's going on. Or you can just build the kits, that's fine, but you're going to have to at least look up the resistor values. Maybe those colour codes will sink in
Some of the kits have a 'pre-build it please' option. If not, get in touch. If things are a little slack you may be in luck.
No. You're buying a kit, I'm assembling it for you. Once built it is no longer a sellable kit. Sorry.
No. All the kits work if put together correctly. You've done something wrong. See below.
Troubleshooting help is given when time allows, but cannot be guaranteed. Normally you'll get an email reply pretty quickly, but during busy times it may take a day or two. Weekends are out, and Mondays are crazy. Sorry, our workload is too high right now to offer guaranteed support on builds. Feel free to get in touch and we'll give as much time as we have available to help. Unfortunately that isn't always a lot because we sell a lot of kits!
It did. You've applied too much heat when soldering.
Now and again. If you're a builder and you want some boards designed and manufactured, get in touch.
Limited runs of powder coated enclosures will be available from time to time. Check the One-Offs / Specials section.
Absolutely not, under any circumstances, so don't even ask. You've already saved by not paying the UK VAT, so be prepared to pay the taxes at home.
No. Don't be silly.