The Canadian Guitar Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figured if I had just got on the list when I first looked into the King Of Tone I'd be enjoying the hell out of it right now. I'm not willing to pay the $5-600 used prices for one so might as well start the waiting now. Who has one, how do you like it?


Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,261 Posts
Build one. Not that hard. I've got one waiting to be wired up right now. Gotta wait for some teeny pots first, though.

Alternatively, keep your eyes peeled for second-hand Bluesbreakers. That's pretty much what a KoT is: two modded Bluesbreakers. No diss intended. It sounds sweet, and Analog Mike did the legwork to figure out the changes, so no diss on him either. I'm wiring up the one I'm finishing so that the clipping-switching options are top-mounted toggles, instead of internal dipswitches, plus a third toggle for flipping the order of A and B. The space requirements are why I need tiny pots.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Build one. Not that hard. I've got one waiting to be wired up right now. Gotta wait for some teeny pots first, though.

Alternatively, keep your eyes peeled for second-hand Bluesbreakers. That's pretty much what a KoT is: two modded Bluesbreakers. No diss intended. It sounds sweet, and Analog Mike did the legwork to figure out the changes, so no diss on him either. I'm wiring up the one I'm finishing so that the clipping-switching options are top-mounted toggles, instead of internal dipswitches, plus a third toggle for flipping the order of A and B. The space requirements are why I need tiny pots.
I actually wouldn't mind doing that in the mean time just to see how close I can get it to the original. Alternatively I do have a version 1 Snouse Blues Box sitting here which is a 1-1 Bluesbreaker copy.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,514 Posts
yeah I've tried building a few things and they aren't quite up to the standard of hammer home builds. I've had two kots, nice pedals. Wish I had kept one. They're a bit too much mid for my current setup but into the right amp they are amazing. I always ran mine boost/boost. I'm on the list too, for about a year. I wouldn't mind having one for a mini board with just tuner and delay.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,261 Posts
So here are the two circuits, for comparison.

From the gain pot to the output, they are essentially identical. The KoT has a larger output cap value, which can retain a teensy bit more bass, but not enough to notice unless very special circumstance. It also has the dipswitch that allows for two different styles of clipping: one more like a softer Tube Screamer or Timmy, and the other more like a DOD 250. Where they differ most is in the first stage.

Bluesbreaker - feedback cap of 47pf; KoT - feedback cap of 100pf. The larger/higher value rolls off a bit more top end at max gain. At less than max gain, the difference is inaudible.

KoT - R19=27k; BB - equivalent resistor is only 4k7
KoT - R18=33k; BB - equivalent resistor = 3k3
Those two resistors set gain, but also set rolloff. IN the Bluesbreaker, the 4k7 and .01uf cap set a bass rolloff beginning around 3.3khz, with a maximim gain of around 21x. The 3k3/.01 combo adds more gain for frequency content even higher than that (hence the need for the presence control). The Kot introduces a bass rolloff at around 590hz, with a max gain for that content of just over 5x. Like the BB, R18/C14 add some additional boost for mids and highs on top of that.

But the general picture is that the KoT retains more bottom, and doesn't apply quite as much gain as the BB does. Keep in mind that gain is multiplicative. So if the first stage of the BB has a basic max gain of 21, and the 2nd stage has a gain of 22, that's a total gain of 462x hitting those clipping diodes. The KoT will have a basic max of about 112x, which is in the ballpark of the Tube Screamer (118x).

So, with the few component value changes shown, the KoT aims for a warmer, more restrained overdrive. One, on its own can be useful for rhythm, and two stacked can be severe. If a person can identify the corresponding components in the Snouse, or an actual Bluesbreaker, conversion isn't hard.

Hope this made sense.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So here are the two circuits, for comparison.

From the gain pot to the output, they are essentially identical. The KoT has a larger output cap value, which can retain a teensy bit more bass, but not enough to notice unless very special circumstance. It also has the dipswitch that allows for two different styles of clipping: one more like a softer Tube Screamer or Timmy, and the other more like a DOD 250. Where they differ most is in the first stage.

Bluesbreaker - feedback cap of 47pf; KoT - feedback cap of 100pf. The larger/higher value rolls off a bit more top end at max gain. At less than max gain, the difference is inaudible.

KoT - R19=27k; BB - equivalent resistor is only 4k7
KoT - R18=33k; BB - equivalent resistor = 3k3
Those two resistors set gain, but also set rolloff. IN the Bluesbreaker, the 4k7 and .01uf cap set a bass rolloff beginning around 3.3khz, with a maximim gain of around 21x. The 3k3/.01 combo adds more gain for frequency content even higher than that (hence the need for the presence control). The Kot introduces a bass rolloff at around 590hz, with a max gain for that content of just over 5x. Like the BB, R18/C14 add some additional boost for mids and highs on top of that.

But the general picture is that the KoT retains more bottom, and doesn't apply quite as much gain as the BB does. Keep in mind that gain is multiplicative. So if the first stage of the BB has a basic max gain of 21, and the 2nd stage has a gain of 22, that's a total gain of 462x hitting those clipping diodes. The KoT will have a basic max of about 112x, which is in the ballpark of the Tube Screamer (118x).

So, with the few component value changes shown, the KoT aims for a warmer, more restrained overdrive. One, on its own can be useful for rhythm, and two stacked can be severe. If a person can identify the corresponding components in the Snouse, or an actual Bluesbreaker, conversion isn't hard.

Hope this made sense.
That's very cool info, thank you for that. I'm going to pop open the Snouse and have a look now to see if it follows that BB schematic

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,261 Posts
Glad to help.

I made myself a Bluesbreaker a few years ago, and found it much too shrill for my tastes. The KoT tweak gives it more meat. Of course, what is not included is the KoT choice between clipping in the feedback (which is related to the Timmy) and clipping to ground. Although the clipping diodes set a ceiling on output level, the manner in which they are implemented in the KoT means that one could employ both forms of clipping simultaneously, to achieve double-clipping. The gain amounts would noty necessarily yield the sort of tone that double-clipping in a Big Muff Pi achieves, but it can come a little closer.

I have no idea what issue of the Snouse pedal you have, the size of the enclosure, whether it uses through-hole or surface-mount components, or how attached you are to any warranty. If feasible, I'm happy to talk you through any potential mods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,113 Posts
Nothing off hand, but that doesn't mean it can't be tailored to your desires. What would you like it to do that it doesn't do now?
Honestly, it sounds pretty good to me,, but I've read so much about it being terrible and the original being so much better, I guess I'm curious as to what the difference is.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,261 Posts
An admittedly non-exhaustive search for a schematic suggests there may be little, if any difference. I've only found one schematic, and it indicates mods, so I can't tell how much of the drawing is original or add-ons. However, this image suggests that the quartet of silicon diodes in the first model were replaced with a pair of LEDs in the second.

If so, then that implies that the clipping threshold will be higher. The quartet of diodes will clip at around +/-1.2V while the LED pair will clip at around +/-1.5V. Solid-state Marshall amps often use an LED pair for clipping. The higher threshold ("forward voltage" in more accurate terms) implies a greater maximum output level, and a little more dynamic range, given that peaks have to be hotter in order to clip. holding the gain constant, a lower clipping threshold tends to yield a more "compressed" sound. Some folks like that, and some don't. At the same time, havingthe potential for a hotter output level means that the user can dial in modest clipping in the pedal, and use the hotter output to push the amp harder and add to that clipping.

Getting all your clipping from the pedal, vs the amp, or pedal+amp, is neither better nor worse, merely a matter of taste. I can see where some players would prefer to be able to push the amp a little harder, where others would rather run the amp a little cleaner and get more of the grind from pedals.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
27,261 Posts
You're welcome, Jeff.
Is there something "improved" in the Snouse. I don't know. As I noted earlier. there could be lots of places to make useful mods, and Snouse may have done that. The changes might be small, and few, but if a person pays $90 for a Marshall unit, then pays somebody else $50 to make some suggested mods. and maybe somebody else to change a pedal from e-switching to true bypass, plus shipping the unit to them and back, you can eventually begin to approach the "custom pedal" cost. So, the Snouse price could be fair, or simply the price he has to charge to meet his own overhead costs. Either way, if you understand the circuit and know what to change....properly....it can be cheaper to mod a cheaper commercial pedal than buy "boutique".
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top