This entry was originally posted on the stickist.com forum in October 2007. Late December of 2007 the site had a catastrophic hardware failure and all forum posts from five years were lost. I found my post on Google and here it is again.
My DIY Stick Preamp
I have finally taken the time to make myself a preamp for my Stick. While this is certainly not a StepABout, the sound is really great to my ears. I based it on this fairly famous circuit by Don Tillman:
I put 2 of them in one box. Here is the input side of the preamp:
Here’s the output side, it is really simple:
The 2 channels are fully independent and could be used for bass and guitar as well as Stick.
Here’s the Ugly Truth. I haven’t made anything like this for a very long time, so the inside is not very pretty:
Here’s it in use:
This preamp has an input impedance of 3Mohms and a 3db boost. That’s all.
WOW!!! Everything you have ever heard about the Stick needing a high impedance is absolutely true! The difference this little thing makes is truly amazing. I was using some stomp boxes as the first thing in my chain with what is normally considered “high impedance”. The difference is dramatic. It is not only that this adds highs to the sound. That’s part of it but everything sounds better, the lows, the mids, and the highs. There is more presence and my Stick just feels more responsive. I was hoping for an improved sound but, frankly, I didn’t expect this big of an improvement. I made it in this box so I could plug it into any type of amplification from Fender Twins to a PA.
I will make some audio samples next weekend, I’ve spent enough time for this one.
[ Update: I have not made the samples yet. I will post when I do.]
I dunno, not much really. Maybe less than $20 depending on what kind of box you use and where you get your parts. The FETs were 12 cents a piece. I was impatient and bought a big bag of resistors to get the ones I wanted, if you ordered them that part would be cheaper. This can also be made very small and put right into a cord but I wanted the most flexibility.
This is just the start of what will hopefully be a full DIY rig. One step at a time…