Friedman Pedals - a circuit comparison

Chuck D. Bones

Circuit Wizard
If adding some components was a practical option, I would have suggested it. The MID control in the Friedman pedals is an active filter. It required another opamp and there are no spare opamps on the board.


Well-known member
Let's take this to the next level and walk Dan through adding a Tube Screamer circuit to his Friedman Runt 50 head so he doesn't have to run one in front of the amp!


Active member
[edited to add Little Debbie]

PedalPCB carries several Friedman pedals and for good reason, they sound great. My 2nd PedalPCB build was a Brown Betty. The Little Debbie, Dirty Sanchez, Brown Betty, Thermionic and Complex are all basically the same circuit with a few different component values and one or two knobs.

All have GAIN, BASS, TREBLE & VOLUME controls.
Dirty Sanchez, Brown Betty, Thermionic and Complex have a PRESENCE control.
Little Debbie, Dirty Sanchez, Brown Betty and Complex have a MID control.
Brown Betty & Thermionic have a TIGHT control.
Dirty Sanchez has a TIGHT switch.
Dirty Sanchez, Brown Betty and Thermionic have an internal gain trimmer.
Little Debbie has internal trimmers for Tight & Presence.

Thermionic has slightly higher gain and a little more bandwidth for more bite. The Build Docs call out 1N5817 schottky diodes for the 3rd stage. Some people use 1N4148s like in the other Friedman pedals.
Little Debbie, Dirty Sanchez & Brown Betty are in the middle gain-wise.
Complex has slightly lower gain and a mild treble boost at the end (C14/R20).

You can build any of the above on a Brown Betty board. I like having the TIGHT knob, but I think a TIGHT switch will do the trick in most cases. Some folks (you know who you are) like the sludgy sound and will leave TIGHT wide open.

If you want to see a side-by-side comparison of the Thermionic and Brown Betty schematics, look no further than the Thermionic Deluxe. Channel A is a Thermionic with a MID control; Channel B is a straight-ahead Brown Betty.
I know this is an old post, but what would you suggest to get the gain of the Little Debbie up to the Thermionic?
Basically I want to eventually build a Thermionic with a mid control if that is possible (like half of the deluxe version)