New Thagomizers - Because... well.. New Thagomizers! (Colorsound Power Boost)


Well-known member
Build Rating
5.00 star(s)
The Colorsound Power Boost is one of my favorite utility / boost pedals which I've built under the "Thagomizer" name in several varieties. Given all of these have the volume knob modification, the pedal can be used as a very nice clean boost and equalizer, or it can be used to add bit of a dirty overdrive depending on where the drive / gain knob is set. I worked with my friend in Ukraine, South Obolon FX, to finally develop a Steggo version of the power boost board with a charge pump, and I've now finally gotten a couple of varieties of the pedal together!

SOFX - Thagomizer 1 - 01.jpg

I've built several varieties of the Thagomizer in the past both with vintage and modern components. I tend to like the vintage ones, but that could just be personal bias. However, the available stocks of vintage parts are really starting to dry up at this point, and I wanted to come up with a version of the Thagomizer that at least made a nod to the vintage version, but I could build with readily available components (at least for now...). For the build above, I used all modern-production carbon film resistors, film capacitors, and electrolytic capacitors in the signal chain. There are still a couple of ceramic capacitors (not MLCC) in the signal chain, and the transistors are still BC169 and BC184 like used on the original (I still have a decent supply of these).

SOFX - Thagomizer 1 - 02.jpg

I also wanted to see how the board worked with a vintage part load out. For the board above I went ahead and used Allen Bradley resistors, tropical fish capacitors, and axial electrolytic capacitors (Phillips or equivalent). Otherwise the transistor and other parts load out is similar to the board above. The only concern I had was there were a few tropical fish capacitors very near the top of the board which might cause issues with jack placement in the enclosure.

SOFX - Thagomizer 1 - 03.jpg

When I laid out the enclosures for these boards, I tried to move the main PCB as low as possible to ensure that there was adequate room for Switchcraft jacks. Final assembly is a little easier as none of these are set up to use a battery. I'm using my normal 3PDT daughter board which has the LED and LED-R on board. I'm not using the brightness functionality on these pedals.

SOFX - Thagomizer 1 - 04.jpg

While the build with modern components fit perfectly, the vintage build was just a little crowded. However, I only had to slightly bend the tropical fish capacitors away from the output jack to ensure a clean fit. For both builds, I'm insulating all of the jack connections with heat shrink tubing.

SOFX - Thagomizer 1 - 07.jpg

The new PCB layout meant I needed to re-work the drill templates for the pedal, and since I needed a new drill template, I decided to go ahead and refresh some of the art. For the vintage pedal, the enclosure art is just a modification of the silver variant of the previous Thagomizer art. However for the production version with modern parts (on the left), I commissioned new Stegosaurus art from another Ukrainian friend (@Estelkatrin on Instagram). Once I received the art, after some discussion back and forth we decided to go with a Frank Lloyd Wright theme for the enclosure which I put together using some licensed art and parts I generated myself.

SOFX - Thagomizer 1 - 08.jpg

As you can see from the photo above, Steggo and Steggi are very proud of the new pedals. In terms of the sound, the vintage one sounds like the previous Allen Bradley version and the carbon film one sounds very similar to the other vintage ones as well. One of these days I'm going to do a big Thagomizer shoot out video on some high-end amps and settle what difference in tone there are between them. At least now I have a "vintage-like" version of the pedal that I can make in some quantity at a reasonable cost and I'm not reliant on finding all vintage parts going forward.

Original blog article: