Special K Distortion (EQD Special Cranker)

MichaelW

Well-known member
Build Rating
5.00 star(s)
I've been sitting on this board for a while now along with it's predecessor the "Crankshaft".

I've got one build waiting for a single part and another build that isn't working right that I haven't had the gumption to start troubleshooting yet.

Today, I just needed a quick build, some bench time to gather my thoughts on a couple of work projects.
This was the perfect project. Simple build, went really quick and sounds awesome!

All discrete design, no opamp distortion that can act as an amp pusher, or standalone distortion as well.

You can get some really ragged edged sounds but with the Ge clippers on and the gain dimed it can be smoothed out as well.
I've been on a humbucker kick lately and only played with my LP, PRS and Eastman Semi-hollow but it sounded really good with all 3 guitars.

I built it stock except for the Ge diodes. Instead of D9K's I used some NOS CV7389 diodes.
The way the circuit is built the difference between the 1N60P Si and the Ge diodes is subtle, but the Si has a bit of a harder edge to them.

The other thing I did was used a On-off-On toggle instead of an On-On so I have a no clipper boost setting which relies on the 2N9304's to push.
It isn't exactly a "clean" boost. In the "no diode clipper" setting it's got a cool brash sounding gatey kind of breakup.

This is one of the few dirt pedals that to me sounds the best with the gain dimed on a clean amp.
With a dirty amp or already driven amp, the lower gain settings work really well.

Super cool pedal!

So another misadventure with my rattle can paint job. I put the gold coat down nicely and decided to shoot a gloss coat over it.
It was a nice sunny day out so I figured "put it on the back patio in the sun, it'll dry faster" right? Well, it did dry faster, too fast.
The paint didn't have a chance to self level so I have a very goofy wavy looking gloss coat....sigh.

IMG_4209.JPG

IMG_4208.JPG

Edit: Forgot to credit @Diynot for the On-off-on toggle mod. That came from his build report of the Special K. Thanks dude!
 
Last edited:

eh là bas ma

Active member
It looks very good, even with the unfortunate event during the drying process. I wouldn't have noticed anything wrong without your warning. A few scratches near the footswitch maybe...nothing unforgivable, really.

It's a pleasure to read you and appreciate your constant sober, uncluttered style. I am sure you have a lot of stompboxes by now. I tried to count, and found 123 build reports from you so far. I can stand as a witness : the build report's forum's section has been much more alive since you joined the party !

I just wonder : Are you selling everything away ?

If you are keeping most of them, how do you tell your stompboxes apart, how do you remember which is what ? A sticker on the back of the enclosure maybe ?
 
Last edited:

Diynot

Well-known member
Glad I could pass along a new little trick for your arsenal. Obviously not my original idea. Look at enough modded pedals and it’s amazing how simple some of the changes are.
 

MichaelW

Well-known member
It looks very good, even with the unfortunate event during the drying process. I wouldn't have noticed anything wrong without your warning. A few scratches near the footswitch maybe...nothing unforgivable, really.

It's a pleasure to read you and appreciate your constant sober, uncluttered style. I am sure you have a lot of stompboxes by now. I tried to count, and found 123 build reports from you so far. I can stand as a witness : the build report's forum's section has been much more alive since you joined the party !

I just wonder : Are you selling everything away ?

If you are keeping most of them, how do you tell your stompboxes apart, how do you remember which is what ? A sticker on the back of the enclosure maybe ?
Wow, I had no idea I’ve made 123 build reports!
I think I’ve built about 150 pedals with the ones I’ve built for my brother and one buddy. But no I’m not in this for any commercial purposes at all. I keep all my pedals aside from the ones that I gift to a very few people. And yes I’m running out of room for pedals hahaha.

I use a little thermal printer and make labels for the back of the pedals. And even then sometimes I have to search my own build reports to remember what the heck it was I built 😀
 

jimilee

Well-known member
Wow, I had no idea I’ve made 123 build reports!
I think I’ve built about 150 pedals with the ones I’ve built for my brother and one buddy. But no I’m not in this for any commercial purposes at all. I keep all my pedals aside from the ones that I gift to a very few people. And yes I’m running out of room for pedals hahaha.

I use a little thermal printer and make labels for the back of the pedals. And even then sometimes I have to search my own build reports to remember what the heck it was I built 😀
Nice, I have to take the backs off to look at the boards. I need to get it together.
Great build report sir.
 

eh là bas ma

Active member
I notice your jacks are tightened on the 9V DC screw. Isn't there too much tension on the jacks plastic rings ?

I remember breaking a jack once or twice by tightening it too much, they can be a bit fragile. On the other hand, having a jack loosening up away from your tools, or in a live context can be a real nuisance.

Surely you already found the trick, put a 3PDT screw located inside the enclosure, around the jack, allows to get the additional few millimeters needed to avoid the excessive tension against the DC jack's screw.
 

MichaelW

Well-known member
I notice your jacks are tightened on the 9V DC screw. Isn't there too much tension on the jacks plastic rings ?

I remember breaking a jack once or twice by tightening it too much, they can be a bit fragile. On the other hand, having a jack loosening up away from your tools, or in a live context can be a real nuisance.

Surely you already found the trick, put a 3PDT screw located inside the enclosure, around the jack, allows to get the additional few millimeters needed to avoid the excessive tension against the DC jack's screw.
It looks that way but there isn't a lot of pressure on the DC jack, it's a tight squeeze in a 1590B though for sure. not much room for error.
 

Alan W

Well-known member
If the paint surface really bugs you, you could sand it flat and regloss it, using something in the 1500 range, on a flat surface. (In a professional booth, we’d use different reducers, based on the ambient temperature—“slow” for hot days, “fast” for cold days. Typically, to get the highest, pre buff-out gloss, a slower cure gives the coat the most leveling out time.)

I really like your sentence, about doing a quick build to clear your thoughts about a work project. I’ve always found focusing on a physical activity (that requires a lot of concentration) a great method to allow my brain to work without me getting in its way.
 

MichaelW

Well-known member
If the paint surface really bugs you, you could sand it flat and regloss it, using something in the 1500 range, on a flat surface. (In a professional booth, we’d use different reducers, based on the ambient temperature—“slow” for hot days, “fast” for cold days. Typically, to get the highest, pre buff-out gloss, a slower cure gives the coat the most leveling out time.)

I really like your sentence, about doing a quick build to clear your thoughts about a work project. I’ve always found focusing on a physical activity (that requires a lot of concentration) a great method to allow my brain to work without me getting in its way.
Yah, I'm definitely always been on the ADHD scale most of my life and tend to think better when I'm multi tasking.
Soldering has really become a way for me to keep my hands busy and occupy my left brain allowing my right brain to be creative and do it's thing heh.
 

jwyles90

Well-known member
Man, your builds are killer! Especially how you're able to fit some of them into a 1590B enclosure. I'm always tempted to fit things into a 1590b but don't have enough faith in my measuring skills to attempt it. I built one of these a while back and it hasn't left my board since. The germanium mode is just so warm and wooly with just the right amount of flub, I love it.

What's going on with your LED on the inside? Are you keeping it in place with some kind of gel or something?
 

MichaelW

Well-known member
Man, your builds are killer! Especially how you're able to fit some of them into a 1590B enclosure. I'm always tempted to fit things into a 1590b but don't have enough faith in my measuring skills to attempt it. I built one of these a while back and it hasn't left my board since. The germanium mode is just so warm and wooly with just the right amount of flub, I love it.

What's going on with your LED on the inside? Are you keeping it in place with some kind of gel or something?
I had a thread in the Toolbox section I think about my measurements. I hate wasted space hahahah.
That's just hot glue. I hate it when I bump the led and it falls in and I have to take the back off to push it back in place.
 

jwyles90

Well-known member
I had a thread in the Toolbox section I think about my measurements. I hate wasted space hahahah.
That's just hot glue. I hate it when I bump the led and it falls in and I have to take the back off to push it back in place.
Yea I do love a good 1590b, it just makes sense haha. I'll have to give those measurements a shot! And good looking out on the hot glue, I've had a couple builds recently where the LED was angled in a weird way where gravity just dropped it out after a while. Good to know that glue is an option.
 

MichaelW

Well-known member
So a tip about the hot glue. It's really hard to not make a bloody mess with glue strings all over the place with my cheapo glue gun. So what I do is put a blob in there. then when it's soft "pile" all the stringy stuff into the middle with my fingers, then hit it with a heat gun to melt it all into place so it's a little neater. I have also tried just cutting a small chunk of glue stick, wedging it in there and hitting it with the heat gun but that tends to melt the plastic LED bezel.
 
Top