Thermionic Deluxe - for a beginner?


New member
Hello y'all!

I'm a newbie to Pedal Building - in fact, I'm quite a newbie to circuitry as well. I know the basics of soldering as I've done a few projects on my guitars. Swapped pickups, rebuilt entire wiring in my guitars, even implemented some more complex switching/push-pull configurations.

So I've started building an analog pedal board - got pretty much everything I need except a nice Distortion and Vibrato. I have always interested in getting into pedal building so I decided now is the time.

Am looking at building a Thermionic Deluxe as this would satisfy exactly what I am looking for in a distortion pedal.

Is this a difficult kit for a newbie?

Has anyone ever compared this to the original BE-OD Deluxe? how does it fair?

Found a site that sells the PCB with all the components in Europe.

Thanks in advance!


Active member
If you have good solder skills, that's a big chunk of the learning curve. In terms of difficulty for most distortion circuits, it really boils down to the number of components to put on the board. More components means more things that can go wrong and potentially troubleshoot.

In general, if you take your time and do a little bit of homework about the components themselves you should be alright. I was hesitant the first time I built one. Watch out for the polarities of certain things (electrolytics, diodes, IC chips) and make sure you're putting them in correctly. I would advise installing sockets for those parts just in case and makes troubleshooting MUCH easier. If you don't have a multimeter now would be a great time to get one (they are pretty inexpensive). Pay attention to the offboard wiring too (installing the switch, jacks, power, etc.). If you have questions dont hesitate to ask. The group here is super supportive and can guide you in the right direction, provided you post pics too to help us. This is a very popular circuit so there are plenty of forums about this one to help guide you.

Here is a general guide to building these and comes from this forum.

Once you make one and it works you'll definitely want to make 7382502375439023 others, haha.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


Well-known member
I am a fan of starting with simple projects that do not have a lot of parts. There are many good distortion or overdrive projects you could pick. Smaller part counts make it much easier to trouble shoot and give you a bit more room to sort out part placement and spacing. The solder skills you get from the guitar projects are great beginnings, but a bit different that the methodical approach you will quickly develop putting components on a PCB. Go ahead and order the thermionic kit, but save it until you have a couple of other pedals you have put together. Better building skills will save you time troubleshooting in the long run, especially with a high parts count project.


Active member
Yes, with 14 pots, the Thermionic Deluxe is a difficult kit for a beginner. But if you're feeling adventurous, go for it.


Well-known member
I would start with something smaller if you have no experience. It will build your skills and confidence to get something that will work or not require much troubleshooting from the get go!


Active member
I'm a beginner too, only built a few pedals. I did the Thermionic Deluxe as my 3rd build. Like you I had soldering skills from guitar wiring, I'm handy with diy construction projects, etc...

I would say build atleast one pedal before the Thermionic Deluxe. It got me familiar with the size of the parts, and other little things that pop up that I didn't expect. Past that, if you go slow you should be OK.

I multimeter and triple check every component before I solder it, just so I know if a problem arises it's probably not a faulty or misplaced part. So far no issues. The Basic Workflow Tips thread is invaluable.

As far as sound? I've never played an original BE-OD but the Thermionic melts faces. I love it, my main pedal.