Three Scoops of Ice Scream...

Fingolfen

Well-known member
Build Rating
5.00 star(s)
I scream, you scream...

PedalPCB Frost Drove - 00.jpg

A lot of people on here seemed to really like the Frost Drive, so I decided I should try it out. And since the pedal had three variants in the instructions... well, you know...

Insta - PedalPCB Frost Drove - 01.jpg

Because I was building three pedals, I had to be fairly careful to make sure that I kept the three variants straight. The three varieties differ in four resistors (identified as low, vol, min, and max on the board) and two capacitors (max and hi). One of the potentiometers for this build (C10K dual) is really difficult to acquire, so the instructions helpfully include changes needed to substitute a C100K dual potentiometer instead - which is much easier to get! For this build, I'm using almost all modern components, as it is a modern pedal. The resistors are all 1%% metal film Yageo. The film capacitors are all WIMA or KEMET. The electrolytic capacitors are Nichicon. All of the ICs are original and socketed. the 1N914 diodes are all new production from Mouser (I think they're Onsemi). The 1N5817 reverse polarity protection diode is an older one I picked up from my local electronics parts store.

PedalPCB Frost Drove - 02.jpg

The original pedal has six potentiometers, but it appears a three are the 9mm variety based on the appearance of the pedal. This would make the interior a bit less crowded. Another challenge is the dual gang pot is in the bottom middle of the enclosure. PedalPCB offers a pot insulator, but these have been out of stock for a while. Fortunately I had a few left over from my Tone Geek Aqua Puss build I was able to cut down and use instead.

PedalPCB Frost Drove - 04.jpg

The wiring follows my normal process for all three pedals. I'm using a star ground on the input jack. The PedalPCB 3PDT daughter board is attached to the I/O jacks with aviation grade hookup wire, and it is attached to the main PCB with ribbon cable. The jacks are Switchcraft 111X.

PedalPCB Frost Drove - 09.jpg

For the enclosures I wanted to do something fun (as always). This time around the enclosure features an Azhdarchid - family of pterosaurs that includes some of the largest flying animals of all time. The ones on the enclosure are supposed to be on the large side (the largest Azhdarchids have wingspans between 33 and 39 feet!). I figured it would have likely let out a fairly significant screech, so it sort of (very) loosely fits in with the "scream" portion of the original name.

Since I used the same basic art for all three pedals, I needed an easy way to tell the "Vanilla" version of the pedal from the "Sherbet" and "Mint" varieties (anyone else getting hungry?). I decided to simply change the colors of the pterosaur on each - mostly cream colored for vanilla, orange for sherbet, and green for mint. I also changed the LED color using warm white, orange, and green for vanilla, sherbet, and mint respectively.

All of the pedals are working flawlessly at this point, and they do not only provide a huge amount of gain, but the multi-band equalizer gives you a lot of tone control. I'm honestly still experimenting with these at this point to see which one(s) I like best and with what guitars. The only downside is unlike the new Tone Geek Vemuram TSV808 board, the switches controlling the clipping modes are internal rather than accessible from the top of the pedal. That makes it more difficult to change the character of the clipping on the fly - so you really pretty much have to dial it in and leave it there until you're in a place where you can take off the back.

As an aside, with VFE shutting down, I'd picked up the Gerber files for what is currently being sold as the Ice Scream - here's that PCB:

PedalPCB Frost Drove - 10 (original Ice Scream).jpg

It's a little different in spots, but I honestly haven't had time to go through and trace it to understand what the Frost Drive does that isn't included in the original Ice Scream... stuff to add to the to do list...

More gut shots and info at the blog: https://steggostudios.blogspot.com/2022/09/i-scream-you-scream-cloning-vfe-ice.html
 
Last edited:

Bricksnbeatles

Member known well
Great looking builds! I’ve got one in the build queue coming up soon since I finished the graphics for it. Any thoughts on the timbral differences between the three variants and how you like them each?
 

Fingolfen

Well-known member
Great looking builds! I’ve got one in the build queue coming up soon since I finished the graphics for it. Any thoughts on the timbral differences between the three variants and how you like them each?
Short answer - still working on that - these have a lot of moving parts!

Longer answer:

I just got the vanilla one dialed in (sorta) last night. I really need to work with them more. Unlike a lot of other screamer type/-ish builds, this one won't really do a clean boost. Even if you turn the gain way down, you still get at least some dirt - which sort of seems to be the point of these pedals. If you turn the gain up, you really get some amazing distortion.

On the tone side - given you have basically four tone controls plus an internal trimmer, I figure I'm going to need to spend a lot more time fine tuning these to get them exactly where I want. I also really need to sit down and run them against each other on the same guitar to get a better idea of where the sweet spot of each variant really is. Of course, then I'll have to lather, rinse, repeat with my other guitars! :D
 

Funnel

Well-known member
The builds look good. I'm curious to know what tonal differences you notice between the three.
On the tone side - given you have basically four tone controls plus an internal trimmer, I figure I'm going to need to spend a lot more time fine tuning these to get them exactly where I want. I also really need to sit down and run them against each other on the same guitar to get a better idea of where the sweet spot of each variant really is. Of course, then I'll have to lather, rinse, repeat with my other guitars! :D
I know the struggles! I built the VFE pale horse and setting the tone controls took a while. I'm still not certain I have the frequency trim set where I want it. I returned it to the stock setting a month ago and I'm not convinced its where I want it to be.
 

Fingolfen

Well-known member
The builds look good. I'm curious to know what tonal differences you notice between the three.

I know the struggles! I built the VFE pale horse and setting the tone controls took a while. I'm still not certain I have the frequency trim set where I want it. I returned it to the stock setting a month ago and I'm not convinced its where I want it to be.
I'll have to check that one out... the fairly dizzying array of tone controls seems to be a feature of most VFE pedals
 

Funnel

Well-known member
I'll have to check that one out... the fairly dizzying array of tone controls seems to be a feature of most VFE pedals
I agree. I like the pedal, but it takes time to dial in. I appreciate his 6 control layout on his modulation, reverb and delay pedals. but it can be daunting on the drive pedals.
 

MichaelW

Well-known member
I scream, you scream...

View attachment 32910

A lot of people on here seemed to really like the Frost Drive, so I decided I should try it out. And since the pedal had three variants in the instructions... well, you know...

View attachment 32911

Because I was building three pedals, I had to be fairly careful to make sure that I kept the three variants straight. The three varieties differ in four resistors (identified as low, vol, min, and max on the board) and two capacitors (max and hi). One of the potentiometers for this build (C10K dual) is really difficult to acquire, so the instructions helpfully include changes needed to substitute a C100K dual potentiometer instead - which is much easier to get! For this build, I'm using almost all modern components, as it is a modern pedal. The resistors are all 1%% metal film Yageo. The film capacitors are all WIMA or KEMET. The electrolytic capacitors are Nichicon. All of the ICs are original and socketed. the 1N914 diodes are all new production from Mouser (I think they're Onsemi). The 1N5817 reverse polarity protection diode is an older one I picked up from my local electronics parts store.

View attachment 32912

The original pedal has six potentiometers, but it appears a three are the 9mm variety based on the appearance of the pedal. This would make the interior a bit less crowded. Another challenge is the dual gang pot is in the bottom middle of the enclosure. PedalPCB offers a pot insulator, but these have been out of stock for a while. Fortunately I had a few left over from my Tone Geek Aqua Puss build I was able to cut down and use instead.

View attachment 32913

The wiring follows my normal process for all three pedals. I'm using a star ground on the input jack. The PedalPCB 3PDT daughter board is attached to the I/O jacks with aviation grade hookup wire, and it is attached to the main PCB with ribbon cable. The jacks are Switchcraft 111X.

View attachment 32914

For the enclosures I wanted to do something fun (as always). This time around the enclosure features an Azhdarchid - family of pterosaurs that includes some of the largest flying animals of all time. The ones on the enclosure are supposed to be on the large side (the largest Azhdarchids have wingspans between 33 and 39 feet!). I figured it would have likely let out a fairly significant screech, so it sort of (very) loosely fits in with the "scream" portion of the original name.

Since I used the same basic art for all three pedals, I needed an easy way to tell the "Vanilla" version of the pedal from the "Sherbet" and "Mint" varieties (anyone else getting hungry?). I decided to simply change the colors of the pterosaur on each - mostly cream colored for vanilla, orange for sherbet, and green for mint. I also changed the LED color using warm white, orange, and green for vanilla, sherbet, and mint respectively.

All of the pedals are working flawlessly at this point, and they do not only provide a huge amount of gain, but the multi-band equalizer gives you a lot of tone control. I'm honestly still experimenting with these at this point to see which one(s) I like best and with what guitars. The only downside is unlike the new Tone Geek Vemuram TSV808 board, the switches controlling the clipping modes are internal rather than accessible from the top of the pedal. That makes it more difficult to change the character of the clipping on the fly - so you really pretty much have to dial it in and leave it there until you're in a place where you can take off the back.

As an aside, with VFE shutting down, I'd picked up the Gerber files for what is currently being sold as the Ice Scream - here's that PCB:

View attachment 32915

It's a little different in spots, but I honestly haven't had time to go through and trace it to understand what the Frost Drive does that isn't included in the original Ice Scream... stuff to add to the to do list...

More gut shots and info at the blog: https://steggostudios.blogspot.com/2022/09/i-scream-you-scream-cloning-vfe-ice.html
Gorgeous, I have one in queue as well, and now I'm confused....I hadn't reviewed the build docs and didn't realize there were 3 variants....option paralysis.....
 
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