After successfully making a nice clean channel for my amplifier, I set about trying to make a high-gain distortion channel.  This is an approximation of the circuit, which is loosely based on the Marshall MG10 practice amp distortion circuit.  It uses a pair of LEDs as clipping diodes which I thought I would try out.  I’ve seen this method referred to as sounding like a “can of bees” – I can confirm that but would also add that the bees also sound like they are dying.

OpAmp Bees

Maybe it’s the particular LEDs I used, maybe it’s the nature of the circuit – but this distortion is terrible and not to my tastes. It has no sustain to the sound so the distortion fizzles out quickly and even when it’s following the tone-enhancing buffer it’s pretty weak and flat sounding. On the plus side, it did integrate well with the clean amplifier’s general layout and the effects loop I posted yesterday.

I tried switching out the LEDs for some unknown value of diodes that I have on hand… This seems to have simply made it a very low-volume clean pre-amp which is naturally not what I’m going for here.  The search for a good dirt channel will continue.

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