DISTORTION

BOOST + OD + DISTORTION

3

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SCHEMATIC (PDF)

This pedal is discontinued. Please check our dealers or our Reverb store for any remaining stock.

Schematic created by BuggFX

One of industry tricks is to use the same circuit board to create "different" effects by changing 1 or 2 components. We’re not about that. In fact, we do the opposite. The DISTORTION   dirt box gives you 3 pedals in one box: boost, overdrive, and distortion. With 2 variable HCC controls in separate parts of the circuit, and two EQ controls to sculpt your tone, the DISTORTION   goes from transparent boost to crunchy overdrive to full-on distortion box with ease.

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Click the different parts of the pedal to learn more.

Demos

How It Works

Features

Tech Specs

Story

Older

Versions

DISTORTION3 BLOCK DIAGRAM

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FEATURES & CONSTRUCTION

TrueSoft  Bypass

Variable HCC

Custom Alpha Pots

DualMode Switching

We combine durable true bypass relay switching with an effect-side FET switch for pure and smooth switching.

Variable HCC circuitry allows you to fine tune the harmonics, compression, and clipping character of your tone.*

*Applies to HARD/SOFT controls only.

The GAIN, FAT, HARD, and SOFT controls are built in the USA with custom-designed tapers specifically for the Alpha Dog.

DualMode Switching can convert the footswitch into momentary operation.

To use, wait 5 seconds, then press the sequence tap+tap+hold until LED flashes.

USA Made PCBs

Our circuit boards are made in the USA by Advanced Circuits (large PCB runs) or OSH Park (small PCB runs).

PRP Audio Resistors

We used low noise, low inductance resistors made for audio circuits by Precision Resistive Products in the USA.*

*Alpha Dog & Alpha Dog Glass only.

All VFE Pedals are built with these quality components and features:

 

- Rugged diecast aluminum enclosures

- TrueSoft + DualMode true bypass switching

- Industrial-grade Carling switches & Neutrik audio jacks

- Alpha pots soldered directly to PCB

- 5% WIMA film capacitors & 1% metal film resistors

- Cardas Audio ultra-pure, eutectic silver solder

- P3 system phantom-power compatible

- Built by hand in Puyallup, WA, USA

- 1 year warranty on parts & labor

DIMENSIONS:

Enclosure dimensions: 2.37"W x 4.37"L x 1.16"H  (60 x 111 x 29mm)

With knobs & jacks: 2.6"W x 4.4"L x 2.1"H  (66 x 111 x 53mm)

 

POWER:

Standard 2.1mm, negative-tip 9V to 18V power supply or 9V battery.

 

INPUT IMPEDANCE:

917K-ohm

 

CURRENT DRAW:

~8ma continous

+30ma surge for 4ms during on/off switching

BY THE NUMBERS:

12 RESISTORS

14 CAPACITORS
1 INDUCTOR

3 TRANSISTORS

12 DIODES

1 OP AMP

2 INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
7 POTENTIOMETERS
2 SWITCHES

3 JACKS
2 CIRCUIT BOARDS

HOW THE DISTORTION3 CAME TO BE

THE STORY

In my early days of experimenting with pedal circuits, I was shocked by two things. First, that tone would change drastically by changing 1 or 2 parts. Second, mainstream companies would change 1 or 2 parts and then market the design as original and a completely new and different product. From my earliest days of designing my own pedals, I decided that I wanted to build products that gave the customer more without hiding what's really going on inside.

 

The version 2 Distortion3 takes the meaning of more to a whole new level. With the new variable HCC circuitry and added EQ, you can dial in the very different boost, overdrive, and distortion tones from one compact stompbox.

-- Peter Rutter, founder of VFE Pedals --

Here is the list of versions of the Distortion3 circuit:

 

#1 - The original was a one-off hobby project long before VFE was even an idea. It had separate gain & 3-way clipping controls for the overdrive & distortion modes, and a footswitch to toggle between them.

 

#2 - The first compact version featured the same feature set as the first production version, but with a different layout. The LO/HI fidelity switch toggled between op amp outputs, but not inputs, making the input impedance the same and barely changing the tonality.

 

#3 - The first production unit added tonal & gain range, but also featured a fidelity switch that toggled all 3 pins of the op amp, making it more useful.

 

Here is what is new in the current version:

- Variable HCC circuitry in place of toggle switches for more control over harmonics, compression, and clipping characteristics

- Add FAT control adjust gain structure & bass response

- Added 9dB of gain range from v1, totally 14dB more gain available than any of the 3 circuits it is based on

- American-made, audio-grade resistors

- Dual-Mode switching