You already own a Full Story pedal, and you want to go even deeper in the customization of your disto/fuzz ? You are at the right place, we will assemble here a custom FX Teacher Tone Cards! The Full Story range retraces the history of a famous massive disto/fuzz pedal with huge sustain, which has evolved through many versions over the years. Tone Cards concept allowed us to create a modular pedal, making it easy to switch from one circuit to another. The range already provides a great amount of customization, with the various Tone Cards available and the different settings of the Anasounds and FX Teacher pedals. But for those who want to go even further, we propose a unique Tone Cards kit that allows you to choose the components of your Tone Cards yourself. We explain everything in this article. buy the custom tone cards fx teacher masterclasses to develop your tone cards You are not comfortable with the idea of assembling your own Tone Cards, or you want to hear the influence of each additional component of the kit before soldering them? The FX Teacher masterclasses are for you! For this kit, the masterclasses take place over a weekend. Saturday is dedicated to the assembly of the Full Story FX Teacher, and Sunday to the creation of two custom Tone Cards. You can participate on any day you want, or the whole weekend!On Sunday, the first Tone Cards will be developed based on theory, explaining the purpose of each component and giving you tips on the sound you are looking for. While the second Tone Cards will be developed with a special pedal allowing you to listen to the difference between each component combination, before soldering your Tone Cards. This way you can compare the results obtained by theory and practice! Masterclasses allow you to be coached and to go home with a pedal that works. But also to have all the necessary tools for the assembly, which can represent a small investment if you don’t have any equipment at home. sign up for a masterclass reminders about the fx teacher full story Before moving on to the Tone Cards assembly, we will briefly return to the Full Story FX Teacher schematic, so you understand what you are going to assemble. The schematic looks quite complex, but it can be divided into 6 blocks. Don’t worry, you won’t assemble all this parts on the Tone Cards, only the components noted _TC. block 1: power supply Block 1 corresponds to the power supply section of the pedal. D3 acts as a protection, blocking the current in case of polarity inversion. Then, R1 and E1 form a low-pass filter, which removes all the noise and fluctuations that can come from the power supply. block 2: input stage The input stage acts as a buffer, but also as a preamplifier and filter, with the frequency set by C1_TC. Then there is the FUZZ potentiometer, which will adjust the level of the signal before going into the next blocks. blocks 3 and 4: clipping stages This is where the customization will begin. These two stages are similar, and will produce the saturation of the effect. They will each amplify the signal, then clip it with the clipping diodes. In the rest of the article we will see that by changing some of the components of these stages, we can really change the character and precision of the effect. block 5: tone The tone section is the most important element in the frequency response of the pedal. Its operation is quite simple, on one side there is a low pass filter formed by R6_TC and F1_TC, and on the other side a high pass filter with F7_TC and R7_TC. The TONE potentiometer will simply act as a blend between these two filters. We will also modify the components of this section to customize the Tone Cards. block 6: output stage Finally, the last block acts as a buffer to adapt the output impedance, and also amplifying the signal one last time. It allows to compensate for the volume losses that the tone stage can produce, while at the same time allowing an output level that goes over the unity gain, to boost the input of your amp. For more informations about the circuit and for a more detailed and complete analysis, we suggest you to look at the Full Story FX Teacher’s article. analysis and assembly of the fx teacher full story before starting to assemble your fx teacher tone cards technical documents If you are familiar with Do It Yourself with your effect pedals, you will find everything you need in this downloadable document.If you’re just starting out, the rest of the article is really made for you, so hang in there! Download this document anyway, you will need it to move forward and understand the rest of the events. Then you’ll see it’ s very useful. technical documents leave your soldering iron for 2 minutes before assembling your fx teacher tone cards The assembly of a FX Teacher kit has nothing to do with what you have already found on the net. Indeed, we have developed our own method to assemble your PCB, step by step, and to constantly check its proper functioning! And yes, we are committed to the infallible, but you also have some work to do so.So, in order for you to understand all the tricks we’re going to ask you to do, I suggest you to start by devouring all of our tutorials, if you haven’t already done so. Here they are, in order: read a bom learn how to solder wiring the jacks fx teacher analysis method disclaimer If you’re in trouble with a step or you don’t understand something, we will be happy to help you. For this, leave a comment with your request on this blog post. This project is even so DIY, so it is up to you to make your own decisions and responsibilities, and to check what you are doing before going ahead. You will be answered as soon as possible and this answer will allow other readers to go forward. Don’t be surprised if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, we have to validate it to avoid spam from certain robots. To recap, no emails, no chat, no calls regarding DIY, only requests on comments section please. Otherwise, it’s unmanageable for us.Please also check that your request has not been treated, also that your tensions are good and that you have followed all the steps 🙂 fx teacher tone cards assembly bag 0: pcb and connectors Let’s start with bag 0 which contains the Tone Cards PCB and the 3 2×5 pins male connectors. To keep them perfectly straight during assembly, you can use your Full Story pedal.Insert the connectors in your Full Story, then you can put the Tone Cards on top, paying attention to the direction: you should see the π logo. Finally, just solder the 3 connectors. bag 1: basic components 1/2 We start with the first bag of components. No customization here, these components don’t have an interesting impact on the sound. They are the same as for the FX Teacher Full Story.Be sure not to invert two resistors. There is also an electrolytic capacitor which is polarized, so it has a direction. The + drawn on the Tone Cards corresponds to the longest leg. Another way to find out, the colored band on the side of the capacitor indicates the -. After assembling bag 1, your Tone Cards should look like this. You can compare the color code of your resistors with those on the picture. Finally, you can check the two test points at this stage, to make sure that everything is working properly. bag 2: basic components 2/2 We move to the second bag, there again no difficulties, simply resistors and film capacitor. Pay attention to the values! After this step, your Tone Cards should look like this. Now you can check the last two test points. If everything is good, you can move on to customization! customization: the custom components of bag 3 If everything goes well, at this stage you should have 4 empty film capacitor spots on your Tone Cards. All measurements are made with the mids off (MID switch down on the Anasounds and in the middle on the FX Teacher), and clipping at 1N914 (CLIP switch down on the FX Teacher). selection of f3 To begin the selection of custom components, we start with F3, which is located in the second clipping stage. This capacitor, connected to the two diodes, will select the frequencies affected by the clipping of this stage, modifying the waveform according to the input frequency. to sum up 470nF: the original value of the FX Teacher Full Story, with aggressive, saturated highs for an acid fuzz100nF: more powerful and slobbery bass22nF: even more bass with a slight velcro feeling, and less aggressive highsNo capacitor: more dynamics, an organic SAG effect delaying the highs at each attack, slobbery bass, for a vintage character signal analysis The two following graphs show two measurements with a low frequency (100Hz) and a high frequency (1kHz) signal at the input.Each line represents a different value for F3, with 470nF at the top, then 100nF, 22nF and no capacitor at the bottom. These are the four positions of the SAG2 setting of our test board we use on masterclasses. 100Hz 1kHz measurements made between fx_in and s3, no capacitor on f5 In the low frequencies (100Hz), you can see that by lowering the value of F3 (the first 3 lines), the signal will progressively change from a sawtooth shape, to triangular and then square. The harmonic content will decrease, which will produce less detailed bass. In addition to this, we can see that the signal increases in amplitude, which implies that the bass becomes more and more prominent. By decreasing the value of F3, you will obtain an omnipresent and slobbery basses. The signal even starts to become slightly asymmetrical on the third line (22nF), which will produce a slight SAG effect with highs slightly retarded after each attack. In the high frequencies (1kHz), the signal keeps approximately the same amplitude on the first three lines, which means that there is no boost effect on the highs. On the other hand, the different waveforms provide less saturated high frequencies by lowering the value of F3. Finally, the last line of each measurement shows the result without capacitor. The diodes are no longer connected, thus deactivating the clipping to obtain a saturation coming directly from the transistor. The signal is square and asymmetrical, both at 100Hz and at 1kHz, with a similar amplitude. This results in a volume increase in both bass and treble, with a wider bandwidth. frequency analysis The harmonic analysis of the signal for the geeks: the different capacitor values affect the even harmonics. 470nF 100nF 22nF no capacitor 100Hz 470nF 100nF 22nF no capacitor 1kHz The analysis of the bandwidth reflects what has been said above, with the bass getting more and more pronounced as the capacitor value is lowered, until the whole bandwidth is boosted by removing the capacitor. 470nF 100nF 22nF no capacitor selection of f5 Next is the choice of F5, which has the same purpose as F3 but this time in the first clipping stage. As this stage is located before the second clipping stage, where you have just customized with F3, the setting will be much more precise and, above all, very interactive, with very different results depending on the choice made with F3. to sum up 22nF: the default value of the FX Teacher Full Story, for bass frequencies with longer sustain and more body, slightly more precise and aggressive highs, and more gain68nF: rich high frequencies, especially when the gain is increased, and less heavy bass220nF: slightly less gain in the highs and less bass. This value avoids the invasive and slobbering bass when you push the gain, and allows you to have a more uniform range in terms of frequencies on the fuzz potentiometerNo capacitor: a much more open and dynamic sound, a bit more slobbery with a higher output level signal analysis As for the previous step, two graphs show the deformation of the signal in the bass (100Hz) and treble (1kHz), for each value: 22nF, 68nF, 220nF and no capacitor. 100Hz 1kHz measurements made between fx_in and s2 You can see that except for the last line without capacitor, the influence of the capacitor value affects principally the low frequencies. The first line, with a signal somewhere between triangle and sawtooth, has a slightly richer harmonic content, providing more precision. There is also a higher amplitude than the other signals, for a more present bass.The more the value of the capacitor increases, the more the waveform in the low frequencies will be close to a classic soft clipping, with a less aggressive character.Finally, the last line without capacitor shows an asymmetric clipping due to the saturation of the transistor, more dynamic and organic, with a huge output level. frequency analysis The harmonic analysis, this time much more subtle, you can see the even harmonics coming back when you remove the capacitor. 22nF 68nF 220nF no capacitor 100Hz The bandwidth: you can notice a slight variation in the low frequencies. 22nF 68nF 220nF no capacitor customize the tone circuit Finally, the last two settings, Low Mid and High Mid, act on the cutoff frequencies of the two filters of the tone. As explained above, the tone circuit mixes two fixed filters: a low pass and a high pass, which allows you to switch from one filter to the other by turning the TONE knob. The intersection between the two filters when the tone is set to at noon will create a gap in the midrange, characteristic of the effect. By playing with these two filters, you can move the hollow to the upper or lower midrange, or move the two filters further apart or closer together to deepen or boost the midrange. low pass filter and low mids with f1 The F1 capacitor will set the cutoff frequency of the low pass filter. Originally, the 10nF value cuts at 312Hz.On the spectrum, a lower value will move the curve to the right, increasing the cutoff frequency and adding low mids.A higher value will instead move the curve to the left, lowering the cutoff frequency and cutting off the low mids. 10nF: the response of the FX Teacher Full Story, tone at minimum2.2nF: more low mids when the tone is at minimum, for a thicker sound22nF: less low mids, for a more muffled sound 10nF 2.2nF 22nF high pass filter and high mids with f7 On the other hand, the capacitor F7 will set the cutoff frequency of the high pass filter. The basic value is 3.9nF which cuts at 2.7kHz.A lower value will shift the curve to the right, removing high mids, while a higher value will shift the curve to the left, for more high mids. 3.9nF: the response of the FX Teacher Full Story, tone at maximum2.2nF: less high mids when the tone is at max, for a more aggressive sound10nF: more high mids, for a richer and rounder sound 3.9nF 2.2nF 10nF influence on the tone range and mids Now that you know how to manipulate the two filters, the goal is to understand how to make them interact with each other. The first solution is to move the two filters in the same direction, moving the hollow into the low or high mids: F1=10nF, F7=3.9nF F1=2.2nF, F7=2.2nF F1=22nF, F7=10nF The first spectrum shows the original response of the FX Teacher Full Story, TONE at noon and MID switch off (middle).On the second spectrum, both filters are moved to the right, moving the hollow in the high mids. The hollow is also less pronounced, but covers a wider frequency range.On the third spectrum, the two filters are shifted to the left, bringing back the low midrange. Another solution is to move the two filters in opposite directions, increasing the depth of the midrange or reducing it: F1=22nF, F7=2.2nF F1=22nF, F7=3.9nF F1=10nF, F7=2.2nF F1=10nF, F7=10nF F1=2.2nF, F7=3.9nF F1=2.2nF, F7=10nF By progressively bringing the two filters closer together, you can see the gap closing, even boosting the midrange for more presence in the mix. You have finished to assemble your fx teacher tone cards We hope that the assembly of your FX Teacher Tone Cards went well, and that you managed to get the sound you wanted. Don’t hesitate to share your settings in the comments, it will help us to know the tastes of everyone!If you want to hear all the different sounds available with the FX Teacher Tone Cards, don’t forget the masterclasses, where you can use our development tool to choose your favorite configuration before soldering. Enjoy your unique sounding Full Story, and we hope to see you soon for future kits.