New Tym effects

Well, this is what happens when my brain is given time to itself ....

I've been thinking about this for some time and recently I've been doing more custom pedals and low run stuff for charity, which really eats into my already VERY limited time to do my standard effects.

When I first starting making effects in the 90's I pretty quickly started making my own enclosures as I like my stuff to look ... unique and be recognizable as Tym guitars. The first completely custom enclosures I made were my "dogs head" series, which were VERY time consuming but I loved 'em.
I then went back to Hammond enclosures to save time but quickly drew tired of them looking like everyone else's so I started making my own stainless steel enclosures, which are the precursors to the ones I still make today. 

When I started making pedals nearly everyone I knew was using digital multi effects and the ones using stomp boxes didn't care if their fuzz was as big as a ..... Big Muff. Very few people I did work for had a pedal board and those that did had their "cream" spaced out and easy to access.

When stomp boxes really started coming back with a vengeance and people like ZVEX started cramming really cool fuzz pedals into MXR sized enclosures, peoples pedal boards started getting more populated, and eventually BIGGER.

My stainless steel enclosures have always been as much about looks as functionality. I like the shapes I make and I love Tony's artwork that goes onto them. I spend more time wiring pedals to keep artwork intact than I should, but aesthetics is important to me. 

The thing about being a nerd and making clones of all your favourite pedals is you realize that there are different versions of your favourite pedals as most manufacturers in the "olden days" didn't really care about consistency. If it sounded close, it was close enough. As you get to play with and reverse engineer vintage pedals you start to realize this one sounds good, this one sounds different, this one sounds bad ... why does that one sound bad ? Why does that one sound great ? What the hell is going on with that one ?
As you become familiar with the circuits you start to see why some sound great and why some don't. Two different seemingly identical effects from the same year can be surprisingly different in tone and behavior. One is dull while the other has a nice crackle ...

 

So, I decided to make versions of my favourite vintage circuits with those little idiosyncrasies that make the ones I like sound they way they do, and use components or mods not used by the original designers or manufacturers.
Different clipping stages. More or less gain. More bottom end. More mids. Nicer harmonics. Added tone stacks. Fine tuned frequency responses. The options are endless and most custom pedal makers use the tried and true vintage circuits with their own personal mods.

 

Since I wanted to make these ... different to my other pedals, and I've been conscious of pedal board real estate for some time I thought I'd design and make a new enclosure especially for these effects.
Designing an enclosure is fraught with danger. There are the obvious limitations and expectations. It must be high enough to fit a stomp switch. It must be wide enough to fit input and output jacks. It must fit my existing (and new) PCB's etc.
But it also must play well with other pedals on a board. 
All of my current pedals have top mounted input/DC/output jacks and are either flat top or slanted top boxes. Slant top boxes are good but make it hard to run pedals above them on a board as the height of the box, with knobs makes them quite high. 
Running input/output jacks on the side can be good but they can get caught up with other side mount pedals so you can't run them closely together. Where do you put the DC input ? 

The height of my flat top "signature" box works well with most of these requirements and fits all of my hardware perfectly. That's how I designed it. So, That was my height.
I narrowed the enclosure down to the same width as the classic "MXR" Hammond style aluminium enclosure, also used by MANY custom builders. This is wide enough to run all my hardware but isn't long enough to fit some of my current (and future) PCB's in landscape so I extended the length to the same as a BOSS/Ibanez pedal which gave me enough room for everything.



I moved the input/output jacks down the side so they sit below the standard BOSS/Ibanez/MXR etc jacks and then ran the DC input right near the top corner so it doesn't foul with these IN/OUT jacks and is easily accessible from along the top where most people run their power supplies. 

 

Without the slant top, and with lower profile knobs I can now keep the overall height below that of a standard BOSS or the 125B enclosure commonly used by many custom builders, which means it can run on a board in front of these pedals without hindering their operation. 

This new Tym enclosure is not only more pedal board friendly it can run (nearly) any pedal I currently make in some form meaning custom work should be a breeze and it has room for future designs and "double circuit" versions of some of my stuff. 

 

While no enclosure is perfect for all types of boards these should slide into existing pedal boards fairly easily and work well with other sizes. The landscape version is quite shallow and can be used where there is not enough room for a full portrait style pedal and these boxes can be optioned without switches with two (or even three)  Tym effects inside for use with bypass switches.

All of these will use the same high quality components as my other pedals and will be all hand made right here in my workshop as per usual. All these "new" circuits will be in these heavy duty custom made stainless steel enclosures with BRIGHT blue LED's as standard.
More info on the actual circuits will be available soon but none of these are the same circuit as any of my current clones or signature pedals.

These prototypes will be left in the shop for people to try out and give feedback on while I finalize artwork and enclosures.

 

Aug 31 2016 Written By: Tim Brennan