Other Equipment

Let’s talk micro pedals


Does a Shrunken Brain sound like an Atomic Brain? The AB is biggish...

– Proteus

shrunken brain is a Dynobrain w a static bass cut switch. Added is a dirty fet boost. Setzer meets Rev horton in can of "I cant play rockabilly but I like what it does to my gretsch". same small box the atomic is in now. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/f...


Tim, note that in that pic, the Atomic has top-mounted jacks, so it really wouldn't take up minimal room.

Tavo, you're gonna have to shrink the shrunken more!


Proteus: Yup



Or wait, maybe not: http://gretschpages.com/for...

Dang it Tavo, sometime we gotta help you write up clear summaries for normal people on what the heck these things do and how they differ from one another. I love 'em, but can't keep it straight.

– Baxter

Dynobrain - based on a vintage RE-301 full sonic spectrum preamp w compression artifacts. Big dynamics to your picking. One gain knob, and a bass cut for stage vol levels through a combo amp. true bypass. simple leave on stomper.

Atomic brain - same thing as Dynobrain but has a pre boost mode that increases dynamic sensitivity about 30% ish. not a volume boost, better for live performers plagued by bad monitor mixes and stick crushing drummers.

Shrunken Brain - Dynobrain w a separate dirty boost circuit. To be discontinued shortly. They are a pain in the ass to make. :)

Billy Brain - same thing as an Atomic Brain but is meant for master volume amp guys that prefer semi dirty amp settings to begin with.

Mystery Brain- An Atomic Brain coupled w the basic preamp of an echoplex and a space echo's simple echo functions. Added photocell vibrato that affects on the wet signal. Wet dry mix keeps your dry analog signal, always analog. The echo is all analog except for the chip that affects the repeats. My life's work in a box, well... this last part. hope it continues for a while, I got stuff to do.

Jr Barnyard Hot Pre- has nothing do to w setzer or gretsch guitars but sure makes my gretsch sound like a nice old gibson through an octal tube amp.Think Charlie Christian and Texas Playboys..Old timey Roots box of joy for me. Extremely versatile class A discrete preamp that is more texture dynamics on your fundimental tone without coloring. Doubles as a great Upright bass, banjo, mando, steel, archtop, dreadnaught and uke preamp that will warm up and vintage-ify your rhythm chops. ESPECIALLY if you have to use a damn Quilter Amp. Makes me really like that dumb brick of fake tubery. (yes yes 'm glad I can count on a quilter pro block when I cant have real sex...err.. I mean play through my tube amps)


How much smaller is new version of Atom Brain? It's really the best Tavonian Entity for my porpoises.

Maybe the octalbox, who knows, but do I play western swang? Would anyone believe me if I did?


Tim, the new brain would be the same size (and jack config) as in that pic I posted earlier today. So you can see that it's a bit bigger than the micro pedals, but you make almost all of it back by not having the jacks on the size. Overall dimensions, when all is said and done, is about the same width as a micro, but about 1 1/2" taller.


" ESPECIALLY if you have to use a damn Quilter Amp."

Doesn't Tommy Harkenrider love his Quilter???


Yeah but there aren't many 1590B boxes with jacks and 9V connector on the top. I can't fit those three sockets on the top in a 1590B. One reason to love the Rockett Tour series - all three sockets on top, folded steel enclosure (REALLY strong!) and shorter than a 1590B.

The minis I love best don't suffer worse tone one little bit. The TC Mini Flashback sounds better than more delays if used for slapback - at least for me - and the little BJF One Controls sound every bit as good as the bigger BJFs. The circuits are slightly different but I actually get better tones from the One Control pedals than I ever did from the Bearfoot versions. And I can fit more One Control Minis on a board than Bearfeet.


Not everything has to be big in the way electronic components can be big or small. SMD capacitors can be ridiculously small because many layers of much better dielectricum can be applied in a much smaller footprint. Chips are exactly the same: inside a chip a human can still solder, sits the same mini bastard as in the SMD version. It's just that they could handle soldering such mini things in the seventies and eighties. But for pedals that depend on vintage components for their sound, there often is no SMD alternative as the design is discontinued. Think germanium transistors and such. It's obsolete technology, but not for pedal builders. SMD boards can sound as good as larger boards, if the used conponent materials lead to the same behavior. It can be done on a much smaller size. Most old components hold exactly the same stuff but then in a housing that is oversized in SMD terms. Major problem with SMD is that it is terrible to repair and design with. I need special glasses and lenses to sill see the contact wires of an SMD FET. You can easily overheat SMD components while soldering. You can put on too much solder by mistake and not see short circuit errors. There is hot air SMD soldering equipment. But I stopped right there. Take my iphone 5. No more wifi because contacts UNDER the chip are not soldered well. In the factory the ENTIRE chip gets heated in a process with balanced timing and temperature. You can hardly do this at home. It takes a skilled engineer 1 hour to fix that. At the going rate per hour, you should buy a new phone. SMD leads to disposable electronics.


Since the SMD capacitors can have layers of plate and insulator which are stacked by vaping on materials, you can have much more layers and thus capacity in a very small housing. But the voltage has to be low, like 10 volts max sometimes, because it is easier to create destructive sparks in a small housing. It won't matter for audio circuits but you can't build power gear with SMD.

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