Dallas Rangemaster Clone

A guitarist friend of mine has been pining after a classic 70s treble booster pedal. I offered to help. Germanium transistor time!

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The Dallas Rangemaster is a treble-boosting guitar effects pedal from the 1970s. Plenty of good info online about these units; for a brief history, take a gander at this article.

The original Rangemaster is an extremely simple design: it's essentially a high pass filter combined with a small amplifier. The key to the design is the use of a single germanium transistor; this device's unique (and usually undesirable) electrical characteristics make for a unique tone.

See, pretty simple, right? In the last few decades a number of clones have improved on the original design a bit; it seems like some folks will putz about with the 0.0068uF cap value to change the bass attenuation, and using an NPN transistor (rather than a PNP unit) is handy as it pulls ground negative. In any case, it seems like step zero is to find a source of good condition NOS (new old stock) germanium transistors. I think this circuit might be best suited to copper ground plane construction to improve noise performance, which will be a new one for me.

Anyone out there in project land ever built a Rangemaster clone? I'm not a guitar player, so this stuff is all pretty unfamiliar.

  • Ordered some transistors!

    zakqwy07/01/2016 at 15:23 0 comments

    Grabbed a few dozen germanium PNP transistors off eBay; they're MP41s, so we'll see how they work. Need to find an electric guitar and an amp.

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Discussions wrote 01/24/2018 at 01:04 point

I hope this isn't your only build.. Doesn't your friend need a Fuzz pedal too? 

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Yann Guidon / YGDES wrote 07/01/2016 at 16:57 point

You'll like to look at my germanium project ( #Clockwork germanium has some interesting logs) and @Alexander Shabarshin :-)
Hope these logs help a bit...

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zakqwy wrote 07/01/2016 at 17:44 point

Thanks! Seeing @Alexander Shabarshin's #Germanium Vision project actually reminded me to get moving on this project. I'll take a look through your #Clockwork germanium project, looks pretty neat!

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