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Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 11:33 pm
by leftyguitarman
So if I wanted to make a basic stomp box to play through my amp, what would I need? I figured I'd buy a cigar box and mount a piezo buzzer inside and solder it straight to an output jack. Would it work? Is there anything I'm missing?

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 1:35 am
by Buffalo_Bill
I think a cigar box would be too flimsy for your boot. I would make something out of plywood. You may want to deepen the bass and probably use a preamp too. Why not just a cheap mic?

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 1:57 am
by michaelm
Lefty, this has come up on here before. I think that you're going to need something a lot more robust than a cigar box. If you haven't already, do a Google and take a look at some of the commercial units. They're pretty stout. As well as the piezo buzzers, Radio Shack has some cheap mic elements that you might want to also check out.

Here are some of the earlier threads:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=628&hilit=
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6790&hilit=
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9387&hilit=

HTH.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:45 am
by leftyguitarman
Being the impatient person that I am, I went out and got stuff before the thread had any replies. I got a cigar box at my local smoke shop ($2.17) and a greeting card ($4.99) with a speaker in it. I wired that to an output jack and mounted it in the cigar box. It works, but it's got a lot of high end and it isn't very loud. The Radio Shack near my house shut down and I was too lazy today to drive into Phoenix to go to another one. It seems like I need a solid piece of wood and a better mic of sorts.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:44 am
by maxx england
I make boxes out of things like whisky sample boxes, and my favourite mics are cheap little 2" speakers, 2 for £1 a stereo pair in ta-daaa- Poundland. Robust (have to be to deliver even their small sound) and more bass response from the behaviour of the speaker materials.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:11 pm
by NEONMOONY
Catfish Keith uses one. After a show once, I asked him about his and he was kind enough to get it and show me. It was a piece of masonite type material with a slot cut into the side edge of it. Wedged in the slot was an under the saddle type acoustic guitar pickup. outside the slot, it was wired up to a 1/4" inline instrument jack. Plug in an instrument cord, like any instrument, and mix it from the PA. That setup had maybe a little more tweeking capability than some. Not as cheap maybe unless you have an old junker elec/acoustic layin' around. Suddenly, the old Esteban or Yamaha has parts worth more than the guitar.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:07 am
by MakaInOz
I made one out of 1/4" ply that was laying around. I just eyeballed the shape from a commercial stomp box on eBay. Its basically a box about 10" long, 6" wide and tapers from 2" to 3/4" inch thick.

I put my most expensive element in it (a telephone hearing - yep, hearing, not speaking - element from an old office phone - cost=$0) and taped it to the bottom then wired it to a 1/4" jack ($1.95) mounted in the back. Painted it all matt black (hides many woodworking deficiencies) and put a small rubber foot (4 for $2.95) on each corner on the bottom (stops it wandering and gives it some resonating space). A standard guitar cable into a PA (or even a bass practice amp) and you're in business.

Its got a big enough surface area on top to get quite a variety of tones, depending on where you tap. Hardness of footwear also makes a difference. For something a bit unusual, put a bit of cardboard under one of its feet and rock it back and forwards - two beats for one action if you're on a hard floor!

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:04 pm
by allanlummox
I have one of the units Maxx has been building and it works great!

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:38 pm
by zhyla
leftyguitarman wrote:It works, but it's got a lot of high end and it isn't very loud.


I haven't done a stomp box, but in general I've had better luck with piezo tabs that I buy from Mauser. I forget the brand/part number but I think they only sell one kind.

The high end may just be the frequency response of your (small, light) box. But you can always attack that with a low pass filter.

The low output is a fact of piezos; they have good output but are very high impedance. So you need a preamp to match them to your equipment. If you're electronically inclined you can build a buffer into your box.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:31 pm
by ricochet
Mouser's just a great place to buy all sorts of electronic bits!

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:33 pm
by zhyla
ricochet wrote:Mouser's just a great place to buy all sorts of electronic bits!


Ah shoot, I get "Mauser" and "Mouser" flipped all the time. Mouser sells electronic components, Mauser is an old firearm manufacturer.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:48 pm
by ricochet
I'm right fond of Mausers, too!

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:25 pm
by zhyla
ricochet wrote:I'm right fond of Mausers, too!


I don't have any of those but I do have an Arisaka that is loosely based on a Mauser-style action. Sweet little carbine, if I could just hit something with it.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:18 am
by ricochet
Yeah, the Arisaka's mostly a Mauser. Nice rifles that didn't get their due respect from Americans during & after WWII. (As was also true for the Japanese people.) If you've got an unmodified one, especially one that doesn't have its chrysanthemum defaced, it's pretty valuable nowadays.

Re: Basic stomp box

PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:17 am
by zhyla
It's got a mostly defaced 'mum but it is rechambered in .30-06. So it's modified. But the rest is unadulterated, it shoots readily available ammo, and it was free :).

Need to shoot it again, didn't shoot well the first time but I'm not used to the peep sight.