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Hi there, welcome to my blog - La Revolution Deux. It's an odd name - but I like it! Here you will find all the info on my various DIY Guitar effects builds, amplifiers and guitars. Everything from a humble Ibanez tubescreamer to the holiest KLON Overdrive.

You may also find a few effects builds that I am looking to move on - usually in exchange for other effects/gear/cash. You can always check my ebay account to see what I've got up for grabs.

Have fun, enjoy the blog - Fred Briggs :-)

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

TC Electronics - Sustain + Parametric Equalizer


This is a strange one, a super rare beast, but I had the opportunity to play with one the other day. The controls are a little tweaky and it's also sensitive to the position it's placed in the signal chain but when you get it right! Wooo, there's some great tones here; super long sustain and really punchy rhythm tones and with the parametric EQ you can really pick out certain frequencies that you want to accentuate or remove.

Personally the compression/sustain/noise gate part of this pedal is the one that I like, the parametric eq can be covered by other pedals but the sustain/noise gate section really is something unique. Flicking the distortion switch on gives you some nice clipped tones that add a nice smoothness to your tone.

There is very little info around the internet for these things and even TC Electronics struggle to provide info. I did discover that David Gilmour used a couple in his rig in the late 1980s though; http://www.gilmourish.com/?page_id=2111

Ok, so here's the description from the TC Electronics website (This description was in place for the reissue version that is also now discontinued!);

"One of the true grails of vintage effects pedals. This one really enhances your tone. Go from subtle compression to extreme sustaining effects at the tweak of a knob. This sustainer will prolong life of even your weakest tone otherwise destined for premature death.

The Classic Sustainer + Parametric EQ gives you studio quality compression in a pedal. Crank it to the extreme and it’ll give your sound that percussive “thud” brilliant for funk or country. And with its parametric EQ you’re in full control of which frequencies to target."





After even more searching I uncovered some gutshots of the pedal, check out the goofy 1980s PCB design;




After some more exhaustive searching and a trip to the WayBackMachine I discovered this;



Yes! A schematic file for the pedal. I'm going to have to study this one for a while until I really understand what is actually going on fully in the noise gate/compression section of the pedal but it's a pretty interesting design incorporating both OTAs *and* op amps in various feedback loop configurations. I'm probably going to have a play around with this design and see if I can distil the compression section into a little project for people to build up.

9 comments:

  1. hey briggs,
    it's pinkjimi from the forum(s)
    any chance you have a full size schem for this beast? i can't seem to blow this one up enough to really see it well...
    love the blog brother...gets better every single time i visit. ;)
    rock on
    pinkjimiphoton

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Jimi, you should be able to view the PDF in google docs or download it and view it in any PDF viewer. You'll be able to blow up the image then. It's a pretty complex beast and not a structure I've studied before!

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks fred,
    i got it...i had tried to save it before, but my script blockers on firefox would only let me save it as an image file..got the pdf once i disabled the plugin..
    got it...WOW...looks pretty cool, looking forwards to trying to understand it a little.
    after building a clone theory on vero, this really doesn't look as hard as it would have a couple months ago!
    thanks again bro, love the blog...every day, i learn something new, and get to build something freekin' cool...and dig some philosophy even. it's all good my friend,
    namaste!!
    jimi

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi I have a question,
    I see an input, output and 2 ex something,
    what are those inputs/outputs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      There are an ext power and ext bypass(remote controll),bless - alchimie

      Delete
  5. I have this in my actual pedalboard. The sound is great- not so easy to find althought. Thnx for al this info. Bless, paolo alchimie

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Fred,
    Just saw this on the FreeStomp Forum. Boy! Is that schematic drawn wierd or what(?)
    Sustain + Parametric was very interesting. Guess I'll have to print the schematic out to see if I can make heads or tails of it. I also got a front view pic of the box itself.
    Great webspace!! afn. Toneman

    ReplyDelete
  7. I bought one of these back in the day, I still have it in the box, just some light scuff marks. I'd sell it if anyone was interested. regards Jimi (Australia) email info@jimihocking.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Do you know if its possible to mod the pedal to change the amount of compression?

    ReplyDelete

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