Design It Yourself On A Beavis Board

| October 31, 2010 | 4 Comments

The Beavis Board from Beavis Audio Research is one of those gadgets that’s hard to fully describe. It’s part guitar pedal kit, part effects design lab and part electronics learning course. With the Beavis Board you build classic pedal circuits and then have an easy way to tinker with the circuit and create your own design.

The Beavis Board has a standard-size pedal enclosure box with input/output jacks, footswitch and potentiometer already wired to terminal strips, that can be used to connect to the two breadboard strips. The breadboards allow electronic parts to be interconnected easily and without soldering, so circuits can be quickly assembled. Together, this setup lets you assemble a circuit and then try it out easily with your guitar and amplifier.

Have you built one of these kits? Share your knowledge by posting a comment.

The Beavis Board complete package was designed to address a number of challenges facing the guitar player who wants to build and experiment with pedal designs. The first is that no soldering is required due to the electronic breadboards. These allow you to just insert the leads of a component or wire into a socket to make the needed connections, as shown in the picture. Second, as convenient as breadboards can be on the workbench, they can be really inconvenient to use for testing with a guitar and amplifer. The breadboard wires for jacks, batteries and in/out switches will often become loose when connected to guitar cables and the whole assembly can be an ungainly and unreliable mess. With the Beavis Board everything is firmly mounted together on a board so it can be easily moved and tested.

The third issue addressed by this kit is getting all the parts. It can sometimes be difficult to chase down all the parts needed for a project from numerous suppliers. Electronic parts come in a bewildering array of sizes and styles. With the complete Beavis Board kit (see below) you avoid this hassle as it comes with an assortment of needed parts. The final piece is getting the schematic diagrams for the project and knowing how to lay out the parts. The Beavis kit comes with a a hacker’s guide that shows both the schematic and how to lay it out easily and quickly on the breadboard.

While the Beavis Board can be purchased separately for $109, it is also sold as part of a really nice package for $249 that also includes a digital multimeter for testing and troubleshooting, a design/hacker’s guide and a big collection of components: resistors, capacitors, transistors, ICs and more, specially selected for building 25+ stompbox/audio circuits. With these parts you can build the following: MXR Distortion + ● LPB-1 ● Brian May Treble Booster Gretsch Controfuzz ● ShOw Booster ● Orange Squeezer Compressor Muff Fuzz ● DOD Overdrive 250 ● Fuzz Face Muff Fuzz ● EA Tremolo ● Cigarette Amp ● Ruby Amp ● Noisy Cricket Amp ● Trotsky Overdrive Atari Punk Console ● Dual Oscillator Tone Generator Boutique Tube Screamer ● PWM ● Red LLama 567 Modulator ● Bazz Fuss Mockman ● IC Buffer ● JFET Buffer.

With the Beavis Board and the parts you can build a huge array of stompbox circuits including overdrives, distortions, fuzzes, filters, amplifiers, tremolos, noise generators, oscillators, and more. By assembling these projects you can learn about the different components and how they work to shape your guitar’s signal, then modify the stompbox designs to tailor your sound. It’s easy to try out the circuits through a true-bypass breakout box and have a lot of fun in the process.

Now it’s important to understand that the Beavis Board is not a replacement for pedal kits. The Beavis Board isn’t meant to create a permanent pedal, just prototypes. Once you reach a design that you want to make permanent, you’ll want to rebuild the circuit on a permanent platform. Beavis makes a nice solution for this as well, with a printed circuit board that follows the configuration of a breadboard, meaning that the same layout can be used to make a permanent pedal. These printed circuit boards are sized to fit within a standard pedal enclosure.

Visit Beavis Audio Research’s website to learn more about the Beavis Board.

Category: Pedal & Effects

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  1. avatar rchibnik says:

    Since Beavis / Dano have stopped selling these he has posted the layout of the breakout box (the key component of the beavis board.) I recently put one together using parts from pedal-parts-plus. I bought the enclosure from them and gave them a layout to drill and paint. Then I put the board together.

    One thing I noticed is that the layout supplied is a mixture of an x-ray view, looking down on the pedal as if it was a transparent box, and a view from underneath, showing the standard wiring of the bypass switch.

    So far I havent used it to build / debug any circuits, but I’ve got plenty of projects in the works and on-deck. Overall there are lots of circuits to play with – I’m hoping to get a better understanding of circuit design as a whole, and the design of pedals in general.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  2. avatar guitarkitbuilder says:

    We’d love to see some photos or write-up on how you created your own Beavis box. Let us know what you do with it.

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