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I'd love to learn this...

4/16/1997 7:28 PM
Chris Coleman
I'd love to learn this...
Hey there, board surfers. This is my first time looking over this board here and I already love this stuff. This summer I plan to crack down on it and learn this stuff. I've noticed that all of you who post here frequently seem to be very nice guys- so is there specific way I should go about researching/learning this stuff? I'm a total gear head with a LOT of effects pedals and I'd love to build my own... so are there any groundbreaking books that could help me out or anything? Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks...
4/17/1997 2:54 AM
R.G. Keen

Welcome aboard. For a little intro, try reading through the Guitar Effects FAQ at It contains some basics and some pointers to books and other resources. Then give me a yell if I can help.
4/17/1997 5:17 PM
Mark Amundson

Also get your hands on Craig Anderton's  
Electronic Projects for Musicians (EFPM). The  
soft cover book is available from PAiA  
( for a few dollars. R.G.'s FAQ's  
and EFPM will start you in the right direction.  
Mark Amundson, (
4/17/1997 9:18 PM
Mark Hammer

My vote also goes with Craig Anderton's books. Surprisingly enough, they can often be found in public libraries. There are three books in the whole series: Electronic Projects for Musicians (generally abbreviated as EPFM), a second edition of same, and a more recent book called (I think) Electronic Projects for Guitarists. The latter book is a compendium of projects that appeared in his Guitar Player column over the years. The first two have many of the same projects as each other - conceptually speaking - but the second edition has redesigned them, and adapted them more for a rack-mount system. The second edition also tend to have more technical information about them, and more bells and whistles (plus ideas for mods, which is where the real learning occurs). If you know of a library that gets or got Contemporary Keyboard, there are quite a few Anderton projects in there from the early to mid 80's. They are directed at synth players, but they often have some decent insight which guitarists can benefit from too.  
Anderton also has a book called "Guitar Gadgets". It's not really an electronics-oriented book per se, but it steps through virtually every conceivable category of stomp-box/rackmount effects (and their variations; e.g., photocell vs pot-based volume pedals), and explains them at a systems or conceptual level. Great for getting the big picture, (although RG's FAQ may do it in less time).  
Phone up Stewart-McDonald Guitar Shop Supply (don't have the 1-800 number handy but it's in the classifieds in every issue of Guitar Player), and ask for their free catalogue. They sell Anderton's books plus a number of other books on the same topic, not to mention a host of other guitar goodies. Some of the best toilet reading going!  
Many of the popular magazines aimed at electronics hobbyists are useful: Popular Electronics, Radio Electronics (called Electronics Now these days), Elektor (from Britain), Electronics and Wireless World (from Britain), Maplin's Electronics (from Britain - has a great series by Ron Penfold on analog and digital delays these days, even has a schematic for a two-chip digital delay in the current issue), Practical Electronics (Britain), Electronics Today (Canada), and numerous others, which can often be found in public and university engineering libraries.  
Finally, you could do yourself a VERY big favour by ordering the catalogue from PAiA Electronics (, and ordering a project kit from them. I ordered one of their Phlanger kits back in the late 70's and never looked back. The projects are great, the service is great, the price is great, and the documentation is exquisite.  
If this doesn't get you going in the right direction, nothing will. If you have a spouse or partner of some other kind at the moment, this info is sure to put a crimp in your's THAT GOOD!
4/18/1997 3:16 AM
Mark Hammer

One more thing. In this particular club, there is no formal castration requirement. It's a questin people are naturally inclined to ask about web-based groups these days, so I just thought I'd clear that one case you were wondering. As for sucking solder fumes as a religious ritual, well that's another matter!
4/18/1997 5:07 AM
Chris Coleman

Hey thanks for the advice, guys! I feel I'm well on my way- I've gone ahead and ordered Anderton's Projects for Guitarists, cause it seemed the most "text-bookish" as far as reading schematics n' stuff goes. I hope do be doing this stuff this summer a bunch- thanks again...
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