Pedals: So how did we get here… My entry into guitar electronics started a long time ago. While I was a freshman in college for anthropology & music (percussion) my failure with both ended with my percussion teacher telling me that I might look for a career with music interest. Bummed out, I went back to the dorm smoked some pot with a friend who said “you could make audio, it’s not rocket science”. That was it left that college and went to Ohio Northern University on the suggestion from my uncle who said they had a bunch of Bell Labs Professors. I leaned how to design tubes, and tubes amps, how to design transistors and built transistor amps. I have been doing Wavelength Audio since 1981. In the 90’s my good friend Rob Fetters (co-lead guitar with Adrian Belew in The Bears) asked me to fix his AC30. I was a little surprised at what I saw and so I made Rob a RFC amplifier (reactor follower direct coupled single ended). He was floored, but I was not. I said can I bring it back tomorrow? I did and he was like what the ^&*((%%$# did you do? I heard you play and started taking lesson the next day. Since then I have done the touring equipment amps, iso cabs and so forth for Barenaked Ladies. I then worked with Andy Partridge (XTC, yes been to Swindon). Then covid happened and I had more free time so I started watching That Pedal Show in March 2020 on YouTube.com. This is when my interest in pedals peaked. I bought a bunch of germanium transistors and some weird tubes to try some ideas out. Stay tune to a directly heated triode clean boost and others here soon.

So why circuit boards, I always hear that point to point wiring is so much better? I think the person that said this, probably has never designed a circuit board in his or her life. I have been designing circuit boards since the late 70’s. Back then you used red and blue tape to describe the top and bottom layers. Today with Altium, I can do circuit boards in a couple hours that have only rounded traces and fitted ground planes to reduce noise. This creates a duplication method that is better than point to point wiring.

Nitrous Booster with 3 frequency ranges

Nitrous seemed like a good name for this pedal for 2 reasons. One since the site name is guitar-engines.com it seemed fitting to make the pedals oriented towards engine stuff. Plus Nitrous as we all know is Laughing Gas.

Being from the Audio realm we typically say if it’s worth doing something it’s worth over doing it. :) So thinking of the audience I am offering two versions of this pedal. Both pedals are really the best parts available in the world. Both versions use Mial polystyrene input caps for the standard Rangemaster filter and the 1/2 frequency (switch Right). A custom Precision Component volume control is used for the output. Full bypass switching and standard negative center 9V 2.1mm connector. An input isolation power filter with a common mode choke and two capacitors lowers the 9V noise before the circuit. There is not a connector inside for a 9V battery. Please use only 9V supplies for this pedal.

TurboCharged adds over the top components like V-Cap ToneCaps for the output coupling capacitor, Shinko Tantulum resistors, Mullard NOS OC140 & 950 NPN germanium transistors, Black Gate HiQ BGN capacitors and Mundorf MCapEvo Silver/Gold & oil for low frequencies capacitors (Left Switch).

The Standard version uses Kiwame Carbon film resistors, Mial polystyrene output, 2SD352 NOS germanium transistors, WIma MKP10 low frequency coupling (Left Switch) and Black Gate standard capacitors.

If you have never heard of Black Gate capacitors look them up on eBay ($$$).


The three way switch determines the high pass frequency. In the center switch position you get the Rangemaster (~2500Hz) sound. With the switch to the right you drop that frequency down to ~800Hz and switching the switch to the left you go almost full range at ~150Hz. These detail the 3 capacitors seen below on the circuit board. Use these setting to bring your guitar to a place in the mix which best suites the song you’re playing.

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Standard ($300 + shipping) is on the left and TurboCharged ($400 + shipping) is on the right. Contact me for details or custom versions. I typically hand make these with the NOS germanium transistors with an hfe of ~100. The Rangemaster used the OC44 PNP Germanium transistor that had a higher hfe. If you like I can make the circuit with ones at ~133->150 if you want something closer to the original sound. All transistors are tested at least 4 times so they are all sorta correctly.
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The main circuit board assembly for the TurboCharged shown, standard is the same with the parts listed above.

Red NPN NOS transistor on the standard is the 2SD352 and on the TurboCharged is the Mullard OC140 or 950.

Purple is the Wima Film Capacitor and the CMC choke for power supply isolation and noise immunity.

Blue is the custom Precision Components 10K volume control.

Green is the input coupling capacitors and the 3 way switch 2x Mial and Mundorf MEvo Gold/Silver in Oil (Wima MKP10 on standard).

Orange is the output capacitor in this case the V-Cap 0.015uF ToneCap.

Note the light purple resistors (R2) and (R6, just north of the blue pot) Shinko Tantulum on the TurboCharged.

Neutrik mono TS connectors.

To the right of the 20 turn pot for biasing you can see (C5) Black Gate BGN HiQ bypass capacitor.

The PCB’s are laid out with Aultium and use only rounded traces and have board shielding directives to make the design very quiet.