Sonic Boom FAQs

SonicBoom FAQs

"Where, in the circuit, is the effects loop wired? Between repeater AND distortion/booster? What was it intended for?"

Yes, the effects loop is between the distortion/booster sections and the repeater section. Specifically, the "FX send" is "AFTER" both the booster AND the distortion and the "FX return" is BEFORE the repeater. So, the idea is that you can use whatever other effects you want with the Sonic Boom and still keep the booster and fuzz sections at the beginning of your chain where they sound best, and keep the repeater at the end where it sounds best. The “Distortion” is actually a classic fuzz circuit closely related to the Fuzz Face. Like many classic fuzz pedals, the input of the circuit is designed so it interacts directly with your guitar’s pickups and volume control, essentially making your guitar’s volume knob another control over the fuzz. If you place any buffered pedals before the fuzz, it will not sound good and you will not get the same control.

"What do the little trimmers inside of the pedal do?"

The trimmers inside are used to tune parts of the circuits. Specifically, in the early models with germanium transistor option, one is for the bias of the fuzz based on your particular transistors, and one is for the range of the repeater oscillator. They come adjusted for optimum performance from us and should never need adjustment.

"Do you make an expression pedal for the Sonic Boom repeater speed?"

We do not make an expression pedal for the Sonic Boom repeat rate at this time. For now, based on several customer recommendations and our own trial, we recommend using the Yamaha FC7 Expression pedal.

"What kind of expression/volume pedal, do you recommend for use with the Sonic Boom?"

Any expression pedal with a pot value of ~100K will do, but a reverse log taper 100K spreads the taper best. Most people seem to like the FC7 for its price and convenience. The FC7 expression pedal also allows you to cut out the repeat effect while still retaining the volume boost of the repeater section, basically acting as another gain stage or booster by just rocking it back all the way.

"I read somewhere, hand made (Sonic Boom) pedals will be stopped? Is it right? What kind of pedals do you plan to release in the future?"

That's not exactly correct. All of our pedals are hand made in Los Angeles, CA. In addition to doing high quality exact reproduction PCB's for vintage pedal clones, repairs and reproductions of vox onboard effects, and so on; we're starting to build some pedals like the Sonic Boom with printed circuit boards. PCB construction allows us to squeeze the size down a bit for a smaller, more ergonomic pedal board friendly enclosure.

"What is the difference between PCB and P2P?" "Which is more reliable?" "Is one easier to work on or sound better?"

PCB vs P2P (point to point) differences are the physical size and look of the pedal. "Point-to-Point" is not inherently "better" than PCB construction in the Sonic Boom. Both pedals have the same circuit, build quality, and sound. If anything the PCB is a bit more "hi-fi" to my ear; which makes sense simply due to being physically smaller with shorter signal paths. When you consider overall layout and general design of a finished product a PCB is often the best choice in all respects. Given a good design, constructed in the hands of an experienced builder; point to point vs pcb, or turret, or eyelet board, etc... does not matter. I've seen plenty of point to point builds where design is poor and/or overall build is just poor and it's still an all "point to point" build. This is scary to see in amps when components assembled point to point vibrate so much they've come loose and/or shorted out against each other or chassis under high voltage! On the other side on the coin, a friend just brought me a "boutique" multi effects pedal with a modern plated through hole printed circuit board that was "assembled" in the Netherlands. It wasn't working because two of the parts were NOT SOLDERED to the PCB in any way and the input jack was shorting to a switch because the enclosure was not drilled so the parts were spaced properly to avoid this. Just not designed or built well at all; and that was all pcb construction. Long story short: PCB vs P2P (point to point) does not matter in terms of the build quality, reliability, or sound of the Sonic Boom; just your preference in the physical package.

“I like the sound of the palm wah in my Vox guitars. Do you make this as a pedal?”

No. Most people seem to like to use this or that wah of their own preference and placement in the signal chain, we do not currently make the wah, but opted to let people use their own and place it anywhere they want with the optional FX loop. We prototyped a version of this Vox palm wah circuit in a more user friendly traditional foot controlled wah rocker enclosure, but have not as yet released it as a regular product. It is scheduled for release in 2017.

"What should I use to power my Sonic Boom?"

The Sonic Boom can be powered with one 9 volt battery or a 5.5x2.1mm barrel connector - center negative –positive ring. Just make sure you actually read or properly research the specifications of your power supply adapter to confirm it meets those specs. If you’re not sure and can’t determine which power supply you’ve got, just use a battery until you know. Any 2.1mm negative center “Boss” style barrel adapter putting out between 9-10 volts @ ~100 to 200 mA of current is OK.

"Can I 'daisy chain' my Sonic Boom with other pedals?"

Yes. This pedal is normal 9v negative ground, like most modern production stompboxes, so YES you can daisy-chain it with other 9v negative ground pedals. You can not daisy chain the sonic boom with positive ground pedals or vice versa unless you’re using one of the ISOLATED multi-power supply units such as Voodoo Labs Pedal Power or Decibel Eleven Hot Stone Deluxe power supply. Those types should work fine, just make sure you are using the 9 volt/100-200mA, NOT 12 or 18 volts.

"I tried powering my Sonic Boom (or any pedal with a DC jack) with an (XXX) adapter and now the 9v jack doesn’t work, even with the power adapter you recommend. It still works fine with a battery."

Most “Boss” style barrel adapters have a 5.5mm outer ring and a 2.1mm center pin. However, some have a 2.0, 2.1, 2.5mm etc… There are also some oddball adapters that look like they will fit but actually have slightly larger or smaller contacts. This difference is usually fractions of a millimeter and too small to recognize by eye. So, if you’ve tried an adapter that is not actually the correct size for your Sonic Boom, and then tried one that is correct, but found that your pedals will still not power up through its power jack, this may be due to the jack contacts being stretched out by inserting a plug of the wrong physical size. In that case just let us know and we will send you a repair authorization to replace your jack.

"A unicorn came and told me that I could get to the top of a magical psychedelic candy mountain of tone by simply fiddling with the two trimmers inside my Sonic Boom pedal. Now my pedal doesn’t work right. What should I do??"

Stop dipping your crack in formaldehyde. Seriously…should you “accidentally” adjust these or find the repeater and/or fuzz do not sound “right” anymore like they used to, you can send it back to us to re-set it for you, or if you have a voltmeter and some patience we can tell you how to adjust the bias to the fuzz and adjust the repeat range by ear.