Electra Distortion

This is very simple and effective distortion circuit used in multiple designs like Lovepedal Woodrow. It emulates the tone of a cranked Fender 5E3 Tweed Deluxe amp. You can use this pedal to obtain many different tones and gains.

Created by DHEA
Status: Active



The following table shows several guitar effects that you can build with the DH.A8 PCB. Note that some components are a jumper or don´t need to be placed.


By changing the diodes you can obtain different distortion tones. The germanium diodes (1N60, 1N270 or 1N34A) will produce softer distortion, the silicon (1N914 or 1N4148) harder and the leds more fuzz and crunch. You can also experiment with different combinations (symmetric o asymmetric). Use diode sockets and easy change the diodes to find the sound you are looking for. You can install the sockets on the botton side of the PCB. If you want to have a versatile pedal with a diode selector you can use a 2PDT switch or rotatory selector.

If you are using germanium diodes and you feel the output doesn´t have so much gain, you can put two diodes in serie, that will increase your output level.

For more information about diode modifications please take a look to www.diystompboxes.com/cnews/mods.html


The resistors are ¼ Watt metal type. You can either use a multimeter or the color bands to obtain their values. Resistors don’t have polarity; you can assemble them in any direction.

In some cases the component value is "jumper". You can use a small wire or component leg to create it. They are mounted on the component place (diode, resistor, capacitor... )

Electrolytic capacitors
Electrolytic capacitors have the value printed on them. The polarity is also is marked for the negative lead, additionally the longer leg is the positive and shorter the negative. Assemble the electrolytic capacitor according with the positive polarity (+) marked in the PCB, that is, the longer leg of the capacitor is passed through the pad marked with +.

Polyester capacitors
The polyester capacitors have three numbers, read as picofarads (pF), the first two are the 1st and 2nd digits and the third is the multiplier code. This type of capacitors doesn’t have polarity; you can assemble them in any direction.


Diodes have their type number marked on them. This two terminals component has polarity; a ring near the side indicates the cathode. This ring is marked as a line to indicate the correct polarity in the PCB.

Led diodes
Led diodes have polarity, the cathode is indicated as a flat surface on the side of the diode and also it is the shorter led. On the PCB, the cathode is marked as a flat side and anode as a round side.


Transistors are three terminals components and their model and name are printed on them. To indicate the correct assembling position one side of the transistor is flat and the other one is round, in the same way, the PCB is marked with round and flat side.


Potentiometers can be mounted directly on the PCB. For a correct orientation, the potentiometer shaft is marked on the PCB.