This is my first Build Your Own Clone build and wouldn’t you know it is not a clone. It is a very versitile distortion that has a lot of features. I got this as a kit so I did not have to source my own parts. I also got 2 of the boosts: the LPB-1 and the MOSFET module. There is a speed build of the kit below.
The Crown Jewel from Build Your Own Clone is the ultimate drive and boost combo. It is not a clone of anything. It is an amalgamation of the best qualities from many different circuits to create something entirely new that is capable of producing a range of overdrive and distortion tones like no other analog pedal has before.
With a parametric midrange, and 3-way Mid Q switch, the 3-band equalizer allows you to voice the drive channel in almost any way imaginable.
The hard and soft clipping switches allow you to select 9 different textures of distortion. Hard Ge (Germanium) clipping is similar to the clipping in the Klon Centaur, Maxon OD-855, and MXR Dist +. Hard Si (Silicon) clipping is similar to DOD 250, ProCo RAT, Marshall Shredmaster, Fulltone OCD, Boss MT-2, and Boss DS-1. Soft Si clipping is similar to the Ibanez Tubescreamer, Boss SD-1, Boss OD-1, Zendrive, Marshall Blues Breaker, King of Tone, and Timmy. There’s also Soft LED clipping or no clipping at all. And you can also use soft and hard clipping simultaneously like the Boss HM-2, DOD FX53, and other more obscure dirt pedals.
The Crown Jewel has an internal charge pump that provides 18 volts to the drive channel circuit while still using your standard 9VDC negative tip power supply. The 18V/9V switch lets you decide how much voltage is supplied to the drive channel. Use 18V when you need more headroom or output. Use 9V for more traditional overdrive and distortion characteristics.
The boost channel is completely independent from the drive channel. You can turn it on and off even if the drive channel is off. The boost channel is modular. Changing the module is easy. Just remove the back of the enclosure, pull out the old module from its socket, and plug in the new module. The Crown Jewel comes standard with the LPB module, but we also over several other ala carte boost modules.
The first/last switch allows you to place the boost channel before the drive channel or after the drive channel. Placing the boost after the drive simply allows you to make your drive louder and impart whatever tonal characteristics the boost module adds. Placing the boost before the drive channel allows you to “stack” your boost with your drive for hotter overdrive tones, or use the boost as a pre-gain for tones similar to the Boss HM-2, DS-1, MT-2, and other high gain distortions.
The finishing touch on the Crown Jewel is the soft touch, clickless, pop-free, true-bypass, relay switching for both the drive and boost channels.