The Yellow Dodo

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This one is called the Dodo because it is my version of a famous pedal that also came in a yellow box and was built by a company with a name very similar to that of the poor extinct bird. My pedal and its inspiration are both derivatives of the classic opamp distortion circuit first popularised by the MXR Distortion+ in the early 1970s. Like that pedal and the many pedals inspired by it, it's a hard clipping distortion circuit and the Gain knob doubles as a tone control as more high frequencies and overtones are dialed in as you turn it clockwise. Several versions of the original pedal exist; this is based on a version from 1998 and uses an RC4558 opamp. I think that this sounds a bit more muscular than earlier versions, but it retains the same basic character.


This was one of the first pedals I built, mostly for practice purposes and because it uses the RC4558 opamp and I had some lying around that I had bought by mistake and had no real use for them. The stripboard layout was devised by mirosol. Building the pedal was a big learning experience, especially when it came to what not to do with the lacquer.

I had heard good things about the DOD 250, but my experiences with distortion pedals up to that point had been largely disappointing, so I shied away from buying a used original and decided to build one myself. It sounded so nice that I dived deeper into the world of this kind of distortion circuit. Eventually, I decided to abandon the Yellow Dodo and chose to concentrate my efforts on the Double Dodo instead.