El Musico Loco: EL BOLUDO
This is a gritty, big, bold overdrive with potential and capability to be offensive and abrasive. Perfect. The first thing I though of when I plugged it in was slide and open tuning (G) hence my demo featuring a bit of both.
Chris Bradford explains the philosophy and idea behind the El Boludu far better than I can: “El Boludo is Argentinian street slang meaning ‘idiot’ or ‘stupid’ but the literal translation means ‘someone with big balls’ and my friend Scruffie who has some big balls, lovingly designed this circuit while on a pyschedelic gambling binge in Vegas a la Hunter S. Thompson.
He kept screaming,”What we have here is a failure to communicate!” Over and fucking over for no reason I can divine and then he handed me a bag of pills with a stained paper napkin inside with this circuit scratched on it.
Hence, El Boludo.
El Boludo is a chunky massive semi-clean boost to fat overdrive pedal. A new mix of the old going on in there as it is an 5534 op amp for a thick, full signal driving a hand selected NOS NPN transistor to give us a good bit of age old techno-fuzziness. Nothing genius and probably nothing new and so obvious I have not seen it done before but someone out there will prove me wrong I am sure.
It was originally meant to be a fuzz type pedal but works better in the clean boost to overdrive range so I have removed the diode clipping stage for all future models of the pedal.
Caña means to brag or boast and it drives the gain stage of the op amp so consider it your pre-gain. It is interactive with the setting of the following gain stage and works to control the amount of drive you have coming from any previous pedal.
Huevos is the gain stage and needs no defining. This drives the front end of the transistor for all your distorto-fun.
We keep it all sparkly and well behaved by buffering the output so the Boludo plays fair with the rest of your set-up.
Last but not least is your Jefe, your Boss, your Master Master Master of Volume- You get the idea…
So that’s it all wrapped up in a shiny etched box with true bypass, grounded input switching and the best parts I can get my hands on at the time.
Now, where’d I put those pills….”