Dubious Distinction

Dubious Distinction Circuit Board (with the colors way out of whack)
Dubious Distinction


This was the second pedal that I made, and it has the dubious distinction of being the one where I learned how to troubleshoot a non-working pedal. I eventually figured it out with some help from the pedal-building community, though.

This pedal is built from a BYOC Large Beaver Triangle, which is inspired by a specific version of the iconic Electro-Harmonix Big Muff π. There have been a ton of different versions of this pedal since it was developed in 1969 (and they’re still being made today). I don’t claim to know the complete history, which is complex and convoluted, but “Triangle” is a name that fans have given to some of the earliest production versions.

This one has some elaborate tone controls. In addition to the standard tone knob, there is a switch that allows for a mid boost, mid cut, or flat mids, and another switch to bypass the tone stack completely and let it run wild.

I didn’t realize how much I needed this pedal until I built it. It’s crazy good.

Vital Stats

Harmonic Complexity
Graphics from Microsoft Word


The sound sample is the Junior into the Dubious Distinction with the tone stack bypassed into a slightly breaking up Fender Deluxe. Then the Coronacaster comes in with the Dubious Distinction in mid-boost tone mode with the sustain cranked up into the same amp.

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Mind your tone (this is a pedal joke)