So dig this: The GS is based off the Gold Standard fuzz circuit that I carried as a semi-flagship product from 2013-2017 or thereabout. Ok – to be more accurate it IS the Gold Standard circuit, albeit with a noticeable size reduction, a couple tweaks to make it more synth friendly and one or two other updates derived from lessons learned after a decade since the first time I spray-painted a box with some gold enamel in an attempt to keep the bill collectors at bay. Also, these tiny panels, man – you try to spell “Gold Standard” in a legible font on a tiny panel and still have enough room to make it pop among a sea of modules. Sonically, it’s a weird one – definitely derived from inexperience and a little bit of luck, but it somehow found its followers. Among its many features include buzzsaw-grade thickness, a whole deal of sustain, an interesting breakup and an input impedance that’s so low that it should probably be illegal – all of which pretty much mean nothing when you’re not running a guitar through it – not to say that you couldn’t if you so desired. However, when paired with the usual blips and chirps of the synthesized world, it half acts as a waveshaper; cutting and compressing various signals and half as a filter, accentuating the occasional harmonic peaks and valleys. In short, it’s not without its merits. Oh right, it also does this thing with the kick drums where it makes it all saturated and grimey in the best and/or worst possible ways. Not to mention, on certain occasions when the moon is just right, it may just start oscillating and chirping on its lonesome, which I guess is also a feature. All said, I like it and while I’m not sure this is my signature circuit, I’ve had a Gold Standard on my pedalboard since the day I first built one and have converted it into a couple other formats as well over the years so that’s at least something. Under normal circumstances, I’d be all “lets make a production run of this thing and call it a day” – BUT – at the moment, the rest of my existence has me running myself ragged with other electronics stuff and truth be told, I’m more about education and DIY than I am about the whole capitalist thing, so for the time being this thing will be a DIY/workshop only exclusive. I mean, yeah, I’ll probably pony out one or two for merch tables from time to time, but again, busy – not to mention that the further I slide into this academic trip I’m on, the ethics of trying to peel out a couple hundo in sales at the back of the venue only go over so well. So it goes. Either way, have at gang.

Business Stuff

I’m largely keeping this section here for consistency – not to mention for those who like to cut the fat and dive right into logistics but for those that didn’t read the intro, this critter’s DIY/workshop exclusive. Like it? Build it!


A couple clips for your consideration. Clip the first = what happens when you plug all the VF modules together. Not bad, yeah?

Clip 2 = that amazing grimey bass drum thing I mentioned. For this example, kick duties come by way of a Plaits module that’s more or less untouched except some harmonic tweaking. Additional clicky/glitchy stuff come in courtesy of Rings (run through a Fabrica) and a DUKRPLS. Again – not bad, yeah?

Additional Info:

  • Power is provided by the usual ribbon cable – red stripe positioned as marked on the panel. As a heads up, a shrouded headers are too big for this one so be careful and always check before you hit that switch. In theory there’s reverse power protection in place, but even so. Speaking of power draw is fairly minimal – probably less than 100 ma, and only on the positive side of the cable.
  • As with all DIY audio electronics that have exposed circuitry, I am in no way am responsible for electrocution, injury, loss of life, etc. due to misuse of this product, act of angry deity, etc. I trust that you’ll do the right thing in the end and not do something foolish like lick this or perform in the bathtub or something, but hey, gotta cover my backside.
  • Depth is minimal – like maybe 16 mm or so. In other words, “skiff friendly.”
  • Width is 4 hp. There’s teensier stuff out there, but for this guy it’s about as small as you can go before you either turn things in its side or employ the robots to place the tiny components. Speaking of:


To build this thing, you’ll need:

  • 2x “Thonkicon”-style jacks.
  • 3x 2n5088 transistors
  • 1x 78L09 9v voltage regulator
  • 2x 100uf electrolytic capacitors
  • 1x 1uf monolithic ceramic capacitor
  • 2x 10uf monolithic ceramic capacitor
  • 1x 0.1uf monolithic ceramic capacitor
  • 1x 220r resistor
  • 1x 1k resistor
  • 1x 4.7k resistor
  • 2x 10k resistors
  • 1x 100k resistor
  • 1x 1m resistor
  • 1x 2.2m resistor
  • 1x 10k 9mm linear potentiometer
  • 1x 100k 9mm trimmer-style linear potentiometer
  • 1x 100k 9mm logarithmic/audio potentiometer
  • 1x spdt on-on switch
  • 1x 1n4001 diode &
  • 1x 2×5 power header

Building should be pretty straightforward and all components are labelled. Feel free to get in touch if you get stuck – happy to help.


Eagle and Gerber files can be found here.

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