A boost "pedal", an ornament, a fun project kit, a conversation piece

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree

Playable Guitar Pedal Ornament

So what exactly is this?

Playable guitar pedal ornament
And how does it work?

Flip the switch to make the lights blink. Plug in your guitar to engage the Nine Volt Nirvana Tape Measure audio circuit (schematic).

How does it sound?

It gives you a pretty decent boost, around 25dB, and a bit of gritty overdrive. When cranked it has a bit of a lo-fi vibe to it.

I'll try to make a video demo before too long (unless you do! Please do and I will happily post it), but my recording setup is pretty bad.

How do I get one?

This is available pre-built, or as a DIY kit that you solder together, or even a standalone PCB. If you can't or don't want to order a PCB you can get all the files needed to make your own on the GitHub project page.

Shop Kits Shop Pre-built

Instructions / How To

Using the Pedal

There's really only one non-obvious thing to be aware of: when your guitar cable is plugged in, the pedal is using power. Unplug it when you're not playing. This has two circuits: the lights controlled by the switch, and the audio controlled by the input cable.

NOTE: If you experience a ticking noise while playing, turn off the pedal's blinking lights. Or embrace it and shrug it off because your guitar is plugged into a freaking Christmas Tree, hanging on a bigger Christmas Tree.

Build Documents

Download Build Instructions

  • The following are included in the build document, but here are direct links if you want to skip the walkthrough and go straight to the details:
Need Help?

Post to Reddit r/diypedals, the DIYstompboxes forum, or the Facebook Guitar Pedal Builders group. If I see any posts here I'll jump in and try to help.

You can also email me directly but you'll get a quicker response through those groups.

There are dozens of other DIY pedal communities as well, so of course you can seek help anywhere else.