Where To Buy DIY Guitar Effects Pedal Components
One of the best places I’ve found to buy DIY guitar effects pedal components on the internet is from Tayda Electronics. Their reasonable pricing and extensive range make it my primary go-to for starting a new project.
When starting this hobby for the first time, it can be tough to know where to buy your parts and components from. You need to know that they’re fit for purpose but also that you’re not getting ripped off.
As a rule, when buying guitar pedal components, I always buy more than I need. The reason for this is that you get to take advantage of some economies of scale i.e. the more you buy the cheaper they are. Additional benefits of doing this are; that you have spares in case you make a mistake and also that it allows you to build up your stock of components for future projects.
Whilst I’ll try and give you a price guide for each type of component you need to buy, please note that if you’re looking for vintage or rare parts, these guides will most likely not be for you.
BEST GENERAL DIY GUITAR EFFECTS PEDAL COMPONENT SUPPLIERS
If you don’t like the hassle of buying your parts from multiple different stores and therefore waiting on various delivery dates, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
The online stores listed below will be able to offer most of the items you need and whilst you may pay a slight premium for the convenience, the quicker you can get these components, the quicker you can start building your effects pedals.
US BASED SUPPLIERS
With same-day shipping and a huge range of parts, Guitar Pedal Parts is everything you’d hope for and more:
These guys do everything from single components to full pedal kits, however, they aren’t as cheap as other sites out there.
UK BASED SUPPLIERS
Being based in the UK, I like to support local businesses wherever I can and one of my favourite component stores in the UK is ESR:
The website may not look particularly appealing but they have a fantastic selection of components at very affordable prices with cheap shipping.
EU BASED SUPPLIERS
If you are based in the EU and want something a little closer to home, Musikding has a fantastic selection of kits and components. I’ve made a few of their kits in the past and they’ve been superb, so I’ve no doubt that their individual components would be of a similarly high standard.
All products are very affordable and furthermore, postage will never exceed €8.90, regardless of how much you order.
OTHER GREAT SUPPLIERS
Whenever you look on forums, Sub-Reddits and social media, one company that comes up time and time again is Tayda:
Tayda is an electronics supplier based in Thailand but don’t let that put you off. Their product catalogue is incredible and their prices are very reasonable.
WHERE TO BUY RESISTORS FOR DIY GUITAR PEDALS
Resistors are one of the most common elements of any guitar pedal build and when scoping out your next project, you’ll most likely find that you’ll need quite a few resistors in varying values.
Whilst most build guides will tell you the exact value of the resistor you need, some may only offer the colour bands and leave you to decipher them. In my guide to resistors for guitar effects pedals, I have a cool little tool that will help you find the value of a resistor just by looking at it.
If you are coming into this as a complete beginner and looking to build up your bank of guitar pedal components, I’d highly recommend purchasing a variety pack from eBay. A quick search for the term ‘Resistor Kit’ will bring up a whole host of different options with some kits offering a handful of different values of resistor and others offering 60+.
However, if you already have most of your parts and just need a few odd resistor values, it makes sense to purchase a pack of only that value.
If you’re based in the UK, BitsBox is very affordable when you buy resistors in packs of 10 or more. If you’re in the US or don’t mind the delivery time outside of the US, BangGood has some incredible deals on resistors.
As always, buy more than what you need. Odds are, you’ll need that value again one day in the future.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING RESISTORS
When looking to buy resistors online, you will most likely spot three different types of resistors:
- Carbon Film Resistors
- Metal Film Resistors
- Surface Mount (SMD) Resistors
The first two are fairly similar and will work for most of your standard DIY projects. However, Surface Mount Resistors tend to be for more advanced builders as they are much harder to work with.
As we’re dealing with such low voltages and power levels, we won’t need anything more than ¼ watt resistors. You can use resistors with higher wattage allowances, but there’s no benefit to doing this and you’ll find that the components are a bit bigger and may not fit the spaces on your PCB.
Unless you’re looking to build a vintage sounding pedal, I’d suggest that you always purchase metal film resistors. They generally have much tighter tolerances, meaning the values you’re getting are much closer to those that you’re expecting and make a little less noise.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR A RESISTOR?
When buying resistors, you should expect to pay 2 – 5p (3.5 – 7 cents) per resistor.
Due to resistors being so cheap, you’ll generally buy them in bulk (packs of 25, 50, 100 etc).
For a pack of 100 ¼ watt metal film resistors, you should be looking to spend around £2 ($2.50) for 100.
¼ watt carbon film resistors are much cheaper and you should be looking to spend around £1 ($1.50) for a pack of 100.
If you’re looking to buy resistors in bulk for guitar pedals, take a look at my guide here on the most common resistors that are worth stocking up on:
WHERE TO BUY CAPACITORS FOR DIY GUITAR PEDALS
If resistors are the most common component you’ll be using, capacitors are the second most common.
Like with resistors, if you’re completely new to this I’d strongly suggest buying a couple of capacitor kits. These will set you up with a few common values, thus allowing you to fill in the gaps with more specific values as and when you need them.
For the capacitor kits, you should look on eBay as you can get some great value parts here.
When it comes to topping up your existing selection of capacitors with more specific values, I’d suggest using BitsBox for those of you in the UK. However, if you’re looking to buy more than 25 of any value, ESR becomes the better option. Another fantastic option for capacitors is Tayda as they have a great rank and incredible prices.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING CAPACITORS
When looking to buy capacitors online, you first need to find out what type of capacitor the circuit calls for. The main three that you’ll come across when building pedals are:
- Electrolytic Capacitors
- Polyester Film Capacitors
- Ceramic Disc Capacitors
You can read more about the differences between these capacitors in my guide here.
As you are dealing with such low power circuits, you don’t need to worry too much about the power rating of the capacitors. The most common voltage rating of 25 volts will be perfect for what you need. However, if the schematic calls for something more than this, please follow those specific guidelines.
For the polyester film capacitors, these come in a few different form factors, but the most common when building pedals is the box type capacitors. Whilst it won’t matter too much if you use a different variation, I personally prefer the look of box type capacitors.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR A CAPACITOR
When buying capacitors there are varying prices for the different types of component.
For an electrolytic capacitor, you should expect to pay between 10 – 20p (14- 24 cents) per capacitor.
For a polyester film capacitor, you should expect to pay between 6 – 10p (8 – 12 cents) per capacitor.
For a ceramic disc capacitor, you should expect to pay between 5 – 10p (7 – 12 cents) per capacitor.
If you’re looking to buy capacitors in bulk for guitar pedals, take a look at my guide here on the most common capacitors that are worth stocking up on:
WHERE TO BUY TRANSISTORS FOR DIY GUITAR PEDALS
Transistors will quite possibly be the most difficult components to source depending on the transistor you are looking for.
Whilst eBay may seem like a great place to purchase your transistors, I’d suggest that you stay away from it. You can never guarantee that they’ll work and those that do work will have already been sorted through with only the unusable transistors being sold.
Instead, I’d suggest buying from an online store wherever possible.
A few stores that I’ve found online to be reasonably priced whilst stocking a number of useful components can be found here:
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN TRANSISTORS
My best advice for buying transistors is to stick to your parts lists as much as possible.
If, for any reason, one of the transistors you need isn’t available then you need to find a suitable alternative. Google will be your best friend here as there are many sites that will provide you with a list of alternative transistors for your project. These alternatives will be based on which transistors have similar characteristics and whilst they may not be the exact same, they may provide a unique flavour to your sound.
There are some pedals that require two or more transistors to sit in very specific gain ranges. A great example of this is with the Fuzz Face. In the first gain stage, you need a much lower gain transistor with a hFe of 70 whilst the second gain stage needs to be around 120 hFe. These are what’s called a matched set/pair. These will have already been tested, measured and handpicked for specific projects.
TRANSISTOR PRICE GUIDE
This is quite possibly the hardest price guide to create as transistors can vary so wildly in price. For anything vintage or rare, you could look to pay £10+ ($15+) for a single component. However, for anything more accessible like a BC108, BC549, BS170 or MPF102, you can pick them up for less than £1 ($1.50) each.
If you’re looking to buy some of the more available transistors in bulk for guitar pedals, take a look at my guide here on the most common transistors that are worth stocking up on:
WHERE TO BUY ENCLOSURES FOR DIY GUITAR PEDALS
Every pedal you build will need to be housed in something to ensure that the delicate circuits you’ve created are protected when you’re turning them on and off.
Most enclosures that you come across will be metal. They’re metal as this helps shield the pedal from outside electronic interference. If you choose to use something other than a metal enclosure, please be aware that you will need to find alternative shielding. The most common way to do this is with aluminium shielding tape.
If you’re buying a small number of pedal enclosures, I’d suggest taking a look at Gapco. On here, you can pick up pedal enclosures for £5.40. If you’re based in the US, PedalPartsPlus have some great offers of enclosures and if you’re willing to pay a little extra, you can get them to polish it for you which really makes it stand out.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN ENCLOSURES
The standard size pedal enclosure is the Hammond 1590B. This is what you will most likely be using for your standard-sized pedals.
For larger projects where you want to house two circuits in a single enclosure, I’d suggest taking a look at the 1590BB.
ENCLOSURE PRICE GUIDE
For a standard 1590B enclosure, in the UK, you can expect to pay around £6 each.
In the US, for the same enclosure, you can pick them up for around $7 each.
If you’re looking to buy the standard sized enclosures in bulk for guitar pedals, take a look at my guide here on the most common enclosures that are worth stocking up on:
As always, if you have any questions on anything in here or would like anything else featured in this guide, please let me know.