Clay Jones Overdrive

7 03 2008

Today, a ray of light has broken through the blinding fog of ignorance and illuminated shining knowledge before this one’s eyes. The mysterious, mythical, outrageous, and coveted Clay Jones Overdrive has been exposed for all to see. A Freestompboxes member named “Whammy” recently purchased one of the CJOD “clones” built by an individual only known as “Kris” and sold under the name BlackmarketFX. I have bumped heads regarding these clones on several occasions with some people on both Freestompboxes and The Gear Page. My complaint has been that this person who claims to have traced an original CJOD refuses to back it up with any proof and refuses to share a schematic; therefore, how could anyone know that it is truly a clone and not a scam? When this first came up as a topic on TGP a photo was posted showing a finished clone. With some novice-level URL hacking, I soon found myself in the main Photobucket folder where the photo was stored, named, not surprisingly, “BlackmarketFX”. Within that folder I found this photo.

CJOD Solderside

Well, within probably less than two hours, the Photobucket folder was deleted, but not before several forum members got the images saved. Short thereafter, this trace of the underside photo showing the relative placement of key components was mapped out by expert circuit tracer, Analogguru.

CJOD Solderside Component Trace

It was readily apparent to anyone familiar with common guitar effect circuits, that this matches almost exactly with what you would expect to see in a circuit derivative of the classic Ibanez Tube Screamer. When compared up against the lengthy story provided by Clay regarding the details of the hows and whys of the whole deal with the original 50 units, this corroborates the theory that he simply copied the popular Landgraff Dynamic Overdrive – which is itself nothing but a copy of the Tube Screamer with a few common mods that have been a part of the DIY community for years. Still, despite the evidence brought forth, there still persisted theories that the circuit is based on the DOD Attacker Compression/Overdrive pedal. This one’s opinion is that if he did indeed build an overdrive derived from the DOD, it was only built maybe once or possibly twice and was not included as part of the main run of 50 which were sold.

For further evidence, an individual who was involved with setting up the deal for selling the original 50 overdrives, contributed a picture of his own non-gooped Clay Jones-built overdrive. He says this is the first one Clay did for him. This is the photo he emailed to me, reprinted here with his kind permission:


At this point any doubts that the CJOD is a simple copy of the Landgraff Ibanez copy had disappeared from my mind and the minds of any others not attached to the idea that it must be a clone of a DOD.

Now, finally, today the above mentioned “Whammy” showed us the fruits of his labor. He took the plunge and purchased one of the BlackmarketFX CJOD clones and degooped it for the world to see. The photos are reprinted here with his kind permission:

BlackmarketFX CJOD Clone

BlackmarketFX CJOD Clone Guts

BlackmarketFX CJOD Clone Trace Side

BlackmarketFX CJOD Clone Component Side

There you have it, brothers and sisters; a Tube Screamer clone with a Burr Brown opamp and LED clipping diodes. The values of the passive components are identical to that of the Landgraff.

So now, without further adieu, I present to you my schematic of the Clay Jones Overdrive based on the information gathered over the past few months as this story has unfolded and information which was shared with me by the practitioner who degooped the clone:

Clay Jones Overdrive Schematic

There it is my friends; the overdrive which has commanded prices as high as $1,500 on eBay. Shocking? Offensive?

Stay tuned for a complete DIY project for this popular Tube Screamer derivative.


There are several images which I have used here without permission. If you are the original copyright holder of any images published here and you would wish them removed, please let me know! Thanks.



6 responses

10 03 2008
Steve (bajaman)

Nice one Martin!!!!
Perhaps i should draw a PCB layout for a DIY project on FSB

26 04 2008

If ever there was a reason to learn how to use a soldering iron and read a schematic.

26 04 2008

A complete project would be awesome!
Great website by the way!

24 05 2008
Noel Grassy

Was that removed photo the one of the cab builder’s? There’s tangibility to analogguru’s thoughts on the reason for using goop. I only know that term mutatis mutandis from the first album of those guys whose names all begin with the letter “B”. I dig both of your blog sites. As always, I appreciate all the hard work you share so willingly. I just got all the parts to build a few CJOD’s and wondered about your thoughts on socketing the diodes. Should I?
TIA, Noel

28 05 2008

Thanks, everyone!
Yeah, socketing the diodes seems like a good idea. This general circuit topology can be tweaked to make many useful variations. If anything, all the different Tube Screamer-based overdrives out there is ample proof of that.

20 10 2008

Is The Original CJOD clipping 5mm LED or 3mm LED ?

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