Voskhod? What is that?

Implementing a Soviet classic

Posted on February 27, 2018 by Crowella

So I’ve had a few people on various forums and other places about Voskhod? You’ve probably noticed it on the future products page. Put simply, it is going to be a variant of a Russian Big Muff with a clean blend. I did say that’s the simple answer.

Voskhod prototype board, featuring a more compact internal layout and substantially more SMD Parts

Once upon a time, I ended up making a slightly modified version of a Russian Big Muff (pictured above) to fill a tonal gap in the lower frequencies where I wanted that distortion to reach the whole way down the spectrum. The original I made has ended up in use for a long time on my board/rack, albeit without a clean blend. I made small modifications to it. It features lower gain transistors for a slightly darker sound. I haven’t really seen a Big Muff that has needed more gain, but I could be the odd one out. There were a few little tweaks too, just to change certain EQ points in the tone stack, as well as in the clipping stages.

One of the big reasons I have taken so long to release it though was the clean blend and a buffer issue. I used the same blend as in the Animated on my prototype and after a few minutes immediately clipped it off after some oscillation issues. That’s fine if you want to really make some noise but the oscillation due to the circuit feeding back made it unusable for its main purpose. What works in one, doesn’t work in the other without some modification, so I’ve gone balls to the wall and used a pre and post buffer on both the Voskhod guts and the clean to remove oscillation and clean up the blend even more. Results from the breadboard are very promising.

So now it’s been redesigned, just a matter of building the next prototype and testing. I’m still doing artwork for it. I won’t keep the scruffed, rattle can painted, worn version that I did to test the design even if it has “aesthetic”. I won’t announce a release date yet, it’s merely just a matter of getting it working, doing a few demos and then putting it on the production line.