Blog - Overview

Blog - Overview

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gainster / Hoochee Mama Overdrive


The Clark Gainster is a rare and not too hyped drive pedal. Its one of the sweetest sounding drive pedals ive ever heard so far though.

The clark gainster has a very simple circuit, but sometimes less is more.

The gainster can be built with Mojo parts or not. This article is more about the mojo part one ;) I called my version of the Mojo Gainster: Mojo Drive ;)
Because mojo parts are not small, the enclosure should be big enough and the whole has to be built on a vero ;) you can use existing veros. i just built the vero up by myself.

For the non mojo version the Egghead PCB from madbean can be used.

The Clark Gainster can be built up with 3 or 4 pots. Drive, Tone, Gain and optional the Bottom Pot, which an be used to cut / add bass frequencies. In my built i didnt use the Bottom pot.

You may have heard of the Hoochee Mama Pedal. Its a 3 knob clark gainster clone with mojo parts and used by Coco montoya and lance lopez.


This schematic shows the circuit for 3 pots and also the addition for the 4th pot. You simply need one more cap for the 4th one.
In the schematic you see also the mojo parts.

I found out, that the PIO caps (paper in oil) are kind of rare. I ordered them directly from russia.
All other parts are available at you can also order a nice vero board there.

Tip: I used single core hard wires, they also hold the board ;)

Other mojo parts are the Mallory caps and the Carbon Comp resistors.
the IC and the diodes are not so critical. you can use a TL072, LF353 or any 4558 chip for the IC, and 1n4148 or 1n914 for the diodes.
In my build I used a JRC4558 chip (as in the hoochee mama). Also the Hoochee Mama uses either a tropical fish or a orange drop capacitor as output capacitor (100nF before the Volume pot).

In my schematic i added a 100uF elco and a reversed 1n4001 (polarity protection) between 9V and ground.

My build

Here are some pics from my built mojo drive gainster


  1. Nice work!Recently i'm looking into this too.Could you please tell me what the100uf cap does?

  2. hi, thanks a lot :) the 100uf is between 9V and GND and is for voltage protection + stabilisation. its optional.
    the 1n4001 protects the circuit against wrong polarisation

  3. do you know what the differences are between the C.G. and H.M.?

  4. do you know what the differences are between the C.G. and H.M.?

  5. the HM is a three knob CG. the values are the same too afaik. the CG uses pio caps, while the HM uses orange drop or mallory or film caps for the in and output caps

    1. Thanks, looking at the HM gut shots, it would appear there is an additional 1M resistor (I figured out where that is wired into the circuit) and a 220ohm in the middle of the board. Would you know where that is wired into the circuit?

    2. the 1M is probably a pull down resistor, to prevent the bypass switch to make a pop-noise. i couldnt see a 220 anywhere... only a 22k which is part of the CG schematic

    3. The 220ohm would be the resistor just under the name "BROWN" on this board shot: