Toneloc Assembly Guide

Safety Precautions, Warranty, and Disclaimer Improper soldering and handling of electricity can cause serious injury and damage to your property. Read and understand the instructions below before beginning your project. Follow the instructions, build carefully, and use the appropriate tools. Build at your own risk. DIY Recording Equipment, LLC is not responsible for any damage or injury resulting from the assembly or use of your kit. You are the manufacturer of your kit. It is your responsibility to turn this group of parts into a working piece of recording equipment. DIY Recording Equipment, LLC does not guarantee the success of your project and disclaims any Implied Warranty of Merchantability. Please visit the support forum for assembly support.
Damaged or Missing Parts All kits and parts are checked before being shipped to you. If something arrives damaged or if your kit is missing a part, please open a support ticket to inquire about a replacement. Missing parts will be replaced at our expense. Damaged parts should be returned for verification. If the part shows signs of use beyond what was necessary to determine that it was damaged, DIY Recording Equipment, LLC reserves the right not to replace the part.

Thank you for purchasing a Tone-loc kit! Depending on your level of experience, you should be able to turn the pile of parts in front of you into a working piece of recording gear in about 1-2 hours.

If this is your first DIY project ever, we recommend reading our Getting Started Guide before, well, getting started.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us for support.

Table of Contents:

Prepare for Assembly

Required Tools

All that's required to build the Tone-loc are a soldering iron, solder, and wire clippers.

Unpack Your Kit

The Tone-loc kit is made up of 9 sub-kits and the printed circuit board (PCB):

1. Connectors and standoffs
2. Resistors 1x Multipler
3. Resistors 10x
4. Resistors 100x
5. Resistors 1,000x
6. Resistors 10,000x
7. Transistors and IC
8. Small Capacitors
9. Large Capacitors

Download Bill of Materials

Download the Toneloc BOM PDF to reference for resistor, capacitor, and transistor values.

Populate Connectors

Solder IC Socket

Open bag one and find the 8-pin IC (integrated circuit) socket. Place the socket in the IC location on the PCB. Make sure to align the semi-circular notch on the socket with the notch on the PCB silk screen.

Flip the PCB over while holding the socket in place. Then solder the socket to the PCB.

Solder Header

Place the 8-pin header through the bottom of the PCB so that the long, gold pins are pointing away from the PCB. These are the pins that will mate with the Colour Palette. Solder the header to the PCB.

Set aside the plastic standoffs until the end of the assembly process and move on to bag 2.

Populate Resistors

Since the Tone-loc contains a whopping 40 resistors, we recommend populating them one bag at a time. The next several steps outline the process of populating a bag of resistors, which should be repeated for each bag.

Identify Resistors

Resistors can be identified either with a multi-meter as shown or by their color-coded bands. Since the resistors in each bag share the same multiplier (1x, 10x, etc.), it's easy to identify the resistors by the first two color bands.

See this handy chart for identifying resistors via their color codes: Resistor Color Code Chart

Bend Resistor Leads

All of the resistors in the Tone-loc mount vertically. To prepare them for insertion, bend one lead of each resistor 180 degrees so it's flush against the body.

Place Resistors

Place each resistor according to its value and part number. There are diagrams below showing the exact placement of the resistors in each bag.

Alternate the orientation of resistors that are next to each other. This reduces the potential for shorts between resistors.

Bend Resistor Leads Against PCB

After placing the resistors, bend their leads agains the bottom of the PCB. This will hold them in place when we turn the board over for soldering.

Solder Resistors

Solder the resistors to the PCB. Observe good soldering technique: heat the pad and lead for 2-3 seconds, apply a small bit of solder, and continue to heat the pad for another 2-3 seconds. Allow each solder joint 10 seconds to cool before moving on to the next one. The finished joints should be shiny and should have just enough solder to cover the pad entirely.

Trim Resistor Leads

Clip the excess leads with wire cutters. Clip as close as possible to the solder joint without clipping the joints themselves.

Populate Bag 2

Populate Bag 3

Populate Bag 4

Populate Bag 5

Populate Bag 6

Populate Remaining Components

Populate Bag 7

Populate the transistors and integrated circuit, taking care to place them in the correct locations and direction. If any of the transistors are swapped or inserted backwards, there will be smoke!

The orientation of the transistors is indicated by their shape on the PCB. The orientation of the IC is marked by a small notch on the PCB and the IC socket.

Populate Bag 8

Populate the small capacitors. All of these capacitors are non-polarized, so they can be inserted in either orientation.

Populate Bag 9

Populate the large capacitors. Despite being electrolytic (which are usually polarized), all of these are also non-polarized. You can disregard the "+" markings on the PCB.

Insert Standoffs

Snap the standoffs into the PCB so that they protrude outward on the same side as the 8-pin connector. The side with a rigid edge is the side you insert into the PCB.


You've soldered all of the components! Before you plug in your Toneloc, check a couple final things:

  • No resistor leads are touching
  • Transistors are in the correct positions
  • IC1 is in the correct position

All set? Great! Go destroy some transients and them DIYRE sent you!