Saturday, January 19, 2013

Don't stomp me now - The Mojo Stomp porch box

The Mojo Stomp
Somewhat off the main path or my FuzzQuest, here's something a bit different. The never ending quest for a perfect fuzz tone is not my only goal in terms of tone and guitar sound. Another fetish of mine is Blues, and by Blues I mean hard, painful and soulful Blues with its roots somewhere around Mississippi delta. I love both acoustic and electric blues and as much harmonica as possible with a lot of howlin'. From Mississippi Fred McDowell, Blind Lemon Jefferson to Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. Even the "new" guys like Charlie Musselwhite, R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough are fantastic and deliver super guts-out blues. When I play solo guitar with harmonica and I wail my soul out I always find myself stomping my foot hard against the floor, and most often I pray it was a wooden porch floor. Most of the time it's not.

So, I started searching the web for every possible porch-box-stomp-box solution and came up with a huge amount of material to work with. A lot of people around the word will sell you a wooden box with a Piezo transducer and some jiggling metals inside to get a nice foot stomping sound. Some of the nicest sounds I've hear, however, came from boxes where a small speaker was placed as the transducer to pickup the mechanical vibrations of the stomp.

I found a really nice 2-way Sony speaker and a good wooden box (old optical equipment was traditionally sold in very good wooden boxes). The woofer had a good low bottom while the twitter had nice punch, so I decided to use both of them placing the two speakers in the box. I cut a big hole so the the box would close and the Alnico magnet of the woofer would stick out of the box and I covered it with some more wood and rubber. I hooked up the two speakers in parallel and took the two lines and connected them to a mono Neutrik 1/4" input jack and that was it.

The Mojo Stomp - gut shot - two speakers, one jack, one box

There are so many ways you can use this box. playing with your foot or hands, stomping, tapping or knocking. Different areas on the board give you various tones, closer to the woofer you get more bass, closer to the twitter you get more treble and edge. All this makes this box a nice electro-acoustic bass drum. The added value here comes from the fact that you can turn the box upside down and get even more tonal options because now you're hitting the speaker membranes from the opposite side. One last gimmick is the tilted position of the box due to the magnet's size, sticking out of the box. This means you can put your foot on the pedal and do a "wah-wah" kind of movement and get two bass-snare sounds, one from your heel knocking the bottom end against the floor and one from your foot tapping the upper side of the box.

Very dynamic and playable !

The Mojo Stomp - the tilted position
To anyone who's interested in these kinds of boxes I strongly suggest - Build your own. It's too dams simple and there are too many boxes out there that will be just OK and not exactly what you are after. As always, it's your quest to get your sound!

Some well respected stompbox manufacturers are Mojohound, Pratley, Ellis, musiXtools, TinoStomp and Peterman.

Stomp away and howl....if you want audio or video clips, just comment and I'll abide.


  1. you made me very curious about the sound of this box :)

  2. Wow.. nice build. I would love to hear some sound samples! Anyway, you got a nice site and a lot of cool projects. Thanks!


    1. Thanks Juri, spread the news...
      I will upload some demos.
      Stay tuned.

  3. Much interested and would love to hear a clip.

    1. I didn't have a chance to upload anything yet but you are right....I will do it!!!

  4. Where is the demo?? been few years...really want to hear tnjs tning...thanks.

  5. can you leave an address for video, ausio ect. thanks !

  6. You're right.
    I will add it or leave the link for the audio clip.