Neutral Labs NIJEL - DIY Build
When it comes to distortion, Neutral Labs understands it, and harnesses it. They have done that again with their new module, NIJEL which uses the “nut” cards or other components to change the sound of the waveforms ran through the module.
NIJEL is an extremely easy kit to build: It comes with most of the components pre-soldered. You will only have to solder a pot, a spacer, some sockets and headers, so there is very little room for error. Enough with all of that though, let’s get on with the build.
First, put the brass spacer through the PCB hole as shown and tighten the brass nut. You will solder this later in the build. Next up, place and solder the 10 pin header that will act as the power input to the module.
If you have to solder one pin, adjust and resolder, then do that to ensure you have mounted the component flush to the PCB.
Jacks and Pot
The jacks are up next along with the single pot. Place these parts and tack down the ground leg of the jacks to help keep them in place. Make sure you snip off the little anti-rotation tab near the bottom of RV1 with a wire cutter.
Neutral Labs NIJEL - Time Lapse Build
Component Headers (Card readers)
Put one of the 5 pin headers through the slot in the front panel and make sure it is flush with the front panel. A piece of sticky tape might help. Solder from the back: 1 pin first, then check the angle, then solder the rest. Repeat these steps with the second 5 pin header and call this portion done. Last up, solder the brass spacer to the large solder pad on the back of the front panel.
The trick here is to heat up both the spacer and the pad enough to make the solder stick. Take your time and you will be done in no time.
NIJEL - Build Gallery
Neutral Labs NIJEL - Final Thoughts...
The NIJEL is a fun distortion module. You can literally hear the shape of the waveforms change as you add and remove either the “nut” cards or other components. The cool thing is that you can do this on the fly and not have to power down the module to swap out parts.
NIJEL can be brutal like its brethren MEG module, only this time you have more control of its untamed sound. By any means, if you are into distortion like we are, we highly suggest picking up this module in either its assembled form, or as a DIY kit like we built.