Thursday, June 9, 2022
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Ah the downtrodden Boss CH-1. It was a exciting pre-show purchase for me a 20 something circa winter 2003. Having grown up on a healthy dose of lush chorus from Nirvana to The Police, I was looking to recreate those tones. I'm sure my heart was set on a Electro Harmonix Small Clone or Poly Chorus, but the lowly Guitar Center at the time only had the Boss. It did the job, but as time went on (17 years now), as I read the bashing of it on various guitar forums, and as I played friends' Poly Choruses, I realized the damn thing didn't do all I wanted it to. I wanted the wacky quick modulation.
|First mod attempt |
Here's the new schematic in case you can't find it.
This guy changed the value or the R63 resistor to around 1.8K. He also had some other interesting mods which I will get into later. I didn't want to be too invasive to my pedal, so I opted to add a 8.2K resistor in parallel to the original 15K to cut the total resistance value to around 5.3K. Worked great! Wacky quick modulation galore! However, I got greedy and tried poking around at the circuit to find what controlled the delay time on the chip. I had some luck with the R43 resistor, but dropped the pedal in doing so. The modded, very small resistor pictured above snapped off. Upon many failed attempts, I finally settled on bridging the connection for 0 resistance. I got even quicker modulation up to 99% of the rate control knob. However it folds in on itself at the very last 1% maxed position to cancel out the movement.
So, here's the disclaimer* DON'T TRY TO MOD THESE SUPER SMALL COMPONENTS UNLESS YOU'RE WILLING TO DESTROY YOUR PEDAL OR UNLESS YOU HAVE THE PROPER TOOLS AND SKILLS. Seriously this was a pain to mod. I think bridging the resistor ended up being easier in the end. Maybe next time just a small dab of solder over the resistor.
Now another mod I see a lot of people attempt is adding vibrato to a chorus pedal. They are in fact the same circuits but with chorus, it adds the dry guitar signal. Where as vibrato is just the modulated signal only. So, if you have a stereo chorus (two outputs) like my CH-1, usually you can just add a jack plug connected to nothing into the output B or second output (usually) This will make the pedal send the second output dry signal to nothing. Muting it, turning your main output to the amp into vibrato. Hope this helps some people! If anyone figures out a safe why to mod the delay time to flanging and deeper chorus, let me know. Here's a quick video sample. (of the earlier mod plus vibrato)
Wednesday, August 18, 2021
|DOH!!! Why a plastic shaft!?!?!|
So..... you knocked the knob off your Digitech Whammy? When I did, I thought it would be a cheap fix with a some sort of simple potentiometer. While the fix itself was easy, it was not super cheap. All and all it set me back at least $20 just for a little knob I probably kicked off during a show. You'll most likely need two things special ordered along with all your average soldering and pedal tools.
These are what you'll need and what will set you back the most. (Almost like Digitech wants you to spend more on repairs.)
- Rotary encoder with 24 pulses with a 15mm shaft. (ebay seems to be the only place to find these. Type those exact words into ebay. Probably $15 for a set of two. Might as well pick up an extra considering the shaft is plastic and it'll break again.
7/64" Allen wrench (Not a common size in most sets. As hard as I tried to buy locally, Amazon was the only place that had one)
You'll also need your basic soldering iron, solder, solder braid (to remove the old solder), a screwdriver, wrench and possibly wire cutters or pliers.
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
So with the prospects of once again being a supporting guitarist for Don Matsuo this July, I found myself pondering the volume pedal mod I did years ago where I physically stopped the minimum volume the pedal had to control the gain on my amp. I don't know what to expect with this gig, despite this being my second go around. Would I need a gain control, or a volume pedal? I also got tired of pulling out the screwdriver each time I wanted volume swells on my lap steel. So, the solution for me was clear. Create resistance to ground on a switch. I measured 1.55K on my multimeter as the resistance on my minimum volume with the previous mod. So the idea, was to put a combo of resistors to equal 1.55K that could be added between the volume pot of the pedal and ground, as well as to be taken away (switchable). After contemplating drilling a new switch hole, I realized I never used the tuner output. I actually really have no use for it. So that was my mounting hole. Also 100% reversible.
So, (1.)I de-soldered the tuner jack, and the ground wire (grey) from the board. (2.) Soldered the pot ground (same grey wire) to the middle switch lug. The tuner jack left me some holes to run wires through! (3.) Ran a new wire from one side of the switch to the original ground board connection. (4.) Ran my resistors (1.55K) from that same lug to the opposite lug on the switch.
After doing this, I found there are a few pedals on the market that do this same thing with a variable resistance pot, such as the new Ernie Ball MVP. I did my approach, because I didn't want the potential for the knob to get bumped or moved. I wanted a quick on-the-fly switch to change the function of my pedal. For me, this is the perfect volume pedal. (Also there's a treble bleed mod in there as well)
Here's a quick clip of it.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Sunday, October 4, 2020
I was honored to speak with Pete DiStefano of Porno for Pyros for show number 12! He talks about art,music, relationships, the debates, doing movie sound tracks, and some wild times. Interview and songs from Pete including, Porno for Pyros, Venice Underground, Pete DiStefano, and Hellride! Truly an honor to talk to him. Hope fans enjoy this as much as I did!
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020
I'd seen the complaints about the instructions being unreadable among other things that seemed like beginner problems in the reviews. Granted they weren't easy to read when the package arrived. But with a multimeter, and some basic electronic knowledge, you should have no problem. Only mix-up I had was with the two ceramic caps. That was easy to mix up. I got it running on the first try, but I wouldn't recommend this for someone just starting out. However it really is paint by numbers with the values printed on the board.
Overall I couldn't build this from parts for the cost they are selling it at. The components I counted compared to the schematic floating around online and it was spot on. Other then and extra resistor which I think was a foot switch pop filter. Sounds damn good, and close to every Klon demo I've heard. The enclosure and paint job alone are worth the price. No idea how they're making money off this in China. It's on one of my boards now. Go slow, double check the values, and polarity. Also the slop or notch on the audio jacks are the ground. There are other Klon clones on the market going for a lot more money. As well as some Klon inspired pedals like the EHX Soul Food, which is pretty affordable. But I have to hand it to the guys to threw this together. For the price is it hard to beat it's value and sound. Plus it was fun to solder it together for an afternoon.
|The simple snobbish punk rock board.|