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New Adventures in Pedal Modding Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 4th March 2009
  #1
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FLRS's Avatar
 

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New Adventures in Pedal Modding

Long time lurker, first time poster. I hope to participate more on GS in the future, and maybe help some people the way many of you have (unknowingly) helped me over the last four years. I apologize in advance if this post is too long or anything…but I wanted to have my first post be something positive.

I wanted to share with you a couple of stories about two pedal mod companies with whom our little studio has had excellent experiences in the last several months. The two companies are competitors, so that should prove that I’m not being a mouthpiece for either one. I just think it’s nice---with as much jerking around and other bad experiences that can be had in the music business---to be able to share positive things when they happen.

The first company we dealt with was Keeley Electronics. We originally sent them a DS-1, and then later an old Ibanez AD9, an MT-2, and a BD-2.

The DS-1 came back a completely different pedal. For certain things, I actually like the DS-1 stock, but we happened to have a second that we could leave stock just in case. I figured, why not see what else it can do? So the mod was pretty astounding. Communication was polite and turnaround time was quick.

The latter three pedals weren’t as much revelations as the Distortion…the changes were more subtle, but no less impressive. The true bypass in the AD9 is really helpful, and while the Blues Driver isn’t wildly different from its stock counterpart, it’s improved enough to be a pretty versatile little pedal. We’ve already used it on several recordings.

Again, service was impeccable and the results were exactly as advertised. I highly recommend them.

Then after the first of the year, we decided to try out Analogman. We had a EH Deluxe Memory Man that we thought would benefit from the gain/delay mods, and a DOD 640 Flanger that we’d gotten for dirt-cheap…but that didn’t work properly. Finally, we had a 90s Dunlop Fuzz Face that had never sounded particularly good, so we thought we might try to get the Peppermint Fuzz mod for it. This basically guts the original pedal, but it was essentially a doorstop anyway, so we figured why not make it useful.

Mike from Analogman was very good about answering emails and guiding us through the process. I had a lot of questions, and he set me straight on some things (in the nicest possible way---such as explaining why it was best to leave the Fuzz Face battery-operated rather than rig it for external power).

About a week after I’d sent the three pedals, I got a call from one of the guys at Analogman. He said that the DOD 640 repair was giving them some trouble. There was one pot that they might not get to work properly. He weas going to give it a few more minutes and then just send it as-is. I said that was fine. “Just put a post it note on it with the correct setting for it to work properly,” I asked.

Sure enough, a few days later, I got a nice well-protected package from the guys at Analogman. I checked the Flanger. Instead of a post it note with the proper settings on it, I got one that said:

"100%! Have fun! ---Analogman"

Also, I’d seen that Analogman had painted some Peppermint Fuzz mods, and that they always paint their own boxes, so I asked them if they’d paint the Fuzz Face. “Go crazy” was my only requirement. The Fuzz Face I got back looked like a red and white starlight mint in reverse---very cool. And the sound…amazing. The coolest fuzz I’ve ever played through. I could play “Think For Yourself” for days on this thing.

These two companies represent everything that’s right with the American music business, and with business in general: courteous, patient service, with quick yet skillful results. And for a good price, too. Again, I know they’re competitors, but both were great to work with. Thanks to both for providing such great service and a pleasant experience.
Old 4th March 2009
  #2
Gear maniac
 

They are both known as two near or at the top of the heap for pedal mods, and I'm glad to see someone glowing about them. Great stuff. A little pricey to some at first glance, but when you actually play through their stuff you find that it is worth every penny.
Old 5th March 2009
  #3
Gear nut
 
KAJI's Avatar
 

Boss TR-2

Welcome FLRS and thanks for opening this thread.

Has anybody had the chance to listen to the C4 mod for the Boss TR-2 Tremolo pedal? I have one and will probably do the mod but some reviews rave about it and some don't like it.

If anyone has heard the before/after of this pedal I'd appreciate the sharing!

Peace
Old 5th March 2009
  #4
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Thread Starter
Buscemi, you're right: playing through the modded pedals (particularly the DS-1 and Pepperminted Fuzz Face) is when you *know* where the money went. The good service, it seems, is just a bonus.

Thanks for the welcome, KAJI. I hadn't heard much about the TR-2 mod...in fact, until I did a little Googlephonics Research, I didn't even know that many players hear a volume drop in the stock version. I'm gonna have to check that out before tonight's session. Evidently there're some tone suckage issues as well. Hmmmm...
Old 5th March 2009
  #5
Gear nut
 
KAJI's Avatar
 

Boss TR-2 Tremolo

Let us know how it goes please. I read that analogman also does that mod and he probably knows what the mod does to the sound of the pedal, the advantages and disadvantages that it brings. Other than the snipping of the C4 cap I read more details, such as replacing some electrolytic caps for metal film caps and tantalum.

Congrats for your new pedals and sound!
Old 5th March 2009
  #6
That's great to hear.I have a sparkle drive at Keeley as we speak and can't wait to hear the little bugger. they seem like a cool bunch of people: pedal geeks, you have to love that.

I bought a mutron pedal from a dodgy drummer in Philly that sounds great but has a huge audible hiss in the sound. I wonder if one of these guys could make it a useable pedal.
Old 5th March 2009
  #7
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Thread Starter
Brill, I'd send each of 'em an email and see what their schedules are, and whether they're taking new repairs. I'd be willing to bet that one or both of them will be willing to get your Mutron in top shape.

Is it the envelope filter? Man, I want one of those...
Old 5th March 2009
  #8
No, it's the phaser and not even the really desirable one. I bought it for $100 from Craigslist and it showed up all busted up, no knob or anything. We put a knob on and it definitely phases, but there's just a constant high end hiss that does not make me sound like Cornell Dupree backing up Aretha.
Old 5th March 2009
  #9
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FLRS's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Well, crap...if it doesn't make you sound like *that*, then you definitely gotta get it fixed up!

Even so...Mutron is good. A nice phaser (even if it's not the Biphase II or whatever) is good. Might be worth getting a quote to get it fixed up...

Unless you wanna sell it, of course...
Old 5th March 2009
  #10
Gear addict
 

Mike from Analogman is a true gent. He has given me better "customer support" on some vintage stuff I have (stuff he didn't even sell to me) than other guys who I have bought stuff from have on their own products. He has a real love for good tone which extends beyond any business interests.
Old 8th March 2009
  #11
ooooo, creamy goodness. I got the sparkle drive back form Keeley and it sounds flippin' great. They did something to make the overall tone have more body and specifically the drive. It's a perfect compliment for my tele with the neck humbucker.
Old 8th March 2009
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by brill bedroom View Post
No, it's the phaser and not even the really desirable one. I bought it for $100 from Craigslist and it showed up all busted up, no knob or anything. We put a knob on and it definitely phases, but there's just a constant high end hiss that does not make me sound like Cornell Dupree backing up Aretha.
I rebuilt one of those last summer. I used very low noise National chips, good caps and mondo power supply rework to remove residual hum. It's dead quiet now.
I also modified all the Mutron III's for Stevie Wonder back in the day, I used low noise opamps, good caps and installed adjustable attack/release pots for the envelope filter. Hear it on his records... with the modified D6 clavinets.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 8th March 2009
  #13
Gear nut
 
KAJI's Avatar
 

Boss TR-2 C4 mod

I'm not doing the C4 mod for my TR-2 tutt, the pedal sounds fine just as it is.

I'm 90% sure that C4 cap is there for a reason. Please let me know if I'm mistaken.
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