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Old February 10th, 2013, 01:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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First pedal mod, first questions.

I got a Boss DS-1 in a mass trade recently, and thought it was about time I tried a pedal mod, because I was just feeling too good about myself and wanted to feel stupid-er.

So, I decided I'd try Brian Wampler's Vintage mod. Which consists of the following four changes to the stock pedal:

D5 --> LED
C3 --> .033F
R16 --> 1k
C11 --> .001F

My questions are (and I apologize as I know these are likely to be stupid, basic, "My five year old dog can answer them" questions):

1. What kind of LED (just any 5mm? aren't there different values?)?
2. What kind (material/design) of caps would be best?
3. What kind (material/design) of resistor?

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Old February 10th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Any led will work, some say diff colors give diff sound. Metal film resistors and ideally metal film caps. I used what I could get my hands on locally and was happy so ymmv
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Old February 10th, 2013, 12:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1/4 watt resistors will be the best fit. For caps, pick whatever you can find that's the right value and roughly the same size as the ones you remove. It's real easy to mess up your board trying to install caps that are too big in size. You can make the .033 by soldering a .01uf across the legs of a .022uf if you can't find one. For the LED, once again, pick one that looks like a good fit. 3mm would be fine.

BTW, I don't think you have the whole mod. Here's the version from Brian's book:

C1, C5- .1uf

C3- .033uf

C11- .01uf

R16- 1k

D5- LED
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Old February 10th, 2013, 03:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys! And thanks for looking that up, cousinpaul. I got the specs from a piece Wampler wrote for premier guitar, and it didn't have the C1 & C5 listed. It also had a much lower (or is that higher) value for the C11. Wonder if those relate.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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One of them has to be a typo. I've done the mod a couple of times with the values listed above. It sounds good but is kind of bright. I guess you could try both values and go with the one you like best. You could also PM Brian. He posts here sometimes.

If you build the pedal and it's too bright for you, try a 22k for R17.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 06:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by cousinpaul View Post
One of them has to be a typo. I've done the mod a couple of times with the values listed above. It sounds good but is kind of bright. I guess you could try both values and go with the one you like best. You could also PM Brian. He posts here sometimes.

If you build the pedal and it's too bright for you, try a 22k for R17.
Finally got around to doing this. Much thanks, cousinpaul - I followed your recipe and the pedal sounds great! VERY LOUD (with the tone and distortion at noon, the level is even with the clean signal at about 9), but a cool overdrive sound that I like much better than the hair band sound of the stock pedal.

That was a steep but rewarding learning curve. I've soldered quite a few things, but un-soldering like that is something new. I got one of those "solder suckers" and I think I'll try the wick next time. Trying to get that thing on there in the fraction of a second it takes for the solder to cool, and failing, was what took the bulk of my time. Even so, though, I think it took me about 90 minutes (including swapping out the "check" LED for a green one).

By the way, I PM'd but never heard back from Wampler. I got the impression that he's not so much in to helping the DIY folks anymore, and that the typos and incomplete instructions were part of getting some publicity without giving too much away. I guess I can't blame him, as I know what it's like to train your competition for no reward and no thanks. And with that in mind, I'll say thinks to him, as well as BOSS for making a great pedal an idiot like me was able to make even greater...

Anybody thinking of modding a pedal, I say go for it!
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Old May 2nd, 2013, 01:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I just now saw this. Congrats on a successful mod. What's next?
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 12:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I just now saw this. Congrats on a successful mod. What's next?
Thanks! I'm disproportionately proud of myself!

I've been wondering what's next since I plugged it in and it worked. I've got a Blues Driver I'd be happy to crack open, but I can't really tell much difference in most of the mods I've heard on YouTube. At least not enough to choose one.

Also thinking of picking up a problem amp and seeing if I can electrocute myself.

Any suggestions?
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Old May 4th, 2013, 11:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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My first mod was an SD-1 to something similar to a TS-808. I was amazed that it actually worked! The next one was an SD-1 to Clay Jones OD. What a beast! Loudest pedal I've ever heard, lol.

I've got the MHP Galaxie mod in my BD-2. It sounds great. Having said that, every BD-2 mod I've ever seen increases the value of C100 to give it a stronger tone control. Allums uses .047uf and Keeley uses a .033uf with a .068 piggy-backed when the fat switch is engaged for a total of around .1uf. It's something you can experiment with. C100 is located on the small board that two of the pots are mounted on.

Another cool mod is the SD-1 to Lovepedal Eternity that 11 Gauge posted on the Stomp Box forum here a few months ago. His SD-1 to OCD conversion is also good but a little more involved. These are free mods that he's posted on the open forum, not to be confused with his Machine Head Pedals mods which are available on the MHP website.

As far as amps go, why not build a tweed Champ or 5E3 Deluxe from one of the many kits that are available?
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Old May 4th, 2013, 11:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My first mod was an SD-1 to something similar to a TS-808. I was amazed that it actually worked!.
+1
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Old May 4th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've got the MHP Galaxie mod in my BD-2
I've been looking at that one myself, and I see 11 gauge is quite the active and helpful guy around here, so if I'm going to spend $35 for $2 worth of parts and $33 worth of knowledge, I'd like to do it in support of a good guy.

I've also been thinking about getting a madbean board and taking a stab at a whole build. I've got a sunking (not my build), and really like it, so I might have the motivation to screw something up a few times knowing that the end product will be (or at least could be) "boutique" grade.

I'm also going to really keep my eye out for any Boss pedals, so y'all had better get to the garage sales before me!
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Old May 7th, 2013, 02:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Having said that, every BD-2 mod I've ever seen increases the value of C100 to give it a stronger tone control. Allums uses .047uf
Thanks, that's got me looking around and getting some ideas. C100 and C101 set the tone control range I'm guessing, and as you said changing C100 is common to most mods I see. C14 is also a common change, as is trying to get some asymmetry in the diode clipping by changing diode types and/or removing one of the pairs. Jeez, I hope nobody reads that and thinks I know what I'm talking about here!

Anyway, it looks like I've got enough bits and pieces of both parts (thanks to Tayda's minimum order policy) and information to completely and totally screw things up get started. At the very least I can change the check light to green, and as we all know that immediately improves the quality of sound be elevating the pedal above something a mere mortal could just go pick up at the music store.

I have, by the way, already begun walking with my head held a little higher, and have been telling people "yeah, you know, you've got to mod your own pedals if you want real tone." Surprisingly, neither the cashier at the local market, nor the postman, nor any of the other parents at the playground seem to understand the depth of my accomplishment...
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Old May 7th, 2013, 09:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ok, so this may not be about a DS-1, but it is about a first pedal mod so I figured some of you who contributed to this thread may be able to help. I have a ROGUE vintage compressor pedal, and it just does not sound like it is compressing much at tall. It does not have a ratio knob so I can not increase the ratio of compression, only the speed of attack and sustain. I am hoping that there is a section on almost any compressor pedal which is responsible for the compression ratio. I would hope that there is an adjustable capacitor or resistor etc in this section of the circuit.... does anyone know how I might open up the pedal and make a change to increase the ratio? Thanks
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Old May 7th, 2013, 11:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks, that's got me looking around and getting some ideas. C100 and C101 set the tone control range I'm guessing, and as you said changing C100 is common to most mods I see. C14 is also a common change, as is trying to get some asymmetry in the diode clipping by changing diode types and/or removing one of the pairs. Jeez, I hope nobody reads that and thinks I know what I'm talking about here!

Anyway, it looks like I've got enough bits and pieces of both parts (thanks to Tayda's minimum order policy) and information to completely and totally screw things up get started. At the very least I can change the check light to green, and as we all know that immediately improves the quality of sound be elevating the pedal above something a mere mortal could just go pick up at the music store.

I have, by the way, already begun walking with my head held a little higher, and have been telling people "yeah, you know, you've got to mod your own pedals if you want real tone." Surprisingly, neither the cashier at the local market, nor the postman, nor any of the other parents at the playground seem to understand the depth of my accomplishment...

There's a long BD-2 thread on freestompboxes.org. I think it's in the "pimp my cheap pedal" section. Might be a good place to look for some ideas.
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