ISO Custom Pedal Mod

joshjarratt

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The want: convert an Exotic EP Boost pedal into a volume pedal of sorts (i.e. Insert guts into treadle style pedal).

I have my EP boost on 24/7. Flat for backband rhythm. 10 o'clock for lead rhythm. 11-1 o'clock for solos. Dimed for drunken folly or when I forget to turn my amp up loud enough for the first song of the set.

I play out typically 2-3 nights a week. All night every night I'm constantly trying to balance my unbalanced ass to fiddle with the boost's knob with frickin' cowboy boots on. I literally wear a specific type of boot that will fit between the rest of the pedals. Even still I'll end up accidentally killing or boosting the knobs on adjacent pedals if I'm careless.

I keep meaning to attempt to make the knob bigger with a clip or something but I truly want something more substantial. I'm set in my ways so I'm not looking for a quick-fix-tricks, stylistic endeavors or fashion advice.

I've poked around my local modders (Austin, TX) over the last few years and I get either no response or told I'm ridiculous. Most likely no one wants the job. I just want to throw some money at this, get the job done and end up with a quality product.

Takers? References?

BTW looooong time reader/first time poster of dis here board. Howdy y'all! This place has saved me an insurmountable amount of time, money and frustration on all things guitar.
 

4pickupguy

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Heres how I would attempt this (cue laughter afterwards)
I would not try to integrate the EP boost into the volume, but rather the volume pedal into the EP.
Step one: Determine the value of the EP boost potentiometer and see if it is available with 1" smooth shank from Allied or Newman Electronics, most are.
Step two: Remove the pot from the pc board of the EP Boost and wire in a 1/4" jack in its place. May need to be TRS.
Step three : Get an Ernie Ball volume pedal and remove the pot. Should look like this-
IMG_1804.JPG


Remove the pulley from said pot and install on the one you got from Allied/Newman. Reinstall.

Step four: Wire the pot to one of the Ernie Ball 1/4" jacks to match the function of the 1/4" jack you added to the EP Boost and connect using guitar patch cable.
IMG_1805.JPG


Seems like an easy enough problem to solve but I'm not sure how you need to treat the ground at the EP Boost end. Maybe one of the oracles will chime in....ok, now que laughter....
 
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Rich_S

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I considered building a Madbean Fat Pants EP-style booster into an old Cry Baby shell a few years ago. Then I realized it was pointless doing all that work if the booster is on all the time.

Here's why: The problem with simple, passive volume pedals is impedance loading. Just like the passive volume pot on your guitar, you lose highs when you roll the pedal down. (Though some commercial passive volume pedals may have a treble circuit to compensate.) BUT- if you have the EP on all the time with its volume knob maxed, then you have a boost/buffer that should drive the volume pedal hard enough to avoid the pot loading. Just patch them together on your board EP -> Volume pedal and it will work just as well, while saving you the hassle of re-potting the EP.
 

codamedia

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Just patch them together on your board EP -> Volume pedal and it will work just as well, while saving you the hassle of re-potting the EP.

^^^ This ^^^

Just put a volume pedal after the EP... The EP is so small it's not like you are consuming large amounts of real estate.
 

11 Gauge

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I've poked around my local modders (Austin, TX) over the last few years and I get either no response or told I'm ridiculous. Most likely no one wants the job.

That is just too bad...

Here's the skinny with the pot in the EP Booster - it simply varies the resistance to ground. So even though there's 3 lugs/pins on the pot, 2 get tied together. It's literally connecting to a single point in the circuit, with the other connection going to ground (and simply varies the resistance to ground).

So, what probably needs to happen is something like this:

  1. remove the existing pot in the pedal
  2. run a wire to the singular circuit connection
  3. run a wire to ground
  4. either run the wires out thru the existing pot hole, or
  5. figure out how to fit a smaller (e.g. 1/8") jack at the pot hole, or
  6. figure out how to use another type of connector (molex/RCA/etc.)
  7. fit a 'suitable host' gutted wah/volume/expression pedal with a 10K reverse-audio taper pot (it's not the exotic component that its name might suggest)
  8. make or purchase a connector cord with the appropriate connectors on each end
...That may sound like a lot of stuff to do, but it's 90% super basic stuff that will just require some creativity (you only have to do 4, 5, or 6, for instance) - you don't have to re-design any part of the EP Booster circuit, and it's literally just two wires that have to go to your 'remote' gain adjuster.

Maybe something else to consider would be to try and figure out how to have the thing up on the guitar itself, like the Armstrong effects, or the original Jordan Bosstone, or the LPB-1.

ae00-33643.jpg

danarmstrong_orangesqueezer-reissue_002.jpg

JORDAN_BOSS_TONE_011.jpg


...Option 2 will obviously require more creativity, since you'll need to have the thing positioned so you can easily work the knob while you play.

It may be that you might have more success by not seeking out some local pedal tech, but by finding someone who's good at reworking an electronic device in such a way. The truth be told, this kind of job doesn't really involve pedal design or assembly skills - IMO, it's more like the equivalent of relocating a starter solenoid on a car.

Also, don't be afraid to go through revisions until you arrive at an absolute winner. If the first few are just rough or don't really work out well, it's just part of the process of figuring it out. "A better way" may actually just hit you out of the blue, when you least expect it. It's the kind of thing that you should be able to collaborate with someone on.

One last long shot idea - you could potentially modify a guitar to have the thing mounted inside. On-board effects/preamps/etc. are not a new thing, and EMG pickups actually have the electronics mounted right inside the pickup (the 9V battery takes up more space!).
 
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joshjarratt

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Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to use the volume knob on your guitar?

Yea thanks for the insight but...no. I'm well aware of the high-end/clarity I lose when I dial back the Volume knob on my guitar. I only turn it down from full-blown in case of emergency. I screwed up somewhere else and can't fix it in the moment if you ever see me touch the knob during a song.

Heres how I would attempt this (cue laughter afterwards)
I would not try to integrate the EP boost into the volume, but rather the volume pedal into the EP....

I appreciate your suggestion but this seems a little off from exactly what I'm looking to do. I have had thoughts in the past about devising some sort of Rube Goldberg device to turn the dial with my foot easier. Still considering it actually.

I considered building a Madbean Fat Pants EP-style booster into an old Cry Baby shell a few years ago. Then I realized it was pointless doing all that work if the booster is on all the time.

Here's why: The problem with simple, passive volume pedals is impedance loading. Just like the passive volume pot on your guitar, you lose highs when you roll the pedal down. (Though some commercial passive volume pedals may have a treble circuit to compensate.) BUT- if you have the EP on all the time with its volume knob maxed, then you have a boost/buffer that should drive the volume pedal hard enough to avoid the pot loading. Just patch them together on your board EP -> Volume pedal and it will work just as well, while saving you the hassle of re-potting the EP.

I hadn't really thought of putting a volume pedal after the boost. I might try this and see how I like it.

That is just too bad...

Here's the skinny with the pot in the EP Booster - it simply varies the resistance to ground. So even though there's 3 lugs/pins on the pot, 2 get tied together. It's literally connecting to a single point in the circuit, with the other connection going to ground (and simply varies the resistance to ground).

This is pretty much what I'm trying to get someone to help me do. I would love any referral to someone who might be interested in tackling the job.


One last long shot idea - you could potentially modify a guitar to have the thing mounted inside. On-board effects/preamps/etc. are not a new thing, and EMG pickups actually have the electronics mounted right inside the pickup (the 9V battery takes up more space!).

Yea that's out. It's gotta be a foot thing. I have considered integrating some of my "always on" pedals into my guitars but I'm now addicted to really light guitars and I aim to keep it that way. Plus I would prefer to keep the actual instrument as original as possible. Regardless my hands are usually too busy doing their whole "playing music" thing.


Thank y'all so much for responding. I truly appreciate it.
 

11 Gauge

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This is pretty much what I'm trying to get someone to help me do. I would love any referral to someone who might be interested in tackling the job.

While I'm intrigued at personally being involved in the reverse-engineering aspects of this, I really believe that you'd be best served by finding someone local - even if that takes some time and effort (and even a few attempts that might not pan out), the odds are greater that some kind of collaboration with the right person would work better than mailing it off to someone.

...Well, that assumes you don't mind potentially having some things go off-track with the first few revisions, because having someone work on it non-locally means they're going to have to interpret your desires...
 

waparker4

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How about a volume pedal after the boost.


+1 for simplicity! :cool:


As for slightly less simple... I think it would be easier to just build a whole new EP booster clone from a kit into a volume pedal enclosure than to hack an Xotic micro pedal. You'll also of course diminish the Xotic's value to $0 by doing all this ...
 

joshjarratt

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+1 for simplicity! :cool:


As for slightly less simple... I think it would be easier to just build a whole new EP booster clone from a kit into a volume pedal enclosure than to hack an Xotic micro pedal. You'll also of course diminish the Xotic's value to $0 by doing all this ...

Ultimately I will get a volume pedal and attempt to learn how to use it. Otherwise I really like the idea of buying a volume pedal kit and retro fitting the EP guts into it. Thanks for notion.
 

joshjarratt

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+1 for simplicity! :cool:


As for slightly less simple... I think it would be easier to just build a whole new EP booster clone from a kit into a volume pedal enclosure than to hack an Xotic micro pedal. You'll also of course diminish the Xotic's value to $0 by doing all this ...

Also, if it works the way I want it to, it will go from a street value ~ $120 to priceless.
 

Asmith

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Yea thanks for the insight but...no. I'm well aware of the high-end/clarity I lose when I dial back the Volume knob on my guitar. I only turn it down from full-blown in case of emergency. I screwed up somewhere else and can't fix it in the moment if you ever see me touch the knob during a song.



I appreciate your suggestion but this seems a little off from exactly what I'm looking to do. I have had thoughts in the past about devising some sort of Rube Goldberg device to turn the dial with my foot easier. Still considering it actually.



I hadn't really thought of putting a volume pedal after the boost. I might try this and see how I like it.



This is pretty much what I'm trying to get someone to help me do. I would love any referral to someone who might be interested in tackling the job.




Yea that's out. It's gotta be a foot thing. I have considered integrating some of my "always on" pedals into my guitars but I'm now addicted to really light guitars and I aim to keep it that way. Plus I would prefer to keep the actual instrument as original as possible. Regardless my hands are usually too busy doing their whole "playing music" thing.


Thank y'all so much for responding. I truly appreciate it.

The volume pedal after the boost would be my solution but if you would like the idea in theory of using your volume knob on the guitar but don't want to lose clarity when turning down make a buffer box to keep the instrument in original condition (or install a buffer on to your gigging guitar), you would actually retain more highs as you wouldn't lose any due to capacitance between your guitar and your first pedal buffer. You could put something like a Klon buffer or anything of your choice on your guitar for less than $5 if you can solder and it's not a tone suck if you have a boost pedal as an always on effect.

Also it wouldn't weigh a lot, pedal weight is 95% enclosure a buffer box in a sturdy plastic enclosure would weigh just a little more than the 9v battery running it.
 
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joshjarratt

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The volume pedal after the boost would be my solution but if you would like the idea in theory of using your volume knob on the guitar but don't want to lose clarity when turning down make a buffer box to keep the instrument in original condition (or install a buffer on to your gigging guitar), you would actually retain more highs as you wouldn't lose any due to capacitance between your guitar and your first pedal buffer. You could put something like a Klon buffer or anything of your choice on your guitar for less than $5 if you can solder and it's not a tone suck if you have a boost pedal as an always on effect.

Also it wouldn't weigh a lot, pedal weight is 95% enclosure a buffer box in a sturdy plastic enclosure would weigh just a little more than the 9v battery running it.

Cool. Thanks, I'll consider this.
 

cousinpaul

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No-load tone pots have been around for a while now. IIRC, Deaf Eddie came up with a no-load volume pot design as well few years ago. A search would probably turn it up. Might help with the impedance issue.
 

cousinpaul

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I've had them in some of my guitars. If I'm using the tone control to cut highs anyway, I'm not sure it matters. No-load users are typically more concerned with how the guitar sounds with the tone control wide open rather than rolled back a bit.
 

joshjarratt

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Interesting indeed. Though I'll be honest here, I still want to do the mod. I got a Quilter this week and the project might be moot.

I'll still be kicking that damn little knob around with my boot tip but it definitely doesn't push the front end of it (the Quilter) anything like it did on my twin. So I'll probably just try to pedal my wayfarer up the gain chain. In fact my whole approach might have to change a bit to accommodate/compensate for the differences between the two.

I keep a stock blues driver on the board for sizzle. As well as a Joyo American drive thing. Gonna play around with some knobs I suppose.
 

cousinpaul

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What you're asking for is an expression pedal for your boost. I think you might have better luck with your search for a builder if you put it like this:

Re-house EP boost in a larger enclosure to accommodate expression pedal jack assigned to the EP's boost control.

Replace pot in expression pedal with proper value and taper.

It seems a little more do-able when put like that. Hook-up would probably be a single sheilded stereo cable.
 
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DaveKS

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How about a volume pedal after the boost.

+1 for simplicity! :cool:


As for slightly less simple... I think it would be easier to just build a whole new EP booster clone from a kit into a volume pedal enclosure than to hack an Xotic micro pedal. You'll also of course diminish the Xotic's value to $0 by doing all this ...


Especially a active volume pedal even though with ep booster on a passive would probably work just as well. I almost knabbed this other day, might be just what op needs. Really doubt you could get ep modded for that used price.

https://reverb.com/item/5745127-classic-audio-effects-foothills-active-volume-roller-2015-2017
 




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