Repairs & Modifications

Pedals are made to be stomped on; anyone with any knowledge of Latin roots could tell you that, some musicians might, too... When we came down from the trees for that sweet savannah life, we gave up some of the dexterity enjoyed by our primate cousins in favour of strength and speed. Those metal boxes that you kick to make your guitar go "BZZZZ" instead of "TWANG" take a lot of abuse, is my point. Mechanical parts are the first to go; footswitches break, jacks crack, and pots get gummed up with all kinds of stage-floor what-have-you.

It's easy to forget in this culture of planned obsolescence and easy-peasy-disposableazy that things CAN be fixed. Bring your dead or dying pedals to me and I will repair with top-quality components, add in any modifications you may want, and chat about the best way to keep those boxes buzzing for years to come.

An incomplete list of repairs and modifications:

  • Replace/upgrade faulty mechanicals (jacks, switches, potentiometers)
  • Replace broken or faulty internal components
  • Add in power jacks to vintage/vintage-spec battery-only units, including a charge pump where appropriate to allow standard negative ground power, for easy daisychaining
  • Add, replace or brighten indicator LEDs
  • Add boost + volume control for greater-than-unity on modulation, delay, and similar circuits
  • Rehouse pedals in a sturdier enclosure
  • Depending on the pedal, a preset or channel control can be added to quickly switch between settings or recall a preset -- e.g. delay time, gain levels, feedback

Delay pedals - depending on the pedal/manufacturer the following can be added to a stock pedal:

  • "Warp" feature -- temporarily shift the delay time to a preset, either latching (tap and release) or non-latching (tap and hold)
  • Runaway oscillation -- push the feedback to the max, or right to the edge of oscillation, with the tap of a footswitch
  • Tap-tempo footswitches -- using a tried-and-true Altoids(R) tin aesthetic, a cheap alternative to the flimsy brand-name peripherals


A note on "mojo" and new-old stock

There's a lot of mythology around vintage or boutique gear; particularly in the realm of transistors, clipping diodes, and filter capacitors. If a pedal needs a transistor replacing, I will endeavour to match gain and hFE as closely as I can determine to the original circuit. My priorities for replacement components are quality and availability -- to keep the price down for you! Sourcing era-appropriate capacitors and resistors is expensive and, to my mind, pointless. If you're bringing me a pedal that's beaten up enough to need repairs, the resale value shouldn't be a concern -- I will get that thing sounding as good as new, and lasting as long as it possibly can, with whatever components best facilitate that.