Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The "Mellow Kitty" Wah Mod

This is my newest offering for those people who are reading my site. If you want your wah modded to be a singing, crying, smoothing and soothing beast...

You'll need the Mellow Kitty mod.

For this mod (0n more than likely ANY wah wah), I will:
  • True Bypass
  • Slight Volume Boost
  • Increase Mids
  • Flavor Switch
  • Wah/Volume (with the volume boost deactivated on volume setting so that it can go silent, wouldn't do it on the JMH, but I'll probably fix that for him.)
  • Clarity on full spectrum
  • Smoother Range
  • Further mods upon request, but these are stock in the Mellow Kitty mods

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The JMH Wah Continued

OK, I've gotten everything done now. Drilled the holes in the chassis and installed all the rest of the "crap".

Tried playing it and found the volume function to be the only working mode of the wah, but the Flavor was affecting it, and it had a nice slight boost at the toe. :)

So I opened it back up and found that the problem was a broken PCB trace. : 0

And now, I'm just waiting to find some miracle way to fix it or get a conductive pen to replace the solder trace that was pulled up.

Then, after all repairs are done, my monster will be complete. (The True Bypass works GREAT!; huggggeee improvement!)

Allright!! 7:50 pm means that my monster is born! :D

The JMH Wah

The Crybaby that John Mark dropped off was one he had abused for a while. It had some spiderwebs and dust inside, but that was easily fixed in five minutes flat. All he told me when he handed it to me was that he trusts me, and to have fun with it.

So I ended up doing a few different things to it:

  • A slight Volume increase, for a more pronounced and clear wah tone.
  • Increased the mids for a better and smoother sound altogether.
  • Put more clarity into the bass end so that you can actually use it instead of just being pure mud.
  • The obligitory True Bypass.

As of now, I'm in the process of finishing up. I had to take the wah apart so that I could drill easily and more proficiently. 

What I'm Drilling is a hole for a "Flavor" Pot, and a Wah/Volume Switch.

The "Flavor" control will adjust the feel, tone and "magic" of the wah. It will go from Jimi to Jerry in a single turn, and John is right in the middle. :)

And the Wah/Volume is self-explanatory, just an option for it to be a wah or a volume pedal. (Something that I think we all really need)

I'm off to finish the project.


The JMH Overdrive Tests

Okay, I've got a friend. John Mark Herring (do the initials look familiar? J.M.H.; James/"Jimi" Marshall Hendrix) Well, he came over and we've sort of gotten into this cool collaboration together.

He brought over his Analogman Silver Modded TS9 and Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, along with a reverb-impaired Blues Jr., a Stock GCB-95 Crybaby Wah, and a Danelectro Fab Metal he had gotten for Xmas.

He jammed on my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe with My Strat for a while. Then I set up the A/B tests for him.

Test 1:

Analogman TS9 vs. Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive-

  • The tone and feel of the TS9 is very desirable, but somewhat overbearing and not as reactive to his playing as John Mark prefers.
  • The Voodoo Labs doesn't have as much available ad useable gain as the TS9 (even though it doesnt have much), and he LOVES the clean/grit blend on it.

Result:                 Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive

Test 2:

Analogman TS9 vs. My SD-1 (Modded)

  • Again, the TS9 has a nice compression to it, but its just a sort of lifeless tone, with the treble response lacking of Johns's needs.
  • He tried out the SD-1 and Loved it! He played for close to if not a full hour just jamming on a slow clean breakup setting with a nice does of twang to it, but not icepicking tone.

Result:                Stargazer FX Modded SD-1

Test 3:

Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive vs. My SD-1 (Modded)

  • The two that he preferred was his favorite competition.
  • He always loves the clean blend on the Sparkle Drive; but when using it for a bit of grit, its not always his cup of tea.
  • The liveliness and clarity in My SD-1 still amazes him of how I managed to make it sound the way it does. He mentioned a few times that since it's a Fender on Fender orgy of tone, the only difference he would make is to maybe add a slight bit of bass more into my design (which is perfectly doable upon request :) ) And he'd really LOVE a clean blend, which would be a "Stargazer FX's JMH Custom SD-1" design (yes, with the added smoothness of bass to it.)

Result:                John Mark ended up taking My Sd-1 home to play through his Twin,and if I'm not mistaken, he's probably still jamming on it right now. ^_^

Take from these tests what you need, and see what kind of overdrive it really is that you need.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Boss DS-1

I've had this thing for almost as long as I've been playing.

I first played one when Jacob was hanging out with me. Then when I went to Nashville, I bought one for myself. Since then I modded it for more fatness. It is a lovely dirty boost in front of an already dirty amp. (I especially love it on my MG, even though everyone hates MGs.)

I'm thinking for the mods to mine are:

  • Fat Mod
  • Mids Increased
  • Better Bass Response
  • Different Clipping (possibly)
  • Output Boost/Gain Increase
  • Probably more too, not completely decided

I'll stay updated, pictures too!