Friday, July 31, 2009

Stargazer FX Wah Mod Deluxe

Are you tired of your old Crybaby wah? Does it suck all of the life from your tone? Or has playing it just gotten boring and seemingly useless?

I've got the cure for you! I will take your old wah; Crybaby, Vox, Etc. and Modify it to your exact specs. so what do you need?

  • Bass/Guitar switch (useful when swapping between the two)
  • True Bypass
  • Foot-on activation/Foot-off bypass
  • LED
  • More warmth to the wah
  • More Vocal quality
  • Extended Wah Sweep and Range
  • Wah/haW switch (Reverses the sweep of the wah)
  • Wah/Volume switch
  • Stargazer FX Exclusive "Revolu-wah"! (makes your wah do the foot action for you, by revolving the sweep instead of using your foot to control it and adjusted by the speed knob next to the switch between manual and Revolu-wah)
  • Spring-Action (so that it will return to the comfortable heel-down or toe-down position when you finish playing; please specify toe or heel down.)
  • "Flavor" knob
  • Switchable Bass/Mids/Vocal/Sweep Mods
  • Manual/Parked wah modes (allowing you to set a position for the wah to be parked at, or switch back to control it with your foot.)
  • "Q" Control

Just let me know what you need or want and Ill work something out with you.

And Remember; If you see the "Revolu-wah" anywhere else, it's not the real deal. I'm the only person Ive found to even implement this design in a stompbox or any other form.

I am also working on developing a Touch mode with sensitivity control for how the wah responds to your pick attack, just like a touch wah/autowah/filter would!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Line 6 Modeller Mods

Im now offering mods to correct the Volume drop; add a double preset footswitch so that you can change from one setting to another from a remote location,and still have the use of the stock jack; change the LEDs to almost whatever you want!; then I can also upgrade the stomp switches to a stronger and smoother switch.

Im performing this to my MM-4 very soon. Drop me a line if you're interested!

A Little Help for my Friends! (AFF)

So I have a friend (AFF on GG). He's asked me for help on some occasions and I wanted to throw a page up for him on here!

To learn how he did an 18 volt Mod to EMGs, look here:

For his entire list of instructables, go here:

Here's his band too!:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

EHX/Sovtek Green Russian Small Stone

Wow! This thing is the most phasey sound Ive ever heard! The bubbly character is only surpassed by the inherent warmth of the phase.

Only problems are:

  • Noise when Bypassed
  • Noise when engaged
  • Tone suck on bypass (SPDT used for output switching on older units like this)
  • Volume drop due to tone suck (there is none, just the out-of-phase character in comparison to the in-phase guitar makes you think there's a difference.)
  • Gentle whoosh during bypass
  • Overly "woofy" sound at times
  • Crappy circuit design
  • LED problems
  • No battery preservation

So I gave it a Millenium 2 bypass, added a depth control and a "Timbre" switch.

The Depth will control how deep the phaser dives in comparison to the dry signal, acting more as a Dry/Wet Ratio for the amount of phase... Confusing, huh?

Timbre will affect how much bass is allowed into the circuit, after being buffered. Also affects the overall response and feel of the swirls. 

And it has a nice Green LED to match! and new Metal jacks for security and durability. Checked over the PCB's traces for the best solder joints possible!


Group shot:In the Dark...

Now I know Alex is ready to have his family back, but I just need a little more time to get soundclips recorded! But right now I need to eat.. Forgot to since I was busy earlier! And the Small Stone made a gash in the opposite thumb that the Small Clone injured. :) Rugrats bandaids always come to the rescue.

Alex's SD-1

So.. one of my oldest friends.:) The Boss SD-1! I originally set out to transform his SD-1 into a Passion Drive model, but the previous mods that had been done limited my abilities somewhat.

The people at protone replaced all but about three caps with higher quality film or whatever and changed a few things, and resoldered the PCB joints. when I got it the output was insanely low, on account of one of their wires breaking from the solder joint. I went back over it and checked every single spot for durability.

Then I began the process of getting his thin sounding, raspy overdrive to be more like mine. One thing I did change is how much bass comes in. On mine, there is an insane amount of bass and warmth, which lends to the velvety smooth darkness that I favor. On his, I instead went with my newfound motto that "Treble is easierto take away than to add." So his is more biting and precise on the top end of the spectrum with a fully stable bass response and an all-around smoother crunch. His is able to get stingingly clear notes and can back off the tone for warmer but defined notes.

Hopefully itll be a great addition to his classic rock board!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Stargazer FX "Dream Muff"

So, I've finally gotten to the Big Muff! This beast is remarkably unique and will not be mistaken for any other fuzz. Once you've played a Big Muff from the factory, you think there is nothing better than that monstrous tone.

But once you play a Stargazer FX Modded Big Muff, you will be dreaming of having all the time in the world to jam out on it. I've changed the tonestack to allow the same old scooped midrange and emphasized bass and treble, all the way up to a smooth and full midrange-packed solo tone! Now the Big Muff has five knobs and five switches.

The knobs control:

  • Volume
  • Tone
  • Mids (left is more, right is scoop!)
  • Sustain
  • Decay

The switches control:

  • Clipping diodes on first gain stage
  • Clipping diodes on second gain stage
  • "Cream"
  • Bypass
  • "Expand"

Taking out either set of diodes will result in a very different sound. and depending on what sort of sound you're going for will make or break your overall tonality. 

The Decay knob allows the pedal to finally be quiet when you arent playing; acting as a noise gate of sorts. Another fun way to use it is to make the Muff become a quick-decay fuzz and make it sound glitchy!

Tons of fun can be had with this on the Raunchier side of distorted fuzz walls.. But one thing that it can do now is become a booster! If you just want some more volume and add some mids and refine the tone; then do it! This thing earns the space it takes up on your pedal board now. Not only does it make huge walls; it also can become a strong Distortion, a bluesy crunch machine, a spazztastic fuzz, and a relatively clean booster with Tone and midrange shaping. (all with an added noise gate when activated!) Did I forget to mention that the volume is able to get INSANELY LOUD?!?!

Use the "Cream" switch to boost the muff's gain stages and break through all sonic boundaries! Set the Tone and mids to a stock Muffish scooped sound and hit the "Expand" switch for a more natural tone response.

It will take a while to get used to all the options. But look at it this way.. You'll never need another Dirt pedal!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Small Clones and the Neccessities of Invention!

OK, so the Small Clone got pretty much to "FUBAR" status as you can see in my last post. Taking the advice of Frank Zappa, I used my neccessities to behave as the mother of invention!

I took a BB sized metal box, from Small Bear Electronics [where I buy all of my stuff from], and used it for the better, harder, and stronger enclosure for the Small Clone!!

Here's what I ended up with:

Monday, July 13, 2009

A New Order!

My buddy Alex, sent me his vintage Small Stone, a new Big Muff Pi, a modded SD-1, and his Choralflange (in trade for my hot-rodded Small Clone). Now's time for the newest journey to begin!

The pedals are now on my "workbench".. AKA washing machine, as I have no good place to work on. After organizing the different pedals and the parts necessary to mod them with, I decided to get to work! I unscrewed every pedal so that I could get to the circuits. From there, I started soldering the new DC jack on the Small Clone and forgot that I ordered the kind that have to be in before I can solder them.. D: Christ, it ain't never easy! But I unsoldered it and have the jack ready to be drilled so that I can resolder it together.

I begin the drilling process and everything seems to be good. Firm, steady pressure and holding the box down. Then this is where it goes wrong. The drill bit jams, causing the kinetic force of the drill to make the box twist in my hand and bend the metal enclosure. After it's done bending out of my hand it manages to get a fantastic little slice on my thumb. Ah, sheet metal.. Why do you hurt me so?

All in all.. EHX should stop keeping their DC jacks as 1/8" negative sleeve, positive tip. Get with the program!! You make some of the best stompboxes, but yet you continue to use the same crappy parts that noone has a dedicated power supply for, so it causes modders to slice their hands open or players to have to buy special adapters. We love you EHX.. It's just time for a realization.. Time for change.

Seeing as how deformed the original box is and how hard it would be to repair it. I think Im just going to rehouse the PCB into a metal case. 

Saturday, July 4, 2009

June/July Transition!

Okay, so its been a pretty good month. I've had my best and biggest gig yet sitting in with DL Token! I've also gotten further into my whole Stargazer FX business and have been upgrading to being able to make and produce m own pedals that I've designed. All handwired, inspected, and designed by me and me alone!

I've been brushing up and have came up with my pedals' concepts of design and will be completely different from any other pedal out there that I've ever seen. Rugged metal enclosures, True Bypass that everyone loves so much!, all the best parts, and the hand-selected components that will do the job best. There are also a few secrets to my design that I've been trying to finalize for the actual finish of the box and get it to be a very distinctive look.

I have also modified a brand new MXR Phase 90 to Script specs for that great bubblegum 70's subtle phase swirl [with a pink LED to match]! Along with it, I've been working on a Dyna Comp, which will go to JMH with improved tonal response, tweaked to his specs with the decay and attack.. Now the last problem is the noise issue. This has been found to be a problem in all Dyna comps, and is noticeable at gig level volumes, but only in certain spots. Knowing JMH, he will be able to work around this but I still want to find a remedy. This pedal is great, but the noise kills it. The yellow LED is mighty nice though! Furthermore, I am modding my Marshall Guv'nor II to have two different styles of clipping for a more saturated overdrive in comparison to the crunchy buzz of the stock pedal. I've also changed the tonal structure to give it more top end bite than the muddiness it had out of the box. My friend Alex, Stratguy23 on GG, and I have began collaborating and doing pedal business. I'm going to be doing some mods on his vintage Green Small Stone, trading my super-modded Small Clone for his Choralflange, modifying his Big Muff to my own design of "Dream Muff" specs, and also modding his SD-1 to "Passion Drive" specs.

Next to come: My own creation in complete form!!