Mesa Boogie Bigfoot+ styled footswitch

Mesa Boogie Bigfoot +The Mesa Boogie Bigfoot+ is the massive five button footswitch that monopolizes so many pedalboards.  It’s great, it does a lot, but in most cases it offers far more than needed. The Solo boost is great to have but not everyone uses it (especially on a 3-channel amp). The switchable FX Loop is cool but I can’t say I’ve ever used that feature in any of my amps that have had it. This pedal is for everyone that wants three channels in a small package using the standard DIN cable that Mesa Boogie uses. These are going to be made when ordered and are available for $100. Yeah, it’s a lot for a channel switcher but it’s a lot of work to build by hand.

A bit about the design: The original footswitch uses intelligent switching meaning when you press A it goes to channel A regardless of what channel you were on. The same goes for channel B and channel C. This is done by using digital logic switching and is not simply a passive channel switcher that the majority of amps out there have used for decades. Passive switches like an ABC box usually give you A or (B or C) which means going from Channel B, to Channel A, to Channel C requires some premeditated stomping..

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MXR M-101 Phase 90 Modifications

Modded MXR M101 Phase 90

I’ve posted a few times about the MXR Phase 90 “Script Logo” reissue over the past year but I haven’t mentioned the tried and true Block Logo (Model M-101) that’s been around for decades.

We’ve offered the “Script mod” for many years; at $15 it reduces the gainy midrange hump that the pedal has and smooths out the overall sound of the pedal. The name is due to the modifications changing the pedal to closely resemble the original MXR Phase 90 with the logo written in a Script font. In addition to that we’re now offering a standard Overhaul which also include a toggle switch to select either Phase 45 and the stock Phase 90 sound, an Intensity Knob to decrease the intensity of the Phaser, and a modification so that the LED pulses the rate of the phaser when the pedal is activated. Priced separately these mods would be $110 at the current prices, but the Overhaul bundle is now being offered for $90.

In addition to that, we have a used, premodded Phase 90 currently for sale at $130 on the Specials page..

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DOD 250 Overdrive: Gray Generation Switch

DOD 250 CloneThe DOD 250 overdrive is one of those classic effects that’s been around for decades and is still highly sought after. Pedal collectors may desire it because of the rarity, but the original pedal screams when ran into a cranked amp adding plenty of sustain and punch. The original Gray edition was made for the first few years of production in the late ’70s. After that came a variety of yellow colored revisions which is how most players recognize it. While there are many Gray DOD 250 clones on the market what is often overlooked is that there were actually a few different models all inside the same Gray-colored casing.  After researching, comparing pictures, and inspecting units on my bench that were in for repairs I’ve come up with this DOD 250 design. The main differences over the years include different diodes and capacitor values leaving the original model a bit darker and more bass-heavy than it’s successor.

This DOD 250 clone has an added DC jack, true bypass, and LED for the modern updates. On top of that we have a toggle switch that switches between the two variations of the Gray model DOD 250 as discussed above. Lots of versatility and accurate vintage tone but with the benefit of covering two desirable variations of the same pedal. These are being made in limited editions at $150, check out the FXdoctor Specials page for ordering..

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MXR CSP-026 Handwired 1974 Vintage Phase 90 Modifications

MXR CSP-026 Handwired 1974 Vintage Phase 90 Modifications

This is an update on our previous blog post for the modifications on the Phase 90 Reissue, a.k.a. “Handwired 1974 Vintage Phase 90”. We’re now bundling true bypass, install LED that pulses to the rate of the phaser, install DC jack, install Intensity control, and install switch to go from Phase 45 to the stock Phase 90 tone. Now available as a package for $120 as opposed to $160 when priced separately.

More info on the modifications available here..

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Dual LED Scalpel Volume Pedal

Dual LED Scalpel pedalWe’ve had the Scalpel Volume pedal available for years and the most common issue is that when the pedal is activated it decreases the volume. It’s often described as counter-intuitive and confusing which is entirely understandable. When your Fuzz pedal’s LED lights up you get MORE VOLUME. Overdrive : MORE VOLUME. Boost: WOO MORE VOLUME. So this light comes on and you cut your signal and ninjas your brain at the same time. With that said, this custom Scalpel has two different LEDs. When the pedal is bypass (full volume) you have your red LED. When the pedal is activated (volume cut) the LED is green. A bi-color LED may make it’s way into future models of the Scalpel but this one-off is currently available on the Kickstarter project page for $60 + Shipping..

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Mesa Boogie Bigfoot Rehousing

Bigfoot RehousingThe Mesa Boogie Bigfoot is an interesting footswitch. It’s for a three channel amp which makes it far more complicated than a simple Clean/Distortion footswitch. It uses intelligent switch (digital gates) for all switching which makes replicating it difficult. For that reason the best option was to rehouse a Bigfoot footswitch rather than build one from scratch.  The FX loop switch was never used so it was wired to be always on. Above is the considerable size savings- 7.5″ wide rather than the original 13.5″ wide. I may be biased but the bare metal looks better to me too!.

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Danelectro French Toast Fuzz Rehousing

I’m constantly contacted and asked to rehouse the Danelectro French Toast fuzz into a metal casing with better hardware and to add an LED. Above is a photo of the most recent rehousing that I did on my free time in order to try and reduce the cost of rehousing..

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FXdoctor Custom Shop Wah Pedal

FXdoctor custom wah pedal with Fasel

So this was made in response to all of the testing I’ve been doing with wah pedals over the past six months. The circuit board was a blank perf board and uses the same header as any Vox wah so it can be swapped in and out without soldering. On board is a Fasel inductor, sockets for the transistors, trim pots, and a four DIP switches for 15 different filter frequencies. The blue trim pots control Gain, Midrange sweep, Volume, and two forms of Sharpness control. This gives almost any sound imaginable and allows the pedal to be dialed in for a variety of transistors. The controls are all visible when the battery door is removed to allow changes on the fly. Not sure if these will be sold due to the time involved, but the standard wah mods allow you to send in your own wahs and have the essential changes performed at a fraction of the price..

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Danelectro DJ-1 Pastrami Overdrive #2

DJ-1 Pastrami Overdrive

Looks like we have another DJ-1 Pastrami Overdrive rehousing after the last one a few weeks ago. Basically the same job just with the components slightly shifted to make the rehousing easier. Those Danelectro pedals may be small but they have two circuit boards and both are an “r” shape which takes a little bit of planning to get everything to fit nicely.

Update: Many thanks to the owner for submitting a picture of the pedal after he painted it!
Pastrami Rehousing after paint.

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What’s all this I hear about “true bypass”

If you’re familiar with the topic then feel free to skip ahead and watch the video to see a comparison of the two. If true bypass is new to you, it’s basically a technique of modifying a pedal so when the pedal is in the off position (bypassed) the circuitry is 100% out of the guitar’s signal path. This is essential for retaining your guitar’s original tone. Some effects, specifically vintage effects and wah pedals, are notorious tone-suckers. Some of the guitar’s signal is being fed into the pedal’s circuitry even when the pedal is bypassed. The result can be signal bleed, added noise, decreased overall output, and most likely a loss of high-end and clarity.

So with that out of the way… on to the video to hear a difference:

The video was recorded using a Fender ’69 Reissue Thinline Telecaster and a vintage Fender Super Reverb. The first video clip is simply the guitar into an unmodified Electro Harmonix Russian Big Muff then into the amp. The second half of the clip is guitar straight into the amp. If the pedal was modified for true bypass it would sound like the second clip. You can hear a massive increase in volume and see the peak around 2-4kHz when the pedal is removed from the signal chain. Click between 0:25 and 0:58 if you’re impatient. I should note that there was absolutely no post editing to the audio and everything was shot in a single take. The yellow lines show the peaks for each frequency and you’ll notice the overall output is a few dB higher.

For more reading on true bypass with basic diagrams.

For information on having your pedals converted..

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