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View Full Version : Modding an EHX Freeze


dangayle
12-10-2010, 01:33 PM
The Freeze is the coolest pedal to come around in a long time, but I hate the footswitch. I switch it a lot, and it's a hard click footswitch (Not audible in the audio signal, it's just a loud physical click that gets annoying). Also, depending on how you use it, you're liable to hit the switch for every chord change, meaning that the switch on this pedal had better be robust over the long term.

How difficult would it be to replace the switch with a soft-touch footswitch? And has anyone thought of modding this pedal in other ways?

jahsoul
12-10-2010, 01:36 PM
I imagine just opening, snipping, soldering, closing and that should be it. Make sure you put everything back where you found it on the switch.

dangayle
12-10-2010, 02:21 PM
Because I'm still new to modding pedals, a soft-touch is functionally the same as a standard switch, right?

jahsoul
12-10-2010, 02:44 PM
Yeah, just doesn't latch. Momentary is what you'd look for on pedal parts plus and such.

muffinMan74
12-10-2010, 02:47 PM
Cusack TBS2 (http://cusackmusic.com/wp/?page_id=22)

or

Jack Deville Click-Less Bypass Switch (http://jackdeville.com/clickless_switch.php)

either looks to make the job a little simpler

dramaticrunner
12-10-2010, 03:20 PM
that's not what he needs, those are truebypass systems. he just wants to change a loud clicky momentary switch for a soft touch momentary switch

http://www.smallbearelec.com/Detail.bok?no=672

use that, should be easy enough

Cusack TBS2 (http://cusackmusic.com/wp/?page_id=22)

or

Jack Deville Click-Less Bypass Switch (http://jackdeville.com/clickless_switch.php)

either looks to make the job a little simpler

dangayle
12-10-2010, 03:40 PM
Is the Freeze true-bypass? Also, I don't really think there is that much room in the pedal for another pcb. I could be wrong though.

kp8
12-10-2010, 08:25 PM
Is the Freeze true-bypass? Also, I don't really think there is that much room in the pedal for another pcb. I could be wrong though.

It's buffered. It sort of has to be if you think about what it does.

The switch is a bit klitty klack. I did a solo gallery gig with it recently and the sound of the pedal engaging and disengaging got kind of irritating. Having the click announce your sound is kinda sad. In a bar setting it likely wouldn't matter or be heard but in this context it was a bummer. I covered it with a towel but that didn't help much and also meant I couldn't adjust the level with my toe easily. On the plus side I didn't have to look at the ugly graphics (when did EHX pedals get hit with the ugly stick?)

I still love the pedal and it was nice to gig with a small board and not have to bring my laptop with my homebrewed software freeze.

-kp--

dangayle
12-10-2010, 08:31 PM
The switch is a bit klitty klack. I did a solo gallery gig with it recently and the sound of the pedal engaging and disengaging got kind of irritating. Having the click announce your sound is kinda sad. In a bar setting it likely wouldn't matter or be heard but in this context it was a bummer. I covered it with a towel but that didn't help much and also meant I couldn't adjust the level with my toe easily. On the plus side I didn't have to look at the ugly graphics (when did EHX pedals get hit with the ugly stick?)


That's exactly what I'm talking about. It's a noisy little footswitch. I'm amazed that no one at EHX noticed it. Glad I'm not the only one annoyed by it :)

Gilks
12-10-2010, 08:36 PM
That's exactly what I'm talking about. It's a noisy little footswitch. I'm amazed that no one at EHX noticed it. Glad I'm not the only one annoyed by it :)

Yeah it is pretty annoying. The switches on the TC electronics pedals, like the Nova Repeater, are those what soft-touch switches are? Those would be perfect for the Freeze. I have one too and I would kill for a quite switch, it's hard to hear in certain situations what noise is coming from where, and a loud footswitch is one thing I DON'T need.

kp8
12-11-2010, 11:14 AM
click Harmony click | click Harmony click | click GUESS WHAT IS COMING NEXT?!

haha... Though thankfully they did a pretty nice job with the fade in and out on the audio so that you don't get any splats through your rig, but odd that the careful enveloping didn't carry over into a concern for sound of the switch.

It's the tyranny of loud music. Companies don't worry about such things since they are only catering to the needs of clubs, rock stars and their stand ins.

The switches on my loopmaster ABC box are amazingly loud as well. I put a towel under that cause I need to see the LEDs... Great box, rugged as could be but I telegraph every instrument change I am about to make with a huge SNAP. But if anyone rushes the stage I think the Loopmaster is what I would hit them with. haha.

dangayle
12-11-2010, 01:08 PM
The TC switches would be great.

I was re-arranging my board yesterday, and I realized the freeze might work well in a Wah enclosure. A pot and a footswitch, with a small mode switch on the side? You could set your note, then swell it in. Keep the switch to the side, like Weeping Demon or a Morley Wah, and it would work perfectly.

digiTED
12-11-2010, 02:53 PM
If it's a simple off/on then perhaps this mod could help:

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=812278

ERGExplorer
12-11-2010, 02:57 PM
Somewhere I read about someone who had drilled a hole in the side of his Freeze and added a jack so he could just use a normal electronic keyboard sustain pedal....

Last
12-11-2010, 07:18 PM
The switch looks a little more complicated than just an easy swap to momentary switching.

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/5924/imgp0368h.jpg

I've noticed that mine at least isn't as noisy off my board as on it, though that doesn't help much.

I do agree they could have done a better job especially with how much use that switch is taking.

dangayle
12-12-2010, 01:58 AM
That switch has the potential to be used more often than any other switches on your board combined! It had better be built like a tank. I haven't cracked mine open yet, but perhaps longevity was more important to EHX than quiet switching?

Biggelzworth
04-17-2011, 05:33 PM
Has anyone tried the switch mod yet? I love this pedal but can't stand the click.

kp8
04-17-2011, 06:05 PM
Has anyone tried the switch mod yet? I love this pedal but can't stand the click.

This company is also offering a switch mod and an effects loop. So tempted.

http://axiomdrift.com/freezeloop.htm

I just finished scraping the graphics off and repainting mine. Looks sheety but is still an upgrade as I am so tired of ehx's "zanny" graphics.

But the loud switch is killing me. I tried covering mine with a towel but then I cant see the LED.

Cosmogang
04-17-2011, 07:37 PM
This1smyne modded mine with a non-latching switch.
It was waaaay better.

dangayle
08-11-2011, 12:40 PM
This company is also offering a switch mod and an effects loop. So tempted.

http://axiomdrift.com/freezeloop.htm

I just finished scraping the graphics off and repainting mine. Looks sheety but is still an upgrade as I am so tired of ehx's "zanny" graphics.

But the loud switch is killing me. I tried covering mine with a towel but then I cant see the LED.

Nice. Seems a bit much for the bypass loop, but still cool.

espechemode
08-11-2011, 02:00 PM
A new footswitch in the Freeze is a must. I had to return the Freeze that I had because after two days of use the footswitch stopped working properly. It would take multiple clicks just to freeze one passage of playing. EHX needs to think things through more. I think they cut corners too much to save money which leads to cool products that are flawed.

Next Freeze I buy is definitely going straight to Axiom Drift for that mod and upgraded switch.

The Deluxe Memory Man with Tap Tempo I just got has the same issue with the tap tempo switch. Works fine, but it has a hard click switch for the tap tempo instead of one the soft click switches that every tap tempo pedal should have.

JohanSolo
08-12-2011, 02:53 AM
my freeze is unreliable, after a few minutes use, it the switch wont work as meant to, instead it goes into reset mode (the led blinks, as if you were holding switch down whilst plugging in power supply)

ive taken it apart and hopefully its just a case of unsoldering those 3 stomp lugs from the off board pcb and replacing with another stomp.

gutbag
08-12-2011, 07:30 AM
I changed the footswitch in my Freeze to get rid of the audible clunk. I found it unusable at quiet gigs with the original switch. It's easy if you can use a soldering iron.

I've also brought the switch contacts out to an external socket so I can plug in any external switch I want to. I've got that hooked up to a gadget that gives me random freezing, which is fun when playing sequences with lots of notes in.

dangayle
08-18-2011, 06:54 PM
I changed the footswitch in my Freeze to get rid of the audible clunk. I found it unusable at quiet gigs with the original switch. It's easy if you can use a soldering iron.


Care to expand on what kind of switch you used?

danonbass
08-18-2011, 08:16 PM
Bit of a thread hijack...

I'm been overall disappointed with EHX products recently. I believe Espechemode said that EHX needs to put a little more thought into their pedals. I agree. They have some really cool ideas, but there are just lots of little annoying problems with a lot of their new stuff. I feel like all this corner cutting began happening when they started moving everything to the smaller boxes. Idk though, some of their new stuff rocks w/o many noticeable problems! Like the POG 2 and Ring Thing.

Daniel

aviavi
05-24-2012, 07:11 PM
I just modded my Freeze pedal with a soft-touch switch, and it's awesome, cheap, fast and easy to do:

1. Get a momentary SPST normally open soft touch switch
http://www.smallbearelec.com/servlet/Detail?no=672

2. Open up your pedal and unbolt the switch, which will come unmounted with a weird circuit board and wires attached.

3. Un-solder the two wires from the circuit board that's attached to the existing switch.

4. Resolder each of the two wires to the new switch, mount the switch, close up, and your done.

Here's a guy with some pictures:
http://www.mattgallagher.me/2011/07/replacing-the-footswitch-in-an-ehx-freeze-pedal/

alanthepilot
05-24-2012, 08:46 PM
My dad is actually in the process of modding his freeze to use a piano sustain pedal. He's adding a jack to the casing and wiring up the necessary relays. AFAIK it's still in pieces. I should call him and see how his mod is going. To me, that sounded like the best idea for that pedal.

coralreefer
05-25-2012, 12:06 AM
this is the write up for sustain pedal mod on Freeze pedal...I sold mine as I hated having to click/unclick ...

Freeze pedal modů
The electronics is awesome. It takes a little practice timing-wise to use it like a sustain pedal for the guitar. But it works. And it's awesome. The reason why I'm not giving it a 5-star rating is because it uses the worst switch you can image. Why would they use a switch that is so small and so loud? I could hear the switch clicks from across the room. Why does it have to make any sound at all?

Here's what I did with mine (although it probably voided the warranty): Drill a 3/8" hole on the side of the case opposite the power supply. Install a 1/4" mono jack and wire the two contacts to the original switch (no need to disconnect the original switch). If the red light flickers on and off when you plug in the power it means the wiring is backwards or the positive signal is touching the case. Fix the wiring and close up the case. And then I just plug in a nice piano-like sustain pedal. Make sure you get a pedal with the contacts normally open (N.O.). To be safe, get one with a polarity switch. The M-Audio SP2 is a good pedal for this purpose.

The Freeze pedal as-is gets a 4-star rating. With the modifications above it gets a 5-plus-star rating.

The piano has had a sustain pedal since they started making pianos. I can't believe it took until now for the guitar to have one too.

gjhardwick
05-25-2012, 02:14 AM
The switch looks a little more complicated than just an easy swap to momentary switching.

http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/5924/imgp0368h.jpg

I've noticed that mine at least isn't as noisy off my board as on it, though that doesn't help much.

I do agree they could have done a better job especially with how much use that switch is taking.

Don't let the fact that the stock switch on the EHX Freeze is mounted on a small pcb fool you - all you need to do to swap the switch is disconnect the stock one (no harder than cutting the leads to the switch circuit board) and soldering in a soft touch SPST switch (an earlier post links to the ones available from Small Bear).

I swapped the switch on my Freeze using the above method and it literally took me five minutes from start to end.

A soft touch switch makes the pedal a lot more responsive when using it in latch mode too - bonus!

8len8
05-25-2012, 03:37 AM
Anyone also have a problem with its power? When I try to power my Freeze with a non-EHX wall wart or a PP2+ I get an audible whining sound out of the pedal.

aviavi
05-25-2012, 04:12 AM
Yeah, the whine of this pedal is a whole other issue. In my case, I power it off a 1Spot, daisy chained with about 5 other pedals. The Freeze whines like crazy if I have it first in the chain, but for some inexplicable reason, the whine is a lot lower in volume if I put it last in the chain.

I actually sent mine back to EHX - after they told me that they could fix the whine issue. And of course, I got it back and it was exactly the same - with no note, no obvious work done to it, no explanation. Really pissed me off, actually. It's a cool concept, poorly executed (the switch and the whine), and with bottom of the barrel customer service from EHX. Booo....

8len8
05-25-2012, 04:29 AM
Yeah, the whine of this pedal is a whole other issue. In my case, I power it off a 1Spot, daisy chained with about 5 other pedals. The Freeze whines like crazy if I have it first in the chain, but for some inexplicable reason, the whine is a lot lower in volume if I put it last in the chain.

I actually sent mine back to EHX - after they told me that they could fix the whine issue. And of course, I got it back and it was exactly the same - with no note, no obvious work done to it, no explanation. Really pissed me off, actually. It's a cool concept, poorly executed (the switch and the whine), and with bottom of the barrel customer service from EHX. Booo....

In your case are you sure it's the pedal's problem? Daisy chaining power is hit or miss as far as ground loops are concerned.

Kestrel
05-25-2012, 06:05 AM
My Freeze is pretty quiet, but then I have it placed after dirt and modulation, but before delay/reverb. I have also used it daisy chained on a 1 Spot and haven't experienced any unwanted noise. Granted, it's not an effect I use often, but it works for me.

aviavi
05-25-2012, 09:42 AM
In your case are you sure it's the pedal's problem? Daisy chaining power is hit or miss as far as ground loops are concerned.

Well no other pedal I have ever used with the 1Spot (...probably 50 pedals?) has ever made that whine. It's a well-documented issue with this pedal, and a few other EHX pedals, so I hear.

rbspeedwagon
11-04-2014, 10:26 AM
G'day guys,

I know I'm resurrecting a years-old thread, but I'm hoping the brains trust here can give me a hand.

I've just soldered in a replacement SPST momentary switch and the pedal works as it should, but it's now got a constant power buzz in it. I tried swapping the switch back to the original and the same buzz is now apparent.

I've tried different power supplies and different leads, still getting the same result. I've plugged my guitar direct into the amp and there's no buzz.

Inside the pedal, I'm pretty sure I've only altered the two wires that connect to the switch, so I can't think of anything in there that would have changed apart from the switch, so getting buzz when it's all back to normal doesn't make sense to me.

Any ideas? Thanks all

Phats
11-04-2014, 10:39 AM
you just have to change the switch to a monetary switch, like the one from Small Bear - though the shaft may be too tall, from the one from small bear.

Mammoth Electronics offers a soft-touch momentary switch with a short shaft, thats the way to go.

rbspeedwagon
11-04-2014, 10:43 AM
Thanks for the quick reply, Phats. I've got the switch, that's all good. The problem is the AC buzz that's come in once I've replaced it and that stays even if I put the original switch back on.

Phats
11-04-2014, 11:00 AM
Thanks for the quick reply, Phats. I've got the switch, that's all good. The problem is the AC buzz that's come in once I've replaced it and that stays even if I put the original switch back on.

Where did you solder the new switch?

For ease of installation, I would have just desoldered the original switch - the 3 in-line spots where the old switch connected, and then just solder wires to the 2 locations for the switch, on the PCB, and then from there, connect the new switch to those wires.

Some momentary switches are "normally-open" and some are "normally-closed"

If you have a digital multimeter with continuity test, you can test the original switch to determine which it is. Perhaps the new switch you got isn't the same and that might be causing the issue:

http://www.engineersgarage.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/Original/wysiwyg_imageupload/4214/Switch-2_0.jpg

rbspeedwagon
11-04-2014, 11:02 AM
Yep, I desoldered the PCB with the original switch on it and used the existing wires to connect to the new switch. Good tip on the multimeter, I'll check it out.

Any ideas why the buzz would remain after I put the original switch back in?

Phats
11-04-2014, 11:08 AM
Yep, I desoldered the PCB with the original switch on it and used the existing wires to connect to the new switch. Good tip on the multimeter, I'll check it out.

Any ideas why the buzz would remain after I put the original switch back in?

Have you tried it removed from the enclosure? Sometimes EHX uses a grounding method where they have a little piece of metal coming from somewhere on the pCB that touches the inside of the enclosure. I'm not sure if that is for additional grounding but perhaps you may have moved something? That would be my guess; during the process of modding it, something got bumped/moved.

rbspeedwagon
11-04-2014, 11:22 AM
I haven't tried that, no. The original PCB has a spring soldered into it that makes contact with the enclosure, which I assumed would be covered by the replacement switch being screwed directly to the enclosure. I also tried putting a piece of aluminium in between the new switch base and the enclosure, but it didn't change anything.

I agree with you: I must have bumped something and not noticed. Bugger.

Thanks for your help! I've read elsewhere that using the EHX power supply rather than a 1spot/boss adapter can make a difference, do you know why? I got the pedal second hand, so unfortunately I can't try that but if I know what difference it makes I might be able to put something together.

Squigglefunk
11-04-2014, 11:23 AM
Well no other pedal I have ever used with the 1Spot (...probably 50 pedals?) has ever made that whine. It's a well-documented issue with this pedal, and a few other EHX pedals, so I hear.

its well documented with many digital pedals by many different manufacturers

it's your power supply/daisy chaining

rbspeedwagon
11-04-2014, 11:25 AM
Yeah, that's what I'm assuming too, Squigglefunk. It's just frustrating because it DID work fine with the 1spot, then I changed the switch and now I can't get rid of the buzz it even by putting the original switch back in.

Squigglefunk
11-04-2014, 11:48 AM
your issue sounds like something completely different than the "whine" issue I was addressing. YOu probably have a bad ground somewhere