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“Bad” pedals you like – how do you deal with it?

MrGibson

Member
Messages
1,032
Do you have pedals that you like for its musical and tonal qualities, but are having general quality issues like hiss, tone suck, poor build quality etc? –How do you deal with it?
I can think of three possible scenarios: either you ditch it, you get it modified or you use it in spite of its flaws perhaps isolated in a loop?
Sometimes a mod would be easy, sometimes it’s almost impossible. Maybe a good replacement exists, maybe not. Then there is this “mojo” part of the equation; looks, vibe and heritage…

I have 4 different wahs, but only one has good enough signal qualities. Voicing and sweep is OK so I use it. But my coolest wah - the one I would prefer, is the most musical and has the best mechanical build quality – is a tone sucker when OFF and makes too much hiss when ON, which make me reluctant to use it. Then, when my first wah is taken off the board for maintenance, my mojo-wah is back in business and I smile. When my good signal quality wah is ready for service again, my mojo wah returns to the closet. A complete redesign of the circuit would probably be required, but then maybe the mojo goes too – I don’t know.

Then I have this Delay pedal, which is very nice but has a buffer that is not transparent. It sits last in chain and colors the tone of the complete board when OFF. Since it is not transparent I’m thinking about replacing it…but it’s sort of a nice subtle color so maybe I keep it…
 

mcdes

Member of no importance
Messages
7,549
People have this issue with the DMM..... And most reckon its worth the sacrifice...
 

direct

Member
Messages
335
I've had a few pedals that had problems with the switch or the bypass.

The DD-7 was removed and put into the closet until I got around to fixing it.

The Boost N' Buff was put into a True-Bypass Loop.

The VP Jr was modded by JHS to add a buffer.

I also had a TS9 that had the worst LED I've ever seen. Unless you were directly, and I really mean directly, above it looking straight down at it you couldn't see a thing. I replaced the LED and the resister and was much happier. In the end I sold it when I got the JHS modded J&K which has the brightest LED's I've ever seen.
 

Empros

Member
Messages
10,395
I had a Memory Boy that I really bonded with, but it was so noisy and unpredictable. The delay times would never be the same, so it was tough to dial in the same setting twice. I always thought about selling it, but I loved the sound of the delays.
Then I got a Memory Lane Jr in a trade. Completely forgot about the Memory Boy.
 

MrGibson

Member
Messages
1,032
Replace, modify, loop or just accept imperfections? – that’s the question…

Most threads on this forum appears to be driven by some sort of collective desire to reach consensus on what pedals are a must have. What 3 pedals would you bring to a desert island? Any love for the nn? Talk me into an OD! We like to gravitate, copy and get TGP approval. It’s OK.

But somebody in quest for a unique, signature sound is better not using the same gear as everybody else. At least not the same combinations of equipment. That’s the cool thing about having pedals that nobody else have. Customized or custom made pedals are nice too. “Boutique” for real.

I have a bypass loop that I use for isolating gear when testing things. But I don’t want it on my board. I like to keep it simple, but not compromise tone too much. The more I think about it, the customization path appears a bit attractive. It would be nice having my own ”signature” wah J

What are your thoughts? Maybe you have already travelled down this road and finally settled down with a couple of basic off the shelf pedals since tone is in your fingers anyway?
 

theelectic

Member
Messages
298
I use my vintage v2 Electric Mistress, which has a true bypass mod but is horribly hissy and noisy when on, with a BOSS LS-2 Line Selector. Noise is still there, but at least I can fix the volume drop.

The LS-2 in fact is a great swiss army knife type pedal. I also use it with an Alesis Microverb, whose "defeat" footswitch really sucks - if you have the mix all the way up, you get no dry signal in defeat mode. Which makes sense, but still, not fun. With the LS-2, I can bypass it and fix the overly loud volume if required.
 

AXXA

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,059
I use a VB-2, which has plenty of hiss when bypassed, unless its in 'bypass' mode (then you can't use it though, ha!). It's pretty awesome otherwise, so I deal with it. Honestly, I don't really pay much attention to background hiss when I'm playing. Volume drops on the other hand are unforgivable to me.
 

MrGibson

Member
Messages
1,032
I use a VB-2, which has plenty of hiss when bypassed, unless its in 'bypass' mode (then you can't use it though, ha!). It's pretty awesome otherwise, so I deal with it. Honestly, I don't really pay much attention to background hiss when I'm playing. Volume drops on the other hand are unforgivable to me.
Isn't that funny. The VB-2 is so noisy also when OFF so it needs a special bypass mode. This could be unique. It’s like the BOSS engineers surrendered “we can’t fix it, but we can switch it off for ya.” :idea
Like the very essence of an approved Bad pedal. Interesting,really.

Volume drop is no good, but neither is unintentional volume boost that comes with certain pedals, e.g my beloved micro QTron which I cure with a compressor.

A true bypass looper is a useful tool, but the multy-loop switches adds loads of cable and consumes space. A couple of non-LED micro loopers would be handy…
 
Messages
767
Well, the Line6 boxes would benefit from an analog dry path ... always ran my M9 in a Xotic X-Blender parallel loop.

My Pigtronix EP-1 is a great sounding box, nothing actually "bad" about it, but it's so damn big and needs 12 V AC power that it hasn't been on my board for 2+ years. I'd wish to have that sound in a 1590BB size box. Got the EP-2, too ... still kinda big (POG2 size) and needs 18V DC, plus it sounds VERY different from the EP-1 ... also a great phaser, but I like the EP-1 sound a bit more.
 

MrGibson

Member
Messages
1,032
Well, the Line6 boxes would benefit from an analog dry path ... always ran my M9 in a Xotic X-Blender parallel loop.
My Pigtronix EP-1 is a great sounding box, nothing actually "bad" about it, but it's so damn big and needs 12 V AC power that it hasn't been on my board for 2+ years. I'd wish to have that sound in a 1590BB size box. Got the EP-2, too ... still kinda big (POG2 size) and needs 18V DC, plus it sounds VERY different from the EP-1 ... also a great phaser, but I like the EP-1 sound a bit more.
Thanks, the Xotic X-Blender looks really interesting. A parallel loop with blend pot, ability to adjust overall output and compensate for volume drop is arguably one of the best solutions to fix the final stage in the effect chain, i.e modulation and delay. The X-blender also comes with a 2-band EQ that is useful to restore tone from undesired coloration. It’s a smart design that I like. The size of the box is acceptable, yet it’s one more pedal that consumes space…I never really liked big chunky pedals – that’s why I run a micro QTron instead of the QTRon+. (check out the link to the pedalboard of the Pro’s. I saw several micro POG’s, but hardly any XL versions. But a lot of bulky DMM’s are still in business. Walter Becker of Steely Dan even got the big Pigtronix EP-1 on his board.)

Most of my pedals were represented on those boards, but only one guy had more than one of them. Thats good – my pedals are approved – but I’m still unique. Same, same but different :beer (I was a bit surprised that Eddie Van Halen is using the BOSS OC-3 and not the MXR octaver. The OC-3 is my favorite octaver. It performs really well and has a good transparent buffer too.)

My fav Wah will have to be customized though. Maybe a serial non-LED micro looper will be a temporary solution to put in true bypass….
 

Lightningrt

Member
Messages
910
I took the plunge and bought a GigRig which is designed to eliminate a lot of those issues. I liked it so much that my smaller pedalboard still uses the principle of looping - albeit greatly reduced.

Looping is the new black I tell you.
 

Jules-RM

Member
Messages
3,350
I'd get the bypass switched out. If you absolutely love the pedal and wont sell it then it should be worth it to you to have someone modify it, or figure out how you can do it yourself if you solder.
 
Messages
767
Most threads on this forum appears to be driven by some sort of collective desire to reach consensus on what pedals are a must have. What 3 pedals would you bring to a desert island? Any love for the nn? Talk me into an OD! We like to gravitate, copy and get TGP approval. It’s OK.

But somebody in quest for a unique, signature sound is better not using the same gear as everybody else. At least not the same combinations of equipment. That’s the cool thing about having pedals that nobody else have. Customized or custom made pedals are nice too. “Boutique” for real.
I agree ... that's one of the reasons why I got rid of my M9. I saw Broken Social Scene a while a go, one of their 4 guitar players had a M13 (and hardly anything else) as pedal board, into his AC30. He didn't sound bad at all, but at many parts I thought "yep, well known M series sounds". I'm happier now having the M5, so I am forced to keep it at one Line6 model at a time, and combine it with different boxes.
 




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