Thursday, December 17, 2009

Monster Face Organ video

Finally an update of a device posted a few weeks back. $150.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Confused about True Bypass and why you may want it?

Confused about True Bypass and why you may want it? Here's some information:

Mechanical bypass is a method of physically switching the signal. Above is a diagram showing a common method of bypass switching found in older Electro Harmonix pedals, wahs, and various other pedals. The signal is always connected to the input of the effect's circuitry which loads down the signal. This can cause added noise, decreased volume, and a loss of brightness. The diagram above disproves the common misnomer that only true bypass pedals will pass a signal when the battery power is disconnected. This circuit will pass the uneffected signal even if a battery is not installed.

True bypass switches both the input and output of the effect's circuitry. The signal should go from the input jack, to the switch, to the output jack without any other components in the signal path. This is the purest form of bypass and is essentially has the same impact on your tone as running a small patch cable. The effect's circuitry is completely isolated from your signal path when bypassed.

Electronic bypass comes in a few forms but using transistors such as FETs is the most commonly used method. This is popular with Boss, DOD, Ibanez, Danelectro, Digitech, and many other manufacturers. The signal is always flowing through some form of active circuitry (referred to as a buffer) and uses transistors to switch the effect in and out of the signal path. If you remove the battery power the signal will not pass through the pedal.

Check out the True Bypass link on FXdoctor Website if interested in having this work performed on your pedals.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Roll Cage

Fragile, unprotected sliders inches from a footswitch is a recipe disaster; especially on a dark stage. A simple roll cage setup allows access to the sliders while protecting from falling mics, inaccurate feet, and wandering pedals. Going rate is $30 installed and DIY kits are available for $20 by emailing us.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Always use the right power supply...

Surprisingly this pedal was still function despite the significant damage done to the circuit board and part of the power supply circuit.

Surface Mount ICs

Upgrading opamps for better sound quality is very common request. The commonly used (and dirt cheap) JRC4558 may be popular for Tubescreamers but is not be ideal for circuits when you want the most transparent sound. Burr-Brown and other companies make excellent chips to retain sonic fidelity. Above is a photo of their surface mount chip which was used to upgrade the signal path in an EHX Holier Grail.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Monster Face "Organ"

I'm not sure what exactly inspired this, but it's a 10 note sine wave generator giving you all sorts of beeps. The fun part is that each button's frequency can be adjusted and playing more than one at a time gives entirely different frequencies. Videos to be posted when time permits. $150

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tetris Teaser

Limited run available. Gray empty housing- order your own circuit.
Green channel switcher- $65.
Blue tap tempo or volume mute- $65.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Setting Saver knobs

Over the years a very common complain has been musicians accidentally bumping their knobs and having to worry about unexpected setting changes. These new rubberized covers cover the shaft and threads to add some resistance when adjusting your settings. Great for touring musicians that don't want to check each setting every time their gear is carelessly moved by band mates. Also a clean looking alternative to knobs. Compatible with most pedals. These are available by request on any FXdoctor pedals and will be available for order on the website in a few weeks at a price of $0.50 each.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Roland Jet Phaser AP-7

This has been an on going project which I think finally came to an end. It was a distortion/phase pedal but you couldn't select the effects separately. I added the center switch to control the phaser separate from the distortion. I converted each effect to true bypass and added LEDs. The far right footswitch ramps up or down the rate of the phaser. It's a great idea but difficult to follow when using live. I installed a white LED that pulses the rate of the phaser for a visual indication. This pedal runs off of two 9V batteries for a +/- setup and had no AC adapter jack. I installed a negative voltage circuit so it can run off of a single battery and then installed a standard 2.1mm barrel jack to be used with any standard power supply. It was a large investment of time but the modifications make it practical for live use.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bass Preamp

New bass preamp in the works- designed for anyone that wants the tone of a bass with active pickups but without the hassle of having the system installed. The design is based on a vintage Music Man StingRay. The prototype pictured has Volume, Bass, and Treble knobs, 9V adapter jack, and a bright blue jewel light when powered up. The pedal above is available for $80, the production model is currently being developed and should be available in a few weeks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Custom Fuzz

Here's a custom fuzz similar to the 8-Bit fuzz. More gain and has a tighter low end with better clarity for chord work. Hand painted by a local artist. True bypass with a bright blue LED and a volume control. $140

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ibanez AD-9 Revival

Here's an excellent example of a well-used Ibanez AD-9. When received the repeat knob was about the break off, the dry signal was cutting out, and the footswitch was intermittent. The owner also requested a true bypass mod which is a bit more complicated by the limited space inside the pedal and the dry output jack (separates the dry and wet signal when used). After some careful planning this thing is better than new.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Ad

I just thought I'd share part of the newest ad campaign that we'll be running. It actually started out as a joke due to my compulsion for organizing. I think it came out exactly how I had pictured it. Now it's time to figure out where to print these.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vintage amp switcher

This is for everyone that runs a vintage Fender amp using RCA jacks. Long cable runs can pick up noise and the lack of LEDs can be annoying. This adapter kit uses relays to switch the tremolo/reverb. This model is available for $60.

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Firefly" prototype

Well that's a tentative name for the pedal, but this is a noise generator that I made about 4 years ago while living in western Massachusetts. The updated version posted here has two frequency control knobs and a volume knob on the left side. This creates its own sound so the guitar input is only there for convenience for live use. Just plug it into your chain and you can run it through your pedalboard.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Close-up of the RC-20XL footswitch

Just a quick one in candy red- surprisingly a close match to the RC-20XL. The LEDs are always on and turn off when the footswitch is pressed. Makes it easy to find on a dark stage.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


One of the most common questions is what actually makes it onto my pedalboard from the massive amount of pedals I've owned over the years. Here's a current snapshot of my rig- the board on the left is mainly for practice, the right is my main rig for shows:

1. Vox wah - vocal mod, midrange, California mod, Fasel inductor, true bypass
2. MXR dyna comp- dying battery mod, hi-fi mod
3. EHX Big Muff based fuzz- Body knob, clarity mod, fat switch
4. Boss RC-20XL looper with 2 button phrase select switch
5. Fender PT-100 pedal tuner with true bypass (I prefer it over the Boss TU-2)
6. Right switch = momentary mute / tap tempo for DD-5;
Left switch = volume cut circuit (The Scalpel)
7. Ibanez Tubescreamer based overdrive
8. 8-bit Fuzz
9. Ibanez AD-9 analog delay
10. Boss DD-5 with high cut and reverse kill mods
11. Channel switcher for reverb / tremolo on my amp

Something new!

I recently decided to start blogging about some of the projects that we at FXdoctor are commissioned to assemble. Some of these posts will be restorations, custom-builds, prototypes, and repairs. The blog will be much easier to update in a timely manner and will allow the readers to give any constructive criticism. The input from customers is what helps inspire and refine our designs.