There are very few instances in life when you think to yourself — this is perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing. The perfect sunset could always use a little more sun or less set, the perfect burger could always use a little more cheese and the perfect comedy sketch could always cram in a few more laughs. Life is not perfect and that’s OK, sometimes it gets so close, it just doesn’t matter that much.
The same goes with stomp boxes. All the best ones give you exactly what you need to dial in your tone, whether it’s a slew of switches and knobs for total control or just a few buttons to adjust levels, rates and depths. But, the fact remains that there’s almost always an instance where you’re staring down at your line thinking, “I wish my X could do X.” When this happens you have two choices: move onto a new pedal in hopes of recreating the noise in your head, or mod the pedal.
Performing a pedal mod is not for the faint of heart, but it’s not impossible either. There are a ton of resources both in your local library and the web on how to get started. In a recent interview we did with Brian Wampler of Wampler Pedals, he suggested Diystompboxes.com, beavisaudio.com, geofex.com, and muzique.com as a few excellent resources to get started with modding and pushing existing pedals to new heights. But, as Jeremy Spencley of Tribute Audio Designs mentioned in our interview with him; practice, practice practice on boards you don’t care about before you jump into the real thing. Learning how to lay down a reliable solder connection is half the battle — knowing where to lay it is the rest.
If you need some inspiration, the folks over at Noisey just posted a list of their favorite pedal mods. They talk about how the folks at Keeley Electronics modded the BOSS Metal Zone to make it even heavier. They also show a modded POG with two additional foot switches allowing you to switch between settings with a simple stomp of the foot. The mod was put together by JHS and is great for the live performer. Their list of mods is fun and absolutely worth checking out.
And, let us know what kind of mods you’ve heard about or have done yourself. Who knows, maybe in the future Pedal Finder will have a system to collect modification information on pedals, the same way it collects other information, giving you just one more way to broaden your pedal effects horizon.