Monday, July 26, 2010

A Final Change

In a sea of modded pedals and the introduction of Blue L.E.D's its seems as though every man, dog and small child has fitted a bright Blue L.E.D to there modded & boutique effects pedals.

I'm also to blame for this, as i have many pedals with blues L.E.D's, I even took a soldering iron my old car's dashboard lights and 'Blued it up'.

Seeming the DS1 is famous for being the 'Orange Pedal' I decided on replacing the check indicator to an orange light. lately with my pedals iv been changing the L.E.D to the same colour as the pedal just for a little more streamline look.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One more mod

In addition to my DS1 having a variation of the Modern & JCM mods including the hifi mod that replaces almost all resistors & capacitors to higher quality components the distortion was still a little bit on the fuzzy side.Trying the AMZ fat mod I remember the distortion being much more defined and pleasing however, this comes with the cost of much less distortion on tap. This got me thinking, looking at the two resistor’s that bring the gain down from the fat mod its really only R-9 that sets the amount of available gain (R-6 set the proper working voltage of 4.5v with the fat mod). Even with all the mods to my DS1, I still had a lot of gain on tap so I thought I could sacrifice a little gain for some character of the fat mod.

The original fat mod replaces R-9 (22 ohm) with a 1k resistor, in the parts bin the smallest value of resistance I had was a 100 ohm so I gave it a shot & I got exactly what I wanted a touch of the fat mod tone & slightly more bass at the cost of just a little reduction in distortion. With the small change in value to R-9, R-6 did not require a change to re-bias the transistor. measuring the voltage on the collector of the transistor is 4.37v that is good enough the ideal voltage of 4.5v.

For more info on the AMZ DS1 Fat Mod & how it works click here:

With variations of all four mods, I now have a DS1 distortion pedal that’s more suited to my needs, of course, I always want a bit more bass but the overall tone is what I was looking for.

To finish the pedal off, a ‘Marshall JCM’ decal & new knobs.

Here's the final list of changes;

-D4 = 1N4148 Connected in Series to another 1N4148
-D5 = Square RED LED
-R13 =1k
-R17 =15k
-C8 = 1uF
-C9 = 1uF
-C5 = 1uF
-C2 = 1uF
-C3 = .033uF
-R9 = 100R

Best of luck on your DS1 mod adventures…


The AMZ DS1 Fat two-resistor mod

This is a mod from AMZ by Jack Orman. It’s a simple 2-resistor change that will bring the gain of the pedal down into proper distortion range & get it out of the fizzy fuzzy territory.

It’s a simple mod that really changes the way the pedal sounds by taking away the amount of distortion available, so the pedal goes from extreme to moderate. This mod also increases bass response a fair bit and its really noticeable. For my likings it brings the gain down two much, however the pedal does sound really different and it’s more dynamic and less compressed. As the mod states, you get more of a general distorted sound and much less of the fizzy fuzz territory sound from the stock DS1.

The mod gives a more desirable & defined distorted tone but I would like it to have more distortion available. Being such an easy mod, it’s worth a shot and can be used in conjunction with other mods, as most of the DS1 mods out there do not require you to change the same two resistors as the AMZ mod does.

After playing around with this mod for a day or so I change it back to the stock values as the reduction in available distortion was to low for my need.

If you use this mod and like it please give credit to Jack on his website as he give us an excellent source for mods, schematics & general DIY Pedal information. You can find his website and direct link to the mod at the links below,


- AMZ DS1 Fat Mod

The Fat mod is simply R6 = 150k & R9 = 1k


Cover Track with the Modern Mod & JCM Mod,

When I did the first mod it to the Wampler Modern Distortion Tone Machine I wanted to record a cover song to see how it would perform in a musical situation. At the time I was giving guitar lessons to a friend of mine teaching him how to play Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’. I decided to record the rhythm guitar parts with my newly modded DS1, however I had the idea of using a different mod for the lead guitar parts of the song. After I recorded the rhythm guitar a week or so later I started the Marshall JCM mod, once I had change the DS1 to JCM spec’s I finished learning the lead guitar parts of enter sandman and started recording.

With each guitar part the only extra effects I used was a bit of reverb & a standard crybaby CGB-95 wah pedal for the solos. Therefore, we have; Rhythm Guitar = Modern Mod & Lead Guitar = Marshall JCM mod.

Below is a video of the recording, in a band situation each guitar part should be more noticeable tone wise, however, with the original track playing in the background there really isn’t a dramatic difference at all, having the original tracks guitars, drum, bass & vocals in the mix, hearing the subtle differences between the mods isn’t that apparent. However, you can still hear a difference if you listen closely.

Ow.. Please excuse my crappy playing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Combining DS1 Mods

After having the Marshall JCM mod for a year or so and mainly playing around with C-3 on the circuit board (the capacitor on C-3 determines the amount of bass that is send into the gain stage) i remembered how crunchy the modern distortion mod sounded and wanted a similar tone but i liked the snap & slight buzziness of the JCM Mod.

Reading up on LED's as clipping diodes and testing a few out i ended up using a red square LED. I tried 3mm, 5mm of various colors, even blue LED's and the best sound to my ears was using a red square LED. This LED has a lower forward voltage than the regular run of the mill 3mm LED's so it would clip a bit earlier, after trying out an LED in D5 & D4 and various diodes i ended up using the JCM mod & the Modern Mod together.

So along with the Marshall JCM mod (click here for my previous post with the list of changes) i ended up using the following clipping stage;

-D-4 = 1N4148 Connected in Series to another 1N4148
-D-5 = Square RED LED

This type of clipping with two diode in series & one diode on its own is called asymmetrical clipping, its where the wave form is clipped harder on one side and has more of a tube like sound. The new clipping has changed the tone a lot, it still has the JCM mod character but sounds more crunchy with a little less distortion, slight volume boost & a touch more bottom end.

If you want to know more about different types of clipping click here:

The pedal sounds great even though i wish it had a little more bottom end, I'm thinking of looking into the tone stack parts of the circuit and using the Duncan tone-stack calculator to get some more lows, however, its now more suited to my needs than the standard JCM Mod and i like it.

Below is a Pic of the clipping diodes with the Square LED.


HiFi DS1 Mod

Shortly after i did the standard Marshall JCM Mod i wanted to see if i could bring the noise floor of the pedal down a notch (bring the hiss down)

It is said that Boss use cheap components in there pedals & this is the main reason why some are noisy like the stock DS1. When you open up your DS1 its true the parts are cheap & this is because of manufacturing costs so we cant expect hifi parts for such little money.

There are a few guys out there that sell "hifi" mods for boss pedals supplying you will components of the same value but of high quality, this in turn makes your DS1's noise floor (hiss) level drop. does it work??? i wanted to find out.

If we change all the capacitors to hi quality film caps with a tolerance of +/- 5% (well at least as many as we can change) & then change all the resistors to metal film resistors with a tolerance of +/- 1% using higher quality components than stock with lower noise should bring the overall noise floor of the DS1 down, well at least a little bit.

with a schematic handy i took a trip to the electronics store and purchased every resistor value in metal film resistors (that are suppose to have less noise than carbon film) & also got the rest of the values of film capacitors.

After about an hour of de-soldering and soldering i replaced every resistor with from carbon film to metal film and every capacitor i could to film caps with a tighter tolerance including most of the electrolytic caps.

THE RESULT:- the pedal did seem like the noise floor had been reduced a little bit but honestly not by much, however the overall sound was a little more clearer. This could be from the metal film resistors & film caps or it could just be that the tolerance of the updated components are tighter, therefore the circuit changed slightly. Either way to pedal is slightly better so if you have the time to do it i think its worth the change.

Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal

If you look closely i forgot one resistor hiding under that transistor, but i replaced it the day after i took the photo. if you want to see a stock DS1 circuit board check out my previous post here:

Others & DS1 Mod Adventures

I was browsing the net for DS1 mods when i found some places that the people were kind enough to tell there stories. check out the links below for what other's have done to the DS1 and see what there outcomes are.

if your reading this then your either considering modding your DS1 or you are in the process of modding it, so these links are worth a read... or two....