Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

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devastator
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Post by devastator »

"the phlat mod"
I did it ! Great mod ! (I did the same on my big muff to have a kind of "gilmour's sound"). But I had to put a mini Dpdt.

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Post by TubeDude22 »

So, what did it sound like after the AMZ fat mod?

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Post by hazelwould »

I did the AMZ Fat mod... It seemed to Make the tone and gain controls more usable. Before it seemed to do ONE sound now I can get some good OD and Distortion. There is a tone of lowend as well. The mod really improved stock tone... I've never tried the keeley mods though. I wish there was still a little more volume after the mod though.

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Post by devastator »

What kind of sound with LED for the clipping ? (D4/D5)

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Post by devastator »

Someone knows how I can reduce the gain of DS1 ? to have something more "crunchy" "overdrive".

Maybe increase the Resistor to the emitter of transistor before the first AOP ? reduce the gain pot value ? Change diodes ?

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Post by 5thumbs »

devastator wrote:Someone knows how I can reduce the gain of DS1 ? to have something more "crunchy" "overdrive".
Do you want to decrease the gain or are you wanting to reduce the saturation, making it a bit less "woolly" and more "crunchy"?

If you want the former, to cut the gain from the DIST boost part in approximately half, replace R13 with a 10K ohm resistor and replace C8 with a 1.0μF capacitor.

If you want the latter, you should replace the D4/D5 diodes, which are essentially 1N4148 equivalents, with diodes that have a higher proximity-to-clip. NPN Transistors (Base ->| Emitter) will often clip around 100-150mV higher than the 1N4148 family of diodes. Two 1N34A germanium diodes in series will clip around the same value, just with a softer shoulder on the clip. A common red LED will often clip around 1000-1200mV (with some other colors/brightnesses being much higher.) The body diode of a MOSFET will clip even higher yet, I believe somewhere in the 3000mV range (but I could be mistaken on that last one...my current DMM won't measure diode forward voltage to that high of a level.)

To sum up the "increase the proximity to clip" part, try some red LEDs for a simple, cheap starting point. You'll get less saturation/"hair"/"wool"/fizz/fuzz/etc, which should give you a "crunchier" sound.

devastator wrote: Maybe increase the Resistor to the emitter of transistor before the first AOP ? reduce the gain pot value ? Change diodes ?
I'd recommend changing the D4/D5 diodes first. If you still want less gain after that, make the aforementioned changes to the C8/R13 components next. I wouldn't mess with changing the DIST pot value unless I really had to. There are plenty of other components that you can change to get the changes you requested above.

Good luck!

-5thumbs
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

"Other than a good first-in-line buffer/booster, using other FX to improve bad clean tone is like gift-wrapping garbage."

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Post by devastator »

hi,

thanks for your explanation.

When I say "less gain" I mean less distortion , something close to an overdrive sound. Actually My DS1 is modded with the Keeley mod but for me the sound is too gainy and synthetic . I did the phlat mod too, to boost the mids.


In talked with a DIYer guy in MSN he said me the same thing than you, 5 thumbs.

So I'll follow your advices , and change the D4/D5 for LEDs first. Then if it still too gainy I'll put a 10K trimmer in place to R13 (and maybe put a switch to have 2 gain mods)

Mosfet can be cool too, no ? Like OCD fulltone pedal.

thanks !

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Post by 5thumbs »

devastator wrote:hi,

thanks for your explanation.

When I say "less gain" I mean less distortion , something close to an overdrive sound. Actually My DS1 is modded with the Keeley mod but for me the sound is too gainy and synthetic . I did the phlat mod too, to boost the mids.
I'm glad you like the Phlat Mod. (I designed that mod.) I came up with it as a way to emulate the tone circuit in the BD-2 Blues Driver (albeit, emulate it not very closely.) It is most useful to me when I roll back on the DIST control and play at lower gain settings.
devastator wrote: In talked with a DIYer guy in MSN he said me the same thing than you, 5 thumbs.

So I'll follow your advices , and change the D4/D5 for LEDs first. Then if it still too gainy I'll put a 10K trimmer in place to R13 (and maybe put a switch to have 2 gain mods)
Bear in mind if you use a trimmer, you'll need a variable capacitor in C8 to keep the same corner frequency in that particular low-pass filter. Variable capacitors are pretty expensive, so I'd advise putting in the 10K trimmer (or a 10K pot), set it to the gain setting you like, then pull the pot and measure the resistance. Then just put a fixed resistor in place of R13 and use Jack Orman's R-C Filter Cut-Off Calculator (http://www.muzique.com/schem/filter.htm) to calculate what size cap to put in place in C8 to keep the stock corner-frequency of ~72Hz.

devastator wrote: Mosfet can be cool too, no ? Like OCD fulltone pedal.
I've already done a DS-1 mod with MOSFET clippers called the VR-MIJ. It's on Pages 23-24 of my 'Build Your Own DS-1' doc, linked below in my signature line. It definitely gives a different flavor to the DS-1, plus it incorporates Jack Orman's 'DS-1 FAT Mod', cutting some of the treble from the stock DS-1 sound and giving it a bit more growl/wool/grit to the distortion. Check it out and let me know if you have any questions.
devastator wrote: thanks !
You're welcome. :D
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

"Other than a good first-in-line buffer/booster, using other FX to improve bad clean tone is like gift-wrapping garbage."

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Post by devastator »

Hi , tanks again for your long post.

I put Red LED 5mm instead of regular 1N4148. When drive pot. is at 0 the sound is more clean, it's a good thing . But it's still to gainy and noisy when the pot at max, so gainy that I can play heavy loud metal riffs :lol:

So maybe I'll try R13 mods with a pot or trimmer to see what I like. I simulated some mix with R13/C8 to keep the frequency corner at 72 hz.

2K2 - 1µF
4K7 - 470n
10K - 220n
22K - 100n
47K - 47n
100K - 22n

Yeah your phlat mod is a great mod (like your all PDF file).

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Post by 5thumbs »

devastator wrote:Hi , tanks again for your long post.

I put Red LED 5mm instead of regular 1N4148. When drive pot. is at 0 the sound is more clean, it's a good thing . But it's still to gainy and noisy when the pot at max, so gainy that I can play heavy loud metal riffs :lol:
Remember, Keeley boosted the DIST gain in his mod so it could overdrive the preamp of a tube amp. This just adds to the noise of the pedal and magnifies the noise of the Q2 transistor.

In a stock DS-1, the biasing on the Q2 transistor gives a big treble boost (and noise boost) to the signal prior to the DIST opamp stage. I'd recommend either: 1) Install Jack Orman's DS-1 Fat Mod (http://www.muzique.com/news/fat-mod-for-the-boss-ds-1); or 2) De-mod the Keeley stuff and do the VR-MIJ Mod in my doc. The VR-MIJ has Jack's Fat Mod in it; the noise-floor of the VR-MIJ is the lowest of all my DS-1 Mods, even when you do the VR-MIJ-HG (the higher gain version of VR-MIJ.)

Either of those should lower the noise-floor of your pedal. After that, if you want to reduce the gain further, by all means, continue to tweak the R13/C8 combo.

Good luck!
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

"Other than a good first-in-line buffer/booster, using other FX to improve bad clean tone is like gift-wrapping garbage."

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Post by devastator »

Remember, Keeley boosted the DIST gain in his mod so it could overdrive the preamp of a tube amp. This just adds to the noise of the pedal and magnifies the noise of the Q2 transistor.
Yeah I realize that, now.


maybe i'll do Jack Orman's DS-1 Fat Mod but i think the PCB won't like if I take off all keeley stuff. :? it's fragile ( I ruined some soldering points on PCB in installing LEDs)

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Post by 5thumbs »

Lifted traces suck, but if you let your soldering iron get good and warmed up first, that helps desoldering a lot. I use a pushbutton vacuum solder sucker for the first pass, then use desoldering wick to get all the remainder off.

If you linger on the workpiece too long with a hot iron, you can lift the trace. However, when I've lifted traces in the past, it was usually because I didn't have my iron hot enough -and- I was in too damn big of a hurry to get all the solder cleaned off the joint before I began working it out of the holes. :( I've rehabilitated several DS-1 pedals that local kids butchered while modding (lifted traces galore). They're patched up with wire traces now, but they are a pain to work on if I need to.

On the bright side, if you butcher your DS-1 board, you can use Muhammad Iqbal's stock DS-1 board design in my BYO DS-1 doc to make an almost exact replacement for the Boss board (minus the SIP opamp...replaced by a DIP opamp.) Not sure if that effort is worth less than the $40 for a new DS-1, but that design has been verified by Muhammad and others.

Good luck!
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

"Other than a good first-in-line buffer/booster, using other FX to improve bad clean tone is like gift-wrapping garbage."

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Post by ieatyouforbreakfast »

So I did the phlat mod, and it's way too trebly for my tastes. I really like the new midrange and drive characteristics though.

Is there anyway to pump up bass and darken the tone?

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Post by roseblood11 »

Hi,

does anyone have a veroboard layout for the DS-1?

Immo

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Post by 5thumbs »

ieatyouforbreakfast wrote:So I did the phlat mod, and it's way too trebly for my tastes. I really like the new midrange and drive characteristics though.

Is there anyway to pump up bass and darken the tone?
Funny you should ask...my newest mod, the Huevos Grandes mod, pumps up the bass and darkens the tone. Mind you, I'm not sure the PHLAT mod would be a good fit with the Huevos Grandes mod; it might be too muddy. However, if you put the PHLAT mod on a switch as I originally documented it, then you'd be ok (just switch it to "stock" EQ before you try out the Huevos Grandes mod for the first time.)

Check out Page 27 of the doc linked in my signature below to listen to sound clips of the Huevos Grandes mod and see if it's to your liking. You'll find mod instructions for the Huevos Grandes mod on Pages 25-26.

If you don't want to do the full Huevos Grandes mod, here's a few parts of it you might want to focus on:

1) Change R9 to 220-ohm (cuts treble boost of Q2 transistor)

2) Change R17 to 15K (keeps more bass in the tone control when turned to the treble side)

3) Change C10 to 0.056μF (darkens the post-clipping tone via larger capacitor shunt)
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

"Other than a good first-in-line buffer/booster, using other FX to improve bad clean tone is like gift-wrapping garbage."

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Post by AFF »

5thumbs what is the attachment that you have at the end of your messages. I tried to view it but it will not let me. I am modding so all info is very useful!
Thanks
AFF

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Post by roseblood11 »

I can open it in Acrobat Reader 9.0 with one left-click...

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Post by 5thumbs »

AFF wrote:5thumbs what is the attachment that you have at the end of your messages. I tried to view it but it will not let me. I am modding so all info is very useful!
Thanks
AFF
It's a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. As for the target file itself, it's a document about building and modifying the DS-1 pedal.
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

"Other than a good first-in-line buffer/booster, using other FX to improve bad clean tone is like gift-wrapping garbage."

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Post by Spazzmatazz »

I found this some time ago at http://www.casperelectronics.com

your DS-1 with a Synth touch. Very easy mod.

A good place to start for synthy mods.

aD
Attachments
this mods transform your DS-1 in a oscillator machine.
this mods transform your DS-1 in a oscillator machine.
The yellow wire mod gives some synth touch to the DS-1
The yellow wire mod gives some synth touch to the DS-1

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Post by AFF »

I bought one of the little orange bueaties just to mod and I could not be happier. Almost that is ... I took 4 years of electronics in high school and I remember very little of it. I should have paid attention ... what I did learn was limited and I forgot about half of it. So I have had to ask numerous questions to find my answers. I did a little bit of a personal mod to mine and it sounds like a MESA BOOGIE Modern High Gain amp. I know that is hard to believe but it is possible. It has the smooth bass that doesn't thump. Mids that are scooped but still there. Highs were scaled back so as to take out the ice pick highs. It is really a nice overall sound. You can turn back the distortion knobs and run it to drive your sound a little even! Look around for info ... then buy one and crack it on and start modding. It is really a good start for modders. I enjoy working on mine and I love the possibilities that are inside this pedal!!!


Changing resistors opens it up or smooths it out.
Same with upgraded caps.
Diodes (D4 and D5) when changed especially a 1n4001 rec diode and LED setup will give you a nice boutique pedal for way way way less than you could buy one from a dealer.
I have a boutique sounding/quality pedal and all I have in my pedal is $30.00. That includes the pedal and all the components. You can even go less than that.

Send me a message and I will be happy to let you know the mods that I did to my pedal.

Thanks
AFF

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