Joyo Ultimate Octave: how to make it useable?

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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby gurishka » 28 Jul 2014, 08:14

Hey all,
Just a quick word. If you're trying to remove stubborn components on boards that have lead free solder on them, heat up the leg or trace of the part and flow some lead solder into the area you want to remove solder from. You'll find it'll come away much easier due to the melting point of the solder alloy.

Hope you find that helpful. It might stop all the burnt and lifting tracks. :)
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby astrobass » 29 Jul 2014, 19:31

I wouldn't go so far as to blame the PCB exclusively - I have a rather nice iron (Weller WES51) but I had zero issues. A big part of the problem I suspect is actually technique.

You shouldn't expect to salvage components when desoldering them. If it's a rare or expensive component to replace and you're still having trouble desoldering components, you're probably not going to salvage it anyways.

The first step is to use flush cutters to clip the legs off the component as close to the component/as far from the board as possible, so you have a bit sticking out.

Then you need a desoldering pump. Put its nozzle over the leg sticking out of the PCB, so it's in the nozzle. This will help you keep the board positioned vs the nozzle. Then use your soldering iron to heat the solder joint on the other side. As soon as it melts, push the button to suck the leg and solder through the hole and into the desoldering pump.

Doing it this way avoids sucking the pad away from the PCB. Much safer with delicate boards. But the Joyo boards aren't nearly the worst I've worked on. Sometimes it'll take two or three tries, but the amount of heat and stress on the PCB will be minimal.

Also, order a few assortments of caps off eBay. For a couple bucks you'll get an envelope containing a few of each of the common values in the mail about 4-6 weeks later. Order an assortment of film, ceramic and electrolytic and you'll pretty much always have the replacement part you need at a cost of probably under $10. You can also get resistors this way and I recommend it. Brick and mortar suppliers charge way too much to be anything but a short notice last resort.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby gurishka » 30 Jul 2014, 09:32

That's very true, a good soldering technique and soldering iron will help the process to no end! :)
Using a good solder pump and decent solder braid if you don't have a solder pump can also help.
If you're using solder braid and you find it won't flow as well as you'd hope, I've found that using a bit of flux on the joint or directly onto the braid can aid in soaking up the solder.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby johnnyg » 02 Aug 2014, 23:04

This is all excellent advice above, but I can only speak from my own experience - and I'm reasonably confident in my soldering ability and I'd worked out all the suggested techniques above over a few years already. I only use standard Antex soldering irons at the moment, not a temperature controlled soldering iron though.

When it's a capacitor you generally can't get at the legs to cut one off: either you hack up the cap or you'll have to use a screwdriver or similar to lift it up and out as you desolder...

Here's the problem I encountered with a Joyo and a Caline PCB: the very moment the existing solder melted (and yes I was adding leaded solder in - a technique I learnt back in high school) the actual pad on the pcb began to crinkle and lift. I'm talking a few seconds here. No over heating and tugging at things - just an immediate crinkling of the copper tracks before you had the chance to use a solder sucker or braid.

So that's suggested to me some of these boards have been over-cooked when they're assembled.

I think build quality may vary somewhat. I have one Joyo (the PT2399 delay) that is simply astoundingly well soldered (and has leaded solder - not ROHS). The couple of other Chinese effects I've encountered haven't been so well soldered. Pot luck who did the soldering I guess.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby Johnny_Sokko » 07 Aug 2014, 21:57

I did the cap swap and polarity mods a while ago and it totally made it a usable octave pedal. Recently I decided to order some vintage 2N3565 transistors just like the original Foxx Tone Machine to swap out the 2N5172 transistors with. Now it has that vintage Foxx Tone Machine feel. The hard part of the conversion was that the 5172s are ECB pinout and the 3565s are EBC pinout. To make it easier I removed the original 5172s first and then mounted DIP sockets in their place on the back of the PCB. That way I can swap out transistors without removing the board in the future and I can leave the legs of my vintage transitors uncut and long to allow for the collector leg to cross over the base leg and match the ECB layout of the board.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby tabbycat » 07 Aug 2014, 22:21

Johnny_Sokko wrote:I did the cap swap and polarity mods a while ago and it totally made it a usable octave pedal. Recently I decided to order some vintage 2N3565 transistors just like the original Foxx Tone Machine to swap out the 2N5172 transistors with. Now it has that vintage Foxx Tone Machine feel. The hard part of the conversion was that the 5172s are ECB pinout and the 3565s are EBC pinout. To make it easier I removed the original 5172s first and then mounted DIP sockets in their place on the back of the PCB. That way I can swap out transistors without removing the board in the future and I can leave the legs of my vintage transitors uncut and long to allow for the collector leg to cross over the base leg and match the ECB layout of the board.

thanks for the post johnny. sounds like you are on a mission with this one.
can you describe how the 2n3565s changed the sound? is it smoother/courser, warmer/colder, darker/brighter? and did you change the lot or just the octave transistors?

i actually really like my joyo voodoo as it is, but socketing transistors is something that would give me the option of hearing it go somewhere else, without risking losing something i like anyway (easily returned to stock).

re reports of pcb frying above, any suggestions re the transistor mods? you've done everything and yours survived.
have got an adjustable 50w iron with a small tip. hottish/coolish? add solder to remove? don't want the tracks to melt away like an icepop on a mid-summer pavement and end up with a novelty door jam.

thanks, tabby.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby Johnny_Sokko » 07 Aug 2014, 23:38

Tabby,

First off I seem to have gotten the datasheets confused in my previous post as the 2N3565s have a higher gain (Hfe 150-600) where as the 2N5172s (Hfe 100-500).

I wouldn't say I was on a mission as much as I got the pedal for $20 and the 4 2N3565s were $11 with shipping so it was a cheap experiment. I replaced all for transistors fuzz and octave. As far as the sound it still has PLENTY of fuzz just not so in your face chainsaw like the best way I can describe it is it's more "vintage" sounding. To my ears it seems to bring out the octave more as well and is the octave seems smoother and more pleasing. right now I'm really liking how it sounds but I may play with the tone cap later on.

I use a Hako variable temp soldering station. I also have one of the Weller hobby ones which is great and you can find online for $35. I think the main reason mine survived is my grandfather was a high school electronics teacher so I've been building things since I was a kid (over 35 years). Nothing beats experience and the right tools. Take your time and watch how long you apply heat to the board. I prefer a small chisel tip over a needle tip as I don't have to keep it on the board as long and it will heat up faster and more evenly. One trick for soldering transistors my grandfather taught me is to use those old metal hairclip/bobbypin things ( I don't know they actual name for them) or a small hemostat as a heatsink between the transistor body and legs when you solder. It can keep you from frying the transistor if you keep heat on it for too long. Dip sockets are cheap and you can cut them to accommodate various components if you buy them in strips. That way you can swap components without soldering in the future in case you want to experiment with tone caps, etc.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby tabbycat » 15 Aug 2014, 23:31

Johnny_Sokko wrote:Tabby,

First off I seem to have gotten the datasheets confused in my previous post as the 2N3565s have a higher gain (Hfe 150-600) where as the 2N5172s (Hfe 100-500).

I wouldn't say I was on a mission as much as I got the pedal for $20 and the 4 2N3565s were $11 with shipping so it was a cheap experiment. I replaced all for transistors fuzz and octave. As far as the sound it still has PLENTY of fuzz just not so in your face chainsaw like the best way I can describe it is it's more "vintage" sounding. To my ears it seems to bring out the octave more as well and is the octave seems smoother and more pleasing. right now I'm really liking how it sounds but I may play with the tone cap later on.

I use a Hako variable temp soldering station. I also have one of the Weller hobby ones which is great and you can find online for $35. I think the main reason mine survived is my grandfather was a high school electronics teacher so I've been building things since I was a kid (over 35 years). Nothing beats experience and the right tools. Take your time and watch how long you apply heat to the board. I prefer a small chisel tip over a needle tip as I don't have to keep it on the board as long and it will heat up faster and more evenly. One trick for soldering transistors my grandfather taught me is to use those old metal hairclip/bobbypin things ( I don't know they actual name for them) or a small hemostat as a heatsink between the transistor body and legs when you solder. It can keep you from frying the transistor if you keep heat on it for too long. Dip sockets are cheap and you can cut them to accommodate various components if you buy them in strips. That way you can swap components without soldering in the future in case you want to experiment with tone caps, etc.


hey johnny, would click you a thank you but there is no link for some reason. but thank you anyway.

now i'm really undecided, since (being big on psychocandy) in-your-face chainsaw is the holy grail. but am also up for more octave. socket and change back maybe. will weigh up your description and consider the stakes.
i think i might have got a lucky pedal as reviews seem to go both ways. some love it stock and some feel it is flat. mine is great as is. so less inclined to meddle than if i hated it. we shall see.

have got this solder station
http://www.amazon.co.uk/TEMPERATURE-CONTROLLED-SOLDER-STATION-IRON/dp/B003HLP9JQ/ref=sr_1_11?s=diy&ie=UTF8&qid=1408139967&sr=1-11&keywords=soldering+iron
it doesn't sound as pro as your hakko but seems to work well. the temp control is a big plus as different batches of solder seem to like different heats. some get 'sticky' and 'dry' above a certain heat so to be able to dial in temp raised my game. will invest in a chisel tip on your recommendation.
my extractor fan is hakko tho. lungs more expensive to replace than pedals and it's always nice to be able to see what you are doing with a red hot poker.

re the hairclip things, i use paperclips as i can't find small enough hairclips. just wind them on and off the legs. but it's good to be told i'm taking the right approach with that. had only guessed it made sense up to now. will look into hairclips. have some super-baby crock clips but they are tricky to clip on and off once the board gets at all populated.
sockets i have used since my first build thanks to advice of other users here, for which i am grateful. top ten tip.

might try just swapping out the octave trannies in pursuit of maintaining chainsaw but with extra octave.

thanks for the reply and i hope you get your voodoo or ultimate to do what you want to eventually.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby Basshead » 10 Oct 2014, 15:41

So after reading all the posts and not being satisfied with the initial purchase of the Joyo Ultimate Octave I decided to prcceed with the cap mod that everyone is talking about.

Before the mod, I wasn't too impressed......I could get a decent sound out of it if I had the Fuzz set at 3 oClock and the Tone at 9 oClock. Midcut has a subtle effect and I like it over the normal personally. Octave is not present at all....just kinda has a high pitch clang to it.......others have described as "ice picky"! Overall its not a horrible pedal but nevertheless I decided to proceed with the mod, I figured if I jacked it up then I only wasted $26.

First off: I recommend taking it slow with this by adding some silicone to the connections on the switch wires on both on the board and at the switches to prevent them from falling apart.....they are pretty fragile so I decided to silicone them and let it dry and come back at it the next day! see pic....

So the mod is pretty simple: I desoldered the connections on the back of the board at C9 & C15 as indicated in the pic found online.........simply rotated the caps 180 degrees and resoldered in. Before the mod the little dual white directional lines on the caps pointed to the right and after the mod they pointed to the left. Having said that I found that it is tight so I used a needle nose pair of pliers to grab the cap, and at the back of the board I put the soldering iron on only 1 connection at a time and kinda shimmy'ed the cap left and right. Meaning I would heat up one side of the connection and you could feel the cap move ever so slightly to one side, then I would do the same to the other side until finally it broke free on one side then the other. It might take some time so be patient, but if I took baby steps and just desoldered little by little then it seemed a little easier. Once removed then I simply rotated 180 and from the back of the board I layed the soldering iron into one of the connections and simply did the reverse process of the removal......simply apply a little pressure to the front of the cap and add the iron to the back of the connection and you'll feel it drop through....all it has to do is stick and your done. I didn't remove any solder during the process nor did I have to add any.....I simply used what was already there.

I only did the 180 degree cap mod and decided Not to do the orange cap swap to modify the Tone. I've read mixed reviews and honestly I'm not looking forward to digging into it again.....If you decide to do then I recommend doing it at the same time you swap C9 & C15

After the mod this pedal took on a whole new dimension. The Fuzz became a lot more grungy and had a mean distorted tone when turned up, the Tone knob really is drastic broad and has mucho options now. Midcut sounds muffly and Normal switch seems to sounds brighter. The Octave is actually doing something now and has a bright clang to it....defineately better than before! The pedal now sounds like it came out of Satans workshop.......really evil grunge distortion.......Scary cool!

I'm glad I did the mod and overall I'm happy for $26. But even after mod I still keep the Fuzz right about 3 and Tone about 9 with the Midcut on and no Octave.

I need to make a final comment that the Octave is not stand alone on this pedal....it does not work by itself without the Fuzz activated. It didn't work stand alone before or after the mod.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby Basshead » 10 Oct 2014, 21:48

Sorry, I made a mistake.........Previously I posted that I like the Fuzz at 3 and Tone at 9.

I got it backwards! I like the Fuzz at 9 & Tone at 3 prior to and after the modification. Actually I prefer the Fuzz at just a tad under 9 oClock
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby Basshead » 11 Oct 2014, 01:21

So.......I couldn't help myself and I ended breaking down & doing the Orange cap swap as shown in the picture. Swapped C3 and C14 to give me the so called Tone control. Save yourself the burden and time and Don't do it.

It did work and give a little different sound at the Tone contrtol but it was at the expense of picking up Radio signals. No joke it started picking up a Japanese radio station and feeding back on my Bass?

I ended up swapping the Orange caps back C3 & C14 back to original.

I did keep the C9 & C15 swap that I originally did........this is worth the time and trouble....it brings the pedal to life!

I think I'm done modding pedals from now on. Should be called the Ultimate OCD with all the damn time I put into this thing!
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby tabbycat » 27 Oct 2014, 03:21

many thanks to all posters above for posting enough details and mod feedback to give me the confidence to attempt this.
was paranoid about frying the pcb and ruining a pedal i quite liked anyway. but the mod lifts it into a whole different league of evil. huzzah!

some pics for reference.

DSCF0779.JPG

this is what caps look life AFTER the mods. the white strip along the side is to the left of the caps (before mods they are to the right).

DSCF0782.JPG

view of solder-side of pcb. i marked the cap pcb contacts i wanted to desolder-resolder with a permanent marker dot so i wouldn’t have to keep flipping the board to know which contacts i was aiming for. i used a dot but an arrow would do just as well (a swastika or a cock is probably overkill but each to their own).

a solder sucker to clear the holes before replacing the rotated caps made this mod a total cakewalk, despite my initial reservations. if you haven’t got one try threading a length of thin wire through the hole (like threading a needle) from the solder side of the board to the component side to clear the hole as you heat the contact.

i was also really careful to get my iron to a decent working temperature and border on the hesitant side when placing it in contact with the board. was never touching the board for more than a second or two max throughout the whole operation. worked for me.

love it. next stop a 3pdt true bypass mod on my behringer vp1 phaser.

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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby tabbycat » 27 Oct 2014, 19:10

tabbycat wrote:from the solder side of the board to the component side"

'sposed to say "from the component side of the board to the solder side". in through the opposite side to your iron.
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Joyo ultimate octave Help!!

Postby Asbracy » 13 Jan 2015, 01:07

I recently joined this forum and performed the cap mod to the joyo ultimate octave. C9 and C15 rotate, worked for a bit and then no sound at all. A first it started cutting out and then stoped all together. I have experience soldering and electronics repair but lack a schematic for the circuit. Could it be a transistor? any help would be appreciated.


[Moderator note: edited the title]
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Re: Joyo ultimate octave Help!!

Postby tabbycat » 15 Jan 2015, 02:56

Asbracy wrote:I recently joined this forum and performed the cap mod to the joyo ultimate octave. C9 and C15 rotate, worked for a bit and then no sound at all. A first it started cutting out and then stoped all together. I have experience soldering and electronics repair but lack a schematic for the circuit. Could it be a transistor? any help would be appreciated.

[Moderator note: edited the title]

hey asbracy, welsome to fsb. i hope you have a riot here.

drag about the joyo. i did this mod a few months ago after reading through this thread and following basshead's excellent instructions to the letter (i also posted follow up pics of mine in this same thread). it worked first time for me as it did for him.
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=14129&start=80#p243908

i'm no mastermind re troubleshooting but it would probably be worth reflowing your solder joints just to be sure you didn't get a dry one when you rotated them. hot and quick. a second. no lingering with the iron held to the board. as someone in the thread mentioned, if you dot your iron with a little bead of solder just before touching the cold solder you are trying to melt, the heat transfers quickly and it will melt almost on contact. reflowing will give your connection another chance to 'weld'.

if no change, did you replace or reuse the original caps? it could be that after being soldered in, soldered out, resoldered in, all that heating and cooling has got to one of them. perhaps try replacing them before going deeper into trouble-shooting (don't forget the negative stripe for orientation, pics of how they should look after the mod available in the thread).

that's what i would do. if no luck with that come back and we can go from there.

it may well be worth re-posting your help request in that original thread instead of continuing this new one. (a mod can perhaps insert this into that one).
the way this forum works is that when you look at your previous posts ('view your posts' in the menu bar) you can see if anyone has added anything new to posts you have contributed to.
a lot of members, myself included, check their previous posts link every visit.
anyone who contributed to that original joyo thread and was checking in like that would see your post immediately, but they might not notice it as an entirely new thread unless they were visiting every section of the forum.
so maybe repost your problem there if the ideas i have suggested above don't solve your problem.

good luck with it, asbracy. when you finally get it done you will be glad you persisted. it sounds amazing post-mod.

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Re: Joyo ultimate octave Help!!

Postby Asbracy » 15 Jan 2015, 20:24

Thanks I redid with two new capacitors and still no sound. It was making radio like interference when new out of the box and was noisy (hiss) so I suspected connections from the beginning but all connections are good now. I'll repost in the correct forum. Really appreciate the reply!
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby Asbracy » 17 Jan 2015, 22:27

Hello all. I just joined this site recently in regards to this thread. I performed the cap rotate mod and it work only for about five minutes and then started cutting out and then stopped working completely. But let me say for five minutes it sounded amazing! I have checked all connections, installed new caps for the mod and ohmed out the connections. Also ohmed out the switch wires and the connections are fine. Also found that when I first got the pedal and played it before the mod I was getting some radio type interference/occasional noise. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Can trouble shoot and use a meter just am new to pedal circuits.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby tabbycat » 19 Jan 2015, 00:30

hey asbracy, glad you found this thread. worth reading back through it as some things might relate.
the reflowing and replacing caps i mentioned before (other thread) are mentioned here as possible solutions, but you've tried both of those.
had you noticed this on page 3...

Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

"Postby chrisg_75 » 14 May 2012, 01:15
Ok so I have changed the Caps around.

Bastard to get them out. My soldering iron has a sharp point but musnt get hot enough to melt solder etc propoerly. Should I be using a different point ?

also I notice I can get some radio station interferrance.....is that because I have screwed something up or is it just how things go ?

cheers
Chris"

seems someone else had your radio problem.

as a last resort, if you want to work out whether you melted out the immediate pcb area around the caps you replaced, you could just jumper the caps 'overboard' with lengths of wire (and small croc clips if you have them) to the next component in the circuit they should be joined to.
i don't want to crack mine open at the moment as my desk is already covered with a pile of half finished and unboxed mess, but either trace along the tracks in the pcb with your eye to the component it connects to, or use one or both of these schematics (found elsewhere on the thread and webs) to work out where you should be jumpering between.

on this schematic the caps you rotated are c7 and c12
http://livedoor.4.blogimg.jp/rhrm/imgs/a/2/a2d9a53f.gif
and on this one c5 and c10
download/file.php?id=20782&mode=view
not sure what they are labelled on the joyo pcb but they are the ones arrowed here
download/file.php?id=14556&mode=view

so using one of these methods you should be able to circumvent any minor localized pcb burn-out around the caps that rotating may have caused.

that's probably the next 'least intrusive' troubleshooting thing you could try. not even and soldering involved. just tracing and jumpering.

worth a try?

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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby Asbracy » 21 Jan 2015, 01:30

Hey thanks a bunch before I got your message I tried this and my caps are OK and connections are ok. I have very slight to no sound coming out when turned on. The radio interference I got was when the pedal was brand new before I did the cap rotation. So I just suspected problems from the beginning.
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Re: Help w/ Joyo Ultimate Octave

Postby HudsonFuzz » 01 Mar 2015, 02:02

Greetings all,

I recently purchased one of these and was pretty displeased with the result. The reason likely was that I've have a Danelectro French Toast for years which I absolutely love, however the fragile plastic casing and octave switch (versus stomp) always made me want to rehouse it, so when I saw this guy I thought I hit the holy grail of cheap clones. Initial impressions were, well, just bad. The fuzz had way too much treble and unless you rolled the tone way back and used the mid-cut it was almost unusable, and then the octave effect was so weak I wouldn't even classify it as "subtle."

I found out about this mod via YouTube, and signed up for the how-to. I admit I was a little skeptical about the "night and day" responses by those who had already performed the mod but man, I have to say they were absolutely right. This went from a pedal I was about to return to being one that'll likely always have a place on my board. The fuzz now has a much warmer but still unique tone. I tested it out side by side with my EXH Big Muff and I love how the tight buzzsaw fuzz on the Joyo is a perfect alternative to the creamy ultra-smooth tone of the Muff, it makes for a much more versatile pedalboard. The octave also went from being completely useless to my go to stomp box for 70's solo's.

Thanks to all who have helped contribute to this mod, has definitely made my day. I'm actually now considering buying a broken one just for the case and using it to rehouse my French Toast, maybe I can turn that toggle switch into a on/off stomp pedal. :wink: :mrgreen:

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