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

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

Postby 5thumbs » 08 Apr 2010, 18:13

adam_dynamic wrote:This is probably a 'school boy error' somewhere, but I performed this mod with a 5k5 trim-pot in R9 and it's not exactly 'boosting', have I misunderstood the mod? It's only when I turn the trim to almost 0 before it approaches unity gain; the joints look fine, the values look right, am I missing something?..

Check your pinout on the BS170. Sounds like you've got something switched around.

Here's an excerpt from my upcoming doc update regarding this point:

Excerpt from 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion' v4-20-2010, Page 16 wrote:25. Replace Q2 with a BS170 MOSFET. Common BS170 pinout is D-G-S, but pins must map to B-C-E on layout. Bend BS170 pins so G->B, D->C and S->E, or to put it another way, bend them around so they’re lined up like G-D-S (strip wire insulation and put over MOSFET legs if necessary to prevent shorting.)
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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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby adam_dynamic » 09 Apr 2010, 08:50

5thumbs wrote:
adam_dynamic wrote:This is probably a 'school boy error' somewhere, but I performed this mod with a 5k5 trim-pot in R9 and it's not exactly 'boosting', have I misunderstood the mod? It's only when I turn the trim to almost 0 before it approaches unity gain; the joints look fine, the values look right, am I missing something?..

Check your pinout on the BS170. Sounds like you've got something switched around.

Here's an excerpt from my upcoming doc update regarding this point:

Excerpt from 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion' v4-20-2010, Page 16 wrote:25. Replace Q2 with a BS170 MOSFET. Common BS170 pinout is D-G-S, but pins must map to B-C-E on layout. Bend BS170 pins so G->B, D->C and S->E, or to put it another way, bend them around so they’re lined up like G-D-S (strip wire insulation and put over MOSFET legs if necessary to prevent shorting.)


I've got two of the legs on the BS170 twisted to fit the pin out of the original Q2 (I'll have to check which two though). I read somewhere else (frustratingly, I can't find the link to where) that suggested putting a booster in front of a boss pedal would work only to a point but once the distortion circuit is 'maxed out' you wouldn't get any further boost?

Anyway, I'll check the mod again, luckily I didn't do my usual 'change all the components and THEN test' so the problem can only be in one of 5 areas...

Thanks again,

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

Postby 5thumbs » 09 Apr 2010, 09:37

adam_dynamic wrote:I've got two of the legs on the BS170 twisted to fit the pin out of the original Q2 (I'll have to check which two though). I read somewhere else (frustratingly, I can't find the link to where) that suggested putting a booster in front of a boss pedal would work only to a point but once the distortion circuit is 'maxed out' you wouldn't get any further boost?

Anyway, I'll check the mod again, luckily I didn't do my usual 'change all the components and THEN test' so the problem can only be in one of 5 areas...

Thanks again,

Adam

"Stacking" another booster in front of the stock DS-1 is a bit pointless, yes. A large part of the distortion comes from the NPN Booster in Q2, but also some of the fuzz-like qualities that the DS-1 possesses, love it or hate it. That's why putting the MOSFET biased for a little bit of clean and a little bit of dirty (depending on gain) cleans up the DS-1 in a good way, if you're trying to get the fizz/fuzz out.

However, replacing the NPN booster with a MOSFET booster is not the same comparison. Apples and oranges there, because you no longer have the overdriven NPN booster between the new increased gain source (Q2 MOSFET) like you would with a stacked pedal gain stage before the DS-1.
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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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby schtaf » 13 Apr 2010, 15:15

Hey 5thumbs great document you've got going here. I was hoping you could help point me in the right direction here.

I did the keeley mods a while back and liked the obvious improvement, but i found that i could really only get one setting out if it, and the controls were limited to maintain reasonable noise floor and gain. ie. tone could never go past noon and anything past maybe 2 oclock on the gain was metal territory. Level was unity around 10:30-11:00.

So I decided to try the AMZ phat mod, and it really improved the noise floor and made the controls do what they were meant to do. (Keeley + AMZ at this point.

however, my problem now is that the gain knob provides very low gain in a smooth fashion from minimum up to around 2:30, where it quickly ramps from there and gets wild distortion and strong noise floor. I want to be able to get that searing tone of the high gain range as well as the really good crunch that the amz mod seems to make possible. However, I'm not getting great sustain/distortion from the upper registers as well as with bass notes.

So, is there something I can do to bring it back a few steps from the phat mod? Or can I move forward a few more steps to smooth out the gain knob from crunch to scream... or is that even possible??

Thanks for your help! you seem to really know your way around this 40$ bundles of modding joy.

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

Postby 5thumbs » 13 Apr 2010, 16:14

schtaf wrote:Hey 5thumbs great document you've got going here. I was hoping you could help point me in the right direction here.

I did the keeley mods a while back and liked the obvious improvement, but i found that i could really only get one setting out if it, and the controls were limited to maintain reasonable noise floor and gain. ie. tone could never go past noon and anything past maybe 2 oclock on the gain was metal territory. Level was unity around 10:30-11:00.

So I decided to try the AMZ phat mod, and it really improved the noise floor and made the controls do what they were meant to do. (Keeley + AMZ at this point.

however, my problem now is that the gain knob provides very low gain in a smooth fashion from minimum up to around 2:30, where it quickly ramps from there and gets wild distortion and strong noise floor. I want to be able to get that searing tone of the high gain range as well as the really good crunch that the amz mod seems to make possible. However, I'm not getting great sustain/distortion from the upper registers as well as with bass notes.

So, is there something I can do to bring it back a few steps from the phat mod? Or can I move forward a few more steps to smooth out the gain knob from crunch to scream... or is that even possible??

Thanks for your help! you seem to really know your way around this 40$ bundles of modding joy.

schtaf

The Huevos Grandes (HG) Mod was my attempt at "cleaning up" the Vintage Ripper, which, in turn, was my first mod incorporating Jack Orman's DS-1 Phat Mod. If you have a big, open-treble type amp like a Fender Twin/Bassman, the HG is great. If you have a smaller, tight-treble type amp like a Fender '57 Deluxe (or Roland Cube 30, etc), then the original MIJ or my MIJ Mod are great.

That aside, if you want a less-fizzy sound with more bass, clarity and drive, then my next two mods are probably up your alley.

The first is the '5thumbs HMG Mod', which adds switchable soft-clippers, Crackle-NOT-Okay! (CNO) replacement of Q2, active tone booster to the HG Mod. The objective is additional clarity and bass while maintaining saturation.

The second is similar to the '5thumbs HMG', except that I wanted to use a CNO to drive the hell out of the NPN booster in Q2. (That combo produces a nasty, metallic, splatty fuzz as you get increased clarity out of the CNO, then use the gain of the CNO to overdrive the merde out of the Q2 NPN. This mod will be almost the same as the '5thumbs HMG' mod, except Q2 stays stock as an NPN transistor and I replace/mod Q1 and Q3 with two CNOs.) This mod is weird in that it removes the ability of the DS-1 to be bypassed in the conventional sense and makes it an always-on sort of pedal. Why? This mod will allow you to switch the distortion circuit on/off with the footswitch, but when the distortion is off, the dual CNOs are still in the signal, kind of like a ZVex Super-Duper 2-in-1. The objective of this mod is to add the clarity/boost of the CNO as the input stage, but then use that gain to overdrive the Q2 transistor. The name of this mod will be "CNO-EV1L".

I've got parts ordered for the final '5thumbs HMG' build and need to do the same for the CNO-EV1L, plus finish daughterboard layouts and doc text for the latter. I hope to get these done in the next few weeks (certainly before June 1), so you might want to wait and see if the new mods tickle your fancy.

As for the Keeley mods, there is a bit of an overlap between most of my mods and his. I'd recommend comparing the mods to see what's the same. I'd then de-mod the Keeley mods that don't overlap, then add the mods from mine that are unique as well. Why? I have no idea what any intermediate, mixed-together mod between Keeley's mods and my mods would sound like. I can't really recommend more in that area because I can't tell you what to expect. :)
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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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby 5thumbs » 14 Apr 2010, 18:18

5thumbs wrote:The first is the '5thumbs HMG Mod', which adds switchable soft-clippers, Crackle-NOT-Okay! (CNO) replacement of Q2, active tone booster to the HG Mod. The objective is additional clarity and bass while maintaining saturation.

The second is similar to the '5thumbs HMG', except that I wanted to use a CNO to drive the hell out of the NPN booster in Q2. (That combo produces a nasty, metallic, splatty fuzz as you get increased clarity out of the CNO, then use the gain of the CNO to overdrive the merde out of the Q2 NPN. This mod will be almost the same as the '5thumbs HMG' mod, except Q2 stays stock as an NPN transistor and I replace/mod Q1 and Q3 with two CNOs.) This mod is weird in that it removes the ability of the DS-1 to be bypassed in the conventional sense and makes it an always-on sort of pedal. Why? This mod will allow you to switch the distortion circuit on/off with the footswitch, but when the distortion is off, the dual CNOs are still in the signal, kind of like a ZVex Super-Duper 2-in-1. The objective of this mod is to add the clarity/boost of the CNO as the input stage, but then use that gain to overdrive the Q2 transistor. The name of this mod will be "CNO-EV1L".

I've got parts ordered for the final '5thumbs HMG' build and need to do the same for the CNO-EV1L, plus finish daughterboard layouts and doc text for the latter. I hope to get these done in the next few weeks (certainly before June 1), so you might want to wait and see if the new mods tickle your fancy.

I knew I was forgetting something when I described the new mods. I've also upgraded all the DS-1 mods in the doc (except Mr. Keeley's, of course) to allow +18V or +9V operation of your DS-1.
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

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

Postby schtaf » 14 Apr 2010, 19:15

Putting an adjustable gain SHO in place of Q2 sounds like an awesome idea. In your builds, how does it change the character as you increase/decrease the SHO gain feeding the DS1 circuit? From what I understand, the original Q2 provided significant gain and distortion before it enters the clipping section, so with the clean headroom of the SHO on hand, I assume the saturation/distortion will come primarily from the clipping circuit? How does it sound? Luckily, I just finished a standalone SHO and have the parts on hand to build it right in, not sure where i'll put the pot though.

Can't wait to see those new mods 5thumbs!
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby 5thumbs » 14 Apr 2010, 21:32

schtaf wrote:Putting an adjustable gain SHO in place of Q2 sounds like an awesome idea. In your builds, how does it change the character as you increase/decrease the SHO gain feeding the DS1 circuit? From what I understand, the original Q2 provided significant gain and distortion before it enters the clipping section, so with the clean headroom of the SHO on hand, I assume the saturation/distortion will come primarily from the clipping circuit? How does it sound? Luckily, I just finished a standalone SHO and have the parts on hand to build it right in, not sure where i'll put the pot though.

Can't wait to see those new mods 5thumbs!

I'll let the sound clips of the new mods answer those questions, when I get them done. :wink:

Speaking from rough prototypes only, I'd characterize the difference between a CNO Q2 and an NPN Q2 as the difference between a MOSFET booster and an NPN booster. Both will overdrive and distort (and at different gain levels, depending on how they're biased), but sound different. BOSS biased the Q2 NPN so it would be distorting at all times, but I don't want the MOSFET Q2 to do that all the time. The MOSFET Q2 isn't design to be a primary source of distortion (although it can be)...its purpose is to add clarity and variable gain. The addition of the soft-clippers was designed to add back some distortion before hitting the hard-clippers at D4/D5.

But I also like the sound of a MOSFET booster driving the tar out of an NPN in Q2. That's why I decided I wanted to do the CNO-EV1L mod as well, so I could keep that "clearer-but-still-kinda-fuzzy-in-that-classic-DS1-way" sound.

I've got parts ordered for the builds. What I'm fighting for is time to get the builds done. :cry:

P.S., Over at diystomp today, I came up with a "clean mix" mod for DS-1, similar to how the Sparkle Drive does it. If that one builds/works as designed, I'll include that as yet another mod in the next doc drop.

Here's the "5thumbs DS-1 Clean Mix Mod" images thus far (unverified at the time of this post):

Image

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

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

Postby new_anuzzerone » 14 Apr 2010, 22:41

vr4-1 connects to a,b,c or (as shown) b,c,d?

(take a look at second note on board-layout)

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

Postby 5thumbs » 15 Apr 2010, 15:16

new_anuzzerone wrote:vr4-1 connects to a,b,c or (as shown) b,c,d?

(take a look at second note on board-layout)

regards

Whoops. :oops: Thanks for catching that.

I've updated the image at Photobucket. Clearing my browser cache and reloading this page didn't get the new file right away, so I'm going to link it again in this reply, just to get the most-recent version visible in this thread.

Image

If that doesn't work, here's the direct link to the file: http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee157/five_thumbs/BOSSDS-1--CleanMixModStripboardL-1.jpg.
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

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

Postby 5thumbs » 15 Apr 2010, 16:09

OK, for those of you watching re: the Clean Mix Mod, I omitted a 100K resistor between one of the pots and the 13K3 resistor. I added that to the schem and layout. The images above appear to be the correct, most-recent versions.
Modding a DS-1? Please read 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion'.

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

Postby TDR1138 » 16 Apr 2010, 15:31

Ok, total newbie questions here… I tried doing the Premier Guitar “Vintage Distortion Tones” mod on my DS-1, mainly because it looked to be a fairly easy first project, but I am stuck on two parts, so I need the expert advice. :?

The published mod is as follows:
D5  LED
C3  .033uf
R16  1k
C11  .001uf

It was also noted that, to tame the highs, change C10 to a different value. I selected a .022uf cap for that application. And, in the narrative of the Premier Guitar article, the author that changing C3 to a .022uf cap would work as well. So here’s where I’m at so far:
C3  .022uf
R16  1k
C10  .022uf
C11  .001uf

So, question 1: As you may have noticed, I have not put the LED in D5 yet. I wasn’t too sure what size and power rating to get. Suggestions? :hmmm:

Question 2: I put everything back together to test it out, and only played it through practice headphones, but the tone control was acting strange… as you turned the knob clockwise, the sound got thinner and more filtered out. There was a pretty good volume drop with this as well. Essentially, it sounded the best at around 9 o’clock, and as you turned it up, it started losing treble and bass, and the mids started sounding real thin. Past 12 o’clock, it was pretty weak, and past about 2 o’clock, it was worthless… Any thoughts on what might be causing this? :scratch:
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby 5thumbs » 16 Apr 2010, 20:02

TDR1138 wrote:So, question 1: As you may have noticed, I have not put the LED in D5 yet. I wasn’t too sure what size and power rating to get. Suggestions? :hmmm:
Just use any standard red LED. Here's an example from Mouser: http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Kingbright/WP7104HD/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMs4quMj8r4lmm9VI3HxoS5jcW4xZuR7mpg%3d; and from Small Bear: http://www.smallbearelec.com/Detail.bok?no=336

TDR1138 wrote:Question 2: I put everything back together to test it out, and only played it through practice headphones, but the tone control was acting strange… as you turned the knob clockwise, the sound got thinner and more filtered out. There was a pretty good volume drop with this as well. Essentially, it sounded the best at around 9 o’clock, and as you turned it up, it started losing treble and bass, and the mids started sounding real thin. Past 12 o’clock, it was pretty weak, and past about 2 o’clock, it was worthless… Any thoughts on what might be causing this? :scratch:
Are you sure about that 1nf (0.001μF) cap in C11? I checked the mod instructions at Premier Guitar (http://www.premierguitar.com/Magazine/Issue/2008/Feb/Boss_DS_1_Mods.aspx) and that value is listed in the mod parts list, but I question the decision to use the 1nF value in C11. I'll explain why below.

C11 and R15 form the treble side of the TONE control. The default corner frequency on this high pass filter is 3.29KHz, meaning everything above 3.29KHz passes unattenuated, but everything lower than 3.29KHz is attenuated at a slope of -6dB per octave (e.g., -6dB @ 1.65Khz, -12dB @ 82.3KHz, etc.)

The C11 mod you described would put the corner frequency at 72.38KHz, which is well above the upper range of extremely good hearing, 20KHz. In fact, with the described C11 mod, at 18.09KHz (still above most average persons' hearing range), the signal is attenuated -12dB! At 9.05KHz ("presence" frequencies), the signal is attenuated -18dB and at 4.03KHz (upper-mids), -24dB!! And so on and so on...

Having said all that, it should be noted that is Brian Wampler's mod. Wampcat@diystomp posts over here @ FSB as well, under the ID 'indyguitarist'. Brian, if you're reading this, can you chime in here? Am I reading something wrong or miscalculating the R-C filter values here? The values I've calculated for the C11 mod seems like it would effectively void a significant part of the signal within human hearing range from the treble side of the TONE control, which appears to be what TDR1138 is experiencing as well.

Barring any input from Brian, I'd recommend putting the C11 cap back to stock value and try it out again. If the problem persists, look for soldering defects (bridges, cold-solder joints, etc) in the C11 neighborhood.

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

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

Postby TDR1138 » 16 Apr 2010, 21:00

Thanks, 5thumbs. I'll give the C11 region a good once-over and try it with the stock cap back in. That being said, with the stock cap back in, will it likely have the brittle highs again, or would the mod to C10 help offset that?
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby 5thumbs » 16 Apr 2010, 23:41

TDR1138 wrote:Thanks, 5thumbs. I'll give the C11 region a good once-over and try it with the stock cap back in. That being said, with the stock cap back in, will it likely have the brittle highs again, or would the mod to C10 help offset that?
The C10 cap is a very good way to darken the post-clipping, pre-tone-control signal. In my existing Huevos Grandes mod (and upcoming 5thumbs HMG and CNO-EV1L mods) all use 56nF (0.056μF) in C10. Keep in mind, though, that those mods also have clarity-enhancements (e.g., crossover distortion and/or MOSFET boost stages, depending upon the mod) that complement the bigger C10 capacitor shunt.

If you want to cut the fizz more, you can gang up the D4/D5 diodes so they still oppose each other's polarity, but you solder them together, then put them both in the D5 hole. You then put a 220pF - 3900pF capacitor in D4 to act as a "high pass bypass" for high frequencies to bypass the clipping diodes, resulting in less fizzy distortion.

Yet one more way to cut the fizz is to implement the low-pass filter described in my Huevos Grandes mod. This mod is a one-capacitor, solder-side-of-PCB mod that forms a low-pass filter to cut out fizz. Step #16 on Page 28 of the current version of my doc has the info regarding this low-pass filter mod.

And of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my mods in my 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion' doc. If you click on the link in my sig, you'll download that doc with DS-1 build info and my mods. Of my mods mentioned previously, only the Huevos Grandes mod is in the current version. The Huevos Grandes mod is pretty dark, but not muddy. (The tone shaping on that mod was done at stage volume, so if that mod sounds muddy, you're either too quiet or you might have a small combo that could use the extra "brittle" tone to keep things from getting muddy.) The "5thumbs HMG", "CNO-EV1L" and "5thumbs DS-1 Clean Mix" mod will be released in the next version of the doc, expected to be released on or before 6/1/2010 (at least that's my goal at this point.)

You might want to check out the sound clips linked in the doc. They can help you figure out which mods will sound best on your type of amp.

But then again, that's all academic. Hopefully, the C11 change will work out for you. But if not, my doc has some other options for you to explore, if you so choose. Good luck!
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby TDR1138 » 20 Apr 2010, 15:16

Well, I tried swapping each component out individually, and nothing seemed to fix the Tone control issue. Checked all the solder joints, and they all looked good and clean with no tracings... I guess I'll keep noodling with it...

5thumbs wrote:And of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my mods in my 'Build Your Own DS-1 Distortion' doc. If you click on the link in my sig, you'll download that doc with DS-1 build info and my mods. Of my mods mentioned previously, only the Huevos Grandes mod is in the current version. The Huevos Grandes mod is pretty dark, but not muddy. (The tone shaping on that mod was done at stage volume, so if that mod sounds muddy, you're either too quiet or you might have a small combo that could use the extra "brittle" tone to keep things from getting muddy.) The "5thumbs HMG", "CNO-EV1L" and "5thumbs DS-1 Clean Mix" mod will be released in the next version of the doc, expected to be released on or before 6/1/2010 (at least that's my goal at this point.)

You might want to check out the sound clips linked in the doc. They can help you figure out which mods will sound best on your type of amp.


Actually, I'm sure I'll pick up another one of these sooner than later and go for a little more extensive mod. I have checked out your mods, and the document looks good and well put together, so when I do get a second one, I'll probably start there for ideas. Just wanted to start off with something simple on this one as a trial project. Enjoying it so far. :thumbsup
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby horselover_fat » 23 Apr 2010, 20:47

Well it's not just TDR. I tried this mod WITHOUT changing C11, and while the sound of the pedal is
different than what you get when changing C11, the tone control still behaves like a Rat pedal. But I
DO think the pedal sounds better modded this way if C11 is left alone.

I seem to recall that this Wampler fellow likes the Rat (could be mistaken)
and wonder if that's what he was going for, a Rat style tone control.
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby PaulBass » 01 May 2010, 06:53

whats great about this pedal is you can mod it and get your own signature overdrive/distortion sound. Since I play bass I changed C1,2,3,13,14 to 1uf, R15 to 15K,
1N002's in D4, D5. :thumbsup
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby Greenmachine » 22 Jun 2010, 02:35

I'm with the guy who said leave the Japanese DS-1's alone and mod the Taiwan ones. I just bought a MIJ version and I think it sounds great stock - which is rare for me. Usually I can't wait to open these up and tweak; however, this time I find I'm worried I'll change the sound. :mrgreen:
"[Y]ou want sketchy, dude? I breadboard on a door." -- RnFR, 2011
"This amp is freakin loud, like crazy, I'm going to kill pets loud." -- mich, 2011
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Re: Boss - DS-1 Distortion mods (what works, what doesn't?)

Postby new_anuzzerone » 20 Nov 2010, 00:21

@5thumbs:

I´ve seen some nice dip8-to-sil8 layout in your DS-1 "booklet" but I wasn´t able to copy it, to etch them. Any chance you´d post the single image?(for example: the adaptor, you´ll find on page 28 in the middle of the page)

I´d really appreciate it :D

tia
regards
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