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guitar distortion sexchange...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Bigfeet, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Everyone knows that most bass distortions are cheap, have no charactor and it's impossible to find the right sound due to lack of variety. But here's how you steal from the guitar players. There's a simple reason as to why guitar distortions mud out on bass, the input and output capicitors (or buffers) are calibrated to guitar's frequency response. Capacitors measure voltage in ferads, most guitar distortions have a simple .01 mf current load. Which also shows how low it goes, the frequency response can be changed how ever by changing the value and material of the capacitors. Maylar capacitors dipped in resin have better bass responce than ceramic ones, also to increase bass response and decrease treble response you want to raise the value to about .05 or even .08 mf. This also makes it so you don't have to change out power regulation.

    Either locate these capacitors yourself, or take the box down to a repair shoppe and have them switched. It's 50 cents if you do it yourself, and about $15 if you have a tech do it.

    It's a cheap easy way to get your analog guitar distortion to be a bass distortion. I have this mod done on a EH Big Muff Pi and Mongoose Fuzz. Trust me here, you don't have to settle for what companies give you.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I think I might try that! I have a big muff pi that I could change over. But I think I will rig a switch so I can do either. Great post!
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    TMO, that switch may be a brilliant idea!

    I've been doing mods like these since I first picked up a soldering iron, and that's the largest customization on my Muff at the moment! It sounds sweet!
  4. Bump
  5. I think multiple signal responses could be a cool idea. Combined with a clean signal boost or dry mix you easily choose what part of your signal you want to distort... or you could combine two capacitors to make a crappy frequency shift and sweep inbetween to tailor a precise frequency response. You could even add a varacitor to control the width of capacitation, and use it as a nifty Q control. Hmm, imagine that on the gutts of a tube screamer. :D
  6. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Changing the capacitors can change the frequency response of the stomp boxes, but there are some things you need to know. First of all, the original posters explanation is incorrect with regards to the specifics.

    Farads are a measure of capacitance not of voltage or current. In the circuits described here, the capacitor is a single component in a high-pass filter. Increasing the capacitor value will allow lower frequencies to pass. Mylar caps generally are better than ceramic caps, but that is not specific to bass.

    This mod will not make all guitar pedals work with bass. Sometimes there will be additional filters in the middle of the pedals circuitry that prevents a bass from working with it.

    Finally, making changes like this will void your warranty. So, don't do it on a whim to a brand-new pedal.
  7. OK, you're right about ferads measuring the amount of capacitance. But capacitors do what they say, they store volts to a specific capacity. They also work by passing frequencies like a filter, when passive it can only subtract these frequencies, but when given a power suply it can add varing the amount of release. True it may not make all gutar pedals into an infrasonic noise machine it will increase bass response enough to where it wont mud out, allowing more frequencies in and out of the pedal.

    Maylar, enough said.

    And as for the "warranty" I say, screw it.
  8. Don't forget the input signal dude.

    A bass produces about 3 times the signal a guitar does, so if you want lighter distortion you need to find a way to properly disperse the signal strength as well.

    I'll try your trick on this Danelectro Pastrami that i have laying around.

  9. Heh, I think I have a solution for signal strength thing. You could always wire a capacitor inbetween the clipping device in parallel. A pro would be decreased power, a con less treble. there's also a weird little trick that allows you to reverse the effect and cut out bass and add more treble... but I don't know where I put the schematic :confused:
  10. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
  11. Blaine


    Aug 4, 2001
    new york area
    Does anyone know how to wire up a simple passive mix/ blend knob. I've always thought that would be a good way to use guitar effects on bass.
  12. Eh, it sounds like a good idea and all, but most pots that are passive really aren't meant to be used as mix pots. They generate too much noise. Plus passives can only subtract, if anything. Also the hot signal from the distortion would also drown out the clean bass' signal. What you want is something pre-master-volume, that will equally ballance the dry and wet signals, without changing output volume. You can do this by using a system of resistors to regulate levels, and one variable resistor (or pot) to ballance the signals...
  13. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Bump... cool post Bigfeet!
  14. I installed a switch on my Rat 2, along with cap mods, to get a little more girth. Somehow all I ended up with is a treble cut when the switch is on (admittedly this mod was done circuit-bending style!).
    It does come in handy when I wanna rock out with swamp-fuzz-sounds that don't feedback stupidly.
  15. Heh, sounds like when I tried a stablizing mod on my octave and turned it into a ring modulator.