IT's ALIVE!!! (my beloved EHX Black Finger is back from the dead)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by NoiseNinja, Mar 15, 2021.

  1. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    So my beloved EHX Black Finger, out of production tube driven optical compressor, that run it's 2 preamp tubes at proper high 300V plate voltage, and which I really used more so as a tube preamp stage then an actual compressor (it basically being an optical compressor circuit placed between the input and output stage of a tube preamp), is back from the dead! :hyper:

    The Pre and Post Gain control knobs had been scratching for a while, and you sort of had to wiggle the knobs back and forth to find a spot where it was not making scratching sounds, eventually though it just started sounding odd, like sudden tone changes, sometimes sounding fine, but then suddenly dropping in volume and sounding thin.

    I knew it wasn't due to the tubes, but honestly feared it weren't due to the scratching pots either, but what do I know, yesterday I decided to take a shot at cleaning the pots by spraying some electronics cleaner into them and then giving the knobs a fair share of firm wiggles back and forth, and today it is back in game, as great as ever.

    As said I run it more so as a tube preamp stage then an actual compressor towards the end of my signal chain, the compressor being dialed in fairly subtly with a high threshold, only kicking in when I really dig in, and doing so rather un-obstructively, largely leaving my playing dynamics untouched, and with the Pre Gain control dialed up relatively high to just before the input preamp tube breaks up when digging in the hardest.

    Subtly ever so slightly rounding my tone off, but not really in any way dulling it, on the contrary rather making the snappy and biting kind of tone that I prefer, some might call it harsh, less sterile and harsh and more musical and lively, like adding a beautiful unique depth and warmth to it, without really making it sound any bit less snappy and biting, just making it be so in a more musical and less harsh way.

    The #1 most precious pedal I own, so really happy it is back working perfectly again, but I really need to find a used backup spare unit in case, God forbid, something should happen to my current Black Finger beyond repair.

    Here it is:

    This guy uses his Black Finger in a similar way to how I use it, mainly as a tube preamp stage, he mentions it briefly starting around the 4:38 mark in this video (the video linked to it set to start there) :
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
  2. I think I might need to give my Muff'n an extra bath, as a few of its pots are still a wee bit scratchy, but it does feel good to get a lost friend back.
    René_Julien and NoiseNinja like this.
  3. Good to hear, NoiseNinja, congrats!

    I had seen you lamenting in a thread about it being on the fritz, but only just came across this thread.

    Good luck with finding a sibling for it.
    NoiseNinja likes this.
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