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My DS-1 Mod/Rehouse project begins...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by isher1992, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. I have modded this DS-1 I bought on a whim going by Monte Allums' guide and by some threads I've seen on this forum, but my DS-1 still doesn't -quite- suit my tastes. So, I have found a thread that listed the Keeley mod and took some notes. :bag:

    Also looking at other peoples' mods online and taking some notes and going to compile them into a whole new DS-1 (Hopefully keeping a similar sound...one thing that bugs me about the Allums mods aside from just a few upgrades is that it transforms into more of an overdriven sound). also ordered a new enclosure from Small Bear and a new switch (Another momentary-on like the original unit.).

    Here's the PCB removed from the unit:


    If anyone reading this is interested in trying this for themselves here is what I plan to alter (Thanks to http://youtu.be/0jVa_SX-1Ns and http://www.tdpri.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-332637.html):

    All capacitors are film caps unless otherwise stated.

    [DEL]C1[/DEL] - .1uF (Ceramic) (Changes cutoff to 18Hz) EDIT: I used a metal film "Greenie" instead. It was already in there so I just left it alone.
    [DEL]C2[/DEL] - 1uF
    [DEL]C3 - .1uF[/DEL] (1.0 uF for the Penny Pedals Bass Mod if low end still does not suit your tastes.)
    ([DEL]C4[/DEL] - .022 uF, once again, for Penny Pedals Bass Mod.)
    [DEL]C5 - .1uF[/DEL] [Similar story as above, added this from a previous mod.\
    [DEL]C7[/DEL] - .022 uF (I think I typo'ed this one, I have it written as 220 pF but I think that value would be too low...Penny Pedals shows it as 22pF, which is .022 uF)
    [DEL]C8 - .22uf[/DEL] (Electrolytic) (Changes RC Filter cutoff above 100 Hz, to keep from distorting too many of the lows) (Penny Pedals uses Non-Polarized Film 1.0 uF)
    [DEL]C9[/DEL] - 1uF (Electrolytic) (Penny Pedals says to use a Non-polarized Metal Film capacitor here instead of polarized Electrolytic.
    [DEL]C12[/DEL] - 0.047uF (Ceramic--Not sure what this does sound-wise, I just usually use ceramics for values such as this.) (Penny Pedals says .1uF Cap here.)
    ([DEL]C13[/DEL] - .1 uF is what is in the Penny Pedals mods.)
    [DEL]C14[/DEL] - 1uF (Electrolytic)

    EDIT: I Totally forgot about polarized electrolytic caps. Added those.
    EDIT 2: I added in what consists of the Penny Pedals Bass mods, for those that want to try this and for future reference. Some of them coincide with the Keeley mods.

    Resistors are metal film.

    [DEL]R14[/DEL] - ?*
    [DEL]R17[/DEL] - 15K ohm
    [DEL]R35[/DEL] - 2.4K ohm
    [DEL]R39[/DEL] - 20k ohm


    [DEL]D5[/DEL] - LED
    (If I am still not satisified with this, I may add another LED on D4 like the Keeley mod...Keeley uses a 47pF cap in series with the LED, but I don't plan on it.)

    *Supposedly, this resistor affects how much distortion there is. Stock, the resistor value 2.2K, and Keeley replaces it with 1.5K, which would raise the gain. The higher value, the less gain there will be. I think I am going to add a trimpot here to make it adjustable.

    Feel free to try it for yourself! I will post more as I keep on.
  2. Niff


    Mar 18, 2007
    New Zealand
    this is interesting! after learning Al Cisneros uses a DS-1 in Om the pedal has intrigued me a bit - it has a unique character to it, but it saps your low end immensely. super curious as to what mods can be done.
  3. A lot of low-end distortions use weak, cheap capacitors that cause unwanted noise. From what I have understood, the input cap (C1) has a value that drops a lot of low end. Just a capacitor upgrade can help. I just used film caps from Radio Shack the first time, and that made a huge impact in noise reduction.

    I have noticed a lot that distortions copy other circuits--To give a specific example, an EHX Russian Big Muff and a Colorsound Tonebender are the exact same circuit. The difference is in the tone stack and other small changes. Yet they sound different. The DS-1 is a very cheap Big Muff clone, with the same scooped mids but less sound quality.
  4. I think the DS-1 is a Tube Screamer, though.
  5. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    Think again :rolleyes:
  6. DS-1 isn't a Tube Screamer. It's been confirmed by several people it's nothing more than a low-grade Big Muff clone. It even has the signature scooped mid-range.



    Several similarities.


    There are a few similarities between then, but I would suspect that if any Boss were a clone of a Tubescreamer, it would be the Overdrive.
  7. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    So, the Boss is a cheap clone of another company...for shame. Such behavior should not be condoned.
  8. It's not a true clone--there are some things that are modified but the tone stack is identical, is what some have said.

    Parts of the schematics look similar.

    Not sure about shameful, though. I mean, if they were claiming it were a Big Muff clone in the advertisements, maybe. But it's a cheap, entry-level distortion pedal and that's what they claim. So...I dunno.

    I know it's really fun when people ask me what distortion I use and i tell them it's a DS-1 and they are surprised. :hyper:
  9. Well, today I started my first few mods on this project. I'm still waiting on my enclosure and parts to get here, so it will be taking some time. Today, I used a 3mm LED to replace D5 like the "seeing eye" mod, but I decided to keep it on the PCB and invisible. I replaced the standard 3mm LED that comes on when engaged with a 5mm Amber.


    The LED isn't on, but there it is.


    There's the small 3mm LED on the PCB.

    I'm pretty much stuck until then, because I don't want to add a second LED on D4 with a .047 uF capacitor in parallel until I can test it without it and see if it fits my needs.
  10. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    The DS-1 is often the subject of ridicule and humor. :)
  11. As it should be. :p I used to make fun of it a lot... When I was a lot younger and first starting out and buying a distortion, I was wanting a DigiTech Grunge and the salesman kept telling me I should buy the Boss instead because he thought it sounded better than the Grunge, but I still bought the Grunge instead...
  12. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    I had one for month. Because I think it is musician law that everyone own one at least once.
  13. Your first pedal is like a first car--you get a really sorry, cheap one for your first, and then when you get sick of pouring money into it or it letting you down all the time, you get a new, better (and usually shinier) one.

    ...Or you could be a spoiled brat and mommy and daddy bought you a super awesome expensive one from the start.
  14. I have had them just show up at my
  15. Niff


    Mar 18, 2007
    New Zealand
    I think it has quite a unique nasty noise to it, unlike any muff I've ever used. To each their own, I just wish it had more low end!
  16. ive got one that i did the keeley mod on. pretty tolerable on guitar now. still mostly just use it as a gritty boost. gain down, volume up.
  17. Gagh. I was thinking of the SD-1. I really hate Boss pedal names.

    Excuse me sir. :rolleyes:
  18. pfindeis


    Nov 10, 2006
    The guy that built penny pedals posted his bass mods awhile back.
    Real good stuff. Cap upgrades and a toggle.
    I'll find the instructions when I get home
  19. That's fairly easy to fix. I did fix that in a Rat2 I had for a while--It sucked almost all lows out.
  20. Would be nice to compare and see how they are against Keeley. I might look those up myself and possibly re-think some of my mods.

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