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Tone Your Own Way: Some Of Our Favorite Effects Pedal Mods

Modifications make these classic effects pedals even more kickass.

by Jonah Bayer
May 11 2014, 6:25pm

Even though there are more pedals available these days than there ever have been before, certain units dominate the market from decade to decade. That doesn't mean these standards can't be improved upon with a little tinkering, though. In recent years, a new generation of geniuses have figured out ways to take some of the world's most popular pedals and modify them in ways that the manufacturer never intended. Luckily you don't need a soldering iron to get your hands on one of these bad boys as long as you've got an active PayPal account.

BOSS MT-2 Metal Zone

The BOSS Metal Zone is one of the most popular distortion pedals ever, but what if you could make it sound even heavier? That's exactly what the folks at Keely Electronics have done with their Metal Zone Mod, which adds a switch to the front of the pedal that puts to the Metal Zone into overdrive and recognizes its full potential as a full-fledged sonic weapon. Just be careful where you aim it because in the wrong hands this mod could be deadly.

BOSS DD-6 Digital Delay

As the Metal Zone is to distortion, the BOSS DD-6 is the gold standard when it comes to digital delays. The sound obsessives at Analogman have figured out a way to add a high cut mod to the pedal to make it sound less digital and add a welcome layer of depth to the cascading notes. You can save a little money if you buy the pedal directly from them, but if you've got an old DD-6 lying around it's worth it to send in your old one and get it turbocharged.

Electro-Harmonix Micro Pog

If you're not familiar with the Micro POG, you should be, as it's an incredible polyphonic tracker that has dominated the game for good reason. This tiny wonder is now even better thanks to the crew at JHS Pedals who have added two footswitches to the unit. These allow you to switch between settings with a simple stomp of the foot. If you use this pedal live, you can't afford not to be able hotrod your pedal and dial in the perfect sound every time.

Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Modification

The Big Muff has been most guitarists' go-to fuzz pedal for decades, but that doesn't mean that it's immune to a little bit of tweaking. To switch things up, the good people at PepTone have added a "mid" knob to the Muff to give you more control over the EQ. While this might not sound like a major shift in theory, a cursory listen will confirm that this modification gives the pedal much more versatility without losing the signature fuzz that's made it legendary.

BOSS Super Chorus CH-1

The BOSS Super Chorus is great and all, but it could always be better. That's where Monte Allums Mods comes in to add an LED that blinks to the rate of the chorus, allowing you to visualize what you're working with. Additionally, the depth and rate of the chorus have been modded here, allowing it to truly shine. Seriously, if you're looking for a chorus pedal that sounds better than what everyone else has on their pedalboard, we recommend investing in this modded beauty.

Dunlop Cry Baby Wah

Dunlop Wah pedals got their name for their ability to add an ultra-dynamic, expressive effect to a guitar tone. If you're looking to add even more of, well, anything really, Modest Mike's Mods have a vast array of possible additions to your unit. Some of our favorites include a true bypass mod (which prevents it from sucking power when you're not using it), a vocal mod (which adds a more of a "talking" feature to the pedal), and the volume pedal mod (which allows you to shift between a Wah and volume peal). Now only if they could come up with a "clean your apartment" mod, we'd be all set.

Jonah Bayer plays in the band United Nations and is never going acoustic. He's on Twitter - @mynameisjonah


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