ANALOG TOM with ANALOG MIKE
Stomp School Q & A
Greetings gearheads, welcome back to
“Stomp School!” Since starting the column, Analog Mike and I have received a
number of pedal-related questions from
Premier Guitar readers. So, we thought
we’d take some time in this month’s column to answer some real questions
posed by real readers. Here goes…
a little direction. I was given an older
Boss 7-band EQ pedal that was dead.
Knowing just enough about soldering
to be dangerous, I thought I might be
able to fix it. Upon plugging it in, I got
nothing. No LED, no sound… nothing.
from the battery to the board. The black
battery wire first goes to the input jack,
then through the input plug to ground.
Plug a cable into the input and check that
your battery ground terminal is getting
to ground on the jack and ground on the
board. There may be a black wire from
the input jack to the board.
Q: First of all, I love the column!
Very cool, and full of useful info.
I have a question. I’m planning on
adding a clean boost to my pedal-
board and was wondering where to
place it in the chain. It seems logical
that I should put it at the end of the
chain to boost the signal after the
loss from my pedals and just before
it hits the amp. But, I’m not sure.
What do you suggest? I appreciate
any help you can give me. Again,
I love the column (and PG is my
Rock & Roll,
The order of a clean boost
and a distortion pedal
determines what it will
do: a clean boost into a
distortion pedal will add
more distortion; a clean
boost after a dirt pedal
will increase the volume
without adding distortion.
A: Hi Greg. The order of a clean
boost and a dirt pedal (overdrive
or distortion) determines what the
clean boost will do. A clean boost
into a distortion pedal will add more
distortion. That’s because the distortion pedal is already clipping, and
will just clip more when you hit it
harder. That’s also why a small amp
cranked up (or a Marshall on 10) does not
get louder when you hit it with a louder
signal—it’s already out of headroom, so it
can only distort more. That’s how a lot of
players used the Electro-Harmonix LPB- 1
back in the day, to overdrive the amp. A
clean boost after a dirt pedal will increase
the volume without adding more distortion. So put it where it will do what you
want (or get two: one for more distortion
and one for more volume!).
If your ground is getting to the board,
then you need to check the positive.
There should be a red wire from the
battery clip going to the board near the
power jack. It then goes into the power
jack, which has a switch to send the
battery’s positive voltage to the board
if there is not a power plug inserted
into the power jack. Check that there
is continuity from the red wire to both
parts of the jack that are not connected
to ground. If you only get continuity to
one of those points, then the switch in
the power jack is broken and the jack
should be replaced. If the switch in the
power jack is broken, however, the pedal
should still work with an external power
supply plugged in. Hope that helps.
Well, that’s all we have room for this
time around, but we do have a few
more reader questions to answer, so
check back with us again next month.
Until then, keep on stompin’!
After poking around inside for a while
and touching up some solder joints, it
worked. I thought I was a genius! But
soon enough, it stopped working again.
Short of retouching every solder joint
on the board, can you give me any suggestions on likely culprits?
Q: I just read your troubleshooting
article and really enjoyed it. I won-
dered if you might be able to give me
A: Hi Kevin. A totally dead pedal is usually the easiest type to fix. In this case, it
sounds like power is not getting to the
circuit board. If you have a simple continuity meter, you can usually trace the path
(a.k.a. Analog Tom) is the owner and proprietor of For
Musicians Only ( formusiciansonly.com) and author of
Analog Man’s Guide To Vintage Effects. Questions or
comments about this article can be sent to: stomp-
( analogman.com) is one of the largest boutique effects
manufacturers and retailers in the business, established by “Analog” Mike Piera in 1993. Mike can be
reached at AnalogMike@aol.com.