Electronic Repair

So, I decided to buy a new pedal board because some of my pedals weren’t working. After further inspection, I found that several of my pedals also needed repair. The Velcro backing had come off and, when zipped up and carried in the SKB ballistic nylon bag, the pedals were hanging by the power cables. This caused undo stress to several of the pedals, making loose connections and making them inoperable or to turn themselves off and on. Since the pedals weren’t true bypass, the signal from the guitar would fail. Unfortunately, this happened to me during a live gig. It was truly embarrassing, right as I stepped on my overdrive for a crunchy solo, the entire pedal board crapped out. Much to my chagrin, the band and the crowd looked at me expectantly… this certainly would not do.

After researching how much replacements would cost (one was over $260), I decided that they were worth fixing after all. Since I received a 4.0 in digital circuits and have a deep understanding of electricity and how it works, I assumed that this would not be too difficult a task. After my father had shown me proper soldering technique while replacing the stock Epiphone pickups in my new SG, I decided to take them apart and work on them. I re-soldered the power units and then after testing, replaced some resisters and capacitors that had malfunctioned because of improper voltage from the sometimes on, sometimes off power connector. All five are now working like they did fresh out of the box.

Now onto the big problems! My first REAL amplifier, a Fender Pro 185, sat in my parents basement for over a decade. When I purchased it second hand, it worked, but always had some hum, always. Then, when playing at an old church, a power surge made it completely unusable. Even just plugging it in and turning it on with the volume down, it made an unbearable racket. Squelching and squealing like a stuck pig. After testing each and every solder point, resistor, capacitor etc, and cleaning all the knob connections with spray cleaner, I have the most beautiful sounding amp that I’ve ever had… My next project will be the Marshall ValveState amp!