Hacking the “toy” delay pedal

The First Act delay pedal has some great old slapback and other delay features. I usually just use it to minimally fatten up mostly clean sounds, or for some classic rockabilly tape delay emulation.
One flaw that made it unusable was the volume boost when switching off the pedal; not much of a bypass. It’s quite jarring. Enter the Clay Jones mod.
Success!

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The only glitch was once I got the thing open and got the first capacitor removed, the whole left side potentiometer linkage fell apart. The glob of wax or polymer goo holding it together was dried out and just came undone. Had to strip back the leads and re-attach them one by one. Added an extra half hour or so to the job. So far seems to be holding.
One final annoyance was the black knobs and their invisible indented dots to display level. Three tiny drops of paint later, and it’s a little more readable, especially on the floor.
This is not a how to; there’s plenty of documentation out there on this. But just to let it be known it does work. Happy modding, hackers!

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Author: iamacat

Professional writer and multimedia artist. Having studied Japanese and other non-roman alphabet using languages, I appreciate the particular frustrations of language learners in the computer world. I enjoy helping people get their multilingualization going, no matter what operating system or desktop environment they happen to be in. Being an open source enthusiast, I push uim and anthy without reservation in *nix environments. Although lately, ibus has made things easy in modern Linux distributions, to the point of making much of these old posts moot.

2 thoughts on “Hacking the “toy” delay pedal”

  1. Updated UPDATE: The pics and instructions on page 7 of the gear page thread were not the ones I originally followed. I ended up taking the working pedal apart to take a look and that jogged my memory about the proper mod. Just remove the 100 pf capacitor, leave the 22 kohm resistor beside the where capacitor was and put your wire across the empty space left there. And do replace the bottom 22 kohm resistor with a 1k or 2.2 kohm resistor shorted to the 470 ohm resistor below the output jack. Pictures with circles and arrows to follow.

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