Category: Modifications gone wrong!!

This Buffer box was modified by Alfonso Hermida(Zendrive fame) back in 1998. It was originally a buffer and a/+b box. It became a Buffer with an effects loop and a/b box. Output A was bleeding into output B, doing all kinds of noises and oscillations. I opened it up and found myself with a mess of wires, not clean at all. Check out his early work. It reminds me of my early work with pedals… I still have a few with me.

The jacks were unnecessarily grounded to the board. You can also see that there is tape where the bottom of the PCB would be. That was replaced with plastic foam to isolate the traces from the enclosure as well as cushioning the board into place.  I redid all of the wiring and grounded the jacks through the enclosure itself. I also used thinner, single conductor shielded wire for the jacks. Also, heat shrink was used all around.

Not done yet, but getting there!

And done! Freshly rewired with new LEDs. The new wiring didn’t fix the bleeding problem so I ended up replacing the switch later. I also rewired the effects loop switch so that the effects input is grounded when in the off position, therefore preventing popping noises.

Aside from the bad paint job, I received this pedal in non working conditions. At first I though it was cool, that the bad paint and sharpie gave it character. But I felt disappointed when I found that this was an old, first year production, MIJ SD-1. Who would modify such vintage piece of gear like this?? Why not try with a new one?? Any who, this fella only had a couple of things wrong with it. First, the spring inside the battery compartment wasn’t installed all the way to the bottom, making it hard to accurately turn it on/off. On the PCB there were a bunch of cold/bad solders, not clean at all! The chip socket, though connecting properly, it looked odd. I removed it and it turned out that a couple of the lugs where broken. I didn’t have new sockets at the moment so I just repaired this one and installed it a little higher. I put it back together and it turned on first try!! Believe it or not, this was my first time playing trough an SD-1, and I fell in love with it!! It sounds amazing, so much so that I ended up trading it for time/labor.

I should be updating this entry since¬† I’ll be removing the bad paint job. This puppy shall be in its original yellow sometime soon.


With a bit of elbow grease, paint thinner and a bit of scraping, it is now back to its original color! Looks cool as beat up as it is!


I received this crybaby, with heard of them before) mods performed to it, in non working condition. I can instantly see a few issues just from the picture above. The LED holder is too tall and too close to the foot pedal. The stomp switch has a rubber foot on top so that the foot pedal doesn’t hit the LED holder. This shortens the already short travel of these types of enclosures. Rubber feet had been removed which meant the foot pedal was hitting the bottom part of the enclosure. I open it up and it doesn’t look that bad. ‘OK’ soldering job, unnecessary long wires with long unprotected leads at the solder joints, electrical tape here and there… I have seen worst.

So, first thing is to clean up the wiring on the back of the board with shorter lead joints. I found an error on the instructions of the mods where the LED would not turn on with a power supply cable connected. Wired the corresponding red wire from the LED to where it should be.

Then cleaned up the solder joints at the battery clip. Heat shrink is your friend!!

In the process of shortening wires and cleaning up solder joints at the switch. The ‘Volume’ mod wasn’t done right. It’s the reason the pedal wasn’t working. The wrong resistor(100K below the small electrolytic capacitor) was replaced with the wrong value(4K7)! It should have been the resistor next to it(68K, replaced with a 47K resistor)! It’s already fixed in the picture below.

Done! Much better, don’t you think?

New LED holder with a metal washer since the hole from the previous holder was a bit wider. New rubber feet as well.

This crybaby is in working condition now, and it sounds mighty fine! I hope it’s owner approves of it.