Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Removing circuitboards from guitar stomp boxes?

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 2:52:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi y'all,
Happy New Year, almost!

Hey, in the interest of lightening my travel rig, I'm thinking of
taking the electronic guts out of my MXR Distortion+ and DynaComp stomp
boxes and installing them on the inside of my acoustic/electric travel
guitar w/ passive magnetic pickup. It looks like each is just a
circuitboard and a couple gain pots, plus the 9 volt battery.

I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work, unless the thick
metal cases of the stomp boxes actually provide some sort of essential
noise protection. They look like they're aluminium though, so this
doesn't seem likely, but I figured I'd better ask y'all. Any reason
why this wouldn't work?

Thanks, Rick.
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 4:42:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Try alt.guitar.effects

On 30 Dec 2004 23:52:11 -0800, snovak2@earthlink.net wrote:

>Hi y'all,
>Happy New Year, almost!
>
>Hey, in the interest of lightening my travel rig, I'm thinking of
>taking the electronic guts out of my MXR Distortion+ and DynaComp stomp
>boxes and installing them on the inside of my acoustic/electric travel
>guitar w/ passive magnetic pickup. It looks like each is just a
>circuitboard and a couple gain pots, plus the 9 volt battery.
>
>I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work, unless the thick
>metal cases of the stomp boxes actually provide some sort of essential
>noise protection. They look like they're aluminium though, so this
>doesn't seem likely, but I figured I'd better ask y'all. Any reason
>why this wouldn't work?
>
>Thanks, Rick.
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 1:12:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

snovak2@earthlink.net wrote:

> Hi y'all,
> Happy New Year, almost!
>
> Hey, in the interest of lightening my travel rig, I'm thinking of
> taking the electronic guts out of my MXR Distortion+ and DynaComp stomp
> boxes and installing them on the inside of my acoustic/electric travel
> guitar w/ passive magnetic pickup. It looks like each is just a
> circuitboard and a couple gain pots, plus the 9 volt battery.
>
> I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work, unless the thick
> metal cases of the stomp boxes actually provide some sort of essential
> noise protection. They look like they're aluminium though, so this
> doesn't seem likely, but I figured I'd better ask y'all. Any reason
> why this wouldn't work?


Aluminum is a good shielding material. The advantage of steel would
mostly be more shielding of crushing forces from your foot.

Anyway, you can get a little flat aluminum box to put them in, then put
that inside the guitar. Or not. Your best bet is to take the stomp
boxes apart and try them outside the guitar; if it's fine like that
you're probably OK, but the box would help protect against unforseen
stuff like stage lighting and adjacent radio stations.

I'd suggest that you look for ground connections on the PCB that rely on
a screw grounding to the case, or a 1/4" jack that relies on the box for
its grounding. In that case you'd need to make sure that connection was
maintained; putting it into a rectangular box would do that.

The biggest problem would be the on-off switch - you'd have to add these
soomewhere, since they rely on a plug inserted into a jack to switch
them on. Here a DPST (or DPDT) switch could do them both at once.
Related resources
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 3:17:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

You guys really DO know everything! :>) That's why I love asking
questions here.

> Mike wrote: Those are tiny pedals....

But they weigh a pound each, entirely because of the box, which is
mostly for foot protection, which I don't need. I should probably get
a smaller aluminium box for RF and rust protection.

> Given that this is an "acoustic/electric" guitar...

Actually, it's a nice Tacoma acoustic which I got for cheap because the
LRBaggs electronics were dead; I'm replacing them with a Kinman
magnetic pickup. The LRBaggs' control panel is mounted on the side of
the guitar and has a 9 volt battery slot and 4 knobs, which is exactly
what I need for the 2 MXR effects. The LRBaggs has a totally exposed
circuitboard inside the guitar BTW, which I'm thinking of tossing and
replacing with the MXRs' boards.

> S. O' wrote: The biggest problem would be the on-off switch - you'd
have to add these
> somewhere, since they rely on a plug inserted into a jack to switch
them on.

I was hoping to replace that with 2 on-off toggle switches, for which
there's room on the LRBaggs' control panel.
Thanks for all the advice, y'all! Cheers, Rick.
December 31, 2004 3:59:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

snovak2@earthlink.net wrote:


> I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work, unless the thick
> metal cases of the stomp boxes actually provide some sort of essential
> noise protection.

Bingo!
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 4:07:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1104479531.409926.44580@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com> snovak2@earthlink.net writes:

> Hey, in the interest of lightening my travel rig, I'm thinking of
> taking the electronic guts out of my MXR Distortion+ and DynaComp stomp
> boxes and installing them on the inside of my acoustic/electric travel
> guitar w/ passive magnetic pickup. It looks like each is just a
> circuitboard and a couple gain pots, plus the 9 volt battery.

In the Usenet tradition of, when you don't know the answer, not
answering the question, but rather comment on the concept:

Duh!!!!! Those are tiny pedals. I don't see the point of trying to
repackage them. Given that this is an "acoustic/electric" guitar, I
suspect that you can't do too much damage to the basic tone by
stuffing things inside the body, but how do you propose to accomplish
this? Is there a good way of working inside the guitar? And if you
have to remove the back in order to get enough working space, have you
thought about how to make the battery easily replaceable? If you're
willing to bugger the guitar, sure, you can probably do it. The sturdy
cases are so they won't collapse when you stomp on them. It's not
likely that they contribute significantly to the shielding.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 4:34:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

S O'Neill <nopsam@nospam.net> wrote:
>Aluminum is a good shielding material. The advantage of steel would
>mostly be more shielding of crushing forces from your foot.
>
>Anyway, you can get a little flat aluminum box to put them in, then put
>that inside the guitar. Or not. Your best bet is to take the stomp
>boxes apart and try them outside the guitar; if it's fine like that
>you're probably OK, but the box would help protect against unforseen
>stuff like stage lighting and adjacent radio stations.

Aluminum gutter flashing from the hardware store works nicely for this.
The only problem is you can't solder to it so you have to make joins
with sheet metal screws or rivets.

Blank PC board material is more rigid and you can make hard boxes with
the corners soldered together. But it's a lot more expensive.

Altoids boxes and Twinings tea tins are made out of tin-plated sheet
steel that work nicely for this sort thing and can be soldered to. But
they are prone to rusting in bad environments.
--scott


--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
December 31, 2004 5:24:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Scott Dorsey wrote:

> Altoids boxes and Twinings tea tins are made out of tin-plated sheet
> steel that work nicely for this sort thing and can be soldered to. But
> they are prone to rusting in bad environments.

Scott, you never cease to amaze. Did they base the McGiver TV character on
you?
Anonymous
December 31, 2004 11:40:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi Mike,
Yep, it's a bit of a project. The specs say; "Weight: 0.9lbs." Times
2 = kind of heavy. I'm sure you're right; the pot values and sizes
will need to be changed. And I'm hoping you're also correct that the
cards don't need to be shielded. Maybe I could just shrink-rap the
stuff to keep it from rusting?
This is to be a recording travel guitar. To record an acoustic part
I'll just mic the guitar. For electric-ish sounds I'll have a Kinman
mag pickup voiced for bronze strings going into these 2 effects and
then into the M-Box with all the modeling stuff, perhaps later to be
re-amped. But at least I'll be starting with a good analog electric
sound.
Thanks again for all the advice! Rick.
Anonymous
January 1, 2005 12:44:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1104524222.720845.13380@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com> snovak2@earthlink.net writes:

> > Mike wrote: Those are tiny pedals....
> But they weigh a pound each, entirely because of the box,

After watching my laptop computer bag grow pound by pound, I
understand your concern. Actually I just happen to have a die-cast
aluminum box of that size on the shelf. I put it on the kitchen scale,
and it weighs 4.5 ounces.

> Actually, it's a nice Tacoma acoustic which I got for cheap because the
> LRBaggs electronics were dead; I'm replacing them with a Kinman
> magnetic pickup. The LRBaggs' control panel is mounted on the side of
> the guitar and has a 9 volt battery slot and 4 knobs, which is exactly
> what I need for the 2 MXR effects.

Well, I suppose you could make a project of it. The way most of those
built-in pickup systems work, and I assume yours is like this, is that
the whole plate comes off, leaving you a pretty large hole that you
can mount stuff behind. I'ts really more of a mechanical project than
an electronic one. You'd have to deal with the pots on the stomp
boxes. You might be able to re-mount them to fit the control panel
that's on your guitar, or you might have to find new pots of the right
value and size. You couldn't be so lucky that all the pots that are
already mounted on that panel are the same values as are used in the
stomp box. That just doesn't happen.

There's a lot of unshielded stuff inside a guitar, so I don't think
that shielding is a big concern, but it's just one of those things
where you have to try it and see what buzzes.

I take it you want these stomp boxes in the guitar because you use
them for the sound. The Baggs pickup and electronics system is awfully
good. If you just want to make your guitar louder, you might consider
getting what you have fixed.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
January 1, 2005 12:44:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike Rivers wrote:
> In article <1104524222.720845.13380@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>
> snovak2@earthlink.net writes:
>
>>> Mike wrote: Those are tiny pedals....
>> But they weigh a pound each, entirely because of the box,
>
> After watching my laptop computer bag grow pound by pound, I
> understand your concern. Actually I just happen to have a die-cast
> aluminum box of that size on the shelf. I put it on the kitchen scale,
> and it weighs 4.5 ounces.
>
>> Actually, it's a nice Tacoma acoustic which I got for cheap because
>> the LRBaggs electronics were dead; I'm replacing them with a Kinman
>> magnetic pickup. The LRBaggs' control panel is mounted on the side
>> of the guitar and has a 9 volt battery slot and 4 knobs, which is
>> exactly what I need for the 2 MXR effects.
>
> Well, I suppose you could make a project of it. The way most of those
> built-in pickup systems work, and I assume yours is like this, is that
> the whole plate comes off, leaving you a pretty large hole that you
> can mount stuff behind. I'ts really more of a mechanical project than
> an electronic one. You'd have to deal with the pots on the stomp
> boxes. You might be able to re-mount them to fit the control panel
> that's on your guitar, or you might have to find new pots of the right
> value and size. You couldn't be so lucky that all the pots that are
> already mounted on that panel are the same values as are used in the
> stomp box. That just doesn't happen.
>
> There's a lot of unshielded stuff inside a guitar, so I don't think
> that shielding is a big concern, but it's just one of those things
> where you have to try it and see what buzzes.
>
> I take it you want these stomp boxes in the guitar because you use
> them for the sound. The Baggs pickup and electronics system is awfully
> good. If you just want to make your guitar louder, you might consider
> getting what you have fixed.

I knew a fellow who--about 14 years ago--use to pull the guts out of a Nady
RF guitar transmitter and stuff it in a violin. (He died at least a decade
ago.) He cut a panel out of the back of the instrument about the size of
the circuit board and made it replaceable for battery renewal. He did at
least a couple for Charlie Daniels. I wonder if he still uses them....

jak
Anonymous
January 4, 2005 10:38:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

x-no archive:yes

RickyMix wrote:

> I should probably get
> a smaller aluminium box for RF and rust protection.

You could repurpose a tinfoil hat.

--
ha
Anonymous
January 5, 2005 4:30:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hankster wrote:
> You could repurpose a tinfoil hat.

But then I would start getting all those radio stations from outer
space playing in my head again!
Rick.
!