Removing circuitboards from guitar stomp boxes?

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.
12 answers Last reply
More about removing circuitboards guitar stomp boxes
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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
  6. 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."
  7. 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?
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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.
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