#1
Not sure if this pedal will stir up much interest here, don't here thew CS-3 talked about much. Anyways had one in for modifications so I wrote a little article on it.

All writings can also be found on my site.... here.

Another Boss pedal hits the chopping block!

The Boss CS-3 compressor stock is just a terrible pedal in my opinion. It is incredibly noisy; I mean it has a ton of noise! Yes compressors are high gain and noise is to be expected from them but this unit is just terrible. The noise is really over powering and can seriously take away from one’s playing. The tone is very bland and flat sounding. Not that I like using a compressor for rhythm work but when you use the stock pedal for rhythm your tone turns to mush. All the notes blend together and nothing stands out, it sounds like one big mess. There is no twang or squish that excited me when the pedal is turned on. The attack is quite boring and it just seems to lack life overall.


It should be noted all resistors part of the mod are metal film and all capacitors used for the mod are metal film (any film cap is fine though really).

The mods…
C4, C6, C13, C14, C17----1mF tantalum
C1, C2, C10, C16----0.1mF
C9, C13----0.047mF
R5----1.2K
D2, D3, D6----1N34A

IC1, IC2
To really lower noise the cheap stock op-amps have to go. I replace both IC1 and IC2 SIP op-amps with two stacked DIP sockets. To do this you will need to make a little conversion board. You can buy fancy little PCB from Monte Allums which makes things super easy. I stack a RC4558P and a Burr-Brown OPA2134PA. This really increases the clarity and brings the noise level way down.

R36----3K (current limiting resistor for LED)
Replace stock LED with a water clear high brightness 5mm LED.

To further reduce noise all the cheap 1/8W carbon film resistors in the signal chain could be replaced with metal film resistors. This would help bring down the noise a bit more and you might notice a slight increase in clarity along with treble response. A long process but it can be worth it.


Last Words
Was the modification worth doing? I’d say so; the pedal is now defiantly playable and sounds pretty damn good in my opinion. It is not a super over the top compressor but it has a solid tone. I found the pedal to be one of those pedals where you love your tone when the pedal is on but the pedal is very subtle. It’s not till you turn it off do you realize how good it sounds.

The clarity has increased dramatically. Things are not dark and bland anymore. The tone has more “life” with tighter, rounder bass and more highs. Though I still don’t like compressors for rhythm playing the CS-3 does sound decent with chords now. With the increase in clarity you can hear individual strings and it’s not one big mushy mess. Dynamics have also seemed to increase, the pedal responds nicely to one’s playing and it just feels a bit more interactive.

Best of all the noise has gone down a ton. No longer does this pedal sound like a 100W stack cranked up to full. There is hardly any noise at all; the noise level is the same as a low gain OD pedal I would say. Much better than stock where if you took a break from playing the noise overwhelmed you.

A pretty simple modification but well worth it. Anyways hope someone can put these modifications to good use!


****
While were at it...what other pedals would people like to see modified? I quite enjoy coming up with mods to cheap pedals.
#2
This might get me some motivation to fix the broken CS-3 that I scored for free.

Have you done anything messing around with a CE-5?

If so, how about the Digi Hot Rod? The thing is worse than the DS-1.
Gear
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

AXL Badwater SRO

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
#4
http://www.pedalarea.com/images/boss_ce5A_board.jpg

In my opinion it's already an awesome pedal, and should be a lot of fun to mod. I'd look into it.
Gear
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

AXL Badwater SRO

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
#6
Damn. Well good thing it's already good then!

What about a Boss OD-2? I've got one and it's a piece of ****.
Gear
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

AXL Badwater SRO

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
#7
Wow, your description really killed my interest in ever buying a CS-3.

On a less depressing note, I realy enjoy reading your amp and pedal modding threads.
It's nice to see that someone around here knows what he's doing.
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by handbanana
wiliscool is just plain dumb
#9
I'll sell mine to someone. I doesn't work; have no idea why. Kurt, care for another one? haha
Gear
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

AXL Badwater SRO

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
#10
I'm good haha. I actually dont own a Boss CS-3. I just had a few in for repair recently. I then got asked if I could do anything to improve them so I developed the mod for them.
#11
Hey, then you could use one then!
Gear
Fender Thinline Telecaster Deluxe

1983 Aria Pro II XX Deluxe Flying V

2007 S101 EGU34

1963 Kay Vanguard

1964 Kay Vanguard

AXL Badwater SRO

Hondo Strat

1974 Acoustic(brand) 134 4x10 combo

Epiphone Valve Jr.
#12
Quote by kurtlives91
Thanks...

I dont know how much the CS-3 goes for new but if it's cheap I'd say it's worth buying and modifying. Pretty cheap to modify.

For 90 bucks I'm sure you could get something better, but I always get suckered in by Boss 'cause their pedals have more controls
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by handbanana
wiliscool is just plain dumb
#14
Nice. I'm happy that you're updating the site.
How about a Digi Bad Monkey > Tubescreamer?
I would really like to see/know how to mod an EHX Small Clone to have a depth knob in place of the switch. I like the way they sound, but they would be more versatile with the knob.
Schecter Gryphon; Ibanez AEG20E
Peavey Rage 158 ; TRAYNOR YCS50
EHX Big Muff Pi; Dunlop CryBaby GCB-95 (modded); MXR M-108 10-band; DigiTech JamMan Looper
#15
Thanks, I have a Small Clone so Ill look into that.

Do you own a Bad Monkey? If so could you look inside and see if its SMD or through hole components? If its the later it will be quite easy to modify.
#16
I do not have a Bad Monkey. I'm probably getting a tube amp in a couple months though, and I can't justify spending so much money on a TSer, and I know Bad Monkeys are pretty good for the price. And of course, I figured I could make it even better with some mods.

EDIT: I did some quick research, and it seems like it uses a lot of surface-mounted parts, but some are normal through-hole mounted. I couldn't really find any specific mods other than EQ mods (which don't deal with the SMD parts), but again, thats only after a few minutes of research.
Schecter Gryphon; Ibanez AEG20E
Peavey Rage 158 ; TRAYNOR YCS50
EHX Big Muff Pi; Dunlop CryBaby GCB-95 (modded); MXR M-108 10-band; DigiTech JamMan Looper
Last edited by BD 425 at Feb 15, 2009,