I am back once again to improve your stock Boss crap

This time a Boss Blues Driver it my bench. First impressions... No blues player would ever need the gain this unit puts out. Even the minimum gain was blowing my head off. This pedal was also a shrill dill, couldn’t use the tone control at all, way too piercing. There was also fuzziness and crap when the gain control went past noon. One thing I was impressed by was the bypass system (all Boss pedals use the same elec switching). Though not true bypass it’s still quite good, I could hardly notice the difference when I tested it using my looper pedal.

Anyways I like bright clear tones and fat tones. I am not a huge fan of gain. With this is mind I started modding the pedal.

I started with Robert Keeley's mod and went from there... I didn’t like his mod but that’s neither here nor there. If he modded the pedal like I did he would spend way too much time on an individual pedal... Anyways that being said I like my moddded tone better

A hint for removing Boss' industrial lead free (RoHs) solder... First heat up the joint so the solder melts, then heat again and apply a bit of your own lead (60/40 or whatever) solder. After this go about removing the solder with your desoldering braid or pump. I was quite proud of myself when I found this little trick out.

Here’s what went down...
R21: 2.7K (contour control almost, you could replace a 5K pot. Tames tone pot)
R34: 5.6K (lowers gain)
R38: 220K (lowers gain)

C8: 0.0047mF
C14: 0.1mF (input cap, better start beefing up the tone from the start)
C16: 0.01mF
C17, C19: 0.01mF
C18: 0.01mF (use a good quality cap)
C19: I didn't touch this cap but for a mid boost remove this cap. More mids, more gain.
C27: 0.01mF
C34: 0.082mF
C35: 0.047mF
C100: 0.047mF

C101: This cap plays a huge part in the tone of this pedal. Look at the schematic and you’ll see why... Anyways I have a SPDT switch on C101 to select between a MKT 0.033mF and a MKT 0.068mF cap. Fat switch! I am a sucker for fat tones and this switch delivers.

D3: 1N4002 (adding second order harmonics)
D6, D8, D9, D10: 3mm red LEDs (I like water clear high brightness) These are clipping diodes. LEDs make the pedal fatter, tighter and more compressed. I also find they add some dynamics to the pedal. They also clip much less than a standard diode so more headroom!

The next part of the mod is what I would call a Hi-Fi mod. No values of parts are changes. Instead the material (mainly the di-electric) of the capacitors is changed to a nicer better sounding material. Some cheap ceramic and electro caps but don’t worry they aren’t in the signal path. Don’t cheap out here and not do this part of the mod. Without this part I seriously doubt the pedal would sound so good. It may not be the most interesting part of the modifications but it's worth it.

Use all Silver Mica caps here.
C26: 220pF
C21, C23: 47pF
C20, C25: 470pF

Use tantalum capacitors here
C1, C6, C7, C12, C13, C15: 10mF (16V or higher)

This part of the mod is great. All the fuzz and fizzeyness when the gain control was turned up was gone. Clarity was increased and the pedal had more dynamics and felt like it responded better to my playing.

It's a pretty extensive mod but well worth it. If you were only going to do some parts of it I would recommend the Hi-Fi part and playing with C14, C100 and C101. Its amazing how a few changes in a capacitors value and some changes to better quality parts can make a difference.

I like a big LED indicator... I use 5mm water clear high brightness LEDs on all my pedals. If you do use a bigger brighter LED change R39 to 3K or around there.

Final impressions of this pedal...
Great pedal accomplished exactly what I wanted. It is nice and clear and warm or with a flick of a switch it is fat and compressed both ways retaining excellent clarity though. The tone control is totally useful now and much more versatile. The gain control is quite useable and I can actually have a low gain sound now.

You can set the gain so low the pedal can be used as a straight up clean boost. It can still do some great crunch/post crunch tones but no more metal. It responds to my touch and feel. I tested this pedal with three different tube amps, one solid state and two guitars and it sounded great with all of them, mission accomplished.

Anyways another cheap pedal turned into a cheap very useable pedal...

I hope someone can put this mod to use.

Last edited by kurtlives91 at Aug 31, 2008,
Just do it, you don't have to be great with your soldering skills to do this.

Its a fun mod... I played this whole morning using it, very transparent at low settings.
What's the main difference between this mod and the Keeley mod?
I was thinking of getting the Keeley one, but I may have changed my mind.
Would you be willing to mod one for me?
Call me Wes.
Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat
Chicago Blues Box Roadhouse
Bad Cat Cougar 5
1957 Gibson GA-5
Ceriatone 18w TMB Combo
Hughes & Kettner Tube Factor
Various Ibanez TS9s
Weber MASS Attenuator
Quote by darkarbiter7
What's the main difference between this mod and the Keeley mod?
I was thinking of getting the Keeley one, but I may have changed my mind.
Would you be willing to mod one for me?

I am attempt to be a blues player in the end I am just a 16yr old bluesy hack but anyways... I couldn't get a warm low gain bluesy tone out of it stock.
With the Keeley mod I still found the pedal shrill and fuzzy when the drive pushed. He also dosent lower the gain at all which is very important to me. His mod is quite a step up from stock but I like mine better, personally. Mine is a lot warmer sounding, more tube vibe I would say.

I have modded a bunch of people's pedals before. If you would like I could modify yours.

You know you wanna try it Jim, haha . Its quite different from my DS-1 mod.
Well, that's one more thing on my To Buy list, if I ever get that job I was promised.

And hell yes I wanna try it.

Also, check your messages...SYK hasn't been online in a long while so I have a question for you.
I'm new to the whole modding thing, I've never even tried to mod a pedal, although that's where I'd start.

Anyways, everytime I see one of Kurt's modding threads it all seems so, so complicated

I'm looking to buy an Epi Valve Standard. If you've got one up for grabs in the Uk, PM me and let me know.
^how does it seem complicated?

Its fool proof. I list the component numbers (which are clearly marked on the PCB) and you change them to the listed value I have given.

On skills you need are soldering and desoldering and how to read caps and resistors?
Hah, yeah I didn't mention that I've practically never soldered and only ever taken one electronics class.

Anyways, great job on this man.
I'm looking to buy an Epi Valve Standard. If you've got one up for grabs in the Uk, PM me and let me know.
It's here!!!!!!! I guess mine's not for sale anymore haha.
...to give your love no matter what is what she said...
I've had one for about 7 years. It's been collecting dust for about 6. I've tried modding it every which was but I don't have enough knowledge to figure out what to do. I'll try your stuff.
...to give your love no matter what is what she said...
hmmmm, that looks awesome

another boss trick:

the resistor legs are bent under making them a bitch to desolder. snip the body off the legs from the component side. then get the remaining bits out from the track side

actually that sounds more obvious than it was to me until half way through modding my second boss pedal
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
But if you do that then how do you pull the leads out, there is nothing to grab onto?

I like it though, I usually bend the leads back perpendicular to the body with my iron's tip.

i missed out the part where i was meant to say use pliers to pull the remanents out

i'd probably end up stabbing myself if i tried to bend the legs with the iron
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
Jo kurt, sorry to bump this thread but I've got a BD-2 on the way and I'm looking to mod it. I know John Mayer uses a Keeley BD-2 and I love his tone.

I know the BD-2 gets a bit fuzzy on higher gain settings, and I like that for soloing (I want to use it as a soloboost). You say your mod takes away the fuzz/fuzzyness on the higher gain parts but does it still get a bit solo-fuzzy (if you know what I mean)?

Maybe do you have some clips of the high gain settings on it?
No fuzz or buzziness after the mod. Much smoother and more amp like. You could keep the fuzziness if wanted, just need to perform only part of the mod.

Does not sound like the mod is for you.