MOD 1: LED REPLACEMENT
What You Need:
• Soldering iron
• LEDs (same size
as existing LEDs)
• Replacement clear
• Side cutters
• Solder sucker
• Phillips screwdriver
Our first mod is replacing a stompbox’s
LEDs. It’s purely for visual vibe, but it’s
a fun way to make your pedal a little more
unique—and to get your feet wet with some
A light-emitting diode (LED) is a small
diode that emits light when a direct current
is passed through it. Like all diodes, LEDs
have polarity, like batteries, and therefore
need to be hooked up properly on their
positive and negative sides in order to work.
When I was looking for a pedal that
could use some tarting up, I came across a
Danelectro Reel Echo. Perfectly cool pedal,
but its red LEDs don’t fill me with the requisite
visual joy one would like when engaging
the sonic glory of a delay. The Reel
Echo is particularly good for a first-time
LED-mod experience, because it’s large and
the LED board is easy to get to.
To remove the old LEDs and install
the new ones:
1. Open up the beast. This particular
device requires removing four screws
and sliding the bottom chassis out.
2. Remove the four screws that secure
the switch/LED board, then turn it
around to reveal the two red LEDs.
3. Use a ruler or calipers to measure
them so you can purchase replacements
of the proper size.
4. Once you’ve purchased replacement
LEDs and are ready to proceed with
installation, take a close look at them.
See how the two legs go up into the
plastic, and one connects to a larger
tag of metal while the other connects to
a small tag? The larger tag is always the
cathode—or negative—side, while the
little tag is the anode—or positive—side.
This unit couldn’t be more perfect
for this mod, because the board
features the diode schematic symbol,
which shows you which way the LEDs
should be inserted. The cathode side
goes in the hole near the base of the
diode schematic symbol’s triangle. The
anode goes in the hole near the line at
the tip of the triangle.
5. Desolder and remove the two old LEDs.
6. Insert and solder your new LEDs—being
super careful to get the polarity correct.
7. Splendid—you’re done! (Note that,
because the Reel Echo comes with
red bezels—colored lens-type covers
over the LEDs—I replaced them with
transparent bezels that reveal the yellow
and green LEDs. Your pedal may or
may not require new bezels in order
to show your new LEDs.)