For a certain breed, the very notion of pedal modifications—the process of changing or altering some aspect of an existing effects pedal—conjures dreams of creating the ultimate pedal. Something uniquely capable of providing a portal into uncharted regions of creativity. Something that inspires gig tales in the vein of, “Yeah, man, I was about to launch into my solo, so I stepped on my custom-modded [INSERT PEDAL NAME HERE] and … Oh. My. GOD. The heavens opened … angels wept … and some guy with excellent hair and a beard gave me the Arthur Fonzarelli double thumbs up. My solo changed lives that night. Some say world peace became a tangible possibility. However, it would have been nothing without my custom modded [INSERT PEDAL NAME HERE].” Or something like that.

At the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got players who ask, “Why on earth would I want to mess with a perfectly good piece of kit?” Which is a fair point, to be sure. And then there are those in the middle who are curious and who, maybe—just maybe— might like to try a few easy or medium-difficulty mods just for kicks. This article is for those guys.

Though all mods are intended to result in elevated creative output, they fall into three categories: aesthetic, tonal, and structural. Aesthetic mods alter or improve the stompbox’s appearance, tonal mods change the actual sound of the device, and structural mods improve the pedal’s build quality or reliability. If you’re ready to take on one or more of the following mods, please read all the instructions before deciding if you want to try it, and only do so if you’re confident you can complete the procedure. All the mods work perfectly when executed correctly, but neither Premier Guitar nor I can provide support if things don’t work out right. (Sorry!) Another point to keep in mind before proceeding is that your pedal’s warranty will be rendered null and void as soon as any aspect of its circuit is modified. If you’re cool with that, let’s dive in.

Soldering Brush up
Okay, first things first. These mods require you to open up your pedal and desolder and solder things. If you’ve never soldered before, you’ll definitely want to practice a bunch before dripping molten metal alloys into your beloved pedal. You can find a very helpful and thorough soldering tutorial on YouTube. We've embedded below “How and Why to Solder Correctly" and “How to Solder: Removing Solder.”

All right, now that that’s all sorted, on to the fun stuff!