Crybaby Mods

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NippleWrestler
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Crybaby Mods

Post by NippleWrestler »

Howdy,

There was a busted Crybaby on FB for $40. I'm a sucker for a project and have a love of broken things so I picked it up. Incidentally the very first pedal I modded was a Crybaby, back in 2009. I bought it off my friend Bryce for $17 as that's what I had in my wallet at the time. The deal was done at Yellowstone Brewing Co in Billings, MT.

You'll read a lot online about 'vocal mods' or 'sweep mods' or 'gain mods', and that's more or less what we've got going on here except I rolled some values to find what I liked.

I'm rambling. Here you go:

Image

That big empty section on the left is where the input buffer used to live. That's responsible for the infamous tone sucking of these GCB95 wahs. I removed all that and used Q3 for the new circuit input (white wire). There's a handy ground point there so I used that for the board and switch grounds.

The blue resistors are my mods. I rolled some values until I found what I liked... you could make these all pots, there's plenty of room, but the effects are subtle to the point I don't think it's worth it. A switch maybe, but not a pot.

Total changes were 3 resistors and 1 cap but they make a noticeable improvement.

The cap in the middle (c5) is now an 18n. Stock is 10n. The Zakk wah and Hendrix wah both use 22n, the Jerry Cantrell wah I think uses a 15n. 18n sits in the middle so that's what I went with. It sounds fine. FYI the bass wahs use a 68n here. The cap shifts the centre frequency of the sweep up or down.

I also changed the switch for a 3PDT, and added a red LED for on/off indicator goodness. The red and black wires on the right are the power for the LED.

All in all it's now a really nice smooth wah that's much more controllable and, for me, a lot more expressive and easier to live in the sweet spot of the travel. It's cool. I'm now hunting more broken wahs to mod.

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Re: Crybaby Mods

Post by FuzzMonkey »

NippleWrestler wrote: Sat Oct 08, 2022 9:41 am That big empty section on the left is where the input buffer used to live. That's responsible for the infamous tone sucking of these GCB95 wahs. I removed all that and used Q3 for the new circuit input (white wire). There's a handy ground point there so I used that for the board and switch grounds.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the buffer was introduced into this circuit to eliminate the tone-sucking that was caused by the hardwired bypass used in these pedals. And even still being used to this day??? I haven't seen inside too many Crybabies lately. But I believe, again correct me if I am wrong, that the ones using a DPDT footswitch are still wired for the hardwired style of bypass.

With the input always connected to the circuit, even when the effect was bypassed, it was this loading that caused the tone-sucking. Hence, the introduction of the buffer. The buffer presents a high enough level of impedance so as not to load down the guitar signal, and prevent the dreaded tone-sucking while still happily driving the rest of the circuit.

Converting it to true bypass eliminates the need for the buffer, as we've eliminated that constant connection that used to exist with the hardwired style of bypass. And thus, the unnecessary loading down of the guitar signal.

I wonder if there is much difference in terms of tone if you modded a wah for true bypass but made the existing input buffer switchable with a DPDT toggle switch so you could take it in and out of the circuit. I imagine it would probably be quite a subtle difference but an interesting experiment to see what effect the buffer actually has on the overall tone.

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Re: Crybaby Mods

Post by TmcB »

If they used a non-transistor buffer, no one would complain.

I sometimes wonder if this part of the usual mod was invented for Fulltone to sell more 3PDT switches back in the day
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Re: Crybaby Mods

Post by FuzzMonkey »

TmcB wrote: Sat Oct 08, 2022 5:12 pm If they used a non-transistor buffer, no one would complain.

I sometimes wonder if this part of the usual mod was invented for Fulltone to sell more 3PDT switches back in the day
If it was an op-amp Klon-style buffer, you could add $100 to the price of the pedal.
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Re: Crybaby Mods

Post by hamo »

Going off the thread title I thought this was an attempt to get banned.
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Re: Crybaby Mods

Post by IMOCD »

hamo wrote: Sat Oct 08, 2022 6:28 pm Going off the thread title I thought this was an attempt to get banned.
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