For a year I was completely consumed with learning everything I could about guitar pedals.
This included building my own effects pedals and modifying them.
I read everything I could find on effects pedal design and began collecting broken guitar pedals from ebay and fully repairing them. While repairing them I was studying how they were designed to understand how they worked.
I made an ad on craigslist offering my services and for a year I met all kinds of people and got to fix some incredibly rare and old guitar effects pedals. It was great, I made a few bucks and got to study the guts of some of the greatest pedals. I went to great lengths to find parts for some of the odd pedals, for example I had a tube distortion pedal that had a transformer go bad. I tracked down the manufacture of the of the transformer and discovered it was a custom part they had done for the manufacture. I was able to secure a sample from them and brought that pedal back to life.
I also learned a valuable lesson about obsolete parts and how hard it is to find them when they are popular. For one pedal I was fixing for a person from craigslist, it took a two months but I was able to locate the part and fix the pedal. To this day its the longest I have ever taken to repair a pedal. Fortunately the guy I was fixing it for was incredibly understanding given the rarity of the part. In the end it was a lot of fun doing this and a learned a bunch.
My Ad read as follows:
Guitar Effects Pedal Broken? I can fix it!!
Is your guitar effects pedal just sitting under your bed collecting dust or dangling over the trash can?
I can help you out.
Don’t let the music die!
If I can’t fix it, there is no charge.
Here are a very few images from my adventures in guitar pedals, including my drawer of pedals that I trimmed down the collection to.