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Colorsound Fuzz+Wah Wire it up - 9

Posted by Jim Black on 3/11/2016 to Bust Em Out

We are on the final lap of the Colorsound Wah+Fuzz. Greg's baby turned into a major restoration and rebuild. A fair bit of analysis of the wiring revealed where most of the anomalies come from. I'm going to make some guesses about what I observed when I cracked this baby open. If you remember, I told you the wiring didn't match any of the schematics I was finding. Turns out there is a good reason.

When I took on this project, Greg and I talked about how he wanted the controls to work. Toe Switch---Engage Wah, Heal Switch---Engage Fuzz.

This functions like many cry baby wahs. This seems to be the standard way wah wahs work. The existing wiring supported this idea. The question of fuzz first vs wah first came up and that drove me to youtube. Remember, I have never used a Colorsound Wah+Fuzz before so wanted to see how other folks were using this pedal.

Check out this video for a Wah+Fuzz+Swell demo. This pedal is the same as Greg's except it adds the swell function. The pedal in the demo also matches the schematic I found. I see now that the Wah+Fuzz uses the Toe Switch to engage the Fuzz and the Heal Switch to engage the Wah. This is opposite a Crybaby. Checkout this video for a clear comparison demonstration. The Fuzz is first in the chain so the Wah modulates the Fuzz.

Bingo, now it makes sense. Somebody tried to rewire this pedal to make the toe switch control the wah. The reason I could tell is the diagonal wire across the contacts on the heal switch and the straight wire across adjacent contacts on the toe switch. This is opposite of a stock Wah+Fuzz. The wiring in this pedal contradicts the schematic. Now I understand the confusion. Add to all that, the botched job trying to install the 9VDC adapter. Ok, now we are getting somewhere.

The photo on the far left shows the wiring mess I started with. The photo on the right is a stock Wah+Fuzz. There are two yellow arrows in the stock photo showing the diagonal wire on the toe switch and straight wire on the heal footswitch. This matches the Sola Sound generated schematic. Greg's Wah+Fuzz has definitely been modified. I know the pedal has been worked on before I can see the marks on the inside. Was it another repair guy or Greg? Did Greg already know this pedal was way off and didn't tell me? Hmmmm... Sure would have been nice to know.

 

 

The wiring diagram is a drawing I made from the only schematic I could find. I've adapted it so the Toe switch operates the Wah. We also thought that a adding swell (volume) feature would be cool. I decided not to do that because the linkage is old and may not go back together well. Greg and I never discussed if the wah is first in the chain or the fuzz is first in the chain. I decided to put the fuzz first because the modulated fuzz is so wicked sounding. And, that is the way the original is designed.

Ok, it's all wired up and we have a signal. The bypass works, the fuzz works and the wah works. The toe switch controls the wah and the heal switch controls the fuzz. But, there is another problem. Now I know Greg has been in here. The wah is backwards. When I rock down on my toes the wah gets bass and when I rock up on my heal the wah gets treble. I just flipped the potentiometer wires and that problem got straightened out. This is a pretty amateur mistake. A professional repair guy would never let that go.

Unwinding this puzzle allowed me to discover why this pedal sat around Greg's studio so long. The moral tale we learn here is to come clean with your repair guy.

I think what happened to this little gem is that it had been modified with the heal, toe flip by an earlier repair guy. Greg probably didn't own it then. Greg comes along later and tries to add the 9VDC adapter and botches the job. The swapped wires on the potentiometer and the broken inductor is a bit of a mystery. The biggest mystery is why did Greg claim it worked even though the footswitch was clearly broken. No way, Greg. I won't beat on him too much. But, he owes me big time!

Next time I embarrass myself with a video demo. I'll show you the guts compared to what I started with and we asess the tone to see if this baby still has the mojo. I might even give it back to Greg...

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