Colorsound Wah+Fuzz Assesment - 1

Posted by Jim Black on 10/3/2015 to Bust Em Out

My buddy Greg wants this colorsound wah+fuzz to be roadworthy and be able to use it on his pedalboard. I need to wire it up so that the toe switch engages the wah. While the wah is not engaged, the pedal should act as a swell. The heal switch should control the fuzz. I also need to wire in a 9VDC input so he can power it from his pedalboard.

Blues Jr Blues Jr Blues Jr Blues Jr Blues Jr

Greg doesn't care about resale value. He wants this pedal road worthy with features he can use

The first thing that jumps out right away is that this pedal has been modified before. You can see someone's mark in the gut shot photo. Sometimes other people's mods are good and sometimes bad. This guy was proud enough of his work that he signed it. When we repair or modify electronics we have the responsibility to "Do No Harm." I am hoping that the other guy left things in good order. I am squeamish about modifying a vintage pedal because the buying public won't pay as much for a pedal that has been updated.

You can see the nasty hole Greg drilled for the 9VDC. I'll put the pedal on my milling machine and clean that hole up before I complete the DC wiring.

This pedal is old and the wires are very brittle. I was hooking it up to run a test signal into it and found that the wire connected to the output jack was just hanging there. If this pedal is going to be road worthy, those wires will have to be replaced.

One of the switches is broken. And, I mean broken. The shaft is missing completely. I'll have to replace it. Carling makes 3PDT switches with long shafts. It needs to be a long shaft to get all the way through the body and above the foot treadle.

I was able to get a signal through the fuzz section and, on an oscilloscope, I could see that the signal was getting through and being modified by the fuzz section. No such luck for the wah section. Signal was going in and I could see it was getting to the first transistor but it was going nowhere after that.

This is when I noticed the inductor was not connected. At some point, someone had put a kind of adhesive between the inductor wire and the circuit board (PCB) trying to give it a strain relief. This adhesive dried rigid and when the board was mechanically shocked it broke the wire. This wire is TINY. I'm guessing between 36 and 40 awg. This is about the thickness of a human hair. I'll need a microscope and a really good soldering iron to put a new lead on the inductor. I might just try to find a replacement.

As we can see after a brief assessment, this has turned from just putting a DC input on the pedal to a complete rebuild and some delicate repairs. I think I want to take a closer look at this pedal before we commit to a plan. I need to find a schematic; and, I think we are going to need more parts...



Date: 12/13/2018
I have a similar looking Colorsound pedal called 'Wah-Fuzz-Straight' with the same heel and toe switches. It has the options fuzz only, wah+fuzz and of course straight (bypass). Mine is the same colour and was made in either 1979 or 1980. Mine has a single pcb and I converted it to optical some years ago although I retained the original parts. I'm sure yours pre-dates mine as they introduced a neat battery hatch on the later ones. Some of the production runs must have been very small as I've never seen another one quite like mine - it had a unique front sticker in silver and black. Prices have gone through the roof, but I would need to put back to standard to achieve it.

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