Analog Man Vintage guitar effects

Boss DD-2, DD-3, DD-5 and DD-6 digital Delay Modifications

Boss DD-5 mod

Guitar One magazine DD5 tap tempo video

Check out Chris Buono's video about tap tempo at the *new* Guitar One website to accompany the March 2007 issue. The footage accompanies Chris' monthly Pedal Points column and features an Anlaogman modded DD-5! Just scroll down to the Boss pedal board image and click on the FEATURES pedal--it'll be the first video you see ready to play. If you can't find it let me know, they may change the footage to coincide with a new issue.

We are preforming HIGH CUT mods on all the Boss single digital delay pedals like the DD-2, DD-3, DD-5, and DD-6. We can also do it on the RV-3 Digital Reverb Delay. We are performing a REVERSE KILL SWITCH mod on the Boss DD-5 pedal. There is no reverse mode on the DD2 or DD3 and the DD6 already can kill the dry signal so the reverse kill switch mod is only really needed on the DD5.

Kill Switch - DD5 reverse mod

In January 2001 I finished a Boss DD-5 reverse mod for Kate Ebneter, it it came out great! I got the idea from Jeorge Tripps from Way Huge, he's was working for Line-6 and now Dunlop. He did a similar mod to a pedal that was put on the Tone Frenzy page. The idea is that the REVERSE mode sounds cool, but the dry (normal) signal ruins it, you can still hear the normal sound in reverse mode on the stock DD-5. I added a KILL SWITCH (seen at the top left on the pedal) to kill the dry signal, so only the reverse delays come out and it really sounds cool!

This reverse KILL mod is not necessary on the new DD-6 pedal, as it can get 100% wet (delay) in reverse mode.

This Modification requires removal of tiny sesame seed sized surface mount resistors so it is not a mod you can do yourself. It requires drilling a hole for the KILL switch so it is not an easy mod to undo. But in the standard mode it functions EXACTLY like before so really no need to undo it even if you never use the KILL mode. if you don't want us to inscribe the KILL mark on the pedal just let us know when you send in the pedal.


The added switch has 2 settings:

  1. Normal : Pedal functions exactly the same as stock, except in E/D mode. In E/D mode, both dry and wet signal will come out of MONO output. (Stock, only echos come out of the MONO output in E/D mode). No AB box needed.
  2. KILL : The DRY signal is killed in all delay modes, even when you turn the pedal OFF. You just hear the delays when ON and when OFF you hear nothing.
  3. PANNING output is not affected by the mod, so if you need dry signal when the pedal is OFF you can use the PANNING output.

We are now offering the high cut or kill switch mods for $55. Please fill out the DD-5 and DD-6 MOD FORM by clicking on the form on the left, to send in with your pedal. It explains shipping, payment, etc. Press here for an artistic close-up photo of the kill switch area, taken by a customer.


DD6 kill switch

The DD6 does not need a kill switch for reverse mode. When you turn the EFFECTS LEVEL knob up all the way, it kicks in a KILL switch on the dry signal automatically. But for normal delay modes, if you want ONLY the delayed sounds to come out we can add a kill switch to the DD6. This is useful for a parallel effects loop, or for delaying your sound a little for sending to a 2nd amp for stereo seperation. We can do the kill switch on the A and or B outputs. When we add the kill switch to the dd6, you will need to use it for REVERSE mode as it over-rides the automatic reverse kill switch.


High end cut switch

We have also come up with a switch that will make the RV-3, DD2, 3, 5 or 6 sound warmer and more like an analog delay, by rolling off the bright high end on the delayed signal. It is a 3 way switch- the middle position is stock, one way is a slight cut and the other way is a deeper cut. The switch looks just like the reverse mod switch. We came up with this mod for the DD5, but it sounds even better on the DD-6, very smooth. On the DD5 there may be a little clipping if you hit the pedal with hard, loud attacks. For slapback rockabilly playing, this mod is a MUST on these Boss pedals. On the DD-6, the high cut functions on output A only, but that output is the one that gets all the delays except the SUPER LONG delay mode (over 2.6 seconds long) where you have to use the B output. If you need the B output to also have the high cut, for example to play in stereo, we can do it at a $15 extra charge (not much room in there for the larger switch needed!). This will also allow true stereo delays with high cut on each side. The Stereo High Cut mod looks the same, just one switch.

On the RV-3, the high cut works when the pedal is on the delay modes. The reverb modes already have a tone control. The highcut works on DELAY and DELAY AND REVERB modes, warming up both delay and reverb in those modes. The repeats can still repeat infinitely with the high cut, like the mod on the DD6.

The High Cut mod is $55 on any of these Boss pedals.
The High Cut switch may pop on the DD5 and DD6 the first few times you switch it, but most people just leave it in one position all the time so it should not be a problem.

The DD-6 uses a 2 color LED for showing the modes so we can't add a bright LED on the DD-6, we can on any of the others optionally.

We can perform both Kill and High Cut mods on the DD-5 pedal with one switch on each side, this will be a special price of $95 rather than $55 x 2. There is an option on the mod form above for the REVERSE and/or HIGH CUT switch mods.


Boss DD-2 and DD-3 high cut mod

The DD-2/3 high cut mod works in the feedback loop, so each delay gets darker and darker, like an analog delay. When you cut the highs, the echoes won't be as loud. Normal (non delayed) sound is not affected. You will have to turn up the Effect Level knob to get the same amount of echo sound as before, maybe all the way up. The delay will die out after several repeats with the high cut on, it will not repeat infinitely like on the DD-5/6 or the stock DD-2/3. But the darker and darker feature is really cool and the pedal sounds great. This is the same price as the DD-5/6 high cut mod. DD3 (with or without the mods) does not have trailing delays (when you turn it off, echoes stop). DD6 does have trailing delays.

Thanks to Alf T. Hana in Norway for pushing us to offer the high cut mods!



Boss RV-3 Mods

The RV3 has a tone knob in reverb mode, but not in delay mode, so it could use our highcut mod. So we offer that now. We are using a shorter, sturdier toggle on this and most Boss delay pedals now, and putting them below the knobs for more reliability.


Expression Pedal Mods

Boss expression pedal mod

We can install an EXP jack to control a knob function on these pedals, for remote foot control of one of the parameters. When no expression pedal is plugged into the new EXP jack, the pedal and knobs function just like the stock pedal. When you plug an expression pedal in, the expression pedal replaces the function of the selected knob (Feedback, Delay Time, or Effect Level). So you can test what the expression pedal will do, before getting the mod, by simply controlling the knob by hand. The expression pedal will work and sound the same.

On the DD-6 we can add EXP control for any of the three parameters. One parameter is controlled per added EXP jack, you need to specify which parameter you want controlled by the EXP jack. There is no way to switch the EXP pedal to different parameters. We cannot use the B INPUT hole for an expression pedal jack on the DD6, but we can use the B OUTPUT (if you don't need to use the B output). We can also add one more jack hole next to the A output.

We can add an expression pedal jack on the DD-5 for either FEEDBACK or DELAY TIME. We can also do the DD-5 EFFECT LEVEL but it will only work on the MONO output. On the DD-5 we can use the TAP TEMPO jack hole if you don't need to use the tamp tempo feature. Or we can put the a new EXP jack in a new hole.

We can do an EXP mod on the DD-3 also, usually using the existing DRY OUTPUT jack hole if you don't need that feature. We can control the effect level or delay time knobs.

On the DD-7 we can use the STEREO OUT jack hole to add expression control over any of the parameters if you don't need to use both outputs. If you do need stereo, we MIGHT be able to make room for another jack but it might be tight...


A Roland EV-5 expression pedal will work fine for these functions, or the more sturdy FV-500L. An expression jack is a $50 mod ($40 bench fee plus $10 for adding the jack) or $120 including an EV-5 pedal. The expression pedal jack mods are in the OPTIONS area on the mod form.


Which sounds better, a DD3, DD5, DD6, or DD7?

I dont think there is much difference between the DD-5 and DD-6/7, people seem to like the DD5 but maybe it's because you can't buy it anymore... The DD6/7 have better quality capacitors so should sound better. The high cut mod sounds a little better in the DD6 than the DD5. We could not get a good sounding high cut on the DD7 so we don't offer it. But the stock ANALOG MODE is really cool, more like an analog delay than our highcut mode. The DD5/DD7 external tap tempo switch is easier to use, the DD6/DD7 have longer delay time and do not need the KILL switch... tradeoffs which should let you decide which would be best for you. People seem to like the DD2 and DD3 a lot too, they were the 1st digital delay offered in pedal form so it's an old school sort of tone. The DD2 and older DD3 pedals used an awesome chip from the high end Roland rack delay units, they sound excellent- so good that Pete Cornish uses them in his mega dollar custom units. Here is a picture of the old style board, showing the huge chip. The current DD3 uses a newer delay chip, smaller square version, and may not sound QUITE as good as the older ones. The older ones had a large chip inside with 2 rows of legs, it goes all the way across the circuit board! The newer ones have a newfangled square delay chip with surface mounted legs on all four sides.

The DD2 and 3 use an analog COMPANDER chip just like an analog delay, to keep the noise low. That may be one reason why they sound more like an analog delay. The HIGH CUT mod on these is REALLY cool but does not allow more than several repeats. If you don't need the longer delay time, infinite repeats, stereo, or tap tempo, the DD3 is probably your best bet. And we now sell them new with the high cut mod at a lower price than the DD-6. The DD3 does not have trailing delays (when you turn it off, echoes stop). DD6 does have trailing delays, the delays continue to fade out when you turn off the pedal.

The DD7 has the best set of features, up to 40 seconds looping time, modulation delay, expression pedal control, internal or external tap tempo, stereo outputs with mono or stereo inputs, etc.

Sound Samples

Here are some clips from Doug Doppler which will be on his GET KILLER TONE dvd series. These were meant as demos of the dirt pedals but you can get an idea of the delay sounds too. First is a Les Paul into our ASTRO TONE FUZZ into our Boss DD3 HIGHCUT mod, into a 1963 Fender Vibrasonic. Hendrix-esque Neck Position : Astroman.

This one is the same setup, Classic Rock Bridge Position... Astrorock.

Here is another one, Tele into an OD pedal into the DD3 mod into a Matchless amp. dd3dougod.

Here is Doug doing some nice country picking on a G&L Commanche into our BICOMP (comprossor side) into the DD3 mod with a short slap-back setting into a Roland amp. dd3dougComp.

Here is a DD3 mod long delay time sample, Doug playing an Ibanez Jem into the Roland amp. dd3dougIbanezDD3.

Sample of DD5 in action

Below is Chris Buono using his Analogman-treated DD5 that has all the mods we offer (highcut, exp. pedal, and kill switch) as a real-time looping device. He's using an Ernie Ball VP Jr. to cut the pick attack off the chords he's playing into the DD5 that's set to near infinite repeats at a delay time of about 600-700ms with the highcut switch set to the left position. The signal then goes to a Cusack Tap-A-Whirl, which is set to a complex digital waveform-- that drummer Simon Lott (Charlie Hunter) keeps time with quite well--with the depth control maxxed out.

For more creative ideas with effects, watch for Chris's upcoming video pedal column on Ultimate-Guitar.tv, which is a continuation of his pedal movies and column, Pedal Points, for Guitar One magazine--a forum where this DD5 got much-o air time!

mike aNaLoG.MaN

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