DOD OD-250 Mods by aNaLoG.MaN

Analog Man worked closely with guitarist Michael A. Spitzer on this mod. Michael worked with and managed guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen so he knows a lot about his gear and his tone. Much of the info below was written by Michael in emails to me, I edited them for this information page.

YJM308

The YJM308 from DOD, like the 250 Reissue is a great Overdrive Pedal, but many people still prefer or wish they could get their hands on an old GRAY DOD 250. Most desire these over the original 2nd version yellows, re-issues and the newest YJM308 Yngwie version. The one on the left has our True bypass mod and LED.

Why is it called the 308 and not 250? Well the number "250" was already attributed to the older pedal... AND.. for awhile DOD was toying with the idea of releasing an authentic REISSUE (like our mod is now) when they saw the prices on EBAY and the obsession over the grey versions, but never did release the "Classic Grey 250 Reissue" as it was to be called. So regarding Yngwie's pedal, he is a FERRARI fan and owns 2-3 of them. His favorite model was the Ferrari 308. His studio in Miami is called "Baroque and Roll Studio 308" So now you can figure how the pedal got it's name.

OD-250 Yellow reissue

The yellow OD-250 reissue is also available new cheaply, made in China. They are almost the same as the YJM308, but have more low end like the original. They use the same circuit board as the 308, just a few different component values. The 308 is clearer and brighter than the new Yellow 250. The new yellow one can get a little flabby on the low end. Some of the old yellow OD250s were almost identical to the grey ones. The reissue 250, like the 308, needs some mods to get there.

Original OD-250

On EBAY the GRAY pedals go for as much as $300 or more now. Of course the grey version is the one most often associated with Yngwie prior to the release of the 308.
Together we had a goal to both make a modern "Clone" and a "Mojo" exact clone of the GRAY pedal using the newest YJM308 as the basis.

While the YJM308 was an excellent pedal, it used some modern opamps components and subsequent EQ tweaking to match the tone of the older 250 pedals as closely as possible while trying to reduce noise. While the YJM308 is excellent, it does not EXACTLY match the tone of the older grey pedals 100%. The consensus seems to be the 308 has much less low end, slightly more treble, is a bit thinner and "feels" different response-wise. Also the GAIN knobs on the new reissue 250 and 308 have a REVERSE LOG taper, as specified in the original schematic, while my old one seems to have a linear taper. So the new ones have to be turned up to about 3:00 to get the same drive as the old one at 12:00. The 308 sounds great, but is indeed slightly different.

With these mods, components are physically removed and substituted to IDENTICALLY match the original specs of the grey DOD 250 pedals. No emulating here... the pedal is converted into a copy of a grey DOD just like we turn a TS9 into a clone of an old TS808.

We used the original DOD factory schematics from the 1970s and three (3) grey DOD pedals for reference.

Some of the modifications include:

Changing the stock 0.001uf input cap to 0.01uf improves low end and exactly matches original gray circuit design. Stock YJM308 has some low end roll off.

A 4558 chip is used on the 308 and reissue 250, instead of the original 741 chip. The 4558 is a dual op amp, only half of it is used. It's a slightly newer chip than the 741, which was about the first op amp generally available, invented in 1968. The RC4558 chip was invented in 1974. A 1458 chip is basically a dual 741, and has the same pin connections as the 4558. The 741 uses different pin connections.

A 25pf capaciter was added to the YJM308 and new yellow 250 circuits as an apparent "tweak" by DOD engineers to try and smooth the high end edginess of the 4558 chips to adjust them to sound like the older 741 circuits. The 4558 being an "improved low noise dual replacement for the old 741" has more hi-frequency response to be toned down. This small 25pf cap tweak is not needed with the change to a 1458 or 741 opamp, nor was it a part of the original grey circuit.

A true purist will desire to clone the old Gray 250 by putting a single 741 opamp in this circuit and re-routing the pins in the existing dual opamp pin layout so it will work. That is our MOJO mod. In theory, this is not needed if the Dual 1458 Opamp from Texas Instruments is used since the MC1458 has identical specs as both the original LM741CN and UA741CP. This is handy for use in this mod since the Dual 1458 and Dual 4558 share the same common 8 pin layout and make for an easy direct swap.

M.S. compared this "Gray Mod" 308 to two (2) original Gray 250s he has............... absolutely NO DIFFERENCE could be heard. Analog Mike actually thought the mod possibly sounded a little better than his original grey pedal. This could be due to the variations found in those older hand-wired pedals.

Everything is the same... the better "tubey" feel and tone as compared to the slight transistory tone of the newer pedals.
The perfect tone match to the much-sought-after "magical" Gray makes sense. After these mods, you actually have a 99.99% authentic "new" GRAY DOD 250 with the identical cap and resistor values used in the old circuit, along with the "Dual 741" (1458) opamp with identical specs to the old 741 used in the originals. Or go for the "MOJO" mod and be 100% authentic with the 741 if you desire.

Keep your YJM308 or new Yellow 250, it's great.... but if you have also wanted an old grey pedal in your arsenal but found the current $300+ EBAY prices a bit stiff, this mod now gives you that ability to own your own clone for less.

TESTING RESULTS

Michael A. Spitzer wrote me:

After extensive sound testing in the studio today with both your mods, here is our verdict...

741-"mojo" MOD
The most accurate at matching original gray (no surprise there). Tubey and round sounding highs with that low, slightly loose growling low end. Same noise levels as the original. Best YJM308 mod for authentic duplication of original grey

1458 "Reissue" MOD
Closer to original grey pedals than DOD's own re-issue series, but there are some noticeable tone differences.... There is a higher noise level. I test background noise by setting the studio noise gates to just barely cut sound when guitar volume is rolled to zero. When the gates are set to just go quiet with the 741 pedals, there is still a rush of HISS that comes out of the system with the 1458 pedals. I think this extra hiss may be from slightly higher gain as the pedal sounds a little TIGHTER but THINNER when set to the same positions as the 741 pedals.

It would seem the 1458 is the closest 741 dual amp equivalent out there but despite the specs, is NOT 100% identical in an Overdrive Pedal circuit.

FINAL VERDICT:
The 741 MOJO mod would be perfect for anybody wanting to clone the original grey pedals EXACTLY at a fraction of the cost of an original on EBAY. It has that round tubey sweetness and low end "slightly loose" growl of the originals when maxxed out into a Marshall non-master volume head.

The 1458 mod would be for the true "shredder" who wants a slightly higher gain and TIGHTER version of the DOD250 for super fast scales and palm muted low note sequences. The low end notes in fast scales are tighter with this pedal and higher notes have a more "machine-gun"-like seperation. (slightly higher gain probably being the reason). Some of the sweetness and tubey feeling are lost as compared to the 741 pedals, but it is a tighter pedal.

Of course these are nitpicky comparisons, the pedals are VERY similiar and capture the basic essence of the old 250s....... but there is some notable differences as indicated.

True Bypass and LED

These pedals are not true bypass, but due to the simple design they really don't suck tone when OFF. There is no resistance on the input when OFF, and just a tiny bit of capacitance. The capacitance is about .001uF on the stock one and about less than .01uF after the mod. That is similar to the capacitance in a quality 15 foot guitar cable- you probably can't hear it. But if you want, we can do a true bypass mod along with the Grey DOD250 mods by installing a 3PDT True bypass switch ($15) and LED ($10, red, yellow, or Green). We can also change the 1/8" MXR style power jack to a Boss style, for $10 (an option on the mod form) and you can order our Generic adaptor ($15) on the mod form too. In order to install an LED, we need to change the switch to a 3PDT True Bypass switch.

Possible squealing

Note that the pedal may make one of your pickups squeal or feedback after the mod is done, if you turn both pedals knobs up all the way. However nobody has yet mentioned this to us as you will not need to turn them up that high. Always be careful with loud amps and guitars.

The normal 1458 mod will be $40, while the MOJO mod with the 741 chip will be $50. Add $35 for true bypass and an LED. These prices are the same for the 308 or new yellow 250 pedals.

Please click on the mod form to fill out the MOD FORM and send it to me with your pedal. This form has all the shipping and payment details for sending me your pedal to mod.


Sound Sample

Here is Michael A. Spitzer using the modified pedal on both rhythm and lead guitars, a three-section sample from his new CD he is working on. He is playing a Strat and an early 70s Marshall 50 watt head. The sample is under 1MB, about a minute long : OB.mp3
or an older version at dodmod.mp3
Here is Michael's website for more info.

You can also hear our DOD mod pedal on the album The end is begun by one of my favorite bands, Three . Billy Riker used the pedal on much of the album.

Bass Guitar!

Monster Magnet is back in the studio in late 2009 and was looking for some cool pedals to try. We sent them a mojo modified DOD pedal and Phil tried it on bass guitar. They loved it, more than all the other "bass" pedals they had, and used it on a lot of songs.


Buying New Pedals

Price down $10 in May 2007!

We are now a dealer for these so we are passing our savings on to you and prices are now $10 less on a new pedal with mods from us.

We have some new yellow Overdrive Preamp 250 and black YJM308 pedals in stock with our mods. They are $85 with the basic mod, $95 with the MOJO 741 mod, plus $35 for true bypass and LED. Please use our new website buyanalogman.com for purchasing and choosing options on your new pedal.


MXR Distortion+ mods

We can also do a vintage MXR distortion+ mod on these, with germanium diodes, etc like the original script logo MXR distortion+. Mod is $10 more than the Mojo mod. The MXR used germanium diodes. These give less volume, but a warmer, smoother tone.


DOD Knobs

We have never liked the new DOD knobs, as they are too big and don't look right. We finally found some original style knobs and can use these on the mods too, for $5 more. Just put a note on the mod form if you want these knobs and add in the $5, or choose the option when buying a new pedal.

At the bottom is the normal new reissue DOD pedal. On the top right is an old 1980 DOD pedal with the original, smaller knobs. At the top left is a new pedal with the small knobs that we added.


Josh Klinghoffer got a modded DOD 250 in 2012 for the Red Hot Chili Peppers tour. It went straight on the board and has stayed there since. He uses it with Level on 10, Gain on 0 for a cool dirty clean boost.

Have fun and

UNLEASH THE FURY!

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