The Morley EVO-1; one of the holy grails of stupid, antiquated pedal-collecting. It’s a monster-sized beast that accomplished one tiny effect. It has… a really, really short echo. But when it came out, how fucking novel! In a world before BBD chips, in a time of oil… this is the oil can echo.
This was a broken EVO-1 that I picked up online. The base was rotten and the echo did not echo. I fixed it all up and did meticulous work photographing everything. And then my computer crashed. This was in 2014. So, it’s been awhile. In lieu of the gigantic photo essay I had planned, I’m gonna take my time and retrace my steps. If you want to know more about oil-can audio technology now, see my previous article on the Morley RWV Rotating Wah I refurbished. If you want to see a simple way to mod the circuit board to make an EVO-1 more powerful, for the 2-6 people who actually own one that works, read on!
I’ve been posting pretty sporadically this year. I’ve been working hard on projects for the band and such, but the muse to write and an actual electronic work station have been missing since the wife and I found ourselves together in a single bedroom apartment. Oh yeah, and I work a lot, funneling most of my paycheck to pay off debt. Funny how life gets in the way of, you know, this self-aggrandizing bullshit.
Well, last night I found myself on the floor of our rehearsal space, trying not to lose screws in the carpet and diagnosing bandmates’ broken gear. Sean managed to fry out the zener projection diode in his just-acquired DigiTech Black-13 pedal by plugging in the wrong voltage. Ben’s B-52 Stealth Series ST-100A had some bad power tubes. It’s all stuff that’s very important to fix, but not very interesting to write a post on. So, I thought maybe it’s a good time to stop exulting myself. Instead, I’ll let others do that by showing off their work that some of my posts helped along. Altruistic to the end.
The holy grail of sound seems to be analog. Why? Because it holds more clarity? Hardly. Because it more accurately captures sound? Nope. Is it because your brain wants to hear all those pops, muddiness, and fizzles? Precisely. Effects are kinda the same. Though diligent programmers have been able to model digital delay and echo in every conceivable form with astronomically long delay times, there is still a demand for the old, limited use, barely functional analog delay effects for making music. Just look at eBay. The prices are high for what is ostensibly outdated technology. And what can I say, I’m one of those jerks who totally goes for it.
The DOD FX90 analog delay is not one of those delays one would call coveted, as it sells used for fairly cheap… why? I’m not sure. I like the delay sound on it. With some coaxing, it will run away and self-oscillate with the best of them. Likely, it’s not that coveted because there are many available. In the after-market for discontinued effects, if it’s rare, it must be AMAZING!
The actual circuit creates makes for a pleasing, warm and dark analog delay, but the construction of the pedal itself is sub-par. I scored a couple for cheap. That is to say, I found them left behind in our jam space and no one claimed them. They didn’t work, so I set out to get ’em going again.
This was another non-functioning pedal handed to me by my friend Mauz, the DOD DFX94 Digital Delay / Sampler. I’d gotten pretty cocky after I’d fixed his DOD FX9, so I took this one on with confidence.
When working, the DFX94 was purported to have a spacious maximum of 4 seconds delay along with an “infinite repeat” and a sample function. I had no idea how to get any of these special functions to work as finding a DOD manual online is kind of like trying to find a funny Owen Wilson movie. What I did know was that the normal delay functions wouldn’t power up.