Posts Tagged ‘Flanger’

Ibanez DFL Digital Flanger

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

DFL

What is it?
Ibanez DFL Digital Flanger from Master Series. Made in japan in mid 80’s. Missing the type plate sticker, but otherwise in very good condition.

Now, for real, get ready for running in the guts of the iron worm. The basis for all the metal worm psychedelic action is MC4101F. There’s also a schematic available for download at Schematics Unlimited. Must be one of the most complex pedal designs i’ve seen so far. Just look at the solder joints. The board is so full that it’s simply amazing.

DFL-guts1

The amount of usable controls are  also notable. There’s your standard Speed and Width. And Delay Time and Regeneration. Plus a three position switch for delay time range from 0.5-4ms to 1-8ms and finally to 2-16ms. Those ranges offer pretty much every usable delay times that are needed for flange effect. There are scans of user’s manual up on Tone Home.

DFL-guts3

With wide range of  controls, it is very usable and well made flanger. Even i don’t consider myself as a huge flanger fan or big time user, this unit still impresses me. And for the complexity.. There’s really not much for me to go on about with my puny understanding that is all based on simple analog circuits.

There are rumours around the internet that these units are ultimately rare and the number produced is very low. I don’t believe either of those claims are true as at the time of writing there are five different units for sale on ebay.

How does it sound?
In the guts of a iron worm. Metallic and cold. Simply beautiful sound. And over the pot at the same time. If you’re after a soft sounding airplane sweeper, you should pass this one completely. It offers harsh, deep flange that’ll melt your brains. Just beautiful.

Ibanez CF7 Chorus/Flanger

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

CF7What is it?
Ibanez CF7 Chorus/Flanger from 7/Tonelok series. Made in china.

One of the more complex designs on the series offers digital chorus and flanger. No blue here either. But then again, it is a flanger too. Got mine for standard market price for used unit and almost pulled my hair off once i opened to parcel. I do not mind the nicks and scrathes, but one should never (NEVER) sell a pedal with “in good condition” label if it really isn’t so. This one had all sorts of crud and human waste on it. That can be addressed with a towel and a considerable amount of turpentine. But the lost bottom rubber and dual-lock-velcro over the serial number is not exusable. Not in any way. So the bottom is practically raped and there’s no chance of salvaging the serial nuber as it’s just a paper sticker fastened to the type plate. I did let the seller know…

CF7-guts1

The horror didn’t even end there. Just check what’s going on in the picture above. To this day i have no clue what he was trying to do with adding two more caps and soldering the wire to the solder side of the board. Could be as it is supposed to be in the original, but i highly doubt it.

CF7-guts2

The source of all the crazy sounds is M50198 digital chip. The same one used in DSC10 and many other Ibanez digital effects. This time the designing engineer put the chip a good use and took it even further. The design has even more similarities with DSC10, but it has evolved to the next level. The “Crazy” switch seems to affect the overall delay time, but it is labeled as it is. With options for “normal” and “wack’d”.This is in my opinion a landmark in digital flangers. A flanger’s what it really is, although it can be used as a sub-par chorus as well.

As for the beaten and mistreated unit? I’m definitely on the look for reasonably priced replacement in a better condition. Once i find one, this one will have to go.

How does it sound?
In the gut of the metal worm! Blasted! Weird and good with enough options to drown you. From mellow classic chorus and flanger tones to metallic, cold chorus to shattering digital flange. Think of this as a bastard child of DFL Digital Flanger and DSC10 Digital Chorus. To me, this one is the shit. Amazing and very usable sounds for many purposes. Classic to noise.

Yamaha FL10M II Flanger

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Yamaha-FL10MII

What is it?
Yamaha FL10M-II Flanger from the 10/Sound Device series, made in japan. Manufacture date unknown, but it seems like 80s build. Looks like a coin-op arcade machine now doesn’t it!

The brand is quite a puzzle to me. Pianos, jet skis, motorcycles, guitars and network routers. Usually i wouldn’t trust a brand that sells coffee machines and snowboards and/or something else completely unrelated. This is one exception.

One of these units that came in as defunctional. In this case, the trimpot responsible for delay time had dried up and stopped working. This time i didn’t even think of replacing the trimmer but just greased it up and the beast flanges on again. Enclosure is very sturdy. Thicker metal than usual 80s things. Black and pink! What could go wrong! Here’s another external shot of this beauty:

Yamaha-FL10MII2

The box makes me feel good – by sound, and by in and out. Almost gives me goose bumps. Just like the guitar i’m using as my main instrument at the moment. It is probably the ugliest Stratocaster ever made (all strats are horribly ugly, heresy, i know). Sounds just amazing. If the sound came from some guitar that was cool looking i would probably just say, meh. But when something goes over the far end limit of being ugly, it usually turns itself around. Like in this case. The box is so ugly that it is on extreme side of beautiful. And there’s more. Didn’t know what to expect when i first opened this up. I wrote on some earlier post how i find these hand drawn acid trip-like traces pleasing. Here we have another perfect example of that – how to draw up circuit point connections with artistic point of view. I could easily live with that board image on my wall. By the way. Note the tension removing plastic addons on in/out jacks.

Yamaha-FL10MII-Guts1

So not that it is beutiful on all sides, it is very well designed too. Insides are made of two individual boards stacked on top of each other and connected together with a ribbon cable.  Bottom board having the switching, jacks and LFO, upper board having the delay and controls.

Yamaha-FL10MII-Guts2

Bottom of the upper board is just as beautiful as the lower one. Just simply pleasing. The boards are thick and sturdy too. The soldering is neat and looks like the person who soldered these wanted to do a good job – and he/she did. As quality of the stomp boxes come, this one needs to be touched to feel just how well it is made. I wish more modernd boxes were like this.

Yamaha-FL10MII-Guts4

As one could guess, the delay is created by MN3102/MN3207 pair. The controls are Depth, Speed, Manual and Feedback. Manual and feedback can do really cool things as the modulated signal is fed back rather than trying to keep it clean. With certain low settings, this can be used as a analog delay too – Very, very short one, but still the option exists.

Yamaha-FL10MII-Guts3

Even the pots are sturdier than what can be found in usual boxes from the era. Two boards are well used. The variety of controls will take a lot of board space, so i wouldn’t even call this overengineered piece of first class japanese stomp box design. So glad i got it. Thanks to Mr. M. Säisä!

How does it sound?
Great! One of the greatest flangers ever. Very wide coltrols from mild, short analog delay to massive, almost velcro-like sweeps and endless feedback. From standard guitarist flange to power electronics style noise guru sweeps. Underrated brand, underrated box and very underrated sound. Definitely a  keeper. I could sell off all the other flangers before this one. I want to hype the aesthetics one more time; Black & pink, Coin-op arcade box, acid trip traces, sturdy components and overall feel.

Danelectro DJ8 Hash Browns Flanger

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Let’s post up two flanger boxes today….


DJ8-HashBrowns

What is it?
Danelectro DJ8 Hash Browns flanger. This series of mini effects was made from around ’99 to 2007 or so. Not much dating information around, maybe because of the super low price and massive volumes manufactured in china.

First, i’ve been surprised about Modtone Minimod Flanger and this. I bet you can’t squeeze a flanger in to much smaller enclosure. And still have a slot for a battery. Think about EHX flangers. Those are about 12 times the size and do they really sound that much better? Or better at all? How much do you use a flanger in your pedal board? Once in a blue moon? Once in each set you play? Even more often? For me, the room on my compact board is quite limited. If i needed a flanger on the board, i’d definitely be looking at this, Minimod, or Ibanez FL5. All are good sounding, working flangers with reasonable footprint for pedal boards.

Like most of the effects in this series, this one is praised for its tone as well as Tuna Melt Tremolo and Milkshake Chorus. Still disliked by “pros” due to super plasticky box.

DJ8-HashBrowns-guts

Didn’t feel like tracing the unit to see what the circuit has eaten. Maybe i one day will. I do find the pots intriguing, as those are basically trimmers with knobs glued on top of them. To add, this is one of those that could be nice rehousing/TB’ing project. There are a lot of detailed projects around the web for rehousing a Dano mini effect, like this one. Google should give you a thousand more. I’ll just wait until all of the existing minis are rehoused. That’ll be the only way the value of these will rise over $20/20€.

How does it sound?
Does not sound too far from Ibanez FL5. It’s really good basic flanger. Almost surprisingly good. Even the bypass buffering doesn’t suck as in some highly praised boxes *cough*bosses.

Ibanez FL5 Flanger

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

FL5

What is it?
Ibanez FL5 Flanger from Soundtank series in plastic enclosure, made in Taiwan, late in the 90’s. So it’s pertty new unit in my collection with only about 15 yesars of age.

According to notes from (one of my heroes,) Dirk Hendrik the circuit is pretty much verbatim clone of Ibanez/Maxon FL9, with delay control omitted. So in essence, it is poor man’s version of one of the gratest flangers ever designed. MN3207/MN3102 pair driven by TL022 and two Mitsubishi 5218As for LFOs. One of the most crowded boards in the series. For some reason i can’t find a schematic for this design, while FL9 schem can be found online. Anyone have a copy?

FL5-guts

Circuit is a rock solid workhorse. I acquired one board as an addon to other deal some time ago (thanks Brent!). That board had some bad traces and all the caps were removed. One day, if i find the time, i’m going to try and resurrect that board. Maybe add the missing delay control and rehouse it in D box. That will be huge, but somehow i think it could be worth the trouble. The unit pictured above is my working specimen with high serial number.

How does it sound?
Nothing negative to say. Very warm and soft, while it can be turned to be massive airplane shattering windows in a small town. Exactly like its big brother. This box is really good to have. If you can score one for cheap, do it. You won’t regret it. Just replace the switch and you’ll be golden.