What 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…
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.
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.
6 thoughts on “Ibanez CF7 Chorus/Flanger”
I bought a used CF7 and a DS7 just recently from eBay and just out of curiosity decided to take a look inside both of them.
The DS7 was just a little bit dusty but apart from that everything was just neat and dandy. Works fine and sounds nice too.
But what comes to the CF7… The pedal works just fine so I really didn’t NEED to open it, but I did…cause that’s the kind of guy I am :)
I felt a sudden dejá-vu coming over when I opened the backplate, “now where have I seen something like this before…?”. Then I remembered, here’s where.
In my copy there’s a 100nF cap between IC4 pin-24 (VCC) -> GND. Funny thing, but it seems that on your copy that cap is found on the component side, but on my copy it’s been added there later. Well, my board has part number “…100” and yours is “…103”, so most likely it’s been added there after production line.
Those caps and extra grounding on your copy are just plain krazyness, can’t find them on my copy :)
There’s also a wire going between the mode- and krazy-switches, but I don’t know if that’s original or not. That someone had apparently also re-soldered some of the FETisists/trannies and connectors (lot of soldering residue).
If you’re interested, I can provide some pics of my copy!
Quite a few Ibanezes seem to have components added to the solder side of the board. I guess those are just crude fixes they’ve made after the initial release. I think most of those added components are for filtering of some sort, and not affecting the circuit operation that much.
Interesting, I just found one of these used and picked it up immediately due to my love of the Tonelok series (my 1st pedal was the FZ7 Fuzz). Unfortunately I took it home to realize the footswitch only engages the effect about once every 20 or so stomps. Opened it up to see how easy it would be to replace, and mine does not have the extra hastily-added capacitors you noted. Not sure if I want the hassle of replacing that switch either…
Sad to hear. The effect itself is very good, but the switching flip-flop is the same as we find in soundtanks. The painful part of swapping the switch is to disassemble the boards inside. You could try just cleaning the switch if that would help. Just use turpentine if you don’t have contact spray. I’m told that some switching issues may be dealt with swapping the 1n capacitor next to the physical switch for slightly bigger value – like 4n7 or 10n. That would be about the same amount of work as swapping only the switch though.
Don’t give up on it just yet. If cleaning it doesn’t help, i’m pretty sure there are pedal tinkerers around your area too. Some enthusiastic builder could do the work for you for little money…
Finally got around to opening this thing up; five PCBs, what a beast! Cleaning the switch makes it contact just slightly better, but still only switches every 10 or 12 presses. Couldn’t find a 1n cap on the switch PCB either — only caps are a .47uF and two 10uF, all non-polar electros. Hmm… any ideas?
The small cap could be housed on main board. It should be connected either straight on from switch to ground or via small value resistor..