Tips& Tricks: What’s wrong with my pedal – first aid instructions

Tips & tricksSooner or later almost every pedal breaks down.
Sometimes it starts with a loos connection or it suddenly gets impossible to switch them on.
In this continuous series I would like to present some useful hints that may help you to revive your pedal.

Something important in advance

On the internet you will frequently find the advice that contact cleaner spray is the knight in shining armor.
Here I would like to advise against that expressly!
Usually contact cleaner spray will not get into pots and switches because they are closed. But if it does make its way, it will remove the needed lubricants and the knobs will start to scratch.
Besides the spray leaves a slimy coating inside the enclosure and – if you meant it too well – is able to bypass contacts that are not meant to be connected. By this it can also crash transistors.
Accordingly: do not use contact cleaner spray.

Sources of error

If your pedal does not work anymore you can easily find the reason why.
90% of cases are based on an error that results from mechanical load.
Many Boss and Ibanez pedals use for example a power supply jack that is soldered directly on the board. If this jack is moved pretty often the conductor track on the board may breaks.

If you, on the other hand, frequently use batteries you can easily find the battery clip as the source of error.

But also, the in and output jacks can be bent so the cable is unable to connect to the jack.

And of course, you should cast an eye on the footswitch.

In the 9% of cases the user connected a wrong power supply.

And only 1% of all cases a damaged part is the reason for a silent pedal.

In the second part of this series you will learn more about how to repair pedals with true bypass and buffer.