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Anyone ever try to mod an EHX Frequency Analyzer?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Guitars, Basses, Amps & FX  
Author Anyone ever try to mod an EHX Frequency Analyzer?
hippo1
(Not sure which board to post this, exactly...)

I'm in love with the 'liquid-y' sounds of their original (or newer 'NY'-style) design. It's so much 'smoother' and 'wet' than many others I've used. A question to the larger DIY community: Could you replace the control pots with jacks, normalized (either internally, or externally with VCAs for example) for continuous, controlled changes; allowing for Euro/modular control?

The caveat to this is: I suck at soldering/modding. I know; I guess it's time to practice, practice, practice. I'm wondering if anyone's beaten me to the punch. It SEEMS a straightforward mod: no fooling with alternate componentry/resistance diffs/etc; just the removal of pots, and replacement of jacks (wired or direct).
digitalganesha
I've never even thought about it because of the insane 40V power supply the Frequency Analyzer uses. Someone with much more knowledge would be better to answer this and maybe ease my concern over that power supply draw being a potential hazard.
depth20
Does the new smaller pedal sound as nice as the old? Borrowed one years ago and it sounded really nice. Very hard to tune though, so I never got one.
hippo1
I must admit, the one I want to mod IS the 'new' one (NY style enclosure); still w/the 40V supply. And yes, the difficulty in tuning it is precisely why I would like to get CV control of the actual pots. I know, subjective; but for me, this pedal has the MOST liquid-y feel to the sound of any ringmod I have (multiple diff mfr's, in Euro).

...I'm guessing that one of its advantages over others IS the headroom offered* by the 40V supply; that, or its actual componentry.


[* As I type the word, I pause: 'offered'? 'Of Fred'? I'm watchin' too much Margaret Atwood, here...]
digitalganesha
As always, the sound is all that matters, and the FA has that classic "bonky" (sounds right hihi) 70's ring mod sound. Everything else made now has the "modern" (the made up word for this would be "shurvv") sound.
digitalganesha
depth20 wrote:
Does the new smaller pedal sound as nice as the old? Borrowed one years ago and it sounded really nice. Very hard to tune though, so I never got one.


If I recall, essentially the same circuit is in the small box. And if I sonically remember, they do sound quite close.
R.U.Nuts
So you want voltage control over the modulator VCO frequency of the FA so it'll track along a VCO from your modular? Maybe you can implement voltage control but I doubt it'll track 1V/oct. I'd rather look for a hack that replaces the signal of the FA's internal VCO with an external signal so you can plug two VCOs from your modular into the FA.
moylando
Assuming the version in question still uses the ICL8038 (which is currently obsolete) as its internal oscillator it might be possible to have some voltage control. However, the scale will certainly not be V/oct and the usable range of voltages is unclear. The currents through the resistors on pins 4 and 5 set the frequency of the oscillator.

If the hope is to use something like a step sequencer than it's probably usable, but the whole range of the sequencer knob might not be.

Also, a better solution than replacing the pots might be to use a switching jack so that when nothing is plugged in to the jack the panel knobs continue to work as normal.

Schematic I've seen online suggest +-15 supplies so any positive voltage coming from a modular should be safe, but maybe not negative voltages. Adding a diode might be a good idea. Seems like the 680 on each pin is high enough not to exceed the max current since turning the pots to max frequency essentially would put +15 directly on those resistors.
Henfield
Why don’t you try the Mooger Fooger MF-102 Ring Mod? It has a ton of CV control already built-in, including CV control of the internal oscillator.
Cybananna
Henfield wrote:
Why don’t you try the Mooger Fooger MF-102 Ring Mod? It has a ton of CV control already built-in, including CV control of the internal oscillator.


This is a good idea. It doesn't sound the same as the EHX but it sounds great in a comparable way. And has the CV control. I had them both at the same time and loved them both.
thetwlo
moylando wrote:
Assuming the version in question still uses the ICL8038 (which is currently obsolete) as its internal oscillator .


Perhaps that's the magic?!!!
The original used the AD533 and the re-issue the AD633, I don't think there's much of a difference. Many ring mods use the AD633 now, but nothing sounds like FA EHX, --although I haven't heard the re-issue, I've had other pedals and modules with the AD633, and they never grabbed me like the FA.
It could be as simple as they tuned the oscillator, filter and ring to work very well with more limited parameters-- not the goal with modulars...
I do have a couple AD533 modules, that I recall preferring to the AD633. Will have to test that.

Not sure about power, but the original FA didn't have an external xformer it was 110V in.
felixer
pretty happy with my line6M5. yes it is digital. so what? it sounds good. but all this talk about the ehx freq analyzer makes me curious. they are fairly cheap. should i get one? or maybe that ring-thing?
thetwlo
felixer wrote:
pretty happy with my line6M5. yes it is digital. so what? it sounds good. but all this talk about the ehx freq analyzer makes me curious. they are fairly cheap. should i get one? or maybe that ring-thing?


I haven't tried the re-issue Freq Analyzer, sounds like that may vary--like most EHX pedals. The original is king to me. The Ring Thing is pretty great as well, just different. Ring thing is digital, does a lot more, sounds great! but still different from the freq anal.
I have no reason to think the re-issue isn't as great, just never tried one.
thetwlo
some of my favs:
(The old Freq Analyzer is my favorite.)
thetwlo
Henfield wrote:
Why don’t you try the Mooger Fooger MF-102 Ring Mod? It has a ton of CV control already built-in, including CV control of the internal oscillator.

That uses the AD633 as well, yes?
felixer
ah yes, i've built me an AD633 based ringmod. maybe even have a chip left, somewhere. but then comes the thing with the modulator oscillator. could make a sine. but maybe it should be a bit off from a perfect sine?
thing is i've gone a bit off on soldering. so buying a readymade is ok.
thetwlo
felixer wrote:
ah yes, i've built me an AD633 based ringmod. maybe even have a chip left, somewhere. but then comes the thing with the modulator oscillator. could make a sine. but maybe it should be a bit off from a perfect sine?
thing is i've gone a bit off on soldering. so buying a readymade is ok.


yeah, I had the Blacet Klangwerk and Livewire, and the Technosaurus is AD633, nothing special, -the Technosaurus makes up for it with the EQ and overdrive.
The only thing that's come close to the EHX FA is the XR22:
http://www.cg-products.de/module/xr22-vco-ft/
I have no idea how it's doing the ring mod, prolly the basic 1496 chip.
but it sounds great!
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