90% of my business is modifications to existing pedals.
I get asked to do a lot of crazy things to pedals. Some of them I do, but when asked to mod a vintage pedal there are lines that shouldn't be crossed. Other times the line is blurry and other times its clear as day what to do.
There are always things to think about when it comes to modding a pedal vintage or not.
Lets start with resell value.
Does modding a vintage pedal decrease the resell value?
In some cases it would decrease it. The exceptions to this would be was it modded by a famous modder at the time the pedal came out. Say you had a 1969 Vox wah modded by Dave Weyer. That would definitely be worth more than a stock 1969 wah since he is known for modding Hendrix pedals. In most vintage sales people want it bone stock with all original components. Especially in the Vintage Guitar market. Pedals are a little different but still for the most part carry this rule. You will always have vintage pedals with a cap, resistor, switch or jack that has been changed out due to a repair so Every situation can be a unique one. These changes of course will dictate the value of the item.
For instance modding a vintage Uni-Vibe or other rare $1800.00 plus pedal, seems crazy to do that when that pedal sounds so great as it is! Also why bring down the value of a classic like that. Its like taking a 65 Mustang convertible and making it a 4x4 with monster truck tires. (which I'm sure someone has done) Then there are Pedals where millions are made, like a a 70s Thomas Organ made Crybaby Wah pedal. I mod those all the time since they are not rare. People ask for Truebypass, and other options on them. If modded right it can be put back to stock with a little soldering if needed so its not like you are putting monster truck tires on that 65 Mustang Convertible.
The second thing to ask is, "Does this pedal suit my needs as is?"
This is a question most know right away. Maybe it just isn't hitting the spot Or Maybe it's a pedal you'll grow into eventually.
I call pedals the tone tool box. Sometimes you need a screw driver sometimes you need a pipe wrench. Its all useful in some way but you may not have the job that needs it at this point. One day that water main breaks and that Pipe wrench that's been in that tool box just became super useful.
I was never a fan of Fuzz Face pedals growing up. I loved listening to Hendrix, SRV, Clapton and all the greats that used those pedals back in the day. Even the newer artist that were using them in the 80s and 90s. I could never make one sound right back then with the kind of music I was playing and the gear I was playing through. Now 30 years later I can get Hendrix tones for days from a fuzz face. I find them to be a great pedal at this point. Tone tastes do change the way you pull the tones from your guitar changes over the years as you learn new things. Maybe put the pipe wrench back in the tool box cause your current job just needs a screwdriver.
Maybe you have a vintage pedal worth a lot but you still want to mod it. Some options would be...
Kinnatone can clone your pedal with the mods you want. I've done this for clients with great results. After all playing a gig with a $2500 pedal on the board is putting you at risk for theft. A clone will cost you a fraction of the cost and if it get stolen your out a few Hundred VS the 2000-3000 you are out if a vintage pedal gets stolen.
We mod it with reversible mods. Keep the original parts in a little ziplock and store inside the pedal. If you decide to sell it we can put it back to normal. As long as you don't lose the parts.
Sell it on eBay or Reverb and take the money and buy a few pedals that do suit your need.
There is always options for you. There are many choices in 2017 for pedals and modifications I'm confident will work for you. You just have to know what you want and how to achieve it. If you need help along that tone path feel free to reach our by email to me.
I hope this blog helps you in your tone search. Please consider Kinnatone for all your mod and custom pedal needs. I would love you have your business.
Hopefully you make a decision that makes you and your ears happy.