HOT ROD DOD MOD: FX90 analog delay

The holy grail of sound seems to be analog. Why? Because it holds more clarity? Hardly. Because it more accurately captures sound? Nope. Is it because your brain wants to hear all those pops, muddiness, and fizzles? Precisely. Effects are kinda the same. Though diligent programmers have been able to model digital delay and echo in every conceivable form with astronomically long delay times, there is still a demand for the old, limited use, barely functional analog delay effects for┬ámaking music. Just look at eBay. The prices are high for what is ostensibly outdated technology. And what can I say, I’m one of those jerks who totally goes for it.

DOD FX90 analog delay pedal

The DOD FX90 analog delay is not one of those delays one would call coveted, as it sells used for fairly cheap… why? I’m not sure. I like the delay sound on it. With some coaxing, it will run away and self-oscillate with the best of them. Likely, it’s not that coveted because there are many available. In the after-market for discontinued effects, if it’s rare, it must be AMAZING!

The actual circuit creates makes for a pleasing, warm and dark analog delay, but the construction of the pedal itself is sub-par. I scored a couple for cheap. That is to say, I found them left behind in our jam space and no one claimed them. They didn’t work, so I set out to get ’em going again.

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Class or ass: DOD FX-17 Volume / Wah

One guitarist I played with was adamant that mute switches and volume pedals were for the unskilled. He insisted every guitar player should learn how to use their volume knob on the guitar or they shouldn’t be playing. A bold statement from a big dick. For the rest of us pussies, there’s devices like the DOD FX-17 Volume / Wah pedal, manufactured from 1987-2000.


Since the first wah, people have been trying to find new ways to do the same thing. First it was the Crybaby style pinion gear to turn the pot and then a pulley system to get more sweep, but that could always lead to scratchy pots. Morley invented the LDR light-based system with a movable curtain to avoid scratchy pots, but the curtain system took up some room.

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Operating Theater: DOD DFX9 digital delay

My jefe, Mauz, handed me this broken hunk of gear in the hopes I could figure out what was wrong. The DOD DFX9 digital delay was a pretty cool pedal back when it worked, he assured me. I put it in a drawer for a few months until I got around to check it out. I was dubious about taking on the repairs of some cheap-o digital pedal.


The DFX9 was DOD’s shot at BOSS, their far east competition. BOSS’s DD series of compact digital delays had become quite popular in the ’80s and was surpassing older, analog delays like the DOD FX90. Self-proclaimed as “America’s pedal,” DOD would not go down without a fight. Non-functioning and with the jacks falling out, Mauz’s DFX9 pedal was a casualty of the war that DOD lost. FYI, I got ADD about curing the DFX9 of its PTSD ASAP.

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