First, your rig should be tested with "known good" cables and equipment in a working configuration before introducing a new pedal. Any chance of a bad cable or power supply should be eliminated before determining if a new pedal is faulty.
All of our pedals require 9VDC center negative power. Standard guitar pedal power supplies utilize a 2.1mm pin barrel connector with ground on the center pin and 9V positive DC power on the outer ring.
Since MONO DIVISION pedals do not have a battery option, they must always be plugged in while in use.
ISSUE: High frequency noise
Start with the power supply. Verify you are using a high-quality transformer based supply. Our pedals all have sufficient integrated regulation and filtering to cope with lower quality supplies, but a better supply will always perform better, especially as the number of pedals in a chain increases. Use the shortest power cables wherever possible.
Check your phone! Smartphones can transmit noise through pickups, amps and pedals. Keep your phone and any personal devices far away from your pedal chain.
Try powering digital and analog pedals using separate isolated power supplies. Noise from digital pedals has a way of getting into analog pedals. Separate these two types of pedals (and their respective power supplies) by physical distance if possible.
High gain pedals will necessarily amplify any noise that is already inherent. Try adjusting the order of pedals in your chain and each pedal’s respective tone control settings to filter out this noise. A good strategy is to gradually alter the tone control positions on each pedal (and your instrument) until high frequency noise gradually fades away or becomes less noticeable.
Light dimmer switches installed in your recording or performance space can inject noise into the signal path. Try setting any nearby dimmers to 0% or 100% to see if this problem goes away. Turn off any unnecessary lights and appliances to uncover the potential noise culprit.
Noise can be picked up like an antenna. Moving the pedals around in your space can have a dramatic effect on the pickup of high frequency noise. Try putting your pedals up on a riser—distance from the floor can often reduce noise.
Using a buffer pedal, or even multiple buffer pedals may reduce the chance of noise getting into your signal path. Experiment with the placement of buffers at the start or end of your chain, or between analog and digital pedals.
Optimize guitar cable lengths. Instrument cables that are too long can pickup noise. Try shorter cables or higher quality cables. Remember to always use cables that are “known good”.
Try power supply filtering. Ebtech Hum X and power conditioners by Furman are recommended. If you have narrowed down the source of noise to a single pedal, try giving this pedal a separate power supply or installing the Hum X there. You may also try separately filtering your digital and analog pedals this way.
ISSUE: Low frequency hum
Low frequency hum is often the result of a ground loop. This more likely points to an issue with your amp or power supply rather than the pedal itself. The Ebtech Hum X may work here for a troublesome amp or pedal power supply. If low frequency hum persists only when a pedal is plugged in, the polarity issue may be between the amp and the pedal power supply.
Consult with a technician to see if switching polarity or lifting ground would be safe for your rig.
ISSUE: Self-oscillation or feedback
High pitched tones, repetitive “whines” and low frequency parasitic oscillation (also known as “motorboating”) can occur with certain combinations of pedals and amplifiers. This issue is impossible to predict in all cases and generally proves a challenge to diagnose and cure.
All of the techniques given for reducing noise and hum can be readily applied here to reduce the tendency of a device to enter self-oscillation.
Systematically reducing volume and gain on each pedal or on the amp itself can help to uncover the origin of the self-oscillation. If you believe you may have multiple self-oscillating pedals interacting with each other, the best practice is to gradually reduce the volume and gain on each pedal until you reach stability.
For some designs, self-oscillation is a feature and not a bug. Learn how to control this self-oscillation. Try reducing the number of pedals active in the chain when you engage a pedal known to self-oscillate at extreme settings.
ISSUE: How do I clean my pedal?
The recommended cleaning solution is dish soap and water. Use a cloth or small brush to apply. Use as little force as possible when cleaning the print.
ISSUE: How do I disassemble my pedal?
WARNING: any internal modifications to your pedal will void the warranty.
To open up the pedal you will first need to remove the press fit knobs. You may find guides and videos online to help you in the removal of these knobs.
Generally, you can remove these knobs by inserting a thin wedge underneath each knob and using that wedge as a lever. Two wedges on both sides of the shaft works even better. A pair of tweezers can prove useful for slipping underneath the knob and providing leverage for removal.
Do not apply too much force. Using pliers directly on the knobs or pulling the knobs off with your fingers is not recommended as you increase your chances of bending a shaft or damaging a knob. Wiggling can help loosen a particularly stubborn knob.
Once you have removed all knobs and all nuts, unscrew the back plate. You should now be able to easily remove the circuit board from the enclosure. The circuit board will remain attached to the DC power jack via the red and black wires.
Screw on the back plate and hand-tighten all nuts using a socket wrench for a secure fit. Do not overtighten. Knobs can be pushed back onto the shafts after all nuts have been reinstalled.
ISSUE: Knobs are crackly, noisy or otherwise irregular.
Disassemble the pedal and spray contact cleaner into the potentiometer then turn the knob back and forth over the full rotation of the pot several times. This should help break up any debris inside the pot and improve electrical contact of the internal wiper to the resistive track. In a pinch, applying WD40 may also work for cleaning a pot.
Spraying contact cleaner into the pot board connectors may also help improve electrical contact in the case of a noisy pot if the pedal has been exposed to extreme weather or fluctuating temperature.
ISSUE: I applied reverse voltage or over-voltage to my pedal and it is no longer working.
Unfortunately you have voided your warranty, but your pedal can still be sent in for repairs. You may also try to undertake repairs yourself.
Here are a few things you can try:
Component D1 on the circuit board may have absorbed the damage. D1 is a 1N4001 equivalent diode. You can remove this diode with a soldering iron and replace it with an 1N4001 equivalent diode in the package size SMA. Observe the polarity of the diode when installing your replacement. You may also bypass this part with a solder bridge or small piece of wire to see if your pedal is still functional, but replacing D1 is recommended if you intend to use the pedal again.
You may also need to replace R1 in the case of reverse voltage damage. R1 is a 100 Ohms 1/4-watt resistor in the package size 1206. This component can be bypassed similarly to D1 and you can bypass both R1 and D1 to quickly determine if your pedal is still broadly functional.
If your damaged pedal contains IC chips, you can use the printed identification on the ICs to find replacements and install them into the sockets following the same orientation as the original chips. If your pedal uses an internal voltage doubler this is the first IC you should try to replace.
If your pedal is still not working, you may need to replace the electrolytic capacitors. Take note of the polarity of these capacitors when installing new ones.
If your pedal is partially working, you may need to replace a faulty potentiometer. Carefully de-solder the faulty pot from the connector and solder in a new 16mm pot of the same resistance. You may also contact us to buy these replacement pots pre-soldered to the connectors.
If your pedal is still not working, we can provide you a quote for a full circuit board replacement. In some very severe cases of reverse voltage or over-voltage almost every component on a board can get damaged, even the traces on the board itself. We can offer you a full circuit board replacement which will provide you a small savings over buying a brand-new replacement pedal.