Guyatone MD-3 Repair

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How much do I love my Guyatone MD-3 pedal?

So much that when I broke the footswitch, I embarked on a month(s) long trial to fix it. This pedal is definitely worth it, though. The MD3 is a nice, meaty delay that decays naturally and doesn’t change the instrument’s tone much on the repeats. Plus the pots on the delay time are truly analog, so they are infinitely adjustable. The only gripe I have with my other delay pedal – a Danelectro Reel Echo – is that the Delay Time control is really a bunch of presets and not smooth! That kinda puts a nix on any cool space effects. Space.

Why did it take so long? The Guyatone pedals are incredibly small, thus finding parts for them can be a difficult enterprise. You’ve got to get really tiny parts. To illustrate the point, here is my MD-3 next to a typical Boss stompbox.


It is about 2/3 the length and depth. Therefore, I spent a few weeks ordering and waiting for parts. I went to a few stompbox parts websites to try to find the smallest footswitch possible and came up negative a couple of times. Here’s what a typical footswitch looks like next to the Guyatone stock footswitch:


Yikes. It took me a little bit of searching and I finally came across the Alpha 107 at Small Bear Electronics. Its description reads: “A SMALL, rugged DPDT switch”, and it is still a good 2x the size of the standard Guyatone switch! Regardless, after a few hours of futzing with it, I managed to get the 107 to fit in the case. While it was big enough to fit in there, there’s no more room for a battery! I go to tighten the nut and SNAP the damn thing breaks directly in half.

Left with no other options in sight, I decided to cannibalize another Guyatone pedal (SV2 – a Boss Slow Gear clone. I didn’t like it very much anyway) to get its rich chewy center – I mean, its footswitch. A few hours and my first attempt at soldering direct to a PCB later and I finally have the finished product. For some reason, I still can’t get the battery back in, but considering how fragile these things are I am not even going to try it.

The cannibalized SV2

The cannibalized SV2

I dragged out my One Spot and hooked it all up. Success! It will be nice to have this pedal in my arsenal again.

The final product

The final product


Written by Adam N. Copeland

December 29, 2008 - 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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