Lights will guide you home

Lights will guide you home

In early 2010 I acquired a Guyatone Rolly Box phaser - one of the late-70s pedals but sadly, it didn't work; the LED came on and it passed signal in bypass mode, but turn it on and it was completely dead.

Silence isn't always golden.

I had hoped it would be something simple wrong with it - a loose wire, dodgy jack or such-like so I could fix it myself but no... I didn't have a clue what was wrong and it was far beyond my limited electronics/DIY skills to even diagnose the problem.Lights will guide you home I was left with three realistic options:
  1. Throw it away
  2. Sell it on eBay as faulty
  3. Find an expert to fix it for me
After doing a bit of internet searching, I found quite a few seemingly reputable companies offering vintage pedal repair services, so started making enquiries.

Some of them quoted minimum charges of £30-40 per hour for any work, with that being the minimum amount to even LOOK at the pedal!

One company stood out to me - Owen Electronics. Martin Owen - the man who runs the company - responded to my emails in a timely and professional manner, and the overall service being offered seemed worth a shot: he'd diagnose the problem, then let me know what needed to be done and how much it would cost BEFORE* any work was done. [At time of writing] The minimum fee is a mere £10.

* Not all companies work that way; some will repair/service equipment and THEN tell you what it costs.

£10 seemed very reasonable; if I had gone elsewhere, it could have cost £40 and I still may have been left with a dead pedal.

So, the pedal went on a little holiday but returned very quickly and working perfectly... and it only cost £20! (If anyone's interested, some of the parts - ICs etc - had been damaged and needed to be replaced. A few other minor repairs were carried out, all of the PCB and base screws (which were missing) were replaced and I'm positive it was given a thorough clean too - as it came back looking much shinier than it did before.)

So, anyone who has a broken pedal that they don't know how to fix or what to do with - particularly something vintage, or which is potentially quite valuable, you could do far worse than contact Owen Electronics. Your old, broken pedals could possibly be restored to their former glory and it may cost less than you think.

(Martin also produces and sells his own range of effects under the Owen Electronics name as well as offering other services inc. pedal repairs, modifications and cloning.)