Blackstar Fly 3 guitar practice amp upgrade mods project
Custom Vari-Speed Chorus mod
A new Midboost mod for the Blackstar Fly3 - Variable Speed Chorus
Below is a photo of a modified upgraded amp. There is an additional new mini-pot (sexactly same type as the existing DELAY pot, next to where the legend says EQ) for Chorus
When the pot is turned clockwise it engages the Chorus effect (= starts to modulate the Delay Time) and as it is turned further clockwise the Chorus Speed increases.
After designing the Tremolo circuit (see below) I decided I'd re-use this approach (one knobw to switch on/off + speed) with the Classic Chorus effect (again see below).
At slow speeds you get a classic double tracked effect, at faster speeds you get Leslie-style wobble.
I've also changed the Red LED to Blue LED
Modified Blackstar Fly3 with added vari-speed Chorus knob
Custom Tremolo mod
A new Midboost mod for the Blackstar Fly3 - OPTICAL TREMOLO
Below is a photo of the upgraded amp. There is an additional new mini-pot (sexactly same type as the existing DELAY pot, next to where the legend says EQ) for Tremolo
When the pot is turned clockwise it engages the Tremolo effect (= starts to modulate the volume) and as it is turned further clockwise the Tremolo Speed increases.
The effect is Optical (uses an OptoCoupler aka "Vactrol") to pulse the volume. This is a great way to do it as the Opto adds its own sonic character due to the uneven way the resistance changes as its swept. This gives a classic 1960s American amp sound.
I've also changed the Red LED to Orange LED which gives a slightly more 50's/60's look to the amp.
Modified Blackstar Fly3 with added Tremolo knob
Custom Classic Chorus mod
"blackstar fly 3 with mod,sounds amazing ...happy buyer:)" -- Donna, West Lothian
Below is a photo of the upgraded amp. There is an additional new switch for Chorus which slowly modulates the existing Fly3 'Tape Delay' to give a classic (80's style) chorus effect. I didn't add a Speed (Rate) knob as there was nowhere left to put it on the control panel!
If you're wondering - yes I did change the Red LED to Blue and yes I did swap the knobs for some I had in my spares box.
Modified Blackstar Fly3 with added Chorus button
The new circuitry modulates the digital delay slightly to gently sweep it at around 0.6Hz. Whn the new switch is engaged, and TIME is set to minimum (I extended the minimum delay time slligtly) this gives a classic thickening to the guitar signal. When the new switch is dis-engaged the Delay works as normal. In fact everything works as it did before.
With slightly longer delay times (TIME around 8 o'clock) the effect is more like double tracking. It sounds lovely on chimey Strat tones and natural harmonics.
The DELAY LEVEL knob controls the amount of modified signal added back in and so controls the amount of effect heard.
Here's a video I made which will allow you to hear and see the modified amp.
"Is this a DIY mod?" (= can I mod my own amp like this?)
No! Not currently anyway. I had to design a new PCB to fit inside the Fly3 and replace, and wire to, some tiny surface mount components on the Main Board so this is not for the beginner DIY pedal builder / amp modder.
Here is a video I made of how the mods are done - it gives some idea of the complexity
"Can I buy this modified amp?"
YES! I have one or two modded amps for sale!
Here's a few pics of the mod development in progress ! (yes that is my amp in bits)