Mods to the Algal Bloom



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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby Ice Ape » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:06 am

Damn! Tom is such a great guy and so easy to work with that I misspell his three letter name. Sheesh.... :facepalm: I have no idea how I made that mistake. :idk:

So sorry Tom!
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby sonidero » Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:11 am

Ice Ape wrote:Damn! Tom is such a great guy and so easy to work with that I misspell his three letter name. Sheesh.... :facepalm: I have no idea how I made that mistake. :idk:

So sorry Tom!


I did it to you... We goof on Tom and say Thom cause it's more hippie and saw your pedal and IT'S SWEET!!!
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby Ice Ape » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:48 am

I received the custom modded Algal Bloom (Boom!) several days ago. What an awesome dirt box! Tom put together something really special for me! Yes!

As I explained earlier I ordered one with the full range of mods done, but even if I had gotten just a standard stock Algal Bloom I would still be blown away. There really is something above and beyond any normal good fuzz box's tone and texture in the magic sound of an Algal Bloom. It is so harmonically rich in tone when set right. Just a huge sound you can almost bite out of the air. The excitement surrounding the Algal Bloom is not hype. It is a really great unique yet classic fuzz. It really is that good. And that is my take on just the standard Algal Bloom.

With all the sweet mods mine has added to the standard Algal features I have so many flavors to choose from my options are limitless! Just as I had hoped each mod would interact with the other parts of the circuit, including the other mods. As an example when I engage the bloom bypass pull knob the whole gain stage associated with the bloom knob is removed from the circuit, radically changing the character of the tone. This bloom bypassed tone then in turn can itself be modified by choosing a different diode selection on the rotary switch. These exotic combinations of mod options allow for so many unique textures and tones. I have just barely started in exploring the many useful sonic variations possible!

Tom hooked me up with eight different diode combos on the rotary switch. I left it up to him what diodes to include for a range of tones. He really came through with diode combinations he chose. Here is what he gave me:

1. Standard Silicon
2. Germanium Choke
3. Asymmetrical Silicon + Germanium
4. Symmetrical Silicon
5. LED + Germanium
6. Red LED
7. Blue LED
8. White LED + Silicon

Each position on the rotary dial has its own unique flavor. The germanium ones tend to be more treble and crunchy. They are really good for getting sputtery starved circuit tones when the gains a re set low and especially when the bloom bypass is also engaged. The LED combos are almost the opposite of the germanium ones. They tend to give the Algal a punchier sound almost like a cranked amp or a good tube screamer. Great for rock or blues, the LEDs give the Algal a whole new feel and texture. Not nearly as crunchy as the others, a wholly different side of the Algal is revealed. The silicon positions yield different takes on the standard silicon diodes. Each lends it own unique tones and textures that depend on how the other controls and mods are set.

The bloom bypass is a really nice mod. In combination with the germanium diode options I was able to get some really nice super static sputter sounds. When used with a digital delay I got sounds that could easily be mistaken for some form of synth. It really sounds beautiful when used this way. The bloom bypass also is great for low gain sounds with a different character than the standard low gain sounds achievable without this mod. I really dig it!

The bass mod is fun and useful too. This one lets more bass frequencies into the Algal circuit when engaged. As expected this gives a bassier tone overall and thickens up the sound quite well especially with certain diode settings. And of course this mod also interacts with the other mods adding yet a whole new layer of new tones and textures. I have yet to go through all the diode combinations and other combos of mods with the bass mod engaged, but from the sounds I have dialed in with the bass mod running so far has me confident there are many gems yet to be mined here.

And finally the oscillation footswitch. Sheer madness. Screechy mayhem. Sub octave chewy bass fuzz. Warbles and whistles. Robot blipping rumbles. Beam me up Scotty. The oscilation footswitch makes the whole thing go crazy. This is another mod feature I have yet try out systematically with all the different combos of mods and controls. Walking the line between controlled and out of control the oscillation footswitch puts my Algal Bloom over the top. So much fun!

I still have a long way to go in finding all the goodness hidden away in the labyrinth of mods and options and combinations of settings. I am so glad I decided to go all out with the mods. It has resulted in a veritable factory of Algal Bloom fuzz. From mellow overdrives to grinding fuzz, from static sputter to wild oscillation craziness this covers all the bases and then some. I will treasure my Algal Bloom forever. ALGAL BOOM!

Of course I would like to thank again Tom, without his patient helpfulness and his fuzztastic genius none of this would be possible. You really made one helluva pedal for me Mr. Dalton. So great! Thanks!
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby Ice Ape » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:01 pm

I have been working with my modded Algal playing around with some of the lower gain sputtery dying amp sounds while also engaging the oscillation footswitch. It is a tricky balance but when I get it set just right I can get an awesome special effect going. Instead of the notes just farting out to nothing I am able to get an off and on glitchy thing happening that sounds amazing. Sometimes I will get sub octave bleeps as it decays out of the solid note and other times the static crackle of the dying note tails off into a scraping shriek that cuts in and out. With care taken on how hard I pluck he note I am able to maintain pretty good control over how the notes decay. When I run that into a digital delay set to a long repeat it sounds like nothing I have ever heard before. So cool! :cool:
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby sonidero » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:17 am

That was an excellent Algal book... I am jealous of the 8 way... THOM YOU HAVE SOME SPLAININ TO DO... I'm glad you got such an awesome Algal Boom, it's probably my favorite pedal EVER!!!
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby magiclawnchair » Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:56 am

ice ape, you do have one awesome pedal! i only know the germ choke. tom was supposed to give me something different in my pat ab but he forgot and just gave me the germ choke. that is the one that i have the bloom bypass on and it sounds so damn good! the ab in my blooming wall of fuzz custom, pre upper circuit > ab with bass toggle choke and osc > greatest wall, has the first ever oscillating ab and its so crazy and interactive! i was going to have tom mod that to include the bloom bypass but this 8 way makes me think of something new... :excellent:
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby sonidero » Sat Apr 06, 2013 2:13 am

magiclawnchair wrote:this 8 way makes me think of something new... :excellent:


I'm missing 3, 5 and 8... Can you do Double Germanium, or Triple Germanium, or Purple LED + Germanium or I could say it again...
Last edited by sonidero on Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby FuzzHugger » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:53 am

Ice Ape - Thanks! :D That makes me happy to read!
sonidero wrote:I am jealous of the 8 way... THOM YOU HAVE SOME SPLAININ TO DO... I'm glad you got such an awesome Algal Boom, it's probably my favorite pedal EVER!!!


:joy: Thanks!
:lol: Wellll....I have these rotaries with a whole lot of available clicks. :) I'd never done 8 before Ice Ape's though. The rotaries are big, so to fit them in, I have to wire the Algal Bloom in a sort of long-hand way, so it's a bit costly.
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby Ice Ape » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:15 pm

sonidero wrote: I'm missing 3, 5 and 8...


Sonidero, the #5 (LED + Germanium) and #8 (White LED + Silicon) are two of my four favorites (my other two faves are #1 and #4). #5 sounds similar to the germanium choke option but to my ear it seems to produce an even better crumbly texture when set right. Its especially nice when used in tandem with the bloom bypass and is my go-to for sputtery dying amp sounds. #8 is almost the oppisite. Much smoother, more power and less fizzy fuzz. It yields a very natural overdrive crunch that sounds good on its own but also stacks best of all the diode selections with the tube distortion settings on my amp. It also is the selection that cleans up with the volume knob the very best. I tried it side by side with my EQD Dreamcrusher (a germanium based fuzz face clone) and while it does not sound identical on its clean up, it is very close and very sweet. It is fairly close in sound to #6 and #7, but the addition of a silicon diode gives it a little magic something that I keep coming back too.

sonidero wrote: Can you do Double Germanium, or Triple Germanium, or Purple LED + Germanium or I could say it again...


Haha, this makes my head spin. The possibilities...
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Algal Boom Osclillation

Postby Ice Ape » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:34 pm

I have been working with the oscillation footswitch quite a bit. So fun! All the out of control crazy squeaks, squawks, robot sounds and sub-octave chewiness are wild!

There is a much more subtle use of the oscillation footswitch that is well controlled and sounds great too. On much lower fuzz settings the oscillation option produces none of the random weirdness typically associated with oscillation. Instead it seems to open the gain up and acts almost as a fuzz boost. This allows for me to play with a low gain overdrive that sounds great for rhythm playing but when needed I can engage that section of the Boom for a rich sustaining fuzz lead drive. Depending on how it is set I can also dial in a half cocked wha sound that reminds me of Frank Zappa's signature sound. When used this way the oscillation footswitch becomes a really useful addition great for live situations that require different rhythm and lead sounds. I have no idea if the AB Synth behaves in a similar fashion but Having it on the Boom is very useful. Awesome! :thumb:
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby Ice Ape » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:45 am

Almost a year later with lots of time under my belt playing the Algal Boom I must say this might be my favorite pedal I have ever owned. While some dirt boxes might get some specific sound or another this beast is all over the map and good at it! The silicon+white LED gives me the most killer blues tone. Papery and warm at the same time, it just cuts through the mix. The double silicon is high fuzz heaven. The Germanium+LED is the broken amp crumble king. Especially with the bloom gain disengaged. On lower gain settings the oscillation footswitch produces lots of one of a kind tones and textures that are actually tamable but at higher gain settings+oscillation just wild and woolly madness. Sounds great! Add in the bass mod with the oscillation and I get deep subsonic lower octaves. Hugeness beyond huge! I have never before been able to fill so much sonic space. I just love it! And all the rest (more than I can say without writing a book) of the stuff the BOOM can do! There is no other pedal I have ever owned that sounds so huge and covers so much territory. My go to pedal for so much so many times! So sweet!

Once again, a special thanks to Tom. I know you were just filling an order and working for a living but you made me a great pedal that I have come to cherish. Awesome, thanks man!

The honeymoon has settled into a very happy marriage! Get all the mods! Buy one! You will NOT regret it!
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby mikeyx13 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:57 pm

Just ordered one...then saw this topic :facepalm: ...options, options, options, what to do? What would be the most fun?
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby mikeyx13 » Thu Apr 17, 2014 10:33 pm

Anyone get the XL with the in and out on top? Thinking this would be a way to fit one more pedal on my board...
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby mikeyx13 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:15 am

Tom's going to set me up with the top mount jacks, it's so cool we can communicate with the guys that come up with these pedals. Try asking BOSS to change the design or layout of one of theirs...
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Re: Mods to the Algal Bloom

Postby mikeyx13 » Thu May 29, 2014 7:23 am

I got the pedal in and all I can say is WOW! This thing makes some big sounds, it fills a sonic void I had with my setup. The fuzz goes from almost clean to full on metal...My neck is sore from all the headbanging that went on last night...It just fit on my board with the top mount jack I was able to get added, Thanks Tom for making this!
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