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I've got a Boss NS-2 that I've used for ~6 years without issue. I recently took my board apart to redo all the effects and noticed that the output of the board was inconsistently dropping and returning and there was an occasional crackle when cables were strained. I took everything to pieces and isolated every pedal and found it to be the Boss NS-2. There's no power issues (in terms of it not getting enough power or it trying to power other pedals). In complete isolation the sound issues happen the same as if it was in my board - so it's not the other pedals that's interfering with it here. It's powered by a 9V adapter (of which I've tried several of different brands), not battery powered.

It's out of warranty and Boss/Roland never got back to me with engineers in my local area (one tech support guy from Roland recommended I just replace the thing as it'd be less hassle but I'm loathed to do so as it was £75+ postage and I've had pedals last WAY longer with more abuse). I have tried stripping it down and attacking it with contact cleaner as one of the jack inputs definitely crackles but not the pots (they're as clean as a whistle).

With that in mind, what other steps or tricks can I try to salvage my beloved NS-2 (or any pedal for that matter)?

Update 20th Dec

I've taken it to bits and I figured I'd probably replace it anyway as the repair cost is almost the same as a replacement. In doing so I think I may have stumbled across the issue - a bad earth. Temporarily I've connected a "manual" ground from the input to the output jack (not the FX send/receive loop) which seemed to cure it before I put it back in the housing. I've re-bathed the board in contact cleaner to ensure all contacts are squeaky clean, all jack inputs & outputs are sprung properly, all solder joints have been redone just to be sure so it seems like there's a problem with the board itself - specifically with the grounding however the metallic/digital hiss & dips in sound still exist - albeit a slight bit less than before.

2 Answers 2

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If the problem is caused by moving the cables then the areas to look at are:

  • check your cables: I know it might sound stupid but with doing
  • corrosion on connectors: sounds like you have checked this
  • contact springs: bend them if necessary to get the right pressure on the jack plug
  • wires from plug to board: redo solder connections at each end
  • wires from battery or power supply socket: check solder connections and ground
  • all other connections: redo all solder joints just in case
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  • I've done all of the above and it seems like it's a bad earth problem. I've bypassed the board entirely with the ground and connected a ground from input to output as a test and it's somewhat fixed things however it's still extremely noisy. I did read somewhere that one of the harder things to diagnose is blown chips as it's not obvious... any tips? Dec 20, 2017 at 13:48
  • Although I have a degree in Electronic Engineering, and have designed and built many effects pedals over the years, I probably wouldn't bother trying to get down to that level in a commercially available pedal. Cheaper/quicker just to replace the entire thing. I have one and it's a good noise suppressor.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Dec 20, 2017 at 14:34
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Mine was one drop of solder added to a brittle resistor connection at the board and probably had been dropped as happens when people try to help they get bashed around, friend gave it to me because he’s not very mechanically inclined but could play guitar real well...go figure that one. Until my playing caught up until now I kind of fix everyones stuff and also would try to fix the pedal before tossing it. Also try dielectric grease on any contact points/ connections as I never hear anyone mention this. Usually done after the cleaning. Has worked many miracles and find it in the auto parts store. It’s for spark plug boots, trailer light connections...guitar cables, headphone jacks, rocker/slider switches, extension cords and just about anything than expects pieces of metal to make a good connection not intermittent 👍✔️💯% light bulb sockets outside Christmas lights 🤔 trust me you’ll want to put it on everything like anti seize compound on bolt threads. Stuff they never tell you.

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