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Turn Your Guitar’s Tone Control Into a Battery-Free On-Board Overdrive

Installation Instructions

For guitars with a single tone control, simply choose the wiring option below that best suits your playing style and replace the capacitor connected to your tone control with the leads marked “to guitar” (as shown in E-Z Install option). That’s it.–You’re done! Prefer separate tone and Black Ice controls? A push/pull pot or mini-switch? Consider one of the other wiring options.


Slightly gritty with single coils. Mildly distorted with humbuckers and P90/soapbars.


Mildly distorted with single coils. Medium distortion with humbuckers and P90/soapbars. Good all-around choice.


Medium distortion with single coils. Aggressive raw distortion with humbuckers and P90/soapbars. Subtle 60’s style growl with bass.

 Industrial Strength:

Spitty, nasty and rude with hotter pickups. Slightly more aggressive 60’s style growl with bass. Best option for bass or guitars with weak, low-output pickups.

General notes:

•  If you’d like to test drive Black Ice before permanently installing it, temporarily connect it between the hot and ground

   of your guitars’ output jack.  

•  Use a 250k ohm pot for the Black Ice control.  

•  Black Ice has no polarity. Either “to guitar” lead can be connected to hot and  ground.  

•  Insulate any unused Black Ice leads with electrical tape, etc. so they don’t touch other components/wires.


It's also worth pointing out:

Black Ice is for folks who’d like a convenient way to dial in a little fun and grit. It’s not a replacement for your favorite boutique pedal, nor will it turn your amplifier into a fire-breathing stack. Black Ice will not boost the volume or sustain of your guitar.

(A subtle volume drop may also be detected, particularly with the Hot and Industrial Strength wiring options.)


EZ Install Master Volume & Black Ice 

(for Telecasters*, Les Paul Juniors* and other 2-control instruments): Simply replace the tone control capacitor with Black Ice. Note: Turning the control DOWN (counterclockwise) increases distortion.

Optional Master Volume & Black Ice 

(for Telecasters*, Les Paul Juniors* and other 2-control instruments): Similar to above but turning the control UP (clockwise) increases distortion.

Master Volume, Master Tone & Black Ice

(for Stratocasters* and other 3-control instruments)

Typical Gibson Les Paul* Wiring

Optional Les Paul* Wiring 

(allows for independent volume control when both pickups are selected)

Push/Pull Pot or On/On Mini-Switch Wiring Option

Black Ice in a Box

Black Ice doesn’t have to go in your guitar. It can be installed in a stomp box style enclosure, a project box, or even something fun like an old Altoids tin. The diagrams to the right and below show four ways to wire it: a simple “always on” box, a box with a switch to turn Black Ice on/off, a box with a potentiometer to dial in just the right amount of Black Ice overdrive and a box that includes both a switch and a pot.

To use, connect your guitar to either jack; it doesn’t matter which. Use the other jack as the output jack.

Black Ice Always On
Black Ice with Switch
Black Ice with Drive Control

© 2017 Black Ice Enterprises

Black Ice with Switch and Drive Control
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