#1
this is a tech question really, looking to learn the difference. i have a good understanding of electricity, but not a ton with pedals. i have successfully built amps, and i understand that other than the 'why' certain components change. i understand RC circuits decently.

but really matters in my inquiry is what is the difference in tone and a tiny bit of knowledge.

also i realize that i probably have both. i know a tubecsreamer is symmetric and for instance a blues driver is asymmetric.

what holds advantage over the other? and when?

i hope i didn't piss anybody off.
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#2
The main difference is basically the difference in sounds between these two pedals.

With symmetrical clipping you get a softer, more controlled sound.
Asymmetrical clipping is harsher, and gets less clear when playing more than a string at a time.

The difference between hard and soft clipping is bigger though, so have a look to that, too.
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#3
You honestly won't notice the difference between an asymmetrical TS and symmetrical in a mix. Think of it in terms of a diode limiter. If you've got two antiparallel diodes that are identical, you're limiting the positive/negative swings equally (symmetrical). If you add another diode in series with one of the antiparallel diodes, or swap one for an LED or diode with a different forward voltage, the peak limit will become greater for that side of the signal (asymmetrical). People usually say this sounds a little more "raw" or harsh, but I just don't hear it. Those qualities are primarily determined by the frequency shaping going on around the clippers rather than the clippers themselves.
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#4
if anybody has anything else to say or have a reliable article or a link to one, i would be happy to read it. more in depth would be fine too.

i know most of you know me, but the reason i didn't Google it is because i trust your collective advice, or link to article more than the internet. there are a lot of people talking out of their ass all over the place.

Quote by Spambot_2
The main difference is basically the difference in sounds between these two pedals.

With symmetrical clipping you get a softer, more controlled sound.
Asymmetrical clipping is harsher, and gets less clear when playing more than a string at a time.

The difference between hard and soft clipping is bigger though, so have a look to that, too.


thanks. short and sweet.

have they kind of developed a color code like TS's? the blues driver is blue, so is the SD-1.
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alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
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2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
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#5
Quote by mmolteratx
You honestly won't notice the difference between an asymmetrical TS and symmetrical in a mix. Think of it in terms of a diode limiter. If you've got two antiparallel diodes that are identical, you're limiting the positive/negative swings equally (symmetrical). If you add another diode in series with one of the antiparallel diodes, or swap one for an LED or diode with a different forward voltage, the peak limit will become greater for that side of the signal (asymmetrical). People usually say this sounds a little more "raw" or harsh, but I just don't hear it. Those qualities are primarily determined by the frequency shaping going on around the clippers rather than the clippers themselves.


thanks, i was typing when you posted that. thanks for a simple technical definition.



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Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
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---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#6
Quote by mmolteratx
You honestly won't notice the difference between an asymmetrical TS and symmetrical in a mix. Think of it in terms of a diode limiter. If you've got two antiparallel diodes that are identical, you're limiting the positive/negative swings equally (symmetrical). If you add another diode in series with one of the antiparallel diodes, or swap one for an LED or diode with a different forward voltage, the peak limit will become greater for that side of the signal (asymmetrical). People usually say this sounds a little more "raw" or harsh, but I just don't hear it. Those qualities are primarily determined by the frequency shaping going on around the clippers rather than the clippers themselves.


that's what i was gonna say only in much more layman's type language there might be a difference if you tried the two head to head (in a pedal with both on a switch, say), but in most pedals where there's a difference in the clipping (say an sd1 versus a tubescreamer) there are other differences too in the circuit which also affect how the things sound.

for example, IIRC the sd1 loses a smoothing cap around the first op-amp stage (which the tubescreamer has). which (if RG Keen is to be believed, and as far as i'm aware he's pretty well-respected) leads to a harsher sound.
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at Nov 20, 2013,
#7
Yup. The TS has a small bypass cap (51p) across the NFB loop that acts as a short for high frequencies. That essentially lowers the gain to one for anything above the cut off frequency, while anything below has a gain determined by the rest of the NFB loop. The SD-1 doesn't have that bypass cap, so all high frequencies are passed, and you wind up with more treble distortion, which people typically associate with harshness/aggression.

Here's a generic soft clipper circuit you can try to see if you can notice the difference solely with symmetrical/asymmetrical clipping. You could just use the D1/D2 network and throw it in any effects pedal. Basically all you do is add another diode in series with one of the others, and short across it when you want symmetrical clipping.

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#8
Quote by Dave_Mc
that's what i was gonna say only in much more layman's type language there might be a difference if you tried the two head to head (in a pedal with both on a switch, say), but in most pedals where there's a difference in the clipping (say an sd1 versus a tubescreamer) there are other differences too in the circuit which also affect how the things sound.

for example, IIRC the sd1 loses a smoothing cap around the first op-amp stage (which the tubescreamer has). which (if RG Keen is to be believed, and as far as i'm aware he's pretty well-respected) leads to a harsher sound.


interesting and good knowledge, thanks.

matt thanks for the schem example. as well
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#9
we did some experimentation, i agree with matt: it'll be hard to pick one or the other out in a double blind.

one of the things me and a buddy did was breadboard up an LPB-1 and throw some diodes in the circuit (i think that is a transistor design and we put the clipping at the output of the circuit). super simple pedal to breadboard and experiment with (especially if you have worked with amp kits before). we tried all kinds of diodes and configurations, you can answer a bunch of your own questions that way.

here is a pic of the breadboard



quite literally that easy. get first hand answers. btw, that pic was from a version where we were using a LED, a diode and another transistor as a diode in the clipping section i think. that was from a long time ago.
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#10
As Matt said, other things make a far bigger difference. I personally think that the whole assymetric clipping thing is a marketing ploy. How could it make a big difference really? Think about it, do you think your ear knows the difference between positive and negative? If the top is clipped more than the bottom why wouldn't your ears average it out like everything else?

Assymetric is said to be smoother right? People will say, "I tested it" using a switch like on Matt's schem. But lets examine that test. Each diode clamps it at 0.6V (normal Si diodes), so with the switch open the signal across the clipper is 1.8V peak to peak and with the switch closed it clamps it to 1.2V peak to peak. Of course it's harsher clamped to lower voltage. That doesn't prove that assymetric is smoother, it just means that you're clipping it less because you are using more diodes in series.
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Last edited by Cathbard at Nov 20, 2013,
#11
Quote by Cathbard
As Matt said, other things make a far bigger difference. I personally think that the whole assymetric clipping thing is a marketing ploy. How could it make a big difference really? Think about it, do you think your ear knows the difference between positive and negative? If the top is clipped more than the bottom why wouldn't your ears average it out like everything else?


are there even diodes made with such tight tolerance as to facilitate perfectly symmetrical clipping?

no.

all clipping is (at least) some form of assymetrical clipping.
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#12
thank you very much everybody for taking the time to answer.

i totally understand how other things having a greater effect on some other ________ things, even just tolerances.
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#13
My miniscule anecdotal story. I had a BBE AM-64 distortion pedal. It uses two LEDs for the clipping. I switched one of the LEDs for a silicon diode and it sounded slightly richer, maybe you could call it more complex. But maybe that was just from the small increase in distortion
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#14
Quote by tas38
My miniscule anecdotal story. I had a BBE AM-64 distortion pedal. It uses two LEDs for the clipping. I switched one of the LEDs for a silicon diode and it sounded slightly richer, maybe you could call it more complex. But maybe that was just from the small increase in distortion


that is kind of one of those things where people change the intake on a car and it feels faster. maybe you gain 1 hp just the seat of your pants. i used to build lots of engines, SBC and a few BBC's, but i mostly ran the 400 stroked out a bit with spray on top. most of what i was doing was in the 6XX to 8XX HP engines for customers. my car currently is slow. just a modded cammed LT1 and i ported the heads a little bit. i am not sure if i need to renew my ASE tests or not, but had all at once. i am not really interested in it as much anymore.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#15
Quote by mmolteratx
Yup. The TS has a small bypass cap (51p) across the NFB loop that acts as a short for high frequencies. That essentially lowers the gain to one for anything above the cut off frequency, while anything below has a gain determined by the rest of the NFB loop. The SD-1 doesn't have that bypass cap, so all high frequencies are passed, and you wind up with more treble distortion, which people typically associate with harshness/aggression.

Here's a generic soft clipper circuit you can try to see if you can notice the difference solely with symmetrical/asymmetrical clipping. You could just use the D1/D2 network and throw it in any effects pedal. Basically all you do is add another diode in series with one of the others, and short across it when you want symmetrical clipping.





Quote by trashedlostfdup
interesting and good knowledge, thanks.


no problem

these guys here know way more than me so listen to them

Quote by Cathbard
As Matt said, other things make a far bigger difference. I personally think that the whole assymetric clipping thing is a marketing ploy.


wasn't it originally done by ibanez to get round boss' patent on the asymmetric clipping circuit? the tubescreamer couldn't use asymmetrical clipping as boss had the patent on it for the od1 (i think).

plus what you said also makes me wary- for every person who says asymmetric is harsher, another says it's smoother and more amp-like. Or harsher and more amp like. Or whatever.

I think it's kind of like most guitar stuff. a little knowledge is dangerous- people get one thing into their head and suddenly that's the only reason why something sounds the way it does. Like the way people say les pauls are warm because they're made of mahogany... sure, that's one reason, but there are a bunch of other reasons, too.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Nov 21, 2013,
#16
OD-1! That was the pedal I used to have. In the early days I ran an OD-1 and a TS-808. They were pretty much the only two overdrives you could buy at the time. Both of those pedals were stolen.
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#17


i think it was the od1. i should really check the schematic
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
This red car is more comfortable than that blue car therefore red cars are more comfortable than blue cars.
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Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


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My band
#19
yeah that's about the gist of it, apparently
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?