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Roc8995
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#1
This thread is meant to be a resource for anyone with a short, (hopefully) quickly answered question that perhaps doesn't need its own thread. We've only got a few rules, and they're more like guidelines:

  • This thread is staffed by members of the Who To Listen To list, a group of forum regulars who are elected at intervals by popular nomination and existing member vote. The list can be found here: WTLT List and Chat Thread
  • Great quick questions are ones that can be answered objectively or at least do not have a controversial aspect. Subjective questions or questions requiring some back-and-forth conversation deserve their own threads!
  • We're going to aim for a "one question, one answer" format. If your question is going to need followup, make a thread. Similarly, if a question has already been answered, please try not to elaborate or confound the issue by answering it again unless it's really necessary.
  • Try to give all the information we might need to answer the question in your post. If we have to follow up to clarify or ask more questions, it slows the process down. A quick question doesn't have to mean a short post.
  • Please try to stay on topic This means you Greg we have a chat thread already

Ask away!


We'll also keep a list of frequently answered questions.

Q: Why aren't there any FAQ yet?
Not enough questions, and Roc is a slacker!
Offworld92
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#3


(I can delete this if you want another Reserved)
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#4
^ Please rephrase that in the form of a question.


But seriosly folks, it is my opinion that you will probably get more mileage
out of your question if you state it intelligently and be sustinct. Also, do
not be afraid to do a Google search first or maybe post a URL to a thread or
Web site that discusses your topic in question.

But the bottom line is, don't be afraid to ask. Everyone starts somewhere.
You will not be looked down upon for asking in here.

gumbilicious
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#5
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
^ Please rephrase that in the form of a question.


can i post just say i was on the first page?
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
AWACS
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#6
As someone who likes to learn as much as I can about guitar gear, this is a great idea for a thread. (I also just wanted to be on the first page )

I did have a question that I either can't understand via answers on Google, or if I just can't find them:

What is the difference between an optical and a non-optical compressor, in terms of tone?
Caution:
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#7
Quote by AWACS
As someone who likes to learn as much as I can about guitar gear, this is a great idea for a thread. (I also just wanted to be on the first page )

I did have a question that I either can't understand via answers on Google, or if I just can't find them:

What is the difference between an optical and a non-optical compressor, in terms of tone?


an optical compressor uses a photo resistor and a light source (like an LED), this produces a particular lag, delay or ramp (in the attack and release). it kinda has it's own type of response.

there are many factors in how non-optical compressors work so it is hard to say how they exactly differ from optical compressors. in fact there are particular non-optical compressors that try to emulate (and do emulate quite successfully) optical compressors.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Feb 14, 2014,
CodeMonk
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#8
Quote by Roc8995
...

We're going to aim for a "one question, one answer" format. If your question is going to need followup, make a thread. Similarly, if a question has already been answered, please try not to elaborate or confound the issue by answering it again unless it's really necessary.


I think a confirmation on someones answer (as long as its right) is good though.
If I only get an answer from one person, I'm not as likely to follow it unless I get conformation from another knowledgeable person.
YMMV
Guy_Mitchell
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#9
What is the difference between a pedal that is analog and one that isn't?
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#10
Quote by Guy_Mitchell
What is the difference between a pedal that is analog and one that isn't?



An analog pedal has transistors that shape the sound. A digital pedal actually has a processor (like in your computer) that shapes the sound. Its really just a bunch of 1s and 0s.

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Last edited by DeathByDestroyr at Feb 14, 2014,
CodeMonk
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#11
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
An analog pedal has transistors that shape the sound. A digital pedal actually has a processor (like in your computer) that shapes the sound. Its really just a bunch of 1s and 0s.

Did I do well?


Thats more or less correct.
Analog can also include IC's (LM358, JRC4558, LN1458, CD4053, etc.).
Just because it has an IC doesn't mean its digital (that argument has come up before).
You can have an analog IC, or a digital IC.

You did just fine.
classicrocker01
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#13
^ I get to answer your question?


The early Super Leads had a plexiglass front panel, as opposed to later metal panels. The name Plexi just kind of stuck.
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Last edited by classicrocker01 at Feb 15, 2014,
gumbilicious
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#14
Quote by classicrocker01
^ I get to answer your question?


The originals had a plexiglass front panel, as opposed to later metal panels. The name Plexi just kind of stuck for the Super Lead though,


i think the early super leads (1959) also had plexiglass from '65 til '69

that might have been what you meant though.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

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classicrocker01
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#15
^Faulty wording, yes, that's what I meant. Fix'd
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Offworld92
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#17
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I knew about the Plexiglas panel I guess my question
was more of is it a thin layer of Plexiglas glued onto
the front panel of the metal chassis?

If so, why?


+1
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gumbilicious
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#19
Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I knew about the Plexiglas panel I guess my question
was more of is it a thin layer of Plexiglas glued onto
the front panel of the metal chassis?

If so, why?


i believe it was just straight plexiglass (mounted to the front of a metal chassis that houses the circuit).

if you want a more modern example of an amp that uses plexiglass for the front panel, look at Orange amplifiers. i believe just about all their higher end amps uses straight plexiglass front panels, it literally just a piece of plexglass attached to the chassis



see the white panel on the front of the Orange chassis? that is all plexiglass.

so the panel itself is all plexiglass, and yes it is mounted to the front of the metal chassis. i don't know if they actually glued it though. i'd imagine there is enough mounting parts to keep it secured on there.

Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
I assumed they did that because Plexiglas doesn't
conduct electricity and it helped prevent accidental
electrocution in these early amps.



i think it was just aesthetic



pics of marshall plexiglass panels.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Feb 15, 2014,
gumbilicious
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#20
Quote by Guy_Mitchell
What is the difference between a pedal that is analog and one that isn't?


a digital pedal converts the signal from the guitar into a digital/discrete signal represented by logical 1's and 0's. this digital signal is then processed by a DSP (digital signal processor) chip and then reconverted back into an analog signal for output to the amp.

i would say the analog/digital/analog (ADA) conversion is the big defining characteristic of a digital pedal.
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MatrixClaw
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#21
Quote by gumbilicioussee
See the white panel on the front of the Orange chassis? that is all plexiglass.

so the panel itself is all plexiglass, and yes it is mounted to the front of the metal chassis. i don't know if they actually glued it though. i'd imagine there is enough mounting parts to keep it secured on there.

Is it, really? Hmmm... I've owned several Oranges and guess I've never looked that hard at the front panel, I assumed it was metal
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#22
Quote by MatrixClaw
Is it, really? Hmmm... I've owned several Oranges and guess I've never looked that hard at the front panel, I assumed it was metal


to be honest, i never even paid attention until i took the box off my chassis to take gut shots and i was actually a little surprised that the front plate was 'plastic'.

.. you know, now i am kinda wondering if only the OR50H i have actually has a plexiglass panel. but then again why would that be the only amp with a plexiglass front panel when almost all their other amps have the same design.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

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Roc8995
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#23
All right guys, this is all well and good but we already have a chat thread. Can we please keep this a quick questions and answers thread?
mmolteratx
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#24
Quote by AWACS
As someone who likes to learn as much as I can about guitar gear, this is a great idea for a thread. (I also just wanted to be on the first page )

I did have a question that I either can't understand via answers on Google, or if I just can't find them:

What is the difference between an optical and a non-optical compressor, in terms of tone?


Like Gumbi said, an optical comp is (usually) slower, but it really depends on the individual circuits that you're talking about. One, optical comp can refer to one that uses either an optocoupler (LED and photocell) or photoFET (LED and light dependent FET). The photoFETs can actually be fairly quick, but still not as quick as several other circuits.

Non optical usually refers to a FET or OTA based comp. Both can be exceedingly quick, or can be dialed in slower than any optical comp really. Optical/nonoptical is a fairly useless metric, IMO. A more useful measure of predicting a pedal's performance is to figure out what type of circuit it's based on. For example, Ross/Dyna Comp based comp's are almost always pretty slow with a prominent attack effect caused by high level's of compression. Though this can be kind of tricky, as there are a lot of guy's using at least semi unique compressor implementations.

Quote by Guy_Mitchell
What is the difference between a pedal that is analog and one that isn't?


In electronics, analog is continuous, and digital is discrete. What that means is that analog pedals process a continuous waveform, while digital processes discrete samples of the original waveform. To do this, you need an analog to digital converter, which will sample the amplitude vs time and assign the input a binary value. The number of bits used will vary depending on the processor/converter. Higher bit rates provide for a more accurate sample for the processor to manipulate. Lower bit rates or a lower quality DAC can cause some really nasty distortion. After the digital signal is processed, it's converted back to analog and buffered or amplified before leaving the pedal.

Digital is much more complex to design, and very few people without a degree in electronics or CS are building them. That doesn't guarantee it will sound good, but it does give me more confidence that it's not a steaming pile of garbage, provided it's not cheap Chinese crap.
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#25
Hello again Gents, I have a question about power supplies and analog delays:

I have a HomeBrew Electronics Mimic delay, and I've noticed that it distorts/clips the signal way more than I feel it should; level around 10 or 11 o clock is where it starts. I have a 1 Spot powering all of my pedals, digital and analog. Would the 1 Spot and mix of analog and digital pedals cause this distortion in the Mimic? Or should I just buy a a different analog delay like a Carbon Copy, or Aqua Puss, etc.?
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gumbilicious
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#26
Quote by AWACS
Hello again Gents, I have a question about power supplies and analog delays:

I have a HomeBrew Electronics Mimic delay, and I've noticed that it distorts/clips the signal way more than I feel it should; level around 10 or 11 o clock is where it starts. I have a 1 Spot powering all of my pedals, digital and analog. Would the 1 Spot and mix of analog and digital pedals cause this distortion in the Mimic? Or should I just buy a a different analog delay like a Carbon Copy, or Aqua Puss, etc.?


i can see no obvious reason the mimic delay would do that, the specs on the One Spot seem to match the mimic's power needs. you can try to isolate the problem to the pedal by just plugging your one spot into the delay by itself or throwing a battery into the delay and unplugging the power supply. if the problem persists even on a battery or with the one spot powering no other pedals then it must be the pedal that is the problem.

at that point i'd look into trying to get a replacement unit or try another delay altogether (like the aforementioned Carbon Copy).
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#27
I did get it for free from a buddy, so I'm not too bothered about it

And I wasn't sure if the pedal was bad, or if the power source and the mix of other pedals would make it act weird.
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#28
Maybe you can take your delay to a store and compare it with another of the same. That sounds kind of shady though.
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#29
Quote by AWACS
What is the difference between an optical and a non-optical compressor, in terms of tone?
As far as my knowledge goes, optical compressors have a logarithmic gain reduction, while FET/OTA based ones have a linear one.
Plus, yeah, all of the things that were already stated.

Am I doing this right, adding another answer to a question, or it'd be better to keep this more one question -> one answer?

Anyway, I have a couple brief questions myself.

1. I have a Joyo JF-35 pedal designed to be powered by a 9v power supply, but it works at 12v too without any problem.
Is there a way to discover if it's safe to power it with 18v without risking frying something in the process?
And, just so ya know, it has SMD components.

2. Can guitar pickups clip?
'cause if I keep them high enough (GFS alnico fat bridge and 52' neck) the sound I get when I strum the thing hardly kinda sounds like distortion.
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#30
Quote by Roc8995
All right guys, this is all well and good but we already have a chat thread. Can we please keep this a quick questions and answers thread?

Sorry. I thought it was a legitimate question.
I'm sure lots of people have the same question.

I guess it was just an aesthetics things.
gumbilicious
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#31
^i've seen quite a few people ask that question, and i am willing to believe there are more people that haven't asked the question and have no idea why plexi's are called "plexi's". i didn't know until i was in my mid 20's.

Quote by Spambot_2
1. I have a Joyo JF-35 pedal designed to be powered by a 9v power supply, but it works at 12v too without any problem.
Is there a way to discover if it's safe to power it with 18v without risking frying something in the process?
And, just so ya know, it has SMD components.


i am not a total expert on this, this is a question that Matt and Cathbard could nail. i believe the voltage requirements of a pedal are mainly from the opamp and the capacitors. if you supply too much voltage then you could fry either component.

from what i have heard of analog pedals, opamps are usually quite robust and it's actually the caps that are more likely to give under higher voltages. so if you are savy you can check the specs of the parts of your pedal and decide if they are heavy duty enough to handle higher voltages.

most people can't/won't do that, so i'd just say don't exceed manufacturer recommendations. else some weak link inside the pedal may just pop.

Quote by Spambot_2
2. Can guitar pickups clip?
'cause if I keep them high enough (GFS alnico fat bridge and 52' neck) the sound I get when I strum the thing hardly kinda sounds like distortion.


i don't think passive pickups would clip, you're just inducing electron flow through the wire so there may be some saturation point where the induced flow may start acting non-linear, but signals from pickups are notoriously weak so i have serious doubts you could achieve that with a standard pickup setup.

active pickups do have a preamp onboard, but i'd still seriously doubt you'd be able to make that preamp clip from just your guitar strings.

i would assume the 'distortion' sound from heavy handed picking is being induced in the amp's preamp or is just the result of the mechanical limitations of the strings themselves. strumming an acoustic guitar real hard can make some sounds that may be characterized as 'distortion' sounding.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Feb 16, 2014,
mmolteratx
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#32
Quote by Spambot_2
As far as my knowledge goes, optical compressors have a logarithmic gain reduction, while FET/OTA based ones have a linear one.
Plus, yeah, all of the things that were already stated.


That's just not true. There's nothing inherently linear or log shaped about a device's response. In fact, most devices on the market, including photocells, are abundantly linear until you reach the edges of their response. Some have different resistance curves, but definitely not all.


Am I doing this right, adding another answer to a question, or it'd be better to keep this more one question -> one answer?

Anyway, I have a couple brief questions myself.

1. I have a Joyo JF-35 pedal designed to be powered by a 9v power supply, but it works at 12v too without any problem.
Is there a way to discover if it's safe to power it with 18v without risking frying something in the process?
And, just so ya know, it has SMD components.

2. Can guitar pickups clip?
'cause if I keep them high enough (GFS alnico fat bridge and 52' neck) the sound I get when I strum the thing hardly kinda sounds like distortion.


1. You'd need to be able to read the voltage rating on all of the caps. Since they're SMD and have no markings, that's not really possible. The only way to check would be to e-mail Joyo, or just try it. Though it's unlikely it would break right away. Just leave it at 12V. This voltage thing that's popped up over the last few years is just silly, especially for op amp clippers. The increased voltage increases the supply rails, so you have a harder time hitting them, but most pedals shouldn't be hitting the rails anyways.

2. No. That's your input breaking up. There's nothing to a pickup except for wire and magnets. Lower your pickup height. 3mm or 1/8" would be the closest I'd keep them, and probably even lower in most cases.
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#33
Hello again Gents, (I haven't googled this, by the way)

I was curious as to what the difference was between a boost pedal, and an overdrive pedal, specifically, when the level on the overdrive is very high (4-5 o clock) and the gain is low (6-7 o clock)

Do they work similarly with said settings on the OD? Just thinking about it, it seems like a similar concept. I have no experience with boost pedals and haven't really looked into them.

If they do give a similar result, is there a big difference in tone? Or does it depend on the pedals involved?

Thanks.
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#34
Boost is typically supposed to generate no distortion of its own, and have a relatively flat frequency response. Specifics really depend on what pedals you're talking about.
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#35
So a boost is going to be fairly transparent, adding little to the tone, while an OD with those setting will colour the tone more, because of the OD's particular "natural"(?) EQ?
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#36
Generally, yes. Most OD's roll off a healthy amount of treble to keep away the fizz, and many, like the Tubescreamer and its derivatives, also roll off bass. When boosting an amp with a Tubescreamer, you're going to get more compression, a tighter and more controlled low end and less fizz than with something like an EP Boost. In general, an OD works better when using lots of gain due to its frequency shaping abilities, vs a boost which works better for low to mid gain to keep the frequency response wide and fat.
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#37
Okay, thank you very much. Thats all I have for today

EDIT: VVVV Also very good to know. Again, thank you.
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Last edited by AWACS at Feb 17, 2014,
mmolteratx
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#38
Keep in mind the lines between OD/boost/distortion are often blurred a bit. Like the ever popular Timmy. Turn the gain down and roll the bass/treble controls to zero cut, and it's a perfectly flat clean boost. Screw around with the controls and you can get up to a medium gain OD out of it with huge bass and treble cuts. Versatility tends to be the name of the game these days.
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#39
Quote by DeathByDestroyr
Ok, so let's say that I wanted to draw on a pedal, as permanent as possible. Most like a pen would be best. Pretty much stuck with sharpies and a clear coat or is there something more specialized for the task?


With the little that I know about this stuff, that'd be your best bet. There should be some kind of spray clear coat thats pretty thick to protect the drawings, that you can get at the hardware store.
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#40
Quote by Spambot_2


1. I have a Joyo JF-35 pedal designed to be powered by a 9v power supply, but it works at 12v too without any problem.
Is there a way to discover if it's safe to power it with 18v without risking frying something in the process?
And, just so ya know, it has SMD components.

Most op-amps will take a single sided 18V supply with ease. Open it up and take a look at what chip and then look up the datasheet for it. Differential supply voltage is the figure you are looking for.
Look at the electrolytics too, their maximum voltage should be written on it. Chances are that very few will be taking 100% of supply but it's a good indicator and you'd be playing it safe to assume that they are.
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