Author Topic: zvex pedals  (Read 13224 times)

WildMountain

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2006, 12:45:19 AM »
I haven't seen a lot of pics of the inside of ZVex's pedals. Man, you gotta admire this. Great looks on the outside, and a work of art inside. How does he fit all that stuff in that tiny box? Makes you wanna buy one, just to look inside. I might do just that :icon_wink:

alteredsounds

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2006, 06:53:49 AM »
i'm really anti-hype and against using whats in but i got a SHO and it really is outstanding!

zachary vex

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2006, 01:13:40 PM »
btw that picture of the inside of my seek-wah doesn't show my random board.  instead, the pictured board is the Jon Cusack tap-tempo board, available through cusackmusic.com

as far as clicking goes, see the green shield board?  the electronics is completely shielded from the jack and switch area.  also, no control wires are allowed to run back to the switch area unless they are either 1] silent or 2] running next to shielded audio wiring.  there is a single point where the digital electronics ground meets the audio electronics.  unfiltered power is applied to the digital section, and power is strongly filtered going into the audio electronics.  bypass caps (.01 or .1) are across any digital chips.  no digital signals are allowed to run parallel to any audio signals on the board.  the audio realm has its own isolated ground plane (connected at one corner to the digital ground start point) and is back-filled on both sides of the board.  noisy boards can sometimes be fixed with 1 or 2 oz. copper.  if a digital signal must run parallel in any way to an exposed audio wire or trace, a ground trace must be run between.  no digital grounds are allowed to carry current near the audio section of the board (a dead-end ground trace must be set up as a perimeter fence around the audio). 

theundeadelvis

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2006, 01:27:16 PM »
Just wanted to say it's very cool that Mr. Vex is so open to discuss the workings of his pedal and give so much insight. Thanks and beatiful design Mr. Vex.
If it ain't broke...   ...it will be soon.

soggybag

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2006, 02:20:54 PM »
Thanks for the insight Mr Vex.

I'm curious when the Ring Tone will be available?

Bob N

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2006, 02:39:59 PM »
I gotta say that the Ring Tone is going to be very popular... My local Music-Go-Round in Kenosha was talking about it on Sunday when I was there.... They can't wait to get one.... So, this is the second time in a couple of days I've heard it mentioned

idiot savant

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2006, 03:03:28 PM »
I gotta say that the Ring Tone is going to be very popular... My local Music-Go-Round in Kenosha was talking about it on Sunday when I was there.... They can't wait to get one.... So, this is the second time in a couple of days I've heard it mentioned


hey, cool... another wisconsinite. we're few and far between 'round these parts. :icon_lol: :icon_lol:

phaeton

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2006, 03:52:50 PM »
I gotta say that the Ring Tone is going to be very popular... My local Music-Go-Round in Kenosha was talking about it on Sunday when I was there.... They can't wait to get one.... So, this is the second time in a couple of days I've heard it mentioned


hey, cool... another wisconsinite. we're few and far between 'round these parts. :icon_lol: :icon_lol:

Noted. ;)

In fact, the Music-go-round in Kenosha he speaks of is the first place I ever saw ZVEX anything.  The Good-N-Loud in Madison (near where I live) has a lot of local yokel homebrew pedals and amps and stuff.  Never played any, but they look good.  Some guy even found a source for BOSS-style enclosures- dunno if he's just harvesting broken DS-1s or what.

There is a small bit of amplifiers in there under the name Tone King which are made locally too.  Once when I was in there some guy lit into one of those things with some beat up old Telecaster and it was one of those 'drop everything you're doing, run and go look' moments.  Amazing.

Unfortunately, they just opened a Guitar Center in Mad-town, so I bet that Good-N-Loud will soon crumble :(
Stark Raving Mad Scientist

zachary vex

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #28 on: February 28, 2006, 06:31:23 PM »
Thanks for the insight Mr Vex.

I'm curious when the Ring Tone will be available?

so am i!  we're working on it.  8^)

Paul Marossy

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #29 on: February 28, 2006, 07:17:04 PM »
Hey Mr. Vex, if you're still in the mood for answering questions... do you use tantalums in all your pedals instead of electrolytics? It seems that every one I have seen has tantalums in it.

zachary vex

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #30 on: March 01, 2006, 04:45:33 AM »
at first, back in the mid-90s, i did use tantalums for everything, figuring that would give them the longest possible life.  after a while i switched to electrolytics for audio and tantalums for certain control applications, and sometimes it was based on construction as well, like when i'd forget how much space i needed for something.  the bottom of a drip-shaped tantalum is narrower than the bottom of an electrolytic can.  also, if you ever have to bend caps over for some reason, tantalums are more sturdy because they're solid epoxy, while an electrolytic's rubber seal can be broken by stressing the leads.  because i'm constantly squeezing things into "too-small" spaces this comes in handy sometimes.

i like the sound of old SHOs with tantalums in them.  i also like the sound of new ones with electrolytics.  analog electronics just sounds good.  8^)

Mark Hammer

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #31 on: March 01, 2006, 09:40:57 AM »
My guess is that MXR used them in the 70's for the same reasons: lying caps down flat so you could stuff a board behind the pots in a 1590B!

Paul Marossy

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #32 on: March 01, 2006, 10:18:27 AM »
Thanks Z! That satisfies my curiousity.  :icon_cool:

zachary vex

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2006, 12:17:01 PM »
My guess is that MXR used them in the 70's for the same reasons: lying caps down flat so you could stuff a board behind the pots in a 1590B!

and now i stuff parts behind IC sockets.  8^) 

RDV

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #34 on: March 01, 2006, 12:56:04 PM »
and now i stuff parts behind IC sockets.  8^) 
That's the rumour, and inside pots!

Dastardly Dan, You dirty guy!

RDV

phaeton

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2006, 01:00:04 PM »
Dr. Z,

Are all these still hand soldered/solderpasted by you personally, or do you have machinery and hired help to do this these days?  I realize someone else paints, but I somehow can't imagine that you've picked up a soldering iron in awhile (too much other stuff to do ;))
Stark Raving Mad Scientist

zachary vex

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2006, 08:40:57 PM »
no machinery.  my trusty assembler Shoua still populates and hand-solders around 4500 units per year with his wife and sister, 18 different models in all.

i use a soldering iron weekly... but yeah, most of my work is on the phone and computer now... it's quite sad, really.  *sniff*

actually, i've always got some project going, but most of that development work, as always, is done with interlocking experimenter's sockets spread all over my bench.

phaeton

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2006, 09:55:46 PM »
interesting!  4500 units a year by hand is nothing to sneeze at.

The designing part is my favourite, but hopefully that hasn't become mundane for you (it sounds like it kind of has).  What do you do, just stand in front of the bench with a beater guitar, strum chords, move jumpers back and forth between circuit blocks and twist trimmers? :D

Because I'd expect just screwing around with a pile of parts and an oscilliscope could kinda take the life out of it.

But what do i know...?
Stark Raving Mad Scientist

Paul Marossy

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2006, 10:10:13 PM »
Wow, 4500 units per year is impressive for three assemblers. The painters must be quite busy, too! Whew!

zachary vex

Re: zvex pedals
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2006, 03:23:01 AM »
interesting!  4500 units a year by hand is nothing to sneeze at.

The designing part is my favourite, but hopefully that hasn't become mundane for you (it sounds like it kind of has).  What do you do, just stand in front of the bench with a beater guitar, strum chords, move jumpers back and forth between circuit blocks and twist trimmers? :D

Because I'd expect just screwing around with a pile of parts and an oscilliscope could kinda take the life out of it.

But what do i know...?

development is the same thing it always was... i have an idea for something and i do some research to find the smallest/lowest current/best approach to the basic circuit ideas, and once it starts making noise i plug my 1968 prototype les paul into the circuit and connect it to my 1967 plexi and see what it sounds like.  i tweek it from there, using a scope if necessary... always monitoring current to make sure it will have good battery life.  the ring tone took about two months total to go from the first circuit attempt to the final three prototypes i took to the NAMM show this year.  while that was in the final stages (getting proto-boards made and approved by my assembler) i developed the box of rock at the same station. i have four work stations in the lab... right now two are empty, one is messy, and one has the leftover carcasses from the ringtone and box of rock.  there's also a shelf full of prototype experimenter's sockets containing half-baked ideas and pedals that "seemed like a good idea at the time."  i have one that required a 3-phase oscillator (or was it quadrature?) in order to go on to the next stage of development... but part of me doesn't want to finish it because an earlier version i was testing caused Erik to hear voices, and i'm not sure that's a good thing.  besides, it is another one of my extremely complex circuits that's going to be tough to shoehorn into the box, and i know it won't sell very well, so it's hard to justify the time and effort.