Author Topic: Tone Icons  (Read 24333 times)

analogmike

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2006, 07:42:18 PM »
Here is a Tone Icon playing our Sunface with Carbon Comp resistors, Hand wired,
true bypass with vintage NOS germanium transistors  :icon_lol:

DIY has unpleasant realities, such as that an operating soldering iron has two ends differing markedly in the degree of comfort with which they can be grasped. - J. Smith

mike  ~^v^~ aNaLoG.MaN ~^v^~   vintage guitar effects

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Eb7+9

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2006, 09:13:59 PM »
amen ... :icon_cool:

       let the audio heretics shine on ...     

formerMember1

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2006, 12:01:05 AM »
while still respecting everyone elses thoughts,...

Build a wah with all metal film resistors. Play.  Put a carbon comp 470ohm in there,(buy a few so you get one that is 467-468, or whatever the metal film is). PLay. 

Simple!  The difference is not subtle, but very different then the metal film.  I dare anyone to do this and record it both ways, and tell me there is no difference!

that is only ONE resistor change too.

I don't know why it is so hard for everyone to realize this.

ALSO, even having all carbon comp in your wah, and swapping the 470ohm out for a metal film will make a difference.  It tightens up the wah.

Anyone who  posted in this thread, thinking carbon comps makes no difference, please email/pm me. I will send you an extra 470ohm carbon comp resistor i have that you can replace in your wah and hear the difference. And you could post here and let everyone else know you hear the difference!  :icon_wink:

phaeton

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2006, 12:06:57 AM »
Just gotta say, this is a great thread.  I always dig R.G.'s 'rants' like these ;)

Stark Raving Mad Scientist

R.G.

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2006, 08:56:35 AM »

Quote from: formerMember1
Build a wah with all metal film resistors. Play.  Put a carbon comp 470ohm in there,(buy a few so you get one that is 467-468, or whatever the metal film is). PLay.
Simple!  The difference is not subtle, but very different then the metal film.  I dare anyone to do this and record it both ways, and tell me there is no difference!
that is only ONE resistor change too.
I don't know why it is so hard for everyone to realize this.
ALSO, even having all carbon comp in your wah, and swapping the 470ohm out for a metal film will make a difference.  It tightens up the wah.
Anyone who  posted in this thread, thinking carbon comps makes no difference, please email/pm me. I will send you an extra 470ohm carbon comp resistor i have that you can replace in your wah and hear the difference. And you could post here and let everyone else know you hear the difference!
I have no doubt that you hear a difference.  If you say you hear a difference, then you do. They are, after all, your own personal ears and no one can hear through them except you.

In my mind, I also have this suspicion that it's not carbon comp vintageness that you're hearing.

The Vox wah circuit is extremely sensitive to the value of that 470 ohm resistor. Carbon comp resistors are 5% tolerance at best, 10% tolerance was the old standard, and if you use old stock CCs, you can easily get those.  It's very likely that you'll hear a difference if that resistor changes. Putting in a 5% different metal film resistor ought to do it, too.

As to getting people to actually do the substitution - sure, do that if you like, but be aware that you could also send them 5% different metal films and get the same result.

The human mind is very cunning, even when it's fooling itself. Audio experimenters have found that if they take two amplifiers which are as identical as possible, and play music through them, asking people the differences, people will hear differences. AHAH! There are micro-differences in the components, circuit boards, enclosures, etc. that cause audible differences, right?

No. The experimenters have found that differences in amplitude or gain of less than 1db will not be heard as changes in loudness, but rather as a difference in clarity, accuracy, etc. The experiment also works the same way if you use only one amplifier and the switch only changes the gain or volume a tiny amount. Some subjects have refused to believe that it was only the gain that was changed when shown the setup after the test, preferring to believe that for some reasons the experimenters were still performing some trickery as part of the test.

I say that not to tell you that you cannot hear a difference, nor to belittle your position. Rather, I say it to point out that changing one resistor under conditions that are not very carefully controlled indeed will almost inevitably lead to the idea that the modification made an audible change. This is how hifi tweakos lead themselves down the path of putting in "menus" of components, each with its supposed "tone flavor" to achieve some hypothetical composite result.

In other words - of course it changes the sound. That's not the issue. Why and how it changes the sound is the important question.
R.G.

Quick IQ Test: If anyone in a governmental position suspected that YOU had top-secret information on YOUR computer, how many minutes would you remain outside a jail cell?

Satch12879

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2006, 11:10:40 AM »
i thought of one that i thought was hilarious:  a passive instrument cable with labels for the guitar plug and the send plug and arrows printed on the insulation for the direction the signal should go.   :icon_rolleyes:

:icon_rolleyes:Actually, that's to designate the side where the shield is grounded; it actually has a useful purpose electrically.

Personally, the only sluglines I truly take heed of is "quiet" and "well built."  If neither is met, I don't care if Maxwell and Tesla had a hand in the design, it's useless to me.
Passive sucks.

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formerMember1

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2006, 02:42:00 PM »
yeah, i believe and listen too everything you say R.G., except a few things. 

I used metal films and carbon comp at the SAME value.  There is a difference. It is NOT value i am hearing.  I have measured before using them.  Same with caps.  Others here have too.  I recorded it and there is a difference.

And to me, i am a musician first and foremost, i tend to try something, under the best controlled posistion i can, if i can hear a nicer tone, i use it.  I don't care why or how, i am only building pedals to get a tone i want, not figure out the data behind it.  Although, I'm always interested in that stuff.. and do try to figure out how/why, but with my limited know how of electronics, i wouldn't be able to make a specific answer about why/how it changes the tone, so i don't go there.

I let my ears decide, and when i go through a few different experiments like above, it adds up to a different pedal.

I won't tell people to hear a difference though like you said, i should have said "i will send you a few 470ohm carbon comps to try, and see for your self if you can hear a difference or not"

you are right about that....

Just becuase i like carbon comps for a warmer tone, doesn't mean i think everything else people say about those other things you mentioned are true or whatever.

Also, in the "tech of wahs" it says the electro doesn't change tone or something.  There is a VERY big difference in 3.90uf, 4.0uf, 4.30uf 4.7uf, 10uf etc...  Different brands of electros sound different too. WAy different, but i measured them and i guess that it is value more than the brand.  One brand are supposed to be 4.0uf and they are always below that, and the other brand are supposed to be 4.0uf, and they are always above it, either 4.10uf-4.30uf   All the ones i have had for the past month and half are anyway....

sorry, i will stop rambling,..  :icon_rolleyes:

hairyandy

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2006, 04:10:32 PM »
Here is a Tone Icon playing our Sunface with Carbon Comp resistors, Hand wired,
true bypass with vintage NOS germanium transistors  :icon_lol:



Right on Mike!  I love that new Gilmour CD, the best guitar tones on the planet, IMHO...

I agree with R.G. on most of this stuff (especially the "Mother Nature at the end of the assembly line" thing) but I do think, and I base my views from my experiences only, that I can hear a difference when I use CC resistors vs. Metal Film in some circuits.  I have built Rangemasters with both types with identical caps and with socketed transistors with the same hfe that I've swapped back and forth and I think that the resistors make a discernable difference.  Is it huge?  That depends on the person listening/playing it.  Could a difference also be accounted for by the difference in transistors?  Of course, especially with germs.  I also understand that tolerance difference which is why I try to only get 1% CC's if possible and measure the ones that aren't.  Now would the difference between the two types be as big in a more complicated circuit like a Ross comp or a Small Stone?  I would think probably not.  Like R.G. said, there are some circuits where you can hear a difference and I would think that those would be the simpler ones.  Like Mike's Sunface...:)

« Last Edit: March 19, 2006, 04:13:49 PM by hairyandy »
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formerMember1

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2006, 04:14:43 PM »
I noticed a difference in a wah and fuzzface with carbon comps, didn't try other pedals, next am trying a rangemaster with  carbon comps,....
Maybe the cirucits people try the carbon comps aren't a circuit that benefits from them,...i don't know....

sorry not to highjack

hairyandy, where do you get 1% CC's?


hairyandy

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #49 on: March 19, 2006, 04:16:15 PM »
Ritchie, from Big Smythe on EvilBay.  They're "mil-spec" Allen-Bradleys.  (There goes those "Tone Icons" again...)

:)
« Last Edit: March 19, 2006, 04:19:20 PM by hairyandy »
Andy Harrison
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formerMember1

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2006, 04:18:52 PM »
You need to use tweezers or needle nose pliers, not your fingers.

*EDIT*
thanks for telling me where,...
« Last Edit: March 19, 2006, 04:27:21 PM by Richie »

hairyandy

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2006, 04:25:00 PM »
You need to use tweezers or needle nose pliers, not your fingers.

Somebody needs to invent rubber needle nose pliers that are glass-transistor safe...
Andy Harrison
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analogmike

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2006, 04:29:23 PM »
It's funny, I bought a bunch of military spec CC resistors, they have an extra band and a different tolerance band, and they were WAY out of spec... worst batch ever. You pays your nickle and takes your chances :)
DIY has unpleasant realities, such as that an operating soldering iron has two ends differing markedly in the degree of comfort with which they can be grasped. - J. Smith

mike  ~^v^~ aNaLoG.MaN ~^v^~   vintage guitar effects

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formerMember1

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #53 on: March 19, 2006, 04:31:56 PM »
i often wondered about military spec, i never thought mil spec was any different,.... just branded different.

hairyandy

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #54 on: March 19, 2006, 04:39:03 PM »
It's funny, I bought a bunch of military spec CC resistors, they have an extra band and a different tolerance band, and they were WAY out of spec... worst batch ever. You pays your nickle and takes your chances :)

Really?  The ones that I've been buying (with the extra band and the tolerance band) have been great and right on the money.  Bad batch maybe?
Andy Harrison
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twabelljr

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2006, 05:19:44 PM »
     I'd like to think that Dave Gilmour plays a Sunface because Mike builds a good product and it sounds right with his equipment, not because of the mojo keywords; carbon comp., germanium, and esp. NOS, etc. If anybody knows good tone it is David. I hope he is not a sucker for B.S.
Shine On !!!

analogmike

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Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2006, 06:15:27 PM »
>> Really?  The ones that I've been buying (with the extra band and the tolerance band) have been great and right on the money.  Bad batch maybe? <<

I think so, probably why they were on ebay (as R.G. pointed out in another thread, what you often get on ebay ARE selected parts, unfortunately the ones the seller did NOT select!)


     I'd like to think that Dave Gilmour plays a Sunface because Mike builds a good product and it sounds right with his equipment, not because of the mojo keywords; carbon comp., germanium, and esp. NOS, etc. If anybody knows good tone it is David. I hope he is not a sucker for B.S.

bingo. But some of the famous players I work with, won't even consider a new handbuilt pedal when they want a certain sound, they are ONLY interested in 100% original, vintage, non modified pieces. Through their years of playing they have decided for themselves that there is mojo and that's what they want. Or maybe just want to look cool on stage  :o

Anyway, think for yourselves and use your own ears. And build one of my blind AB boxes so you won't let mojo change what you hear.

DIY has unpleasant realities, such as that an operating soldering iron has two ends differing markedly in the degree of comfort with which they can be grasped. - J. Smith

mike  ~^v^~ aNaLoG.MaN ~^v^~   vintage guitar effects

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bwanasonic

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2006, 11:46:27 PM »
One that never fails to make me look askance is an ad that lists things like "more tone!" or "tone to die for" or "packed with tone" or some other such drivel which promotes "tone" as something that you could put in a bag, a commodity that you can pour into an amp or spray over it like a glossy coat of paint.

The use of "Tone" as a quantitative rather than qualitative term never ceases to amuse me. Well actually it makes me vomit.

I'm certainly not against hardheaded, healthy debunking  (thanks MAD magazine).

It's truly amazing how often Mad magazine is cited as an inspiration for skeptical thought!

Kerry M

amz-fx

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2006, 08:38:28 AM »
Quote
In some pro audio forums, just the mention of recapping a mixer or upgrading opamps brings forth maniacal hyper-debunkers screaming about how absolutely none of it matters and how anyone who thinks it does should be summarily pummeled to death.  Unfortunately, I've seen signs of that here too.  I understand it's fun to rant, and with all due respect and admiration to Jack Orman (no kidding), his rants about similar topics strike me as very divisive, exclusionary, and, frankly, kill-joyish.  I'm sure this is an unintentional side-effect and I repeat: I admire and respect Jack and his contributions, which is why his dictates sadden me the more.

While I have been insulted numerous times on forums, I think this is the first time I have been called a killjoy....  hahahaha...  1) I may express an opinion on a forum but I never rant; I reserve that for my own website where I pay for the bandwidth, and even then most readers will realize that my comments have a bit of tongue-in-cheek attitude. 2) If my comments seem divisive or exclusionary, then it is in your own mind.

I am anti-mojo...  I make no excuses for that. Where is the state-of-the-art advanced by mojo-claims that have no substantiating data? Unsubstantiated claims should always be open for debate. I had rather educate than obfuscate.

Are we a subjective community or an objective one? Do subjective opinions without a shred of supporting evidence carry the same weight as a scientific look at the same idea? Do we allow pedal builders to continue to make claims without challenging them?

I am certainly not against mods because many may have a clear audible effect. MAY have, but not always.  Substituting opamps can change the sound of a pedal...  it's possible but not guaranteed in every circuit.

Let's look at the most typical pedal mods -- Most recommendations are made on the basis of very unscientific tests.  A mod is made to a pedal and then the sound is compared to what the person *thinks* the pedal sounded like before the mod!  That is very subjective at best and open to a broad interpretation and the vagaries of the human memory.

At the same time, if someone (such as myself) does objective scientific testing and reports those results, the claim is usually made that "just because you cannot measure the effects of a mod, it does not mean that the ear cannot detect it"...  this is a view antithetical to  traditional scientific method and the existance of any ultimate scientific validation.  While there are no absolute truths (only relative truths), in the context of our hobby, scientism rules as the truth. (I'm sure this statement will bring Mark Hammer in for discourse)  :icon_biggrin:

Pedal builders should spend more time creating something new and different, and less time hyping the latest marketing trend, whether it is germanium devices, stacked metal film caps, CC resistors or exotic opamps.

The bottom line is, if you want to make mods, whether of the mojo-type or not, then by all means do it!  Give it a try. You might like it, or you might not be able to tell the difference but you can have fun trying, and that's what it is all about. I will be glad to help anyone wanting to try any of these mods, even if I don't agree with them...

<rant mode off>

-Jack
« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 08:40:05 AM by amz-fx »

Mark Hammer

Re: Tone Icons
« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2006, 10:28:28 AM »
Huh?  Wha?  Did someone say my name? :icon_eek: :icon_exclaim: ???  (where is the icon for sleepy-eyed?)

Can the stars control your destiny?  Does your astrological sign determine your personality?  It seems absolutely preposterous that something many many light years away might have any physical influence over us whatsoever, but try telling that to the millions who believe in astrology.  At the same time, these people can't ALL be deluded, and many of us DO know people whose personality appears to conform very closely to what one would expect from their astrological sign.  So what gives?

Personality is an expression of one's unique (and sometimes shared, when there are sweeping cultural historical events that a generation shares) experience, but is also underpinned by the makeup and wiring of one's nervous system.  That nervous system is not only comprised of nerve cells and their connections but many glands and other hormone-releasing bodies whose squirts into the bloodstream play a large part in determining one's emotional response to things, and the way that subsequent wiring is laid down.  That, in turn will play a role in the developing child's experience with the world that might create someone who is fearless, fearful, loyal, emotionally distant, etc.

The developing nervous system can be easily demonstrated to be influenced, grosso modo, by the chemical environment in utero.  What happens to mommy sets up "weather conditions" for baby's growing nervous system - the very nervous system that will set the ground rules for what personality characteristics are feasible and likely.  Turns out that, for a variety of evolutionary reasons too complex to go into here, that hormonal rhythms in a great many species, including humans, are synced to seasonal changes and variations in daylength.   I doubt that we are anywhere even remotely close to providing a neurochemical explanation of systematic variations in personality with astrological sign, but the fact remains that the seasons have changed in a consistent manner over millions of years (funny thing, that, about the earth turning and tilting as it moves around the sun), and the human nervous system has "grown up" with that fact of life on earth.  And a corollary of that is the fact that systematic seasonal changes in the chemical environment confronted by the developing nervous system *exist*.  It IS physically possible for there to be distinguishable personality traits that vary as a function of when one is born during the calendar for some very normal realistic and plausible reasons.  Will there be a *strong* influence of birthdate?  Not likely.  Think of it as the influence of widespread discontent in your municipality on the presidential vote - clearly it's not enough on its own to radically determine an outcome, lots of other things need to line up along with it.  So, we should expect to see enough of a pattern to attract our attention, but no really strong determinism.

Now, a great many folks presently, and long ago, had absolutely no knowledge of the very idea of the chemical environment of a developing fetus impacting on its wiring.  They had absolutely no sense of seasonal hormonal changes entrained to shifting daylength, and certainly no idea of hormones per se.  They also had a more rigid notion of what personality is like, believing people to be more homogeneous than they really are.  What they DID have, though, was an awareness that even though the stars moved around, they were in the same predictable place in the sky at the same time every year.  Accompanying this was an underlying sense that somehow people born at different times in the year were "different".  Over time, this appears to have turned into a systematized, almost codified system of beliefs about the relationship between star location and personality (despite the fact that the constellations are simply how the stars look from our perspective - keep in mind that all the stellar components of any given constellation are not the identical distance away from us).  They had juuuuuusssssssst enough data to justify developing and hanging onto this theory, though it would appear that their attributions about what causes what and how much are, and will forever be, way off.  Still, hard-core astrology types will add details to the theory that are at once compatible with an astrological model AND a neurobiological model.  For instance, how far north or south of the equator one is born matters in both models.  As our Australian and Chilean brothers and sisters can confirm, your daylength and season is quite different from mine in Ottawa right now, and of course so are your star locations.

So, has Hammer gone completely off his rocker?  What's up with hormones, and babies, and stars?

This digression is presented to illustrate the fact that humans very often DO become absolutely convinced of the fundamental causal role that X can play in phenomenon Y.  And I mean "convinced" not just on the level of a single person harbouring a delusion, but on the level of millions and millions over many generations hanging onto beliefs that are convenient as explanations/fables that seem to make sense of something conspicuous in the world, but absolutely implausible on scientific grounds.  What they may have noticed that requires an explanation may be an entirely valid observation, but that doesn't mean they've actually explained it very well with their pet theories.

Tone mojo and tone icons strike me as having similar origins.  People notice something about sound that strikes them as perhaps odd, desirable, and occasionally predictable - just like astro sign/personality correspondences.  They attempt to explain it based on limited technical expertise or limited data.  If there is enough social spreading and social acceptance of the explanation, it tends to become entrenched.  It doesn't mean they are crazy or idiots.  After all, there IS a plausible scientific basis for expecting seasonal variation in personality.  But the blame/cause is incorrectly identified.  Close, but no cigar, as they say***.

Analog Mike and so many others may well build fine products, and somewhere in there are things like carbon comp resistors or silver mica caps or whatever.  It is entirely possible that something like a carbon comp resistor or whatnot can have an effect in circuit location X under circumstances Y and Z.  The issue for me arises when generalizations occur well beyond that, or rather when we grow, as a community, to accept that a given component type or method produces a given result independent of context.  When we don't dig any deeper to find out how and why it works.  When we leave it at the level of "Oh, Cancers are extremely loyal and Geminis fickle".  Sorta like when we think that because leader A says something we agree with in one context, that their judgment about everything else is going to be equivalently sound....but I digress (like you'd notice, by now!  :icon_lol: :icon_rolleyes: ).

Just like seasonal change in personality traits, there IS something that needs to be explained.  Sometimes it CAN be something we only think we hear, but sometimes it isn't.  Sometimes it's real.  But just because it's real doesn't mean it is as clearcut and powerful a phenomenon as we think it is.  Sometimes it is situationally specific and fleeting, regardless of how real it is.  As someone trained in science, my own instinct is to say "Well, we haven't explained it unless we've accounted for ALL of that".  Others (unfortunately, from my perspective), are content to leave it at the leave of explanations so broad and underspecified as to be almost magical - like astrology.

(***For non North American readers:  It was customary earlier in the 20th century for games of skill and accuracy in carnivals/fairs to give prizes to those who could knock down something, shoot a target, throw a hoop over something, etc.  Often, because these games involved skills where men could show off to women, the prize or choice of prizes would be masculine, like a cigar. I suppose that was also easy for travelling carnivals to carry around too.  The expression "close, but no cigar" came to mean an action that was almost successful but not quite good enough.)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 11:43:03 AM by Mark Hammer »