Author Topic: Keeley compressor clone  (Read 45847 times)

Ken

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2006, 08:07:22 AM »
Jack,

I have alot of time for people like Robert who post some of their mods on his own WWW.

and obviously looks after his staff.

I just think he needs to be careful not to alienate himself from the DIY community.

Cheers Ken.

RobertKeeley

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2006, 09:55:18 AM »
Thanks for the kind words fellas...
It's just that every once in a while the Vultures get to me.  Heck, the whole point of this place is to help people, to share schematics and ideas, and to build pedals.  It's not DIYANDDON'TSELL.  There has been a lot of things stated in the past about how I started that are so wrong and I wish people would get it clear and straight.  I see the same hate thread from 5 years ago pop up everytime someone talks about a TS9 mod of mine on this place. Or, three page posts on how a certain pedal or mod to a design of mine should work, can't work and is wrong, etc...
I did give out mods and will continue to over time.  The only problem with giving out mods now is that I can't support all the questions about DIY so it becomes something that subtracts from my service to others.
My original post stands as stated, some folks just need to find some one else to complain about.  I know where I got the source and insipration for this business (not my first choice by the way, my wife talked me into it, amplifiers were the object of desire then!) and it's not from the sources or methods some folks always spout.

Thanks for listening and keep on strummin'!!!
RK

Always learning, always having fun!

Ken

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #22 on: September 19, 2006, 10:01:40 AM »
Robert,

It pays to vent occasionally...

keep up the good work......don't forget us little builders.

Cheers Ken.   ;)

analogmike

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Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #23 on: September 19, 2006, 12:47:14 PM »

I just think he needs to be careful not to alienate himself from the DIY community.


I think some people should switch to decaf!  ;D

Alienation appears too late. Scolding people, bragging to everyone how rich he is, how jealous everyone else is, how he blew by competitors, and how he came up with everything himself does not seem to be very endearing to me.

He needs to chill out instead of getting all defensive.  And needs to check his dealers' websites which list the 2SC1849R transistors, he is an honest man and must have forgotten to inform them.

Have fun!
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

http://www.analogman.com

Jay Doyle

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Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2006, 01:38:47 PM »
I copied the a Ross schematic by RGKEEN in April or so of 2001...
...
Since then, at least a 100 design changes have been made....to say that is probably a huge understatement, things get improved here all of the time.
...
SO think what you want about something that started in early 2001 and you guys can still be jealous and pontificate about it all you want. 

I think that the rub comes when one hears that you got the schematic from R.G. in 2001 but mean to have us believe that the schematic was ALL that you got in 2001 or before. Like 'geofex.com' was a typo and you ended up there only to find to your delight: Look! The Ross compressor schematic! AND, 2001 may sound like a long time ago, but it certainly wasn't before this forum.

I know that I was tracing mine in 1999, that I received a factory schematic from a wonderfully generous member here shortly after to confirm, that I had built my own and was touring with it by mid-2000, and that I in no way had the skill or ability back then to figure out the circuit and the tweaks I did all on my own. I had learned them here and through a lot of my own research, but mostly here. Point being, not only was the schematic up in 2001, but by then so was a lot of good info on the Ross/DynaComp circuit. To think that you just found the schematic and then shut the door behind you to figure the rest out on your own is a bit hard to fathom. All we have is your word that you didn't. Plus, your peers haven't left us with the sweetest taste in our mouth around here when it comes to lifting their R&D from the info freely presented. And because of that, it has soured a lot of folks on posting new ideas, which has been a severe detriment to this community. So if there is hostility toward you, you should understand where it originates as well as how you may have contributed to it.

Also, showing up to take a swipe at another builder and a lot of us around here, bloviating about your worth, while also talking about all of these great things you have done to the circuit, without mentioning or explaining a single one of them in the process, is bad form. If you want to get into a pissing match with another builder, fine, but if you are going to do it here, please ADD something to our knowledge base, otherwise, please do it on HC or one of the other forums that type of discussion is made for and you are also a member of.

And to me personally, as I was very interested in the Ross, was a Phish fan, and followed your pedal quite closely, a lot of the 'improvements' that made it into the marketing copy on your site seemed coincidentally to be along the lines of stuff talked about here. But in the end, only you know where they came from, and how/when/if you attribute anything is up to you.

Thing is, you run a great business, some of us here may feel that the mods you sell are a waste of money, or your pedals may be overhyped clones, but they aren't for the guy who doesn't want to bother with picking up a soldering iron. You fill a need. 

Plus, you employ 27 people in what sounds like a very open, rewarding and warm working environment. And that, in the end, is far more important than the circuits you sell, no matter where they come from.

But it wouldn't have taken much to be well thought of around here, most of us know the work of a boutique builder is in the business not the circuits. Most likely, all it would have taken would have been a link on your page saying "I would like to thank all of the folks at diystompboxes.com and the DIYFX community as a whole for their insight, inspiration and understanding." with possibly a link or two to some of the more prominent DIY sites.

And while I'm sure you did come up with a lot of the stuff you do on your own, you DID NOT get it all by yourself: at the very least you got a Ross Compressor schematic.

Regards,

Jay Doyle

davph30

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2006, 01:56:51 PM »
Thanks for your replies, I dont want to start any arguements between anyone I'm only a DIY builder who wants to have the best tone from the designs of the best pedels from the last 50 years and have the satisfaction of building them myself. Which im sure all of u understand. If any of u would like to help that would be great and apreciated. Any mod and build tips will only help me. Its hard enough getting all the parts here in scotland.
I dont own a business and dont intend to, its all for fun and the pleasure.

Thank you all again

Dave Phillips

modsquad

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2006, 02:09:25 PM »
Just an outside observation from someone who has been on this forum a short time.   Anyone with with EE knowledge could build or mod anything found on this forum.  I have learned that most effects circuits have basic audio and EE engineering principles built in.   It just takes someone with an idea to tweek it or put the pieces together.   It seems that with an original schematic even I could plug and play some of the sections, tweek it etc. and come up with something that someone else is capable of.

I have made some of Keely's mods to my commercial pedals and gone..."Is that all there is to it?".    So I realize this stuff isn't rocket science, its more about understanding the science and being able to solder.  I am not defending Keely, only that there appears to be an attitude of "Hey I thought of that first" mentality.   I don't care either way I have learned to read schems, burn my fingers, and EE principles of opamps, etc. on hear.   

I would love to be in the position that RK is in.   I love building these things and watching people play them and go "WoW, thats awesome".   But it takes a tremendous amount of investment, manpower, and MARKETING.  What RK has done is a good job of marketing his stuff.  Yes most of us could do the mods for pennies on the dollar, but guess what capitalism is alive and well.

And no I am not endorsing Keely, or defending his post.  This was just my two cents worth.   Now back to learning how to use this damn breadboard.

Stan

 
"Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light, not because he is afraid of the dark but because the dark is afraid of him"

Mark Hammer

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2006, 02:52:53 PM »
I guess I have to chime in here, don't I?

The after-market mods game is a funny one.  On the one hand, you're taking a product that is presumably good enough that a lot of people felt justified in buying it in the first place.  So, not your own IP, and it's not exactly as if you're recycling phone books or plastic milk jugs that people have tossed away to make completely different things.  At the same time, you couldn't stay in business if you couldn't persuade people that paying almost as much as the original product cost for a few small improvements to the product was a good thing.  I'm not accusing anyone of hucksterism.  Rather, if very few people believed that it was worth spending money for a few changes to an existing decent commercial product....well, you'd have an interesting hobby but you'd be in another line of work as far as paying the mortgage and health insurance went.

Now, how do you go about persuading them?  Well, snake oil claims will take you a little ways, but to deliver enough business that you can pay salaries and generous benefits for 27 people, and do so for 5 years, it takes something a little more substantive than mere snake oil claims.  You have to, have to, um, how you say?....deliver the goods.  Now, it's not as if Boss develops pedals that are half-assed.  They certainly don't work on them for a couple of months and go "I'm bored.  Let's just wrap this up and work on something different."  They make a point of trying to produce pedals that will have the greatest possible broad appeal.  They have to sell millions of 'em because that's what pays for the glossy catalogs you get for free from the store and trade shows.  That,s what pays for web-site development.  That's what pays for the big booths at trade shows.  That's what pays for the custom chassis and custom components.  That's what pays for the R & D.  So Bob and his staff are not busy modding sheer crap, and they're not hoodwinking people into thinking that it's crap because those people have already bought something they thought was good and are hoping it will be just a bit better because they are planning on depending on it.

That's why the after-market mod biz is so weird.  You're depending on clients who think something is good enough...just not quite good enough.  Fortunately, spending $50 or whatever more on your $40 DS-1 is far more affordable than spending $25k on "ricing up" your Honda Civic or Toyota Echo, so it is a whole lot easier to get customers under those circumstances.

Can you sustain that sort of business by being innovative in the traditional sense of offering wholly new ideas?  Not really, because you're confined to what is possible within the limits set by the very commercial products you mod.  So the mods will almost, of necessity, be modest.  That doesn't mean moot, just modest in the sense that they can't stray too far from the original intent and design of the product.  People will buy mods for their compressor to make it a better compressor, but not likely to turn it into a fuzz.  If they wanted a fuzz they would have bought one.

These days, after-market mods is only a portion of what Bob Keeley does.  And wisely so.  There is ony so far you can take that, particularly if you are willing to share the knowledge with others.  Hell, even if you aren't willing to share knowledge, how long would it take to comprehend that silicon diodes had been changed for LEDs?  We are constantly swamped by postings here about this Keeley mod and that one.  Bob gets revenue from doing them, but he certainly doesn't collect magic money each time he is mentioned here.  So there are limits to how much business you can do in the after-market mod business.

About the compressor mods....

There are some mods that get attributed to me.  I might be the guy who ends up explaining them to others more often than anyone, but *I* got them after looking at the schematics for a bunch of other compressors that existed long before I understood them.  The variable recovery mod goes backto the good folks at Boss and probably several other companies who were using the identical full-wave rectifier circuit as found in the Dynacomp.  It wasn't until I understood enough to see the circuit fragments in the schematics for what they were that I realized how much commonality there was between them, and that what I saw in the Boss schematic could easily be imported into the Dynacomp and any other 2-knob OTA-based compressor.  If you know how old the CS-2 is, then add a few years and that is at least how old the variable recovery thing is.

Of course, it is one thing to know that recovery CAN be made variable, and another to do the trial and error work to identify what sorts of recovery-time differences are meaningful to the human ear and musician's ear.  I'm assuming Bob has done that work and for that he deserves credit even if the variable recovery idea was not his or mine or Jack's in the first place.

Actually, what I find funny in all this who-got-what-from-who discourse is that Ross stuff was largely an almost exact copy of MXR stuff (with a mod here and there) yet was marketed as if it were a wholly different product.  At no time was it ever presented as being just MXR stuff with some mods.  In that respect, what folks like Bob do is far more intellectually honest than the very products they mod!  :icon_rolleyes:

modsquad

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #28 on: September 19, 2006, 03:05:40 PM »
Well said.  I think we're just jealous that Bob makes a good living at it.  :icon_mrgreen:
"Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light, not because he is afraid of the dark but because the dark is afraid of him"

Jay Doyle

  • Guest
Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2006, 03:39:27 PM »
Thanks for your replies, I dont want to start any arguements between anyone I'm only a DIY builder who wants to have the best tone from the designs of the best pedels from the last 50 years and have the satisfaction of building them myself. Which im sure all of u understand. If any of u would like to help that would be great and apreciated. Any mod and build tips will only help me. Its hard enough getting all the parts here in scotland.
I dont own a business and dont intend to, its all for fun and the pleasure.

Thank you all again

Dave Phillips

Dave,

Sorry for posting without answering the original question, but a search for 'Ross Compressor' should yield a lot of information for you. Sometimes posts unknowingly open cans of worms and you don't get your answer.

But in brief, here is what I have found:

- The first cap to ground the signal sees is NOT .0022uF as on R.G.'s schem http://www.geofex.com/FX_images/rosscomp.gif, but 220pf. It makes a big difference.

- Metal film resistors don't need to be everywhere, but sometimes when ordering parts it is easier to just get them all metal films. The most important ones, in order, are: the 150k directly after the CA3080 (the 3080 outputs a current so the noise dropped across the resistor here is significant), the 10k in series with Q1's base, the 10ks on the emitters and collectors of Q1 and Q2, the two 1Ms and the 15k on the inputs of the 3080, the 470k/470k and 220k/220k bias strings feeding the base of Q1 and the 2k trim respectively (with the resistor AFTER the cap being more important in the pair) and the 10k in series with the Output pot (which I normally just leave out as it only serves to limit the output available.)

- I've always used 1uF tantalum caps because the tone difference was not so sufficient (and except for the 1uF after Q1, hardly/not at all) as to cough up the extra dough and board space for 1 uf films.

- The two most important caps in the board IMO are the 220pF cap on the input and the .001uF on the output of the 3080. The .001uF cap serves to keep the 3080 from oscillating in the MHz, frequencies which the 3080 can hit with ease. Make sure this is a high quality film cap with low leakage and ESR. There are only three other caps in the signal path, the .01uF on the input, the 1uF after Q1 and the .05uF preceding the Output pot. These, along with the .01uF/15k/1uF and the 220pF input cap are the best place to try out different types of caps and values for tonal changes.

- You will most definitely want to audition different 3080 chips, the noise level does vary between them.

- The transistors. This is most often the source of the 'mojo' claims and, as with most mojo, isn't really that big of a deal. Only Q1 and Q2 are in the signal path, and even then only as followers, so they would be the best ones to select for noise/tone. Q3 and Q4 are set up in a way that it would seem to make sense to match them. BUT, their gain is kicked up so high, without an emitter resistor and so any signal over .6V will turn them on and HARD, that small differences in Qs will not matter here. Sure, you would like both halves of the signal to be rectified the same, but the FWR signal is integrated in the 10uF cap and that evens out a lot of the difference between the two. Also, this isn't a studio quality compressor, this is a nuts and bolts guitar comp that pretty much just sustains the signal. Normally, I just use high gain/low noise transistors and audition a couple for Q1 and Q1. Q5 is used to drive the Iabc port on the 3080 and completely out of the signal path so another low noise/high gain, is fine here as well.

- The base of Q5 is the point for insertion for any attack and decay network you want to use.

- There is one last thing that makes a difference and was on the original factory schematic that I haven't seen posted anywhere else. PM me.

Not so short, but I hope that this helps.

Regards,

Jay Doyle

davph30

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2006, 03:56:01 PM »
Thanks for the reply Jay i'm sure it will help


Dave

Gilles C

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2006, 04:04:28 PM »
Thanks for the info Jay. I have the Ross Compressor in mind for later, and I would like to make sure I use the correct parts.

I began collecting infos, but as you said, things are not always what we are looking for.

Gilles

Mark Hammer

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2006, 04:21:43 PM »
Thanks Jay.  I owe you one.

puretube

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2006, 04:51:19 PM »

RobertKeeley

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2006, 05:27:30 PM »
Thanks and sorry at the same time for letting me vent a bit, since it was a rude morning thing to wake to.  Still mean things I said.
Okay, mistake on my part.  over 100 design changes....over 100 PRODUCTION CHANGES...I mean by that, I ain't the best EE in the world, nor builder, nor anything else.  I had the second part of the statement more correct, we are always making improvements.
To those that wonder what we change.... Things so small as to not even be worth counting.  In effect, I've made may half a dozen or dozen electrical changes of an significance...more of very, very small detail like part quality.

THANKS SO MUCH MARK HAMMER....I wondered for years why no one cussed the ROSS DUDES?!?!??!?!  What did DIY people wright letters back and forth back then and slam that poor guy all the time!?!?!?!

Yeah, it doesn't take much to look at several 2 knob comps and find out there are a bunch of things you can borrow from and make 'yours' better.

Why do I talk about money...well...I hope some of you DIY guys go out and become builders and business owners.  Growing a family like this is so rewarding, so difficult, so painful...I wish it on all of you!   ;D

Robert

Always learning, always having fun!

davph30

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2006, 06:01:56 PM »
Robert thank you very much for your PM and help.

 I'm glad I have the best person to anwer my questions

I'm glad I started this post now, u should see the smile on my face!!

Dave

markm

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2006, 06:05:12 PM »
Ya know,
Today's DIY guy is tomorrow's Boutique builder!
That's my bit of philosophy for today   :icon_razz:
Anyway, I suppose I myself owe much to Robert Keeley (even though he didn't return my e-mails and phone calls  :icon_confused:)
It's because of him that I got into DIY. I was an owner of a Keeley Comp and after looking at it inside and out I couldn't see any reason what-so-ever why I couldn't build one just like it......so, I did!
And that was my introduction to doing DIY and I have been rolling with it ever since.
So guys, RK is the reason y'all are stuck with ME!  :icon_lol:
Of course, RK could always PM me if he wanted to....... ;D

RobertKeeley

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2006, 05:56:10 AM »
Howdy!
Sent you a PM (after I figured out how to do one  ???  ;D  )
The variable recovery or attack control, etc.  Those are things I got from the CP9 by Ibanez I had from living in West Germany, along with my Aria Pro ;-) .  Slightly interesting story, several years ago, really wish I knew when, I started doing them when a humbucker customer was going to return a pedal.  I wanted to figure out why they were having poor tone/performance, distortions, etc.  So I would do some 'back them',  again don't remember how many years ago.  I did experiment with different versions and found out that I didn't like the exact copy of the Ibanez one and that on some of the keeley comps it just plain didn't work because of significant distortion. So, I ended up finding out that the transistors I was using were different (duh!) and that I had to simply crack out the books and find out 'where they wanted to be' without distortion.
Sure, there was that cap mistake on the schematic and things to make sure were matched, that was the best part of the beginning of the ROSS CLONE ERA, people would send me their compressors that they bought from somebody and I would find just a simple copy of the schematic built, easy fix.
I also did tweak/diddle-stick/calculate/alter just about every part in the unit....just so that I had a decent understanding of it.
I have built them with different IC's, different rectifier circuits, build different input and output buffers for a variety of uses and to match other signals equipment (including one for a TV audio circuit/speaker....don't you just hate LOUD commercials, etc...
In this Late 2006 time frame, RoHS compliant matters force a change.  We are nearly complaint to the letter of the law on about 85% of our product line, so to be analyzed more strictly and technically.  So a true clone to Europe is not legal at all anymore.  At least that is my best understanding.
Take care folks,
Yes, decaf ain't to bad an idea....  :-[

Robert
Always learning, always having fun!

BD13UK

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2006, 11:42:53 AM »
For the most part a person who gains info and ain't too wise re; pedal building it was nice to see someone like Robert Keeley come on the forum. I've built a few pedals mostly Fuzz and overdrive stuff thanks to people like RG Aron Torchy Mark Hammer Dragonfly Jack Orman etc etc. These aforementioned contributers are worth their weight in gold when it comes to this stuff, so I for one am most grateful. I appreciate that Robert Keeley like Mike Fuller etc etc are running a business and can understand that they have their own ways/methods of dealing with things and can therefore appreciate their situation with regard to their own circumstances. It would be so nice if people and for the most part on this forum this is the case, We could all get on well and usually that is the situation except for the odd occassion  when there's a kick off over very litte usually. I wish Robert Keeley good luck in His endeavours to make and sell gear exactly the same as Ibanez Boss and many other companies do so lets all just be grateful for the info that We have via this wonderful site and it's contributers
Brian

davph30

Re: Keeley compressor clone
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2006, 01:46:34 PM »
Hi guys, how r u all today?

Thanks for all the pm's asking me what Mr Keeley said to me, I would gladly share any info I have but as he Pm'd me I feel I shouldt give out any private info given by him unless he agrees. I am honoured he even spent the time to reply to the post.

sorry again I dont want to offend anyone and am very greatfull for any help, hope u all understand my position

thanks

Dave