Caline Englishman/Plexitone clone

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by 6Tones, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. MesaTone

    MesaTone Member

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    Putting a .1 cap across the outside lugs of the tone pot really does 'smooth' it out. I like it darker myself, looking for the Super Bass tone. I like it a lot at lower gain settings. If you don't want it that dark, try a .047 cap. That got rid of the whine, while still having some bite. You can always go smaller if you want.
    I don't think it's a bad component. I think it's part of the design, very simple and not something I've seen before. I think it's an excellent platform for a simple mod or two. I really recommend the 220k resistor across the outside lugs of the gain pot. It really opens up the available range of gain. Stock it goes from 0 to mud quick (good mod trick for any pedal with too much gain).
    Mine was the tri-color. And these won't take a battery, because of the voltage up-converting chip. AC only. Not that they tell us anywhere in the specs...

    Congrats on your first post. All part of the learning process.
     
  2. gojujim

    gojujim Member

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    Thanks mesatone, really appreciate your advice, I will likely do both mods u suggested as I am now going to keep the pedal (the seller offered me $10 refund for the problem which I accepted -so it's a $22 pedal now) ...& I am keen to tinker & this is probably a nice easy mod for me to start with
     
  3. MesaTone

    MesaTone Member

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    Keep us posted. I really like modding some of these cheap pedals. I figure if I screw something up, I'm not out too much. And I've had a few ouches...
    Plus, there's something special about playing on pedals you've worked on yourself.
     
  4. gojujim

    gojujim Member

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    Here is my update:
    - I tried your capacitor trick across the tone pot and got a small reduction only in the 8kHz squealing noise. I tried smaller values as well but didn't get much more reduction.
    - on further testing (I actually have some handy test gear and was able to test the frequency response of the device - I am a sound guy but not an electronics guy), I found that with an actual signal into the unit the capacitors cut the 8khz frequency enormously i.e. more than 10 dB but the squealing noise was not being cut by the same amount. This would suggest that the noise is in the circuit possibly after the tone pot...
    - also for your information the actual frequency response of the unit is huge, it is completely flat from about 100 Hz to 20 khz with the tone knob set at around 10 o'clock, gain at zero, not a hint of mid hump or tone shaping other than a roll off below 100 Hz. Turning up the tone control starts increasing the higher frequencies from around 800 Hz, getting into harsh sounding territory.... So some roll off like you have done with the cap is probably useful (as long as the pedal doesn't lose it's bite)
    - I decided to contact the manufacturer caline directly and see if they were aware of this problem. They actually responded and were interested and I even sent them a Recording of the noise. They did mention that on the newer coloured pedals they did change manufacturer of one of their ICs which may be the cause. I believe everyone who reported this problem on the forum has the coloured version. They are looking into this and may come back to me with some information.
    - so at the moment other than trying another cap somewhere near the output of the pedal I Will wait and see if Caline comes back with anything. I will also ask which IC they are talking about and see if I can source one locally to swap over.

    Will keep you updated
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016
  5. gojujim

    gojujim Member

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    Ok, final chapter in this saga, the pedal squeal is fixed!!
    To cut a long story short, the squeal appears to be due to the oscillation frequency of the voltage supply IC. I changed the existing IC with an equivalent one that runs at much higher frequency (outside audible range).
    Easy to pop out existing one as it is socketed, I used a TC1044S replacement chip to replace the one that was in there but believe a ICL7660S would also work. It has to have the S on the end (otherwise doesn't do the frequency increase thing). Squeal gone. Pedal is a tad harsh gotta keep the tone knob way down so the cap across pot or somewhere near output of circuit seems warranted as per MesaTone advice.
    replacement chips are less than $1.
     
  6. MesaTone

    MesaTone Member

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    FYI, gojujim, but there might be a problem with substituting different charge pumps. I got this from MadBeanPedals:

    "While the Road Rage offers the convenience of extra voltage with relatively few parts the downside is
    its current supply power and voltage tolerance. The TC1044SCPA, MAX1044SCPA and
    ICL7660SCPA can comfortably supply around 20mA which is fine for most overdrive type circuits but
    it isn’t going to cut it in some current hungry circuits, such as a Univibe. These charge pumps also
    exact a certain cost in their output voltage due to the voltage drop across the charge pump diodes
    (D1, D2). A 9vDC supply will actually yield closer to 17 – 17.5vDC depending on what type of diode
    (i.e. what size forward voltage drop) is used. For this reason, the 1N5817 is suggested, although
    other diodes will work such as the 1N4001 and 1N914. The charge pumps are also are limited by
    their own supply tolerances. The maximum supply voltage when using the TC1044SCPA or
    ICL7660SCPA should be limited to 12vDC. For the MAX1044SCPA it should be no more than 10vDC.
    You can use a 10 - 12v Zener diode as an alternative for D3 to add extra protection for the charge pump, if you like.

    Alternatives

    You can use an LT1054 in place of the charge pumps listed above for approximately 2 – 3x the output
    current . The LT1054 is suggested for those circuits that have a high current draw, like the Univibe.
    The LT1054 is also rated for about 14vDC supply voltage.

    Note that the Road Rage has pins 1&8 tied together on the PCB. This is because charge pumps
    utilize an internal oscillator as part of its function. This oscillator can dip into the hearing range in
    audio applications, resulting in a high pitched whine. Connecting pins 1&8 together acts as a
    multiplier for the oscillator and takes that frequency above the human hearing range, thus eliminating
    potential whine in audio applications.

    This feature is used for the TC1044SCPA, MAX1044SCPA and iCL7660SCPA. It is NOT used for the
    LT1054. This means that if you plan on using the LT1054, you either need to clip off pin1 on the IC, or
    use an 8-pin socket and clip off pin1 on the socket (suggested). Note that while the LT1054 does not
    use the frequency multiplier trick, it rarely yields detectable noise and is a perfectly fine (although
    more expensive) alternative.

    Finally, you want to avoid using charge pumps that do not have the “SCPA” specifications (such as
    the “CPA”). This WILL result in noise or a high pitch whine in your audio circuit. Note that for the
    regulator IC, you can use either the T092 or T0220 type packaging."

    http://music.codydeschenes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Charge-Pump-Madbean-RoadRage-TRANSFER.pdf

    My suggestion, if the TC1044SCPA works for gojujim, then stick with using a TC1044SCPA, MAX1044SCPA or iCL7660SCPA, and forget having to worry whether the pins are tied together or not.

    The more I play with this pedal, the more I love it. It's nice and thick at lower gain, and works great for some really dirty slide. Think early Jimmy Page.
     
  7. gojujim

    gojujim Member

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    Now that is way over my novice head!
    I think I got lucky with my limited knowledge but managed to get a good outcome with the new chip. And it's a 9v dc supply so shouldn't be a problem re. Voltage issue you mentioned.
    I agree with you, the pedal sounds great!
    Also recently got a joyo British sound that does a Marshall quite well, but the English man has a bit more plexi mid scoop going on
     
  8. MesaTone

    MesaTone Member

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    Over my head, too, but I do grasp that the charge pump needs to be replaced with a TC1044SCPA.

    If you want the 'Tone of the Gods' with the Englishman, hit it with a Mooer Blue Mood in Phat mode. I run mine with the gain on 1:30, which allows me to turn the gain down on the Englishman, giving me incredible touch sensitivity. Pick lightly, it's just a little dirt. Hit it harder, and there's the crunchy goodness, but everything with just the right amount of clarity.

    The Blue Mood (Keeley Blues Driver Phat Mod) is a full range OD, so you don't lose the gorgeous Plexi low-end of the EM. That's the key to goosing a Plexi pedal, or amp, for that matter.

    For goosing your Joyo British, that sounds better after a TS OD. The TS circuit cuts a little low-end, tightening everything up and pushes those glorious JCM800 mids. I prefer the Boss SD-1, with asymmetrical clipping, I think the extra harmonics generated are where the goods are. The Caline Crazy Cacti is based on the Fulltone Fulldrive, which is based on the SD-1, so I'd check with Caline to see if it is asymmetrical clipping, plus the added boost.

    I have my Blue Mood on all the time, then an SD-1, then the Englishman, then a Deluxe Crunch. I can get any Marshall tone I want, from the '60's to today. These pedals are glorious.
     
  9. Pelko

    Pelko Member

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    Hello guys
    Today I received Englishman, and I have probably the same problem as you. It has strange noise at around 6khz (unlike goojujim who had it around 8khz).
    But the problem is, I opened the pedal and there actually already is TC1044SCPA chip. You had some different chip in there from the factory?
    If I will swap it for iCL7660SCPA, will it fix the problem? Or is my problem something different?

    Here is sample. As you can hear, I tried to roll of volume but it is still squealing
     
  10. MesaTone

    MesaTone Member

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    I think the problem is that the Chinese manufacturer got a bad batch of chips. I'd buy a few new ones from Mouser and see if one of them works. Hopefully their QC is better than China. That's the route I'm going to try, just don't have a bad enough problem to get right on it.

    The alternative is to buy a Carl Martin PlexiTone Single, so do the math and see what works for you. I'm still in the tweaking stage, so I'm getting another Englishman to experiment with.
     
  11. Electric I

    Electric I Member

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    Interested in this pedal & so this is all good info.

    Anyone compare the English Man to the Tone City Golden Plexi ?
     
  12. gojujim

    gojujim Member

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    hi Pelko, that's a strange one, maybe just try a replacement, should be able to get one cheap online. You sure it has SCPA on the end of the code and not just CPA? It needs to have the S!

    The other thing is to check / try another power supply. I have had squealing from some before
     
  13. Pelko

    Pelko Member

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    yes, I am sure it has "S" at the end. Thats why I am so confused. I will try to order some, but I have a strange feeling. :confused:
    I have also tried two different power supplies, the result was same (but the whine was not in the same frequency).
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  14. Pelko

    Pelko Member

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    So, a small update.

    I bought couple of iCL7660SCPA chips, and already tried them all (6pcs).
    The sad part is, every one is squealing (even more than original TC1044SCPA).
    I recorded a demo, first half is 7660S and second half is original 1044S.

    Do you think that problem with my pedal is somewhere else?
     
  15. gojujim

    gojujim Member

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    Hi Pelko,
    I can't think of anything else I got a bit lucky with my repair !
    I have noted that the caline pedals don't always sit well in a pedal board with the same daisy chain power supply to all pedals. Some sort of bad filtering going on, doesn't happen with other pedals I have. So I can get squeal in some cases when using some of my other caline pedals & that is fixable if I provide a seperate power supply to the caline. I know u indicated u have tried different power supplies but have u removed all other pedals in signal path too?
    Sorry just making sure we have exhausted all possible issues!
    That's all I got!
     
  16. rafsza

    rafsza Member

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    Replace the chip in the socket on PCB by TC1044S or 7660S and it will stop whining. This S is crucial. It means that the chip works out of audible range, above 8.275khz. I'm sure in your pedal is only 7660 without S. Replacement is very easy even for a layman. I had the same issue and found that solution on Internet.
     
  17. Pelko

    Pelko Member

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    Hello!

    Small update

    As you can see in my previous posts, when I bought englishman, mine had oscillation around 6k. Then I bought some (10 pieces I believe) of iCL7660SCPA (yes, SCPA) and they were even noisier than original TC1044SCPA (again, I am sure that it is SCPA). No idea why they both had oscillation, probably faulty ones or something. Pins 1 and 8 were connected, so there should be no oscillation but there simply was.
    I almost threw this pedal away, but after few months I tried one last thing. I bought LT1054 chip and... pedal is now deadly quiet. I am happy camper!
    Hope this can help someone out there
     
    benvigil likes this.

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