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SHOD CB vs HW: what i found...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Nork, May 19, 2011.

  1. Nork

    Nork Member

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    I picked up a SHOD CB to see how it faired against the HW for myself. Here's what i found:

    So tried'em out for about a half hour, going back and forth playing the same riff's, yada yada yada. There is a difference, but it's EVER so slight. For legend - HW - handwired, made in finland by mages; CB - circuit board, made in asia by asians. Observations:

    1) Physically, the HW is MUCH heavier. It's not a "oh, that's a little heavier", but a significant weight difference. the two backs are very difference in weight, which tells me that the HW probably is made of a more substantial metal than the CB. They appear to be the same thickness, but the HW is pretty hefty. Even the screws that they use to close the box up are heavier/thicker on the HW.

    2) as you can see, the CB is definitely all CB - didn't lift the boards up, but jacks, switch and i'd imagine pots are all wave soldered to the board. they're also plastic encased, which is probably another part of the weight - the HW components appear to be "sturdier" as it used proper jacks, and a blue 3DPT switch which i've seen in most of the pedals that've come through. they definitely just solder everything to the PCB and drop it in, close it up. the HW definitely appears as if someone has had they're hands in it.
    - the CB PCB's aren't super thin crappy PCB's either. they're also not good and thick, but they're definitely doing the job. neither the HW nor the CB was noisier than one another (with the expectation that the HW would be a bit noisier).

    3) TONE: they're pretty well, TO MY EAR, exactly the same. after the weight thing, i thought the CB would sound cheap. that, of course, makes absolutely no sense - how weight translates into sound quality, i don't know. Probably too much time on teh interwebz. But the differences I found are VERY minute. I don't think i can stress that enough - really, VERY minute.

    There are differences to my ear though:
    - the HW seems to have a little more in the lower end. not much more, but a little more. it's a little rounder. it fills out a little more in the bottom than the CB. It sounded a little more open
    - the CB is a TAD thinner and sounded a little darker to me. and when i say a tad, i mean a tad. i can hear it, but i don't think it's something that would matter in a band context.
    - didn't notice anything about volumes being different. was pretty much able to get the CB the same with the same knob config.
    - the CB and the HW reacted pretty well the same to the ToneZone, but a little differently to the JB Jr. in the neck. the CB again here was darker and would overdrive a tiny bit less than the HW.
    - the "Focus knob" works the same on both - no difference there.

    Those're really the differences that i hear. The OD texture is pretty much the same. The CB definitely sounds like an SHOD in that it's not really different at all compared to the HW. It's definitely a good way to get that sound at a lower price.

    That's probably it. I think as of right now, I'll be keeping the HW. Not really sure, though. I think the weight/build and the slight tonal differences might be swaying me that way, but it's really not for sure. Only spent a half hour with the thing.
     
  2. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    i have a HW and love it. i wouldnt think the CB is any different sounding.

    nice write up and observations!
     
  3. Nork

    Nork Member

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    yea. they're honestly not much different at all. the differences i heard were INCREDIBLY slight. I don't know that I would notice a difference if I didn't have the time to really go back and forth. it really is a great sounding circuit.

    it was just really hard to ascertain if any differences existed between the two from the reading on here.
     
  4. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    Pretty much the same I came up with between the LGW HW and CB versions.
     
  5. Sikor

    Sikor Member

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    Components vary in thier charasteristics significantly.
    Any difference You hear can be there, but 2 CB version or 2 HW version can sound a little bit different too.
     
  6. Nork

    Nork Member

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    yea. that's what i figure. i've read there can be up to a 5% difference between the same components, so i figured that's what it could be.

    i was pretty surprised about the difference in weight though. i didn't it would be that big a difference.
     
  7. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance

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    You should try the BJFE pedals!! They not only sound awesome, but they are the heaviest pedals I've ever touched!!
     
  8. Nork

    Nork Member

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    seriously, though - is that another way they kept the CB prices down? cheaper enclosures?
     
  9. crxshdxmmy

    crxshdxmmy Member

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    From the MP website:

     
  10. Snottyboy

    Snottyboy Member

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    Thanks for the breakdown on this. I've had the CB version for about a month, and while excellent on its own, it is an incredible pedal for pushing other drive pedals.
     
  11. JimmyR

    JimmyR Member

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    The Fetto uses that Elfa box too. Very heavy duty and feels great. But plenty of cool pedals come in the lighter boxes. In reality I think you're only likely to appreciate the difference if you're in a catastrophic event. It could happen.
     
  12. Nork

    Nork Member

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    Yea. It's stupid, the correlation between how heavy a box is and it's percieved quality. I've had tons of pedals that do great in lighter boxes. The difference was upon opening it and seeing how it's constructed.

    The CB honestly did, to me, sound great. I know this is in someways beating a dead horse, but I had a lot of trouble deciphering all the talk about the differences on here and figured I'd add my own to mix to the mud.
     
  13. BluesHarp

    BluesHarp Member

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    Had both and liked the CB version better.. seemed to cut better in the mix.
     

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