Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dincorcelles, Feb 21, 2009.
Very interesting. Maybe They should do some resistor and capacitor type myth busting while They're at it.
I'll still never buy a Visual Sound pedal though, cause they're ugmo!
The one-spot is great - I've got two of em.
I always wondered why I heard pretty minimal differences when swapping opamps in my Eternity or Timmy or Silver Kiss. Even when I put the Burr Brown OPA2134 or 2604 into pedals (my fave), while I heard a change, it wasn't a "OMG this pedal rules now!!" character change as some people seem to believe. I always heard a slight increase in fidelity when I popped those in, and sometimes more or less available gain... but that was pretty much it (and that was good and worthwhile, considering how cheap opamps are). But I stand by what I've said before: if you don't like the overall characteristics of a pedal in the first place, an opamp swap isn't going to help you. The pedal is the pedal and will continue to sound like the pedal.
I think that whilst opamp swaps won't change the overall character of a pedal, they can certainly alter the way the pedals reacts and also how an amp reacts to the pedal. I did quite a few opamp swaps using an MI Audio Blue Boy Deluxe because I was never happy with the pedal at higher gain settings. Two of the ones I used that made a definitely improvement were the TL072 and NE5532, both of which made the pedal considerably more usable at higher gain settings. My amp also reacted much better to these opamps in the pedal. Previously using the BBD into the high gain channel it choked out and almost seemed to be spluttering, with these the pedal had the affect I wanted, to simply add a bit of sparkle, and obviously without without choking.
Swapping one component in a circuit is unlikely to show a change so obvious that it would be a night and day difference to someone else listening, particularly via youtube which is an awful medium for sound comparisons. But the real changes are more obvious when you play the pedal yourself through your own gear where smaller nuances are more easily recognised and that to me is the important thing. I wouldn't swap to please someone else. There are defininite differences though, you just have to look at the actual schematics of two different opamps to see how different they can actually be, and they are all far more complex than the effect circuits they're going into.
For example based on my BBD swaps. The original opamp:
and the NE5532 which was my favourite:
So I make that 15 transistors, 9 resistors, 2 capacitors and 2 diodes in the first. 29 transistors, 18 resistors, 4 capacitors and 2 diodes in the second. This isn't mojo, it's an entirely different circuit and so some sonic differences would be expected. Personally I thought the difference at higher gain with my gear was very obvious to me.