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Why do pedal makers “goop” their circuits?

skiltrip

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,938
Why do you sometimes see pedal makers “goop” their circuits? To prevent user mods? Protect circuit design and help prevent clones? Keep components secure and less prone to failure? All of the above? Some of the above? I don’t see a lot of this but got curious when I opened up my two Greer pedals. AA8A1BB3-1BB8-43D6-8BBF-92A889F82B41.jpeg
 

pickdropper

I am Soldering Iron Man
Vendor
Messages
7,236
Generally, there are two reasons:

1.) There is something unique and proprietary to the circuit and the builder doesn’t want people to copy it. Particularly since it’s difficult (and expensive) to get patents on many effects circuits.

2.) The circuit under the goop is itself a copy of something else and the builder doesn’t want people to know that it’s something else.

Either way, it’s usually done because builders believe it offers them protection from prying eyes.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,957
It depends on the type of Goop.

Is that just rubbery silicone-seal, like RTV?
It's not going to hide many design secrets...
Maybe an attempt to generate 'magic fairy dust' rumors?

Two reasons:

1: Components/joints are less likely to break

2: (real reason) So we cant trace the circuit and recreate they’re designs
If those are all thru-hole parts, it's still game-on... it just slows a person by a factor of 30% or so.
Since it is translucent, most parts values are still readable.
 

lefort_1

Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,957
btw I sincerely hope that is NOT RTV, as some of those products have a set-accelerator that is like acetic acid (smells like vinegar).
...Not what I'd want in contact with my PCB, socket contacts, etc.
 

The-Kid

Pedal Art: CIOKS/Vboutique/Providence Dealer
Vendor
Messages
2,703
I figure here it may be less to conceal and more for utility and lower noise operation could be wrong. Or could be for both.

It seems pretty uniform and on the whole board. I feel it perhaps may be for possible fighting any possible ground loops or noise floor.

Maybe gooped this way its more quiet?!?!
 

HeavyCream

Member
Messages
3,219
If the purpose is to hide design secrets I don't get it. Even Dumbles have ben de-gooped and traced.
Exactly. It’s kind of a D move IMO. If someone whants to figure it out, they will. I don’t like gooped pedals. What if I need to change the foot switch, jacks or power jack? Now I have to deal with a mess of silicone goop?! :mad:
 
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stagolee

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,238
Generally, there are two reasons:

1.) There is something unique and proprietary to the circuit and the builder doesn’t want people to copy it. Particularly since it’s difficult (and expensive) to get patents on many effects circuits.

2.) The circuit under the goop is itself a copy of something else and the builder doesn’t want people to know that it’s something else.

Either way, it’s usually done because builders believe it offers them protection from prying eyes.
I always assume number 2
 

chanley

Member
Messages
113
What if I need to change the foot switch, jacks or power jack? No I have to deal with a mess of silicone goop?! :mad:
I don't particularly have an opinion on goop vs non-goop, but at least for greer pedals, they have a lifetime warranty to the "original" owner. Granted, that doesn't help the person who bought one used, but it's better than nothing?
Actually...maybe I do have an opinion on gooped pedals...These guys make a living designing and selling pedals. All the components are hypothetically available to anyone, so I guess the goop is protecting their circuit designs from someone just reverse-engineering the thing and selling their own. I'm not terribly familiar with the history of all the various circuits that have been "re-invented/borrowed/stolen", but I don't have a problem with pedal makers gooping circuits.
also...when does a circuit become a "clone" vs "a unique take on (classic circuit name here) vs "ripoff"?
 

Dr. Tinnitus

Member
Messages
2,740
I've never seen this in any of my pedals. Seems like a paranoid practice and I can't imagine many builders do this...
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
24,831
paul trombetta would “goop” some pedals for travel protection; it was a black substance that was easily removed, and he’d tell the customer how to do it.
in fact, i think that he’d posted that goop-removal method on TGP.
i never had any impression that he was the paranoid type in relation to his pedal design/build.
great fuzzes, etc, imo & ime.
 

jtees4

Member
Messages
1,564
I never owned a Dumble...BUT didn't Dumble amps used to be gooped with actual epoxy stuff to hide things?
 

MaxTwang

Member
Messages
3,175
Why do you sometimes see pedal makers “goop” their circuits? To prevent user mods? Protect circuit design and help prevent clones? Keep components secure and less prone to failure? All of the above? Some of the above? I don’t see a lot of this but got curious when I opened up my two Greer pedals. View attachment 298469
Off topic, but is it true that yellow wires sound better than red wires?
 




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