[sdiy] Diode Matching

Mattias Rickardsson mr at analogue.org
Sat Apr 11 13:31:54 CEST 2020

On Sat, 11 Apr 2020 at 11:51, René Schmitz <synth at schmitzbits.de> wrote:

> On 10.04.2020 23:48, Chris McDowell wrote:
> > heresy perhaps, but have you tried -not- matching them? I'm curious how
> > poorly your ring mod performs with diodes just grabbed from the bag vs
> > hand matched.
> Not a bad suggestion actually. Assuming a passive transformer ring mod,
> you'll have much larger artefacts that easily swamp any of those which
> are caused by a slight diode mismatch.

It's true that a passive transformer ring mod has quite a lot of
distortion-like "artefacts", but there's a good chance that smaller
inconsistencies due to bad matching do reveal themselves. A bit like when
you run a sound into a clipping distortion stage - the output is primarily
the characteristic sound of clipping, but it still matters what input
signal you give it and what DC offset it has, etc.

In the case of a ringmod, even a fuzzy one, I'd expect badly matched diodes
to be able to ruin the suppression of carrier harmonics just slightly -
which (even if it's a small difference in theory) I'd expect to be a but
very audible difference even if you'd run it through all your dist pedals
in series. :-)

But then what "sounds best" is another question! ;-)

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