[sdiy] Relays or reed switches for routing?

Tom Wiltshire tom at electricdruid.net
Tue Jun 1 10:07:54 CEST 2021


If you lose power during a gig, the fact that your unamplified electric guitar can make it through your pedals isn’t going to help you much. So at least for stompboxes, I never saw the benefit of this.

> On 31 May 2021, at 23:20, S Ridley via Synth-diy <synth-diy at synth-diy.org> wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> > In stompbox-world, a lot of people are currently hung up on "true bypass switching" ...
> 
> True bypass switching is the only thing that works if you lose power.  
> 
> You'll find some true bypass switching on some serious pro audio gear too.  Neve 33609 comes to mind.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Steve
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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> On Mon, 31 May 2021 at 23:04, cheater cheater via Synth-diy <synth-diy at synth-diy.org <mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org>> wrote:
> On Mon, May 31, 2021 at 11:05 PM David G Dixon <dixon at mail.ubc.ca <mailto:dixon at mail.ubc.ca>> wrote:
> >
> > For audio switching, why would anyone today use anything other than a CMOS
> > switch?
> 
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but CMOS doesn't switch 50Vpp. That's the
> line, unamplified signal, which needs to be switched.
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Synth-diy [mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org <mailto:synth-diy-bounces at synth-diy.org>] On Behalf Of Tom
> > Wiltshire
> > Sent: Monday, May 31, 2021 1:48 PM
> > To: cheater cheater
> > Cc: synth-diy
> > Subject: Re: [sdiy] Relays or reed switches for routing?
> >
> > [CAUTION: Non-UBC Email]
> >
> > It's not that they cause distortion. If there is a problem with relays, it
> > would be contact bounce. The acoustic noise they make is not the issue so
> > much as the electrical noise. They switch fast, so any non-zero signal
> > causes a click. Obviously some are much worse than others. Some may be good
> > enough. Silent switching generally means "slow switching" - it's a crossfade
> > in a few tens of msecs, not a hard jump from one to another.
> >
> > In stompbox-world, a lot of people are currently hung up on "true bypass
> > switching" which is (mostly) taken to mean a solid path of metal from input
> > to output when the effect is out of circuit. This is the current holy grail
> > because having extra buffers in your signal path is taken to be clearly
> > wrong (despite highly-thought-of mixing desks having dozens between the
> > signal coming in and going out). In an attempt to meet this demand whilst
> > providing silent switching (and also to avoid expensive and failure-prone
> > 3PDT footswitches), some manufacturers have moved to relays, but these are
> > often (mostly) accompanied by some type of short-to-ground element to
> > silence the output while the relay switches. This makes up for the
> > instantaneous switching and contact bounce of the metal-on-metal relay
> > switching. The previous pedal generation used FETs to provide this switching
> > action, and they could be ramped on softly, unlike relays. But for
> > pedalworld, switching FETs in the signal path and the buffers that go with
> > them are now often regarded as not the right answer, so other solutions have
> > been found that hit the current marketing buzzword.
> >
> > HTH,
> > Tom
> >
> > ==================
> >        Electric Druid
> > Synth & Stompbox DIY
> > ==================
> >
> >
> >
> > > On 31 May 2021, at 13:57, cheater cheater via Synth-diy
> > <synth-diy at synth-diy.org <mailto:synth-diy at synth-diy.org>> wrote:
> > >
> > > Why would relays introduce distortion? Aren't they just a conductor
> > > that gets mechanically moved back and forth. What's the nonlinearity?
> > >
> > > On Mon, May 31, 2021 at 2:10 PM Gordonjcp <gordonjcp at gjcp.net <mailto:gordonjcp at gjcp.net>> wrote:
> > >>
> > >> On Sun, May 30, 2021 at 11:22:38AM +0200, cheater cheater wrote:
> > >>> Why can I not use relays to switch audio? What's wrong with relays?
> > >>>
> > >>> BTW, I was thinking of acoustically dampening relays. EG use sound
> > >>> proofing foam.
> > >>
> > >> They're electrically noisy as well as mechanically noisy.  They're
> > unreliable when you use them for switching tiny currents.  They introduce a
> > lot of distortion.
> > >>
> > >> Literally nothing sane uses relays in the audio path.
> > >>
> > >> --
> > >> Gordonjcp
> > >>
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