[sdiy] Relays or reed switches for routing?

Tom Wiltshire tom at electricdruid.net
Tue Jun 1 12:22:50 CEST 2021


You’d have to be looney to use batteries on stage for a critical part of your performance, no? I mean, if it’s going to go flat, it’s going to do it in the middle of your solo!

Anyway, many modern pedals don’t provide an option for batteries. For some it’s just a design choice, for others the current draw makes it impractical.

> On 1 Jun 2021, at 10:53, cheater cheater <cheater00social at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I think it might be about losing power from batteries.
> 
> On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 10:36 AM Tom Wiltshire <tom at electricdruid.net <mailto:tom at electricdruid.net>> wrote:
> 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 <mailto: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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