new item(s) were added into this section (10 days ago max.).
some of the items in this sections were updated (7 days ago max).
8.5. The long awaited Moon Vibe MkII has been released today, with very short waiting list.
2.5. 27.05. Gilmourish.com have published a review of our Pig Hoof MkII.
25.4. We added a variant of our well established Pig Hoff pedal - Pig Hoof MkII.
11.4. Rob O'Block has finished The Wall tour of his band, he was using our Pig Hoof, and he sent two fresh new videos that you can find at the Pig Hoof page.
19.2. Jamstage.cz released a nice video for our Distant Voices Theremin.
------------- 2012 ------------
18.12. There is a new article in our blog about Tuning the Distant Voices Theremin.
06.12. We added two videos about Distant Voices theremin to our blog.
03.11. Widara company has introduced our model of a simple rock stage theremin under a name Distant Voices.
More in our blog.
07.08. Moon Vibe has been discontinued. We are working on a new model of Moon Vibe, which shall be available by Christmas.
10.05. And yet another video for Pig Hoof was added. Nicolás Quiroga is performing Castellorizon this time.
|You are at: Electronic Orange > Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
I need more volume when i play lead parts, what pedal shall i get?
This is one of the most frequent questions. Let's put aside the sound itself - every guitarist has to chose his/her own sound - and concentrate just on the volume part.
When you place a guitar pedal in front of a single-channel tube amp, the only thing that matters is how much gain is set on the amp at the moment you step on the pedal. If you use a cranked amp (preamp) for chords, you can't expect much of a volume jump. The high level signal that comes from the pedal can't drive the tubes ad infinitum - they have certain limits they can't cross, and if you push them over those limits the will start distorting, while keeping a constant volume level. No more volume since that point. The cranked amp means, that the volume limits are being just reached and you can't go any further. The lower is your amp gain, the bigger volume jump you can achieve by stepping on your pedal.
The solution for the players who use a cranked amp for chords is to connect the pedal to the effect loop (if your am has any) - that means skipping the preamp and feeding straight the power amp. And there is usually a lot of room for the pedal signal to get some extra volume. Another solution is a multi-channel amp.
I use VOX AC15 - a simple single-channel amp. When i play chords i have the gain set to 1/2, so i still get some extra volume when i step on my booster. If i set the gain at max., stepping on the booster brings just more drive, but volume doesn't change a bit.
When i engage the pedal i can hear hum (or squealing noise ...)
Hum can get into the sound by several ways:
1. The wall wart you use is not stabilized, or your pedals draw more current than the limit wall wart was built for (see the plate information)
2. You have plugged the wall wart in a different socket than your amp. You may have created a large ground loop this way - a loop that leads unwanted current between spots of different electric potential (ground=0V is just a text-book simplification, quite far from reality )
3. You have more pedals connected to one power adapter. Again, a ground loop:
DC socket ground pin 1 -> transformer ground wire -> DC socket ground pin 2 -> enclosure 2 -> cable jack ground -> enclosure 1 -> back to the DC socket ground pin 1
4. Quirky, home-made electrification in your house
5. You use a switching power supply - these devices, anyhow advantageous they are, can generate some unwanted noises
When i plug my germanium based pedal in my pedalboard, and connect the common DC power supply in, everything turns off
These obsolete circuits often incorporate PNP transistors that are fed by negative voltage. That means that you can't plug them on one common power supply together with the modern, NPN pedals. The best solution is to use:
- a power supply that contains more than one transformer, where one of the transformers provides the negative voltage (to feed the PNP pedal)
- the transformer provides a symmetrical voltage (+ <> 0 <> -)
- more separated wall warts
I can hear radio when i step on my pedal
When this happens, then there is something wrong with the shielding. Some pedals that provide radical signal amplification (fuzz, overdrive), or/and have long, non-shielded wires used inside (that work like antenna), or are somehow badly enclosed by the metal box, may really receive radio stations. This also regularly happens to Fuzz Face circuits turned to the max. while the guitar volume is all the way down. It can be helped by shielded the input wire and all the long wires inside, and also by a slight tweak if the input circuit. Also, aluminium boxes provide better shielding than the sheet metal enclosures.
How is the current draw of Electronic Oragne pedals
Every pedal has its current draw specified at the summary colum by its picture.
This current draw does not comprise the LED diode, which draws about 0.5mA extra when turned on. We deliberately use low current LEDs, since the current draw of the majority of the pedals we make is so low, that a standard, high bright LED would raise it 20-40 times and that would be just ridiculous.
If you don't use the pedal plugg off the input jack or plug in the DC jack and the battery will turn off completely. I've been using Birdie and Spaghetti Wah for a few years now, and there is still the same battery in them. No stress.
Does a vintage effect sound differently while fed from a battery comparing to a DC power source (wall wart)?
Yes, but not for the reasons that are discussed on various Internet forums by assorted mojo hunters. Do not believe in magical impact of batteries on your sound. It just doesn't make any sense. The bad thing about Internet is, that any obscure rubbish statement can be received as a trustworthy postulate. People just say something, the other reword that statement without understanding it, creating a complete disinformation. These legends arise due to a few basic factors:
- Psychosomatic nature of a man. I can hear what i want to hear - it works just flawlessly. Only blind testing, while the listener doesn't know which of the tested devices is engaged can bring trustworthy results.
- Nowadays common 9V batteries can be easily giving 10V. Unlike stabilized power adapters that will strictly stand on 9V, the batteries can differ, and yes, that one volt of the difference plays a role. Fuzz Face unit that has been built for 9V operation voltage will sound more open and less fuzzy while connected to 10V. The difference is not remarkable, but it is enough to say "yes, this sounds different". The funny thing is, that some people rather stick a 10V battery to their fuzzbox than using a 9V stabilized wall wart. Such a fuzzbox will not have the same sound it had in 60's, because there were no 10V batteries in 60's as far as i know.
- Another argument in the merciless fighting about using batteries/wall warts is the ability to keep the voltage in dependence of the current draw. Yes, that indeed makes sense, but we are talking about current draws about 0.5-1mA, which is so low that any possible difference can hardly be spotted.
If you want to be sure there will be no differences between battery and wall wart operated pedals, just get a 9V stabilized wall wart and 9V battery and as far as you want to feed something like Fuzz Face, you can swap them any way you want.
I've purchasing boutique units of this kind to nail the 60's sound, but none of them sounds same as my friend's original vintage 60's unit.
No wonder it doesn't. There can be many reasons but one of them, and i find it very good reason, are electrolytic capacitors. These little containers are filled with a ionic, conducting liquid that dries up by time, thus changing the capacity.
If nothing else does, then different cap values do have impact on sound. The more often we use such a pedal, the more the capacity changes by time. The old electrolyte capacitors used to have about 15.000 hours of operation under voltage to get the capacity lowered down to one half. Such a vintage unit doesn't sound the same as in the 60's at all. If you want to compare vintage and boutique pedals, you should use not that much played vintage pieces, so you can be sure they sound the same as before.
Friend of mine brought a mid 60's VOX wah over here, that sounded just dull. When i measured the elyte cap by the inductor, i found out it had half of the original capacity.
My Fuzz Face doesn't play well when i put a tuner in front of it
Companies like Boss or Ibanez (and others) employ in their pedals a special switching system that uses buffers. These buffers are engaged even if the pedal is turned off. This fact have a major impact on the vintage unit's sound that is placed right behind it. This applies mainly to tuners, as they are usually placed at the first position in the effect chain. Place such a tuner in a loop switch or put it behind the vintage unit.
updated: September 29, 2010