Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by Wairarapajack »

It depends if you're a tinkerer. If getting into the guts of a piece of gear, seeing how it works and fixing it floats your boat then Handwired all the way.

If you think of your amp as a magical black box that makes your guitar sound nice, then it probably doesn't matter. The cost differential between a PCB and Handwired product means that if the PCB fails you could buy a whole new unit and it would still cost less. Admittedly I am playing Devil's Advocate here, and hate the waste built in to that consumerist model.

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by Wairarapajack »

Danger Mouse wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 9:07 am The easier to repair thing is not necessarily true. The benefit of modern pcb electronics is, unlike your hand wired amp that needs a tech to fault find, on something that is pcb-based, you identify which board is faulty, take it out and put a new one in.
This feels wasteful but is kind of true. If your tech can get the parts quickly a PCB amp is probably quicker to fix

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by jeremyb »

robthemac wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 9:16 am
Danger Mouse wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 9:07 am
Slowy wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:21 pm I choose traditional hand wired amps.
They probably don't sound better
I don't even really think of them as cooler or more desirable
But they're easy to repair and maintain and that, good people is the decider for me.
End of story.

I'd like to say the same for pedals but it's not practical if you want commercial products.
The easier to repair thing is not necessarily true. The benefit of modern pcb electronics is, unlike your hand wired amp that needs a tech to fault find, on something that is pcb-based, you identify which board is faulty, take it out and put a new one in.
But replacing a board is likely more expensive and challenging that replacing your average resistor or capacitor, right?
Modern surface mount stuff isn’t that serviceable, the labour cost would generally outweigh the replacement part, it’s hugely wasteful but people want thin light iPhones and so forth so this is the world we have now :-(

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by Slowy »

Danger Mouse wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 9:07 am
Slowy wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:21 pm I choose traditional hand wired amps.
They probably don't sound better
I don't even really think of them as cooler or more desirable
But they're easy to repair and maintain and that, good people is the decider for me.
End of story.

I'd like to say the same for pedals but it's not practical if you want commercial products.
The easier to repair thing is not necessarily true. The benefit of modern pcb electronics is, unlike your hand wired amp that needs a tech to fault find, on something that is pcb-based, you identify which board is faulty, take it out and put a new one in.
True in principle. But try getting a replacement board for your AC10 or Boogie Mk5.
Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. This is as true of humans as it is of gas molecules in a sealed flask. The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who so survive.

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by jeremyb »

Slowy wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 10:09 am
Danger Mouse wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 9:07 am
Slowy wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:21 pm I choose traditional hand wired amps.
They probably don't sound better
I don't even really think of them as cooler or more desirable
But they're easy to repair and maintain and that, good people is the decider for me.
End of story.

I'd like to say the same for pedals but it's not practical if you want commercial products.
The easier to repair thing is not necessarily true. The benefit of modern pcb electronics is, unlike your hand wired amp that needs a tech to fault find, on something that is pcb-based, you identify which board is faulty, take it out and put a new one in.
True in principle. But try getting a replacement board for your AC10 or Boogie Mk5.
You’d need to take the mesa to a service centre for sure, although the ac10 is pretty basic inside so most techs or electronics savvy home users could handle it :-)

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by Slowy »

jeremyb wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 10:11 am
You’d need to take the mesa to a service centre for sure, although the ac10 is pretty basic inside so most techs or electronics savvy home users could handle it :-)
Yet that video you posted called the AC10 a boat anchor if anything went wrong.

Doesn't matter, just my preference. I've had such a good run with Clarry whenever I've needed something done and it's always been inexpensive; even when he's handed me half a cupful of replaced components.
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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by Danger Mouse »

Slowy wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 10:09 am
Danger Mouse wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 9:07 am
Slowy wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 6:21 pm I choose traditional hand wired amps.
They probably don't sound better
I don't even really think of them as cooler or more desirable
But they're easy to repair and maintain and that, good people is the decider for me.
End of story.

I'd like to say the same for pedals but it's not practical if you want commercial products.
The easier to repair thing is not necessarily true. The benefit of modern pcb electronics is, unlike your hand wired amp that needs a tech to fault find, on something that is pcb-based, you identify which board is faulty, take it out and put a new one in.
True in principle. But try getting a replacement board for your AC10 or Boogie Mk5.
And that is the fault of the manufacturer, they very easily could make them available and definitely should, which is why legislation is being formed in various parts of the world that parts for consumer electronics should be easily and readily available.
The older I get, the more disappointed in myself I become.

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by Slowy »

Danger Mouse wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 10:22 am
Slowy wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 10:09 am
Danger Mouse wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 9:07 am

The easier to repair thing is not necessarily true. The benefit of modern pcb electronics is, unlike your hand wired amp that needs a tech to fault find, on something that is pcb-based, you identify which board is faulty, take it out and put a new one in.
True in principle. But try getting a replacement board for your AC10 or Boogie Mk5.
And that is the fault of the manufacturer, they very easily could make them available and definitely should, which is why legislation is being formed in various parts of the world that parts for consumer electronics should be easily and readily available.
Exactly. So I'll stick to my Jurassic tech. :D
Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. This is as true of humans as it is of gas molecules in a sealed flask. The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who so survive.

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by jeremyb »

Slowy wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 10:19 am
jeremyb wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 10:11 am
You’d need to take the mesa to a service centre for sure, although the ac10 is pretty basic inside so most techs or electronics savvy home users could handle it :-)
Yet that video you posted called the AC10 a boat anchor if anything went wrong.

Doesn't matter, just my preference. I've had such a good run with Clarry whenever I've needed something done and it's always been inexpensive; even when he's handed me half a cupful of replaced components.
Not me, but I’ve seen inside mine a few times now and it’s serviceable, parts should be available anyway, consumer guarantees act will give me a new one if they can’t fix it :mrgreen:

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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by TmcB »

Working on handwired amps is infinitely easier as you don’t have to contend with accidentally burning out solder pads and all sorts of annoying dicking about with wires disconnecting themselves randomly.

Building handwired pedals is really annoying and takes up too much space. Has a cool aesthetic if you’re into doing the old circuits

SMD sucks because it’s too fiddly but the process is pretty sweet for the big players - use the computer to stick all the bits on the board and biff them in the oven.
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Re: Hand-wired Vs PCB for pedals and amps....

Post by Danger Mouse »

TmcB wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 11:16 am
SMD sucks because it’s too fiddly but the process is pretty sweet for the big players - use the computer to stick all the bits on the board and biff them in the oven.
Yep I've had summer jobs while I was doing my electronics degree running pick and place and flow solder machines, bulk manufacturing of SMD boards is easy and cheap once you're set up for it.
The older I get, the more disappointed in myself I become.

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