Mechanical vs. Digital Switches

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Calvin Marks, Aug 3, 2018.


  1. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Toronto
    Why do some makers opt to use mechanical switches on pedals? Does it have something to do with true-bypass and wanting to keep a purely analog device? I personally can't stand mechanical switches (ie. Aguilar Chorasaurus) because they (i) make a very audible "click" sound when depressed, and (ii) are harder to depress as there is a tactile "bump" before the pedal is engaged.
     
    Iristone and RedJag like this.
  2. TheEmptyCell

    TheEmptyCell Bearded Dingwall Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    A 3pdt true bypass stomp switch is cheaper and easier to implement compared to relay-based true bypass system. While the switch required is non-latching (no 'CLICK!'), it needs a small relay circuit in order to actual do anything, so the builder then has to factor that aspect into circuit design and component needs (time & money).

    It's very likely you could have your regular true bypass pedals modded for relay based, soft-touch true bypass. If you're at all soldering-capable, you could even DIY it. There are PCB's readily available for this sort of thing.
     
    Iristone likes this.
  3. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Is this just another thread where you just want to vent on how much you hate those switches? You made a very similar thread two weeks ago:

    Why do some pedals on/off switches "click"???

    -Frank
     
  4. XXL

    XXL calm seas dont make skilled sailors

    Jun 14, 2007
    Florida
    I know of one builder that built a relay bypass with no micro controllers. No pop, no click, and if the pedal loses power it will still bypass the signal.
    Check out Doc Lloyd pedals.
     
    piggywiddle likes this.
  5. 254 stringer

    254 stringer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    Way huge are like this also.
     
  6. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    Didn't they design in a pop reducing circuit that momentarily mutes the audio when the bypass relay is changing states from on-off/off-on?

    -Frank
     
  7. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    That's probably the single best justification for the hard-click, true bypass switches even though they're primitive technology. I've seen a few guitarists loss pedal power at the most inopportune times.

    I personally don't mind the hard click. I don't even hear it when I'm in a band setting.
     
    Bassbeater likes this.
  8. RedJag

    RedJag

    Mar 2, 2016
    San Jose, CA
    I love EQD’s implementation where it’s simultaneously a relay on/off and a momentary switch depending on how long you press the switch.
     
    DavC likes this.
  9. XXL

    XXL calm seas dont make skilled sailors

    Jun 14, 2007
    Florida
    Yes I think so. I had a conversation with Russ a while back in which we were discussing the bypass, I’ll try and find it.
    I personally don’t hear or feel any slight mute in signal from bypassing the DLA pedals than say my W&C pedals or even my Broughton, which has a different relay bypass system. It seems just a seemless as any other pedal when bypassing.
    Not to say that others might not hear or feel a difference though.
     
    boomertech likes this.
  10. XXL

    XXL calm seas dont make skilled sailors

    Jun 14, 2007
    Florida
    It’s the pops that kill me and my band.
    I personally enjoy stomping on a soft switch more than a 3DPT switch as it feels better to me.
     
  11. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Digital switches piss me off. Every time I turn on the pedal board I have to cycle through to the right settings on the pedals with digital switching... fail.
     
  12. Ben B

    Ben B

    Jul 13, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    If designed properly, the circuit should have little or no pop. My EHX pedals switch fairly quietly. Now, I'm wondering about my Joyo UD. I haven't used it in a while. Tonight I'm going to check if UD pops when switched. I may have to do a quick mod.

    Alternatively, you can train your drummer to hit the kick drum and crash at the exact moment when you hit the pedal. No one will hear the pop.
     
  13. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 15, 2003
    Vegas
    I've started to care about these things recently when I never did before, because I don't STOMP my pedals. The audible click isn't bothersome unless it comes through the amp, but it's just super nice to just *tap* without having to think about making it past the resistance point. Tech21 pedals are good with this and my MXR BAQ's switch is pretty soft too - EHX and DOD have significantly stiffer switches.
     
  14. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Toronto
    I'm not even going to justify that comment with a proper response.
     
  15. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Toronto
    Thanks for answering, unlike the pedal builder above!
     
  16. boomertech

    boomertech Frank Appleton Commercial User

    Apr 8, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Designer/Owner of FEA Labs
    I asked the question because every time you made a post in that other thread it was to say that you hate switch click. It is understandable that some may be bothered with the mechanical "click". Don't be offended by my legitimate question when you say "I personally can't stand mechanical switches" in your opening post. You seem to be just making a continuation of that other thread.

    The pedal builder above!:)

    AKA
    -Frank
     
    Frodolicious likes this.
  17. Calvin Marks

    Calvin Marks Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2017
    Toronto
    Yes, and everyone kept thinking I meant signal popping instead of acoustic clicks. Finally someone has responded here as to why some pedal builders choose to make pedals this way.
     
  18. Bassbeater

    Bassbeater Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    Why not use a pedal loop switcher if you love the effect but can't stand the "pop"?
     
    piggywiddle likes this.
  19. flam

    flam

    Sep 20, 2010
    Tempe, Arizona
    I think it depends on the pedal. If the whole thing is simple and analog, why have the extra complexity and expense of a relay switching system?

    I never really thought about it much, but I heavily prefer mechanical switches, a solid throw feels good. It takes so little effort to step on a switch that I can't imagine it being a problem for anybody who can lift their legs. I could see the noise being a problem in very quiet environments.
     
    Bassbeater likes this.
  20. ficelles

    ficelles

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    Don’t like pedals with mechanical switches? Don’t buy them. Then you don’t need to keep complaining about them.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 13, 2021

Share This Page