Proco You Dirty Rat not using germaniums any more?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by bluesholyman, May 14, 2019.

  1. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    I am trying out a used YDR, no signs of modifications, has the "OP" chip, but the diodes don't look like germaniums, at least not the ones I'm used to seeing - are these a different kind of germanium or are they something else, anyone know? This is a 2016 era YDR, based on a yellow date sticker on the inside....

    IMG_1159.JPG
     
  2. MojoTrwall

    MojoTrwall Tele-Meister

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    It's supposed to be silicium diodes on scheme I got.

    Misunderstood here.

    I can't get scheme for the YDR.
     
  3. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    TTBOMK, it always previously used Schottky diodes, which are similar to, but not the same as, germanium diodes (Schottkys need a little bit of series resistance to have an identical "curve" of a germanium).

    Anyway, those look like epoxy rectifier diodes. I seem to recall some RI of a pedal that used 1N270 "equivalents" that looked like epoxy-type diodes (going from very fuzzy memory), but were real germaniums, like this (NTE 1N270):

    [​IMG]

    Whatever they are, I'm assuming that the forward voltage on those is probably similar to Schottky/germanium (roughly ~400mV), otherwise there'd be no reason for ProCo to use them.
     
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  4. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks @11 Gauge . I emailed them with the picture to get clarification. I figured they could probably be schottky's after staring for a bit, but didn't realize germs came in that kind of packaging - used to glass packs.
     
  5. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    I want to say the deucetone had bat41 in the YDR position but that was some time ago
     
  6. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Me too. I'm used to the bigger (compared to silicon) piece of glass (which I assumed was translucent/transparent) with the tungsten wire clearly visible.

    In the case of the NTE 1N270, I thought that it was explicitly being advertised as an equivalent to germanium. I thought that for the actual current applications of these diodes (e.g. not to clip signals in audio circuitry) that germanium wasn't necessary.

    I'm still working under the assumption that these are being used for relatively niche applications, which is why we haven't seen more of them. It might actually be interesting to search Mouser/Digi-Key/etc. with just the word "germanium," and see what gets kicked back in the results.
     
  7. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    I ordered some 1N270's from Ebay a last year. The photo was of the glass encased, black stripe diode. They sent me these. Wasn't going to use them in the vintage Distortion + I was restoring so I asked for my money back...
     
  8. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    I reached out to Proco about this and got a very nice email from their QC people stating that they'd like to have a look at the pedal first-hand. So at their request, I am sending it in and they are going to verify whats in it and make sure their QC is on par.

    Great customer service, I'll post back what comes of it. They seem very interested in their Rats being the highest quality rodentia on the planet.
     
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  9. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    Just a follow-up to this. ProCo received the YDR and replaced the diodes with original spec 1N270 germaniums. They didn't tell me anymore about what was actually in it, although in my initial discussion, they acknowledged it was possible that it might have received the wrong diodes to begin with.

    It arrives home in a day or two at no charge. Kudos to Proco for taking care of their Rats.
     
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  10. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great!
    :cool:
     
  11. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Afflicted

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    Did it sound horrible or something?
    Sounds like you would prefer an OCD.
    :D
     
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  12. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    Mmmmm....Germaniums....


    It sounded fine. I just emailed them to ask because the diodes didn't look like germs - they wanted to have a look and it went from there...

    I actually favor the Plimsoul v2 over the current OCD, but I am inclined to pick up the OCD-Ge....we'll see....
     
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  13. schenkadere

    schenkadere Friend of Leo's

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    So, this was a QC error and not a change in the components, correct?
     
  14. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    ProCo hasn't said specifically indicating that this is the first time a customer has questioned what they actually were. They did say its possible to get two tiny components like that confused and the wrong ones end up in assembly - I could totally see that happening, especially if some were put into the wrong bin to begin with.

    So I believe it to be a QC error and not a change in component spec. They were great about getting it resolved.
     
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  15. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    At first, I thought no way that could happen, but it dawned on me that the assemblers (especially those populating the PCB prior to actual soldering) are probably only skilled in what's actually necessary for populating and soldering. IOW, they may not even have much in the way of audio circuit knowledge, let alone anything specific to guitar audio devices. They probably sort of know what a diode is, which probably means the only critical part that they're aware of is that diodes have polarity. Beyond that, whether it's a Schottky, Zener, germanium, etc. is probably irrelevant.

    It's probably someone other than a populator/solderer who's checking the solder joints, maybe putting a meter to the PCB to check a few things, and then also checking what has been populated where on the PCB. So again, they probably just see that two diodes have been soldered in their proper designations, and whether their polarities have been correctly oriented, and that's the extent of it. They'd really have little to no reason to check the alphanumeric designation on the diode (of which a germanium doesn't always have one, anyway). And they certainly wouldn't be checking the forward voltage of the diodes, either.
     
  16. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Tele-Afflicted

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    The before and after, for those interested:

    Before:

    IMG_1159.JPG

    After:

    fullsizeoutput_126.jpeg
     
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