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Chaos Theory and Parts Assembly Order

8/29/2000 1:18 AM
Chaos Theory and Parts Assembly Order
I've moved the subject discussion out here for ease of reference.  
Jacques said  
everyone here seems to agree they need technical data to believe me.  
But what exactly did I say on my site?  
that my pedal sounds good?"
Hey, hey! I just spent some time squirreling around through Jacques' and found that the comments on the order of parts assembly don't seem to be there any more. I read them myself when I first checked out the assertions, and now they're gone - or at least I couldn't find them.  
So what's the deal, Jacques? Why have the comments about the order of assembly of the parts vanished? Do you no longer contend that the order of assembly of parts matters?
"Is there any unities that measure good tone?"
No, clearly, there are not. That's a point that I've made often. In fact, you can't even get people to agree what good tone is.
"( R.G. , do you like it ?)"
And whether or not I like the tone matters not one bit.
"other could be telling what the FB is made of, what was the solution I used to achieve 'lot of distortion with articulation'. I want to keep it secret. I want people to pay for it. You can think it is commercial, and of course it is because it is the sense of the word."
And **you** were blathering on about not being commercial????
"BUT, the feeling I got when I sold my first FB was not greed: I just think to myself if a real good guitarist, who owns real good gear, is ready to pay money for my pedal, means that I was not just dreaming, that I really invented a new good and usable distortion device!  
What will be the value of the appreciation if I gave them free?"
We have another saying "When someone contends that it's not the money, it's the principle of the thing, it's the money".  
But I digress. OK, you admit that you're advertising for customers with commercial intent. OK, fine, I have no problem with that, never did. My problem was with you pretending you didn't.
"The only technical things said with no scientific demonstration concerns my version of the FUZZ FACE and not at all my FUSE BLOWER.  
R.G., you said you could measure the differences between them and therefore explain why this one sounds better than the other.Right,but we are still in presence of: better wire, better solders, better plugs and better craftmanship.Question:  
1-Is it possible that the best cable has not the best measurments?"
No, not with an accurate definition of "best". You want to take a swing at that one? The "best" cable is either different from the rest or not. If it's different, you can distinguish. If not, you can't. For instance, if you have a cord that's too short, the "best" cord may be one that is twice as long. What is "best"? Define the requirements, then measure. If they do not measure differently, they will perform the same, especially if they are made of identical parts assembled in different orders.
"while simple, a fuzz pedal is much more complicated than a guitar cable and besides a gain factor, a noise ratio and an oscillosope wave, I dont think there is more technical data to show."
That is a mistaken impression. Any EE, tech, or electronics builder can tell you that there is a wealth of detail inside it; this is the fact you were alluding to in the "fuzz pedal is more complicated than a guitar cord". It's either complicated or not. Which?
"We both know that gain and noise will never do a good distortion device"
Noise is not too appreciated, but I see requests for more gain everyday. I'm confused. What do you mean?
" see the TS808 and the OD850 on my site.All the figures gives OD850 winner while musicians made another choice."
The pedals are different. The musicians picked the ones they liked. "All the figures" is a measurement of the wrong data.  
You are arguing the wrong point. You contended that assembling identical parts in a different order contributed to better tone. I contend that the order of assembly of identical parts makes no difference, given that it is done in a good, competent and workmanlike manner. The actual performance of the result, be it incredibly good or miserable, has no bearing on whether there is a difference or not.
"2-If I show you the FUSE BLOWER sine will you take it for a scientific proof of its good tone?"
No. The shape of a waveform is an indicator of tone, but hearing the sound is the only true test.
"I think you are a hard arguer, but if you answered YES to -1- and NO to -2- , maybe you could give me a little tiny point.and if you dont please tell what else can we measure and I will do it with great pleasure."
Actually, I answered No, No.  
You're ducking the issue, Jacques. The issue isn't whether your pedal or my pedal or anyone's carefully hand crafted, polished, painted, pedal sounds better or not. The issue is that you said that parts assembled in a certain order sounded better. I contend that identical parts assembled in any time order will sound very much the same.  
Do you have any response to that? Yes, or no?  
And now, a word from our sponsors:

8/29/2000 2:48 PM

ok now we came to a precise point I eventually understand: you want scientific evidence of the way I assemble components is better in some way (tone or noise or anything).  
here is my answer:  
1-No, I do not have any scientific evidence to show.  
2-But, yes there really is a tonal improvement.  
3-And, I have never used this argument to sell the pedal.  
What can I say?  
I came to this process through experiment, A/B-ing the PTP/'order' version v/s the PTP version v/s the PCB version of my circuit with a group of fellow guitarist and we all came to the same conclusion.  
I really think you are better qualified to investigate the reasons why.  
I have made a MIT-type school in France but we were more concerned by relativity and Maxwell equations than by 'simple' hobby electronics.  
Be sure I regret it.  
Have I been clear ?  
Concerning repair, I was only refering to MY pedal.  
The nature of its construction does not allow components replacement, unless massive desoldering which will take more time than making a new circuit.  
Do not hesitate to ask more precision on any point.  
p.s.: RG , do you like the sound of the Fuse Blower ?
8/30/2000 1:53 PM

"1-No, I do not have any scientific evidence to show."
That's what I have thought since the first. You baldly assert that there is a difference and that whatever you have touched in the proper order is better somehow in a way that cannot be measured.  
This effect **is** well documented in both psychology and hifi circles. It's a form of unintentional self deception. I can dig you up some references if you like. And yes, to *you* it does sound better. To other people, the listening may be quite different. That's why I was going on about measurement, fairly constructed tests, and independently verifiable results. These are all things that have been developed to remove self deception and biases from preference testing.  
"2-But, yes there really is a tonal improvement."
This is a key factor in the kinds of self deception that happen, especially with sound equipment. Yes, you really do hear it as better. That says ...nothing... about whether other people will hear it as better.  
"3-And, I have never used this argument to sell the pedal."
If that is truly the case, I apologize on that one point. I believed I saw the comments on your web page. Since I did not copy them, I have no data other than my memory, which is subject to the same set of problems as your parts-order theory. I retract the statement for lack of proof.  
You might consider doing the same.  
"I really think you are better qualified to investigate the reasons why."
I think I have found the reasons.  
"I was only refering to MY pedal.  
The nature of its construction does not allow components replacement, unless massive desoldering which will take more time than making a new circuit."
Do I then take it that you *do* believe that a specially parts-order-assembled pedal can be repaired to the original sound?  
"p.s.: RG , do you like the sound of the Fuse Blower ?"
As I said, this is irrelevant to the issues I'm interested in.
8/29/2000 3:01 PM

comments about parts order have always only be here on the discussion.  
I have NEVER put them on my site.  
you can check the progression of the discussion to verify this.  
You really are suspicious, thinking I could have CANCELED them after your remarks.  
all this ( guitars, amps,fuzz boxes ) is supposed to be fun you
8/29/2000 6:28 PM

A Fuzz Face has 9 components on the board. How am I to know which of the 362,880 combinations of assembly order will have the "best" tone, unless I build them all and compare?  
Even worse, in my clone there are 43 soldered joints - that's 6.0 x 10^52 permutations.  
Fortunately, the order of assembly has as much relevance as the colour of the box I put it in.  
8/30/2000 6:16 AM

Some thoughts on this thread:  
1) We obviously have reached an impasse on the search for quantitative data about the order in which parts are installed in a device;  
2) As far as guitarists deciding that the "order-sensitive PTP" version sounded "better" than others is just the usual subjective stuff (after all, as we've all gone on about Eric Johnson may or may not be able to actually hear a difference in which end of the fuse is inserted into an amp, but as long as he does or thinks he does he's going to do it whichever way sounds "better" to him); this is like my contention that I can tell the difference between alkaline and carbon batteries in some types of fx boxes, or some types in proximity to others, but no difference in other boxes- I can hear the differences because I use the same gear over and over, I probably couldn't hope to tell about others' gear, and might *not* be able to tell with my own if I were listening to a recording of my gear at a later time, in other words, subjective ideas of what sounds "better" are just not (at least at this point in time) scientifically discernable;  
3) chaos theory isn't about randomness, but the *non-randomness* of apparently random patterns. So I'm prepared to believe that the concept of what order components are put in a device might have some effect, and some people might like one version's sound "better" than another, I just think it probably doesn't, and if it does it's too much to worry about. IanR's post makes that pretty clear; if we're gonna worry about exactly which order to do the components in a stompbox are going to be soldered in, well hell, that's just more crap to worry about (even worse than "which of the 10,000 aftermarket strat pickups will make me sound BEST?!?"). If jacque and his friends can tell a difference, or THINK they can, more power to them. He obviously has a LOT more loose time on his hands than I do!  
8/30/2000 8:49 AM
Re: Chaos Theory and coffee
hi Hi,  
thanks for the intelligent thoughts.  
Chaos theory is at its enfancy.  
And it is very promising.  
I have an example:  
Have you noticed every house has its coffee?  
I mean, coffee taste seems to me different in every home I go, while it is always the same if I call the same home after 2 months.  
they can change coffee brand, coffee machine, mother, sister etc... and end up with the same coffee.  
Or you can use same brand and machine than your neighbour and still have YOUR coffee.  
Italian people, real coffee connoiseur to my eyes, have 100 of theories on that.But I observed the same 'home coffee' effect in every italian house I have called.  
I am convinced that if you and I will build the same fuzzbox, they will sound different.  
The reality lies in the size of the difference.  

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