How… T-Rex Components – best of the best
- our view on the technology used in T-Rex products
Through development over the years, we notice a major difference between ceramics and film foil capacitors. We have chosen to use European manufactured film foil electrolytic capacitors in the signal path - striving to achieve the best possible sound. Especially in distortion pedals the folio capacitors has a much richer characteristic and give more bottom to the sound effect.
Users of our products require that the settings on the effects remain stable. During a gig, the settings should not change by an accidental touch of the pedal. Therefore, we go beyond even military standards in durability of our potentiometers.
Over the year’s we have invented potentiometers that turn easy, but not get lose. The military standard is 40.000 circle-turns before wearing out. The T-Rex standard goes up to 100.000 circle-turns before showing signs of audio noise.
The foot switch - with the right click
Most foot switches on stomp boxes look alike. Once you click them, you experience the difference. Compared to a big guitarist boot kicking in, a foot switch is a tiny device. It must withstand lots of pressure from lots of kicks. Still, it must provide the right “click-feeling” every time. The T-Rex foot switch was developed in collaboration with the parts manufactures - for T-Rex only. It is a durable momentary switch - with the right click.
Jack connectors – a stable welcoming
Connecting your jack to a T-Rex pedal provides you with that good feeling of having a good tool in your hands. We use high quality connectors with metal nuts that control the travel of your jack.
Our toggle switches are made of metal – for endless use.
SMD technology – surface mount device
Taking advantage of a mix of vintage technology and SMD, T-Rex creates our own, high standard in the circuits. Experience for almost two decades lead to this technical expertise that opens more and more possibilities for our engineers – and our customers.
T-Rex Fuel Tanks - high performance power supply for pedals
The criteria for our power supply units are numerous. However, the most important ones are that the products must be small in size, they must be consistent in supply, and hum must be reduced to an absolute minimum.
These criteria are the toughest to score high on in tests and every-day-use. Still we challenge the industry standards and ourselves in order to offer the best products for musicians around the world – in places with different mains voltage.
Our engineers go far to source suitable materials and components. For the Fuel Tanks, we care extra for stable regulators and HQ cores.
In order to keep the units small one needs small sized iron cores. For a good performance the iron needs to be of a very high quality and the cobber must be of a high concentration and strictly winded for stable power supply.
Bypassing an effects pedal
This issue is subject to various opinions and believes. Here is our view:
We want to offer the users of T-Rex effects pedals the best – not necessary the easiest – handling of their guitar signal through their gear, which our products are part of.
FET bypass – active bypass
In the majority of our pedals, we use FET bypass switching (field effect transistors) for low switching noise and signal buffering. The T-Rex FET bypass is a transistor excellent for audio use. Especially wahs, distortions, overdrives and compressors should have the FET bypassing possibility in order to not lose tone and to avoid pop noises turning ON/OFF. This is because the DC offset can vary from pedal to pedal.
Buffering the signal means, that the transistor and the surrounding components are converting the high impedance signal from the instrument into a low impedance output signal. Low impedance signals are not affected by long cable runs and preserve the signal going to the amplifier.
Without a buffer, the cable going to the amp and the amp´s input circuit acts like a filter, and there is a loss of signal strength and high frequency content.
With true hardwire bypass only, too long cables from the guitar to the amplifier will cause a severe loss of tone.
True hardwire bypass – passive bypass
T-Rex uses true hardwire bypass in some pedals. Only in pedals after overdrives, distortions and compressions. It can be implemented in time-based effects because in these effects the pop from the switch will not be amplified, like in distortion pedals. You will not hear the pop-noise.
True hardwire bypass from a FET-switching pedal
If you do want true bypass, we recommend using switching systems with gold plated relays.
Analog or digital technology in time-based effects like Delay, Reverb etc.
There has always been different opinions on what is best. Analog delay or digital delay? This is our view:
Most pedal manufactures are using an analog chip called a bugged brigade delay line Integrated Circuit. It is thousands of transistors connected serially. Every transistor gives a little delay. The real delay-effect will be achieved by having enough transistors. Very simple and easy to use.
The down side to this is that the high number of transistors create a lot of high-frequency noise that has to be dealt with. This involves a lot of filtering and cutting of the high end, in order to obtain an acceptable noise floor. The good thing is that the dry mix is always analog, so you will not feel a big loss of tone even with the filtering of the wet signal.
The result is good only if the filtering is been done right. In our world, we call it vintage sound.
The alternative is digital. The most common way is to use a Digital Signal Processor. With a DSP, it is very easy to make a good and clean sounding delay. The quality of the signal depends on, how good the CODEC is. The CODEC is the Integrated Circuit that converts the analog signal into a binary code and back again after processing.
The digital delay has a high signal-quality that is easy to work with after processing. No filtering is needed. It is much easier to process a good signal than trying to fix a noisy analog signal.
The delay signal after processing can sound very sterile though. Especially if you do it all digitally such as dry mix, repeats and bypass.
Delay T-Rex style
There is no doubt that we prefer to do as much analogically as possible because it sounds better. However, some effects are better achieved digitally.
T-Rex combines the best from the analog and the digital technologies to get the right feeling in the sound, avoiding disturbing signal delays. We handle the wet signal digitally. All other signals are mastered the analog way.
We take the perfect sounding delay signal and split it up with an analog compressor (expander circuit). First, the signal it compressed and squeezed, then it is expanded back to its normal volume. This creates the same effect as on tape echo - just without the disturbing noise. The session repeats by sending the signal back to the input again - analogically. This makes for a very natural delay sound, as the repeats are losing a bit of their frequency spectrum and dynamics, as they ring out, just as a real life echo would. The result is very much like an analog tape delay.
Important is that the mix is done analogically. The dry signal is always parallel to the wet signal.