WHAT MATERIALS ARE USED IN BUILDING?
In compliance with RoHS, nothing I build contains lead (Pb). All soldering is done with lead free solder and the printed circuit boards and all components are lead free. I use high quality through hole components- 1% metal film resistors, low ESR electrolytic capacitors.. For op amps I use Texas Instruments where possible, if TI doesn’t make the part I use the best available. The foot switches, toggle switches and jacks are all rated for long life. I manually screen print all the housings using durable solvent ink, it basically bonds to the powder coating on the housing and becomes part of the paint.
WHAT ABOUT POLARITY PROTECTION?
To protect against accidentally plugging in the wrong adapter, all Signal Cheyne pedals have reverse polarity protection. I use the industry standard 2.1mm center negative DC connecter on all models that have a DC plug. If you accidentally use a center positive jack with the pedal it simply will not turn on.
All Signal Cheyne pedals (except the B6K Compressor) are true bypass, meaning when the pedal is off your signal goes straight from the IN jack to the OUT jack. The B6K has a clean buffer as it's often near the beginning of a pedalboard and insures the rest of the signal chain has low impedance to reduce the loss of high end over long cable lengths and so many connectors/jacks/foot switches.
ARE YOUR PEDALS ANALOG OR DIGITAL?
All the pedals I build are 100% analog, no signal is put through an AD/DA converter and retains (in my opinion!) the best signal qualities.
HOW DO HOU BUILD YOUR PEDALS?
I'll break this into a few different sections!
All of my models start out on breadboard. Once the sound is to my liking on the breadboard I draw out the schematic in Eagle and then create the layout of the PCB. When designing the PCBs I always go for a top layer of ground and route as many of the signal traces I can on the bottom layer with as few crossing traces as possible. This takes time to get the layout to my liking but I do it anyway to keep the pedals quiet and low noise. Even the B6K Compressor and high-gain Shelby Mu Distortion are quiet.
With the PCBs ordered and received I populate each one by hand using high quality through-hole components. After populating the PCBs I solder in all the wires and then the potentiometers. Once all the PCBs are populated with pots and wires up I go through my printing process.
I hand print all the housings with a silkscreen. This also takes a lot longer than having a machine UV print your housings but it’s so worth it. Each pedal is hand printed and has its own look. Sure, some of them might not be perfect but it’s handmade and looks awesome. The print quality of the ink with silkscreen is better than UV in my opinion. The whites are whiter and less opaque for example. After printing comes drilling all the holes which I also do myself. In my artwork I place the hole size and crosshairs to make drilling a little easier.
Once the housings are printed and drilled I put the populated circuit boards in the housings and wire everything up, usually in batches of 5. Then comes the sound test where I test every switch, knob and pot for noise or problems. And do my QC test where I bang the the pedals on a piece of carpet to make sure nothing cuts out or makes noise when it’s banged around a bit.
Once they’re tested and certified working I give them a serial number and put them in the their final box ready for sale.
ARE YOUR PEDALS ONLY FOR GUITAR?
Nope! I've had customers report back that the pedals work with synth machines like the Korg Electribe, Volca Kick, Volca Bass and Volca Mix. And others have successfully played with violin, cello, keys...anything that has an analog output can be plugged into Signal Cheyne pedals. The Sirius parallel blender and B6K compressor are fantastic for bassists!