Rockett and PGS release the Ikon, a klone supposedly based on the Gold Klon instead of the Silver. Someone posts gutshots and we see the the Ikon has D9Es. Bill chimes in and mentions that his diodes are 1N34As. Barely anyone notices. People keep repeating the same BS.
This is surprising, because 1N34As are the most commonly used diode when germanium is called for in a pedal. No one expected it to be what everyone is already using. But there are some important points to keep in mind.
- When sousonic listed the diodes as 1N34A in his schematic of S 698, he has no way of knowing that that’s what they actually were. He was just suggesting the most readily available germaniums for clippers.
- For any part other diodes, I would probably say that brand doesn’t matter. The same parts from different manufacturers should be electronically equivalent. ‘Electrons aren’t bullshit dependent,’ as I’ve seen it written somewhere.
- Most DIYers and buyers of klones with 1N34As have reported that they sounded different than the real Centaur, so we had all reasoned that Bill’s diodes ARE NOT 1N34As.
- My experience is that germaniums of the same part number can sound a bit different not only across brands, but also within the same batch (presumably made in the same production run). The fV can even be about the same. I deliberately stock up on cheap Chinese-made 1N34As that are particularly inconsistent so that I can pick out the ones that match my Centaur and KTR. Batches that are more consistent seem to fall into the ‘less Klon-like’ camp.
- It’s possible Bill is lying to throw us off, but even if that’s the case, he’s still correct about brands sounding different. I do think they don’t sound AS different as he’s making them out to be, and with some auditioning, it’s not hard to find a pair of diodes that nails the same kind of clipping as the Centaur.
- Tolerance and drift are still a thing. Always remember.
The Rockett Archer Ikon
What a bunch of crap: “Features actual Klon “magic” diodes. That’s right—THE part”
Nope, the Ikon has D9Es. Just look inside one and see. This isn’t marketing BS, this is a flat out lie. D9Es are old soviet diodes. There’s no way Bill had access to them in 1990. And they’re easily identifiable by their blue and red bands. Bills diodes have a single black band marking the cathode (soviet manufacturers marked the anode, or both).
BYOC used the D9Es in the Silver Pony kit that came out last year. There was a lot of hullabaloo over whether or not they were the same as Bill’s, and it was immediately obvious that they weren’t. The PGS and Rockett guys are a year late to this.
Gold vs Silver
Here’s an interview with CVT from Rockett: http://tonereport.com/blogs/interviews/prepare-for-launch-an-interview-with-chris-van-tassel-of-j.rockett-audio-de
“Even yesterday, as we were working on the gold version of the Archer with Pro Guitar Shop, we wanted to test it against a gold Klon. And the gold and silver Klons were different.”
You’d expect a manufacturer to understand component tolerance. You’d also expect someone who has worked with Bill to know that the guts of the Silvers and Golds are identical. Same PCB, same components, same diodes. The first few hundred (out of ~< 4000) Golds left out a few resistors, and maybe the first hundred or so Silvers did as well, but beyond that they all have the exact same specs. This is a myth that just won’t die, and I suspect CVT is using it to market the Ikon.