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Germanium Transistors in boost circuits - How do they sound?

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  • Germanium Transistors in boost circuits - How do they sound?

    I'm ordering parts to build a few different boost pedals, and it calls for any NPN transistor. I'm going to socket all of boards so that I can change the transistors around, and I'm ordering a bunch of normal silicon transistors to find what I like best. I also can order a Germanium transistor to try as well, but they're quite a bit more than the silicon transistors and I want to be sure it will at least sound decent.

    The germanium transistor I'm looking at is a AC187, and it would be going into the DIYStompboxes beginner NPN boost project.

    Will it sound good, or would I be throwing away $5 getting the Germanium transistor?
    www.noisemakereffects.com

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  • #2
    Anyone?
    www.noisemakereffects.com

    Boutique, hand-built pedals and amplifiers!

    Noisemaker Effects
    Twitter||Facebook

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    • #3
      I'm not sure myself but I think for an extra $5 you couldn't go wrong.
      Good deals with these guys..

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      • #4
        Usually treble boosters use a single Germanium. I think for $5 you might as well give it a try.
        http://personalmessageblog.blogspot.com/
        http://blubberslumber.bandcamp.com/

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        • #5
          I've only compared them in treble boosters and fuzzes - never a clean boost, so take my view with a grain of salt . . . germanium is warmer, less of an edge to the sound - silicon definitely can get ice-picky. I was a little surprised by how much difference there was in the circuits I tried (I've become something of a "tone" skeptic after dong some A/B tests on the "magical" 4338 chip in a tubescreamer). Definitely not a subtle difference, so I think it's worth the $5 to make the comparison. Although you should make sure the circuits are truly interchangeable. From what I recall, germanium transistors require a bit more care and feeding to bias them correctly.
          deals with: -Juggernaut-; Shooto; CicadaSilence; Cheebus; 59Vampire; hivedestruction; dotlikeimpact; xjordanx

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          • #6
            Ah...

            Does anyone know if the AC187 will actually even work in the DIYStompboxes beginner project? I know it's just a simple NPN boost, but I don't know if there are any requirements for the transistor other than that it has to be NPN.
            www.noisemakereffects.com

            Boutique, hand-built pedals and amplifiers!

            Noisemaker Effects
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            • #7
              I've always wondered what NPN stands for....
              Good deals with these guys..

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              • #8
                I have no idea - you should ask in the DIYS forum. Back when I was building stuff, I asked all sorts of questions there and got a ton of great answers/information everytime - very cool people there. (Not that people here aren't cool - just more likely someone over there will have tried it and can tell you for sure whether it will work).
                deals with: -Juggernaut-; Shooto; CicadaSilence; Cheebus; 59Vampire; hivedestruction; dotlikeimpact; xjordanx

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                • #9
                  I've always wondered what NPN stands for....


                  NPN refers to the kind of gate in the transistor - N is one kind of material, P is another. You can have an NPN or a PNP - the letters in the middle refers to the polarity of the gate material. (N = negative, P = positive, meaning how they are doped to be postively or negatively biased . . . something like that). It governs how you hook them up to power.
                  deals with: -Juggernaut-; Shooto; CicadaSilence; Cheebus; 59Vampire; hivedestruction; dotlikeimpact; xjordanx

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                  • #10
                    you could build the cream pie Ge boost,it uses an NPN AC127 (available on ebay)
                    i have the schem if ya dont already.

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                    • #11
                      If you're referring to the diystompboxes beginner project, you'll most probably have biasing problems if replacing the Si transistor with a Ge one.
                      On the schematic there's a 10k resistor connected to the transistor's collector -- this is for biasing.

                      Replacing that with a 20k or 50k trimpot and you should be fine. Play through the effect and turn the trim pot until it sounds right. (or use a mulimeter to bias to 4.5v at the collector and adjust from there)
                      Originally Posted by kyrreca


                      my god, this is ridiculous

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