My Golden Horse / Golden Royale has problems. What should I do?
Every pedal I build is thoroughly tested before it leaves my workshop. I’m very meticulous about this. I do a first basic test as soon as I box it, and the final big test in a studio. Additionally, just before packing it for shipping, I plug it in again briefly to check it’s OK to go.
99% of the time, when a GH / GR / Klon presents a problem is due to have received an incorrect voltage. The Golden Horse and the Golden Royale, just like the original Centaur, have a diode at the input of the power jack, which protects the electronics from voltages over 9V and/or from reverse voltage. When a wrong voltage is applied, this diode shorts itself and avoids the excess current being fed to the rest of the electronics board. Once this happens, the pedal becomes inoperative and/or makes a noise, until the diode is replaced.
In some cases though, if the excess voltage is too much or is applied for too long, the protection diode won’t be enough and some other components may be affected, but 90% of the time a diode replacement does the trick.
HOW TO PROCEED
First, let’s make sure the problem on your pedal is related to an incorrect voltage or may be due to something else.
Check your Power Supply. If it has outlets with different voltages, chances are that you either mixed up the power jacks or plugged it in a 12V or 18V outlet accidentally – Happens all the time!
- If the pedal stopped working suddenly while playing, then it’s not related to voltage. Contact me and we’ll investigate what could’ve happened.
- If you are 100% sure the pedal did not receive an incorrect voltage (even if briefly), please send me a video of the issue (Easiest way is Facebook or Instagram direct messages).
- If you use a non-regulated, non-isolated Power Supply, consider trying a high-quality one (Either borrowed from a friend or bring the pedal to a Guitar shop to try). Bad Power Supplies can introduce a lot of noise to certain pedals.
If you suspect your pedal could’ve been powered with more than 9V or could’ve been short-circuited by the DC plug, here’s what you can do. Different procedures for the Golden Horse and the Golden Royale:
If you have a MultiMeter, or know anyone who has one, you can check if the Zener diode is shorted. The diode is located at the top of the components board, orange-colored crystal body. If it’s shorted, any electronics tech in your area can replace it. If you want me to do the job, email me.
- If you suspect you powered it with the wrong voltage and want to know the extent of the damage:
Cut the diode out across the leads (yellow lines in the picture). Very carefully and avoiding damaging the board. Cutting pliers (https://www.amazon.com/Pliers-Electrical-Cutters-Cutting-Diagonal/dp/B0188DHO40/) or nail clippers (https://www.amazon.com/PRECISE-CANADA-PROFESSIONAL- HEAVY-DUTY-STAINLESS/dp/B071WJVHLB) will do the job. (If you don’t have any similar tool, let me know)
Next, plug in the pedal, making sure to connect it to a 9V MAX DC source, negative tip. Now test to see if you get audio. If you get audio, and the pedal works and sounds as it should, then it’s only the diode that needs to be replaced. The diode is a common 1N4742 Zener. Any electronics shop in your area can replace it in no time and your pedal will be ready to rock again!
If on the contrary, you don’t get audio, please contact me.
The Golden Royale comes stock with a backup protection circuit, which allows you to bypass a fried diode and select a new one with the flick of a switch. For that, unplug the DC jack, take the rear plate off (4 regular Philips screws) and locate a tiny slide switch between the Input jack and the DC jack (photo below, circled in yellow), slide the switch to the opposite position, plug the DC jack making sure it’s 9V, and check if everything works as should. If the pedal didn’t have any component fried other than the diode, you are ready to go!