My Golden Horse or Golden Royale pedal is having a problem. What should I do?
I take great care in testing each pedal I build. I carry out both a preliminary test once the electronics are soldered, and a final, in-depth test in a professional recording studio. Additionally, and due to my OCD, just before shipping I do a quick check to ensure it’s working properly.
In 99% of the cases, problems with the Golden Horse or Golden Royale occur as a result of an incorrect voltage. Just like the original Klon Centaur, both pedals are equipped with a Zener diode at the power jack input that safeguards against voltages exceeding 9V and reverse voltages. If an incorrect voltage is applied, the diode will short-circuit, preventing the current from reaching the other components. This will result in the pedal becoming inoperable, or making noise until the diode is replaced.
In rare cases, if the voltage is too high or applied for too long, the diode may not be enough to protect the components. However, in most occasions replacing the diode usually does the trick.
HOW TO PROCEED
Let’s first verify if the problem with your pedal is related to incorrect voltage or another cause.
Check your Power Supply. If it has different voltage outlets, it’s possible you may have mixed up the power jacks or accidentally plugged it into a 12V or 18V outlet, a common mistake. Many power supplies such as Cioks, Zuma, ProPower2, have dip switches to select different voltages, and it’s frequent to accidentally switch them.
If your pedal stopped functioning suddenly during use, it’s unlikely to be a voltage issue. Please reach out to me and we’ll explore the possible reasons.
If you are confident that the pedal did not receive incorrect voltage (even briefly), isolate it from the rest of your setup by connecting only your guitar to the pedal and then to the amp, nothing else in the chain. This will help you determine if the issue is with the pedal and not due to faulty cables or connectors – Happens all the time!
If the problem is still there, kindly send me a video showcasing the issue, which can easily be done through Facebook or Instagram direct messages.
If you are using a non-regulated, non-isolated power supply, consider switching to a high-quality one, either by borrowing from a friend or taking the pedal to a guitar shop to test. Poor power supplies can generate a lot of noise, affecting some pedals.
If you think the pedal may have received more than 9V or may have been short-circuited by the DC plug, here are the steps to follow based on the model, Golden Horse or Golden Royale.
To check if the Zener diode in your pedal is shorted, you can use a MultiMeter or find someone who has one. The diode is located at the top of the components board and has an orange-colored crystal body. If it’s shorted, any local electronics technician can replace it for you – It’s a very easy job. If you prefer to have me handle the repair, please send me an email.
If you are sure, or think a wrong voltage was applied to the pedal, and want to determine the extent of the damage:
Cut out the diode across the leads (refer to the yellow lines in the picture) using cutting pliers or nail clippers.
After cutting out the diode, connect the pedal to a 9V MAX DC source, Negative Tip. Test to see if there’s audio. If you do hear audio and the pedal is functioning properly, it means only the diode needs to be replaced. This type of diode is a common 1N4742 Zener and can be easily replaced by any electronics shop in your area.
If audio is still not passing, it suggests the possibility of further damaged components. In this scenario, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
The Golden Royale comes equipped with a built-in backup protection circuit that allows you to bypass a damaged diode and select a new one with the flip of a switch. To do this, unplug the DC jack, remove the back plate (4 standard Philips screws), and locate the small slide switch located between the Input Jack and DC Jack (as shown in the photo, circled in yellow). Then, switch the position of the slide switch, plug in the DC jack making sure it is 9V MAX, Negative Tip, and verify if everything is functioning properly. If everything works, it means the only damaged component in the pedal was the diode, you are all set to play!
Don’t forget to eventually replace the old diode with a new one, as a precautionary measure in case the problem occurs again in the future.