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Old 3rd September 2007, 06:12 PM   #1
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Default Relays or switches

I have just built my first stereo preamp and need to install an input selector switch. It seems there are two basic choices:

1: A simple rotary 2 pole switch such as by Grayhill.

2: A powered board containing relays such as by Twisted Pear Audio.

I have never installed either before and wondered which is better.

Which of these is better, sonically?

Advice appreciated.
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Old 3rd September 2007, 10:33 PM   #2
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If the contacts are made of the same material, it wouldn't matter which. A relay is nothing more than a switch that is actuated by a coil.
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Old 3rd September 2007, 10:37 PM   #3
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IME, relays.

Short signal path.
Less interference from outside.
Better contacts.
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Old 4th September 2007, 01:40 AM   #4
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Switch:

-easy to implement,
-don't need any power supply.
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Old 4th September 2007, 03:28 AM   #5
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Sealed telecoms relays with silver contacts are best - they won't get noisy as they are sealed. Switches get noisy over time. Agree on shorter signal path if you mount the switch on the front panel. Relays can be mounted at input sockets. I have been using relays in the same preamp for >10 years with flawless service - previously used switches and these became noisy after 5-6 years
Just my 20 cents worth
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Old 4th September 2007, 08:13 AM   #6
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I stand with relays.
I know one switch is the price of a reasonable relay, but if the budget is short, use a 2x6 Switch.
In this case, use a L shape aluminium piece and put the switch as near as possible of inputs and use an extender shaft to connect the switch with front panel knob.
I have been using these selays for long time.
I gave up of rotary switches because they always fail (mechanicaly and electronicaly).
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Old 4th September 2007, 12:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by smithy666
Sealed telecoms relays with silver contacts are best - they won't get noisy as they are sealed.

relays are indeed more reliable..
switches get wore off easily than relays.

i also use relays as a load impedance selector on my amps.
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Old 4th September 2007, 01:13 PM   #8
Nordic is offline Nordic  South Africa
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I'm eyeing some 5 x 10mm telcoms relays for use to switch a cap into and out of the feedback path... a low budget tone control of sorts... a switch on leads would be a horrendous choise for this function, I would wager.
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Old 4th September 2007, 03:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Relays or switches

Quote:
Originally posted by chalkandtalk
Which of these is better, sonically?


Meaningless question without getting into specific parts. IME comparing cheap relays (Nais) to expensive switches (Seiden, Elma, Daven) the switches win hands down. Which is rather sad as the relays look so cute and make wiring so much easier.

Never tried latching relays though.
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Old 4th September 2007, 07:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for your advice guys. You have made me realise that relays can be very good.

I was keen to use relays for more in/out options, but was uncertain whether I would degrade sound quality. I have never used them before.

I have decided upon one of these:

http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/darwin/darwin.aspx

I's now on order.

thanks again

Aidan
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