The Precision Series is a lower-priced offering using surface-mount technology for all resistors and most smaller capacitors. The low-noise metal film resistors are high-precision parts, most having only 5 tenths of one percent tolerance, some 1% and some are ultra-high-precision 0.1% tolerance. For hi-fi capacitors (polyester film and audio-grade electrolytics) and transistors and diodes, through-hole components are still used.
We have been hand building effects since 2004, using all through-hole components. Lately I've found I can achieve great tones without using noisy resistors, and it's great to put out effects that don't buzz and hum and are consistent and precise rather than variable. Besides being more noisy and less precise, through-hole components are also more expensive and wasteful. Most of a through-hole component is unneeded bulky "packaging," and 95% of the leads are cut off and discarded anyway, creating a huge volume of waste material that is sent to a landfill. There is not enough time in the day to hand-populate and solder all the boards we need to make, and we can't afford to pay other people to do it for us, either. I've decided to catch up with the rest of the world and design circuits where a majority of the components can be placed by robots and soldered by an automated system. Still done in America just like always.
Yep. I still obsess over them and refine them to the best possible tone. I still make each product's prototype by hand and tweak the designs in an intensely iterative and prolonged revision process before finally sending them off for production only after reaching perfection, and there is still plenty of manual labor that goes into each and every one.
Hopefully. I am planning to design all new products with surface-mount technology and to eventually convert the old versions (likely with new names to eliminate any confusion) as time permits. This will allow us to offer our amazing quality at a much lower price than before.