Alesis ModFX units... ????

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by nashvillesteve, Jul 11, 2006.


  1. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I have a possible opportunity to pick up a few of these at a very low price from someone who got them a long time ago in a trade and hasn't used them.

    I am particularly interested in the Spectron, Formantz and Vertigo that are being sold.

    It is difficult to find info on these (released in 2002, now discontinued)...

    Are they cool units? They've got to be pretty fun I would think for the price, maybe they weren't a big hit in sales.

    I would love a good synth pedal, a filter pedal would be great and I could maybe use the Leslie pedal to imitate the treble horn my Leslie cabinet does not have, anyway, they would all be fun at home I'm sure and run in stereo. I believe from what I've read that you can use these in a normal guitar setup, is this correct? I'm looking at 3, they each take up 1/3 a rack space, I wouldn't be completely opposed to adding that to a setup or at least at home, which would be great, too.

    Any input on these units?
     
  2. Rambo66

    Rambo66 Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    How cheap are we talking? That would determine how cool they are. I have a couple and they're neat and fun to use but cash is king.
     
  3. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    $20 a pop... Upon inspection I will make a judgement about the seller and units and pass if they seem like stolen gear, because that's not cool. He said he got them in a trade years ago and hasn't used them at all, also willing to trade for a tremolo pedal. Of course, I will bring my champ II and test the functioning and inspect condition... $20... I hope there are some left- especially these three...
     
  4. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,177
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    I have the Phazor (I think that's what it's called.) You can't use it in front of an amp, it needs a line level signal, so it only seems to work in an effects loop. Otherwise, you get huge amounts of noise & very little signal.
     
  5. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    Bmore, Murlin
    The Spectron, Formantz, and Vertigo were never released. they were part of the planned second wave of ModFx units that never materialized. I was most anxious to try out the Fidelity X model, but alas, it was not to be.

    Of the seven that did make it to market, I tried the Philtre (best of the bunch, groovy filter with random patterns), Ampliton (pretty good tremolo panner), Faze (I kept it because I have a weakness for phasers, but it's just OK), and Smashup (moved it along.) The Bitrman and Metavox are popular with the noise crowd. the Phlngr has through zero flanging, but I don't care for flanging.

    The weaknesses of the ModFx - they want line level signals so you get volume matching and/or noise problems unless you use a mixer, no real on/off foot switch, power hogs, digital.

    The strengths - very tweakable controls, several innovative parameters, sample and hold patterns on several, stereo ins and outs.

    If you actually do find any of the elusive second wave ModFx units in some corner of the world PLEASE look for a Fidelity X for me. :BEER
     
  6. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I'm thinking of trying out for a Pink Floyd cover band, if I can route them to the PA (maybe using switchable "out of chain" strobostomp as a DI box, or will that only work with acoustic guitars?)... Either way, at that price they'd probably be great at home through my surround sound system or for computer recording...
     
  7. g-nem

    g-nem Member

    Messages:
    1,070
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    You can use the modfx guys for guitar IF you put them in a TB loop with a volume control on it. I have a bitrman thsat I use all the time- and I'll probably put the philtre onmy board sometime soon. i say since those are unreleased models, snatch em up- you can always edbay 'em if you don't like em.
     
  8. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Like a buffer with a volume control, right, not just a passive potentiometer?
     
  9. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Looks like a few were taken, but I'm going to pick up the one I wanted the most anyway (Spectron Synth pedal) for $20 on my lunch break... yay.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. BmoreTele

    BmoreTele Member

    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    Bmore, Murlin
    Don't forget my Fidelity X!!!!!


    :D
     
  11. g-nem

    g-nem Member

    Messages:
    1,070
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Actually i'm just using a passive volume control wired like a guitar volume after the bitrman and before the 3pdt switch. I also put in a tone control cuz the bitrman can be a little birght sometimes.
     
  12. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,266
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    For $20, I think it is a no-brainer. I bought the Bitrman and the Philtre when they were on close-out for $30 to $40, if I remember correctly. They were fun to play with, but they didn't seem durable enough to use on a pedalboard - though putting them in a bypass loop would solve the biggest problem, which is the crappy switch. My effects had a bit of hiss (due to the line-level design) and had occasional digital artifacts. They were pretty cool, but I ended up selling them on ebay. I've since purchased the Ineko (I think that is what it is called), which has a number of my favorite effects from the ModFX series. I use it regularly in the studio.

    Bryan
     
  13. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    So, I spoke with the guy and he told me he'd be home for 45 minutes in the middle of the day, I told him I could take lunch then and I'd see him in about an hour and a half, done... I get there and he had sold the Spector 5 minutes before I got there!!! Sumbitch!! That kind of left a bad taste in my mouth... I hope he NEVER finds a tremolo pedal!
     
  14. Barge Concepts

    Barge Concepts Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    spanish harlem, NYC
    I though these never shipped at all...
     
  15. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Did you get ahold of him at all? There should have been three units left after this afternoon...
     
  16. drolling

    drolling Member

    Messages:
    6,100
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    I seem to recall reading about these being *blown-out* for 25 bucks a pop at MF a few months back. My impression was that they'd work better w/electronic keyboards, or in digital audio workstations than as floor stomps for guitarists.
     
  17. Rambo66

    Rambo66 Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    May 12, 2006
    I have the Philtre and the Smashup and they're cool but I don't use them in my pedalboard. They're more for audio manipulation, recording etc....

    And I'm almost positive the units you mentioned were never produced, let alone shipped.
     
  18. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I saw four of them in front of my own eyes, although I had read about different styled units on the net that were for rackmount, maybe those were what were not released...

    I actually picked up the "Fidelity X" unit for someone on this board (still has the protective plastic layer on the face) and will try it out for some direct computer recording (maybe I'll regret not buying it for me- it would be perfect for that as I like Garage Band's effects but not the amp modelling for dirty sounds and this seems to be more capable).

    I guess I will post a brief review of my experience if I get around to trying it out tonight before I ship it out... This unit in particular does exist, if the other three were only optical illusions, can't say for the first three that were sold (one of which was MINE- the bastard!)...
     
  19. Barge Concepts

    Barge Concepts Member

    Messages:
    158
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2005
    Location:
    spanish harlem, NYC
    I've contacted the seller, and claimed the other three - just working out payment and shipping details....

    I'm hoping this is the real deal, not just trade show mockups or a scam or some sort...

    Steve, I'd love a review, however brief.
     
  20. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

    Messages:
    3,985
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    OK... will do. The "Fidelity" unit I have here (which does say Alesis has stereo ins and outs, a footswitch jack, a 9v power jack (830 mA!), a trimpot and a computer (serial?) port labeled "LINK" on each side... "Quality," "Drive," "Tone," and "Mix" controls, a "mono" button and what appears to be an on/off button are on the top. Then there is a "Year" up/down control to select '20s, '40s, '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s and a similar control to select the "Simulator" settings: Tape, Vinyl, Radio, Megaphone, Telephone or Digital. I believe I read about these taking up exactly 1/3 of a rack space and there originally being a mounting accessory to put three of them in a rack, but there is also some rubber grip on the bottom on the left and right edges to keep it in place for normal use. The overall housing does not seem to be made for anyting beyond careful studio use. That's the physical description. I have seen a couple of software-only versions of these pedals online for sale when I was trying to find some info, not sure if those came out before or afterwards, but it seems like a smart adaptation since most people are (or were) probably using these for direct-computer recording...

    I'm going to go restring my Bourgeois for Friday to check out a Celtic band and maybe sitting in, as I am interested in the guitarist's other project, which is a serious Pink Floyd tribute band with enough musicians to cover all of the layered parts from the records in a live performance contest... I might record a couple clips into the computer with this box to email him with some PF licks... I don't have a hosting service besides photobucket, but if anyone curious wants them I could email the samples... let's see if I get to that tonight, though...
     

Share This Page