Boss VF-1 vs. SE-70?

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by iam_krash, Dec 14, 2017.


  1. iam_krash

    iam_krash Member

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    Love my SE-70's warm, organic almost analog...some killer rotary/reverb's/chorus/delay in that little box. Although noise can be an issue at times...
    Had VF-1, years ago...horrible guitar sounds...stiff, brittle etc...I kinda packed it off and sent it back...never really got into the effects...
    I've read the effects are "cleaner" than the SE-70 and the unit is quieter...
    Thoughts? Personal experiences between the two? I can pick up a VF-1 pretty inexpensively...wondering what experiences people have had with the VF-1
     
  2. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    No comparison.... get TWO SE-70s.
    As you know... the VF1 basically doesn't sound at all, no matter the algorithms...
     
  3. iam_krash

    iam_krash Member

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    LOL...thanks Italo, you've confirmed what I remember! I actually have three SE-70's...always looking for more!
     
  4. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    Opening riff is VF-1 phaser. I likey.

    JK
     
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  5. Xycl

    Xycl Member

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    I have to contradict that.
    The COSM amp emulations are very bad. Don't use the VF-1 as an guitar multi fx.
    But the SDD-320 and RE-201 emulation are really good.
    The same goes for the multi tap delay, vocoder and the vocal channel strip.
     
  6. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    The SOUND isn't happening... no matter what the algorithms are. Get that. THE SOUND, TONE!
     
  7. Xycl

    Xycl Member

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    That is a pity for you.
    But fortunately, everyone's tastes are different
     
  8. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    True! Not everyone has it.
    Try using the VF converters, connecting a higher end thru them and check how it sounds like.
     
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  9. Xycl

    Xycl Member

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    You suggested the SE-70 due to it's superior sound.
    And then you told me that the reason are the converters of the VF-1?

    From the manuals:
    VF-1
    Signal Processing
    AD Conversion: 24 bit 64 times oversampling, delta sigma modulation
    DA Conversion: 24 bit 128 times oversampling, delta sigma modulation
    Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz

    SE-70:
    Signal Processing
    AD Conversion: 16 bit linear (64 times oversampling, delta sigma process)
    DA Conversion: 16 bit linear (8 times oversampling)
    Sampling Frequency: 48 kHz / 32kHz

    I presuppose knowledge about physics and electronics to understand the above. As an former engineer that should'nt be a problem.

    Ah, okay, I understand: Because of its inferior converter, the se70 is obviously warmer sounding.
     
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  10. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    When specs mean nothing!
    -If you think that a higher resolution converter sounds better than a lower one as a law of physics, engineering, technology.....
    -If you think that a lower resolution converter sounds "warmer" because its "inferior" specs....

    guess what?

    You're wrong on both sides of the coin!

    My computer... runs 24 bit/192 KHz sampling and sounds like crap!
    My 1987 H3000 running on 16 bit/44.1 KHz sampling kills a ton of more modern converters in my more recent devices.
    My H8000 running on 16 bit/44.1 KHz (yes I can do that too) will kill most 24 bit/48KHz converters out there... and to be fair... I would spare the VF-1 a bad loss there.
    If you could get a 24bit/44.1 KHz conversion to sound *like* (not even better) my Lexicon M300 (20 bit/48KHz)... you will be called GOD and will rule the universe!!!
    Do you even know what's after the conversion stage?
     
  11. rstites

    rstites Member

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    You can't just compare the sample depth and rate of the DSP. A huge portion of the sonic characteristics of any digital unit is going to depend on the analog preamplification and filtering before the A/D converters and after the D/A converters. More engineering expertise, time, and construction money tended to go into early digital systems due to the fact that tight tolerances on the sample rate and bit depth forced high quality filtering, amplification, and I suspect some level of internal compression/limiting to be necessary.

    I don't know anything about the details of these two units and have no opinions on their sounds. I'm simply noting that comparing quantization levels and sampling rate is a completely pointless exercise.
     
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  12. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^
    EXACTLY!!!

    Check these pictures.

    This is the analog input section of a DSP4000. It's almost as large as the full VF-1!!!
    [​IMG]


    This is the Lexicon 300. The right side block HUGE board is ALL for the analog I/O!!!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. rstites

    rstites Member

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    I'd be curious to the see the schematics. Really, that'd tell us all we need to know on input and outputs. My gut feel is that many of the early "warmer" units intentionally cut off more high end in the input due to sampling rate, and tended to compress (limit) the input because of sample depth. However, I certainly don't know that.

    I do know that several of the DIY groups out there have reproduction boards for early multifex input preamps. For example, Aion Electronics sells boards for the Echoplex EP-3 preamp and for the Korg SDD-3000 preamp.
     
  14. Xycl

    Xycl Member

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    I completely agree with you.

    But he said converters and not analog I/O.
    I can expect precise statements from an engineer.

    And as large as the SE-70.
    What does it tell about the quality difference between the SE-70 and VF-1? Nothing.

    I'm not smart enough to follow your arguments.
    1. you claim the VF-1 is unusable and that the SE-70 is far better.
    2. you tell something about bad converters.
    3. you tell something about bad analog components.
    4. to prove this you show pictures from Eventide and Lexicon????
    As men we know: Size matters
    But the size of an pcb doesn't tell us anything about the audio quality.
     
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  15. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    The logic from 1 to 4 is strong, but you don't follow it... and use pure factory specs to sustain the VF1 sounds better. Not even sure if you ever had an SE70 and a VF1 on the bench, side to side... and got your ear to realize the massive difference between the two, no matter what the manuals say.
    And yes, PCB size tell people about what is in a product and why it does sound better... but it doesn't tell YOU! Guess why?
    Yes, I show other products ANALOG boards to make you understand there is a lot more than converters in building THE sound of a digital device. This has nothing to do with the algorithms. The funny thing about them is that Roland/Boss have been repacking the same algorithms in endless chains of products, so you get mostly repacked code in different units... so WHY they sound different?
    Converters quality. A converter has its own quality. They are not born the same... their prices can be very different and so their sound. Delta Sigma conversion is pretty much color_less; older converters are much more colored... but you have to go back to very ealry digital devices... (late '70s/early '80s). ∆/∑ chips are more linear in tone but you still get to have quality difference in the spatial representation, the depth (3D) of overall sound, the dynamics/noise, etc. So yes... you can buy a better 16 bit converter than a 24 bit and pay more money for it and get a better sounding chip. Or you can buy a lower quality 16 bit converters and make it sound more musical than a 24 bit one with some work.
    There are reasons why CD players are better than others.
    To THAT you have to add the analog design around conversion, based on preamps (to manage proper signal handling and instr/line leves switching), anti-aliasing filters, companding (compression/expansion) and what not.
    THOSE boards you see, have so much of that stuff to make the tone what it is, just great. On a much smaller board you can't get that kind of signal refinement. It's all super micro integrated and many of those functions are done in digital domain, loosing the flavors completely. Changing GAIN is made in digital, so no more preamps! The '90s not only brought 24 bit but also much more powerful DSPs and many companies started dropping "magic" analog design in their products because they can now use DSP power for that. So... preamps are gone... they make more money with less parts... they have less "servicing" issues... making even more money.
    Look at ONE spec that matters between the VF1 and 70... tha amount of real power used... amperage. The 70 is massive... telling you that the extra power is used in analog handling of the signal and DSP power.
    Put them side by side... and the 70 kills the farting VF-1 in just about ANY sound quality test. It's not about the algorithms... it's about tone.
    So many SE-70 users got the VF-1 when it came out, hoping in the "miracle" of 24 bit conversion... and most of them just brought it back and got their 70s back. Much better sounding and more powerful too.
    Use GOOGLE and make a search about HOW digital converters are placed in input stages of digital delays. That's where you learn...
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
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  16. Anje

    Anje Supporting Member

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    Sorry maybe a little off-topic and it's been a long time, but I recall the SE50 to sound "better" in general to the SE70, even if the later offers more possibilities & complex effects; still very cool in a 1/2 rack format. Haven't tried the VF-1 so can't compare.
     
  17. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    I have no direct memories about this unfortunately. But I remember talking about SE-50/SE-70 with two of THE longest time ever users, John Abercrombie and Scott Henderson about it... and they both loved their 70. This was back in the mid '90s... they kept using them for long time after...
     
  18. Anje

    Anje Supporting Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience as well Italo; mm yes I was thinking more about it after posting that, now my memory about this may be not that clear :).
    What I have in mind is a little "warmer" / darker / more "analog-like" tone from the 50 that worked nice for straight classic effects in simple routing applications (for instance I recall using nice Dimension D like chorus or stereo delay wideners with mine), whereas the 70 would sound a little "clearer" if that makes sense (which one may prefer actually), and great for more complex and/or "processed" sounding effects.
    In any case both great small units.
     
  19. italo de angelis

    italo de angelis Member

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    The 50 has a slightly reduced bandwidth, 20KHz @48KHz sampling... I'm not sure how hearable the difference could be with the 70's 22KHz, but don't exactly know the slope of the filter there.
    I would consider the 70 an improvement though. The converters might be slightly better or working on a better made input stage (higher amperage).
    They seem to be the same product with some refinements, rather than a big change in the SE whole idea.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  20. Anje

    Anje Supporting Member

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    Yes agree I also see the 70 as a real evolution of the 50, and I think I would choose to go for a 70 those days ifever I would look for one of those in a compact line level / mixer application.
     

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