Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by fredrikn, Oct 23, 2015.
PT, as always, great demo.
And TGP, as always, great IGNORE function.
Pete - thanks! As always, a thoughtful demo combined with great playing and great musicianship. I don't understand this other nonsense in the thread - some people just won't be happy if they can't be critical.
Thanks guys, it's a good discussion-
Re: hum busters, you could get a couple of isolation transformers instead and use them (I think) on the send from the fx 8 to your amp fx loop and on one of the stereo returns back to one of the amps (if you're running in stereo). You might ask someone like Dave Friedman exactly where you'd need them. But then you could use any cables you wish. Palmer makes little ISO transformer boxes, they are 60 bucks each I think- there's other on the market as well from Ebtech, etc. the problem is, multiple paths to ground. You get ground loops. On my big pedalboard, I use the Strymon Möbius in front of the amp in one loop on my Musicom mk IV, for univibe, filter, etc. then I use it in the loop for post FX (chorus, rotary etc). It's a nice thing about the möbius, that you can choose to use it in two points of your signal chain- BUT- you forfeit running it in stereo, and you will absolutely get a ground loop running it this way. Friedman has ISO transformers on mine, and on my whole board in general in the key spots necessary so that there are no ground loops. So, the hum buster cables are necessary and a way to avoid the ground loops without needing the ISO transformers.
A nice feature would be ground lift switches on the FX8, in the key spots you'd need them. I think if I remember correct, the Kemper has this.
Strangely, many wireless units also don't have the lift switches- my otherwise great $2500 AKG wireless does not have a ground lift on the main 1/4 inch outs. You absolutely need to isolate the output of a wireless plugged into AC or you'll have a nasty ground loop. So, I use a special cable built by Friedman with an ISO in it, for the output of my wireless to my amp.
Not to jump too far off topic, but....this discussion is the first time I've ever heard of the humbusters, or cable that are similar, period.
Can these cables work in a generic guitar->board->amp situation and actually put a dent in any hum? Or is it simply an exercise in futility?
The thing that makes me scratch my head is why I can use a used $350 Digitech GSP1101 4CM and not need any special cables or hum cancelers but you need them for a modern $1400 unit? I didn't even need them on Line 6 M13 or HD500 using those 4CM.
And most of the times you won't need them with the FX8 either. In fact, it'll probably be better. Note that I ran the M13 via 4CM before and had terrible hum problems with one amp. I've had hum problems with a prior generation POD. Same with one of the Boss GT units. Same with the G-System. The FX8 worked completely transparently in every amp I tried except my Soldano but nothing works well with that Soldano loop.
Because those products use "wall-warts" and therefore have no direct connection to ground. As soon as you put a power supply inside a product you are required by law to have a safety ground from the chassis to the third wire of the power cable. This can cause a ground loop. The GSP 1101 uses an internal supply and would be subject to ground loops depending upon the application.
In the old days products only used 2-wire power cables and if a conductor shorted to the chassis it wouldn't necessarily blow a fuse and you could get electrocuted. Connecting the chassis to ground ensures that the circuit breaker will trip in the event that one of the power conductors shorts to the chassis.
A wall-wart isolates the power supply outside the chassis inside a plastic housing which means that there is no requirement for the chassis to be connected to earth ground. The downsides of wall-warts are well known though.
In certain applications (i.e. Hi-Fi) you can use a double-insulated power supply with no chassis safety ground but that is not permitted for "professional installations".
With products that use internal power supplies if you encounter a ground loop you then need to either use isolation transformers or "cheater plugs" (which are dangerous). The FX-8 eliminates the need for these by using a simple, inexpensive cable. Some products have dedicated ground lift switches but you are required to have at least one switch grounded and if you don't you are inviting disaster (blown output drivers, etc.).
The GSP1101 doesn't use a wall wart - just the Line 6 units do. The Helix doesn't use a wall wart either - I haven't tried it via 4CM yet though.
Thanks for your perspective on this Cliff. A quick question.... will the humbuster cables work on the AX8 4CM? I know you really didn't design the AX8 to be used 4CM the way the FX8 does but but I'd like to have amp modeling as well so that's why I've not gone with a FX8 and want to try the AX8 and Helix first.
I don't need special cables to run my Helix in 4CM. Or a GT-100. Or a GT-10. But the FX8 needs them with the same amp. For whatever reason.
Thanks Karl. That's very useful info.
I have a G3 and a FX8 so what I say is not simply conjecture. They do not sound the same and you don't need headphones to hear the difference.
Yes, Pete's playing is good enough that, if told that a G3 clip was an FX8, and the G3 was dialed in by someone who really knew the box and was really good at it, most would not immediately know it wasn't the FX8, but regarding the real world playing experience, that's pretty meaningless.
And, yes, to some degree, all amps/processors, digital or analog, could be said to have a signature tone but I think it's far more true of analog devices than the top of the line digital offerings by Fractal.
Runningman, I'm not sure what your point is in all of this, but as an FX8 owner I can tell you that there is a night and day difference between it and the G3 and that difference is reflected in the price. If you used/gigged an FX8 for a few months and then had to switch to a G3 there's no doubt in my mind that you'd feel like you'd taken a major step down, not just a slight one. Is it worth the difference in price? It is to me. I can't say that it would be to you but we all have our individual priorities.
The AX-8 has Humbuster outputs as well. It will do 4CM but probably not as good as an FX-8 which was purpose-designed for 4CM. If we used the output topology of the FX-8 in the AX-8 the AX-8 would cost a LOT more.
Gitarre & Bass, the leading German magazine, published a raving 3-page review of the FX8 in the November issue.
Tone, user interface, and everything else gets praised. No cons.
Copyright prevents me from uploading the article.
And at the end of the day, how good can a delay or chorus or vibrato effect sound? How different can two delays really sound? It's a freakin echo. One drive offers a different flavor than another, one amp or guitar versus another. But there's a limit in those differences. What is not limited, however, is playing ability and musical creativity. That's what's really incredible and limitless. Pete creates some really cool original music while demonstrating all sorts of enticing gear - but it's his playing and musical ability that are always inspiring, never the echo or the fuzz. The conclusion: get what gear you can afford, and then go forth and musicate.
Ummm...this is the Gear Page. It's an entire forum basically dedicated to these differences and finding the best.
Great demo and discussion here but someone tell me are the drives and stacking drives sound like real pedals? Pete's demo seems to have the PT100 doing the heavy lifting and the drive adding some color. Would love to hear a demo just straight in and using drive blocks...
Drives sound great to me stacked. Still new to the party with this unit but I'm really impressed so far. Playing into a Suhr Bella so all gain is from the fx8.
This is where we'll just have to agree to disagree. I don't buy that there's a "night and day" difference between any modern digital effects, because they're all just specialized computers, and even the cheap ones are ridiculously more capable than units from 10 years ago.
Night and day implies opposites. A unit like the FX8 obviously has higher quality components, converters, switches, etc, but as I and others have pointed out, how much better can an approximation of an analog delay actually be?
To be clear, I'm not disputing that the FX8 is a more capable, better-sounding unit. I dang well better be for for a $1250 premium.
My only point, for the 698th time, is that for the basic effects used in the demo, Pete could have made it sound equally good, or at least good enough so no one would have questioned it, with the G3.
Pete's obviously a busy chap who gets paid to do these demos, but it would be awfully interesting to hear that demo re-tracked with a G3...
Just discovered the ignore function, great.